When I was married, I enjoyed watching Sex and the City. From the comfort of my relationship, I was amused by the women’s dealings with trying to find the right guy. Thank God I don’t have to go through that, I thought in my suburban apartment, my husband in the next room. But when I became single, I found the show depressing.
I quickly learned that dating was not fun. The most fun part was writing my online ad, and maybe that period of time before anyone contacted me, when there was still potential. Then it turned into why isn’t anyone contacting me? Or, why aren’t the guys I want contacting me? Okay, I’ll contact them. The usual response? Crickets.
My very first post-divorce date was the summer of 2005. He was British and loved opera. We were supposed to meet for drinks at six, and the awful manager I had at the time liked to schedule 5:30 meetings. He scheduled one on the night of my date.
“I can’t stay,” I told my co-workers. “I have to leave.” I felt like if I didn’t have this first post-divorce date, I might never have any. Luckily my co-workers were nice enough to cover for me.
The date was so so. I was incredibly nervous. We met at Pipa, and I was the only one drinking. Who agrees to meet for drinks and then doesn’t drink?
He was pretty nice, and I went out with him twice more. But by the third date, I knew he wasn’t for me. I just wasn’t attracted to him. He was barely taller than I was, had a paunchy face, a paunchy belly, and arms that jiggled like an old lady’s. I mean, my triceps were more toned.
I liked Tobey the acupuncturist much more. I met him through speed dating. It was my friend’s idea, and for some reason I had to pose as her sister’s friend. It was her sister and this friend who had the membership; otherwise it’d have cost us some fee (probably not a lot).
The first guy I talked to worked for a competing pharmaceutical company. That was weird. But he was very nice with lovely manners, and attractive despite his “Gordon Gekko hairstyle,” as my friend put it. I can’t really remember who else I talked to; the guys start to merge together with the one other speed dating event I attended.
When I talked to Tobey, no sparks flew. In fact I thought he was gay, as did my friend. But then when we shifted partners, and my new guy was a complete weirdo who said nothing even after the bell rang, Tobey caught my eye and laughed, and I thought, Wow, he’s cute!
On our first date we ended up making out in a bar, something I’d never done before. He was an excellent kisser. But even by the second date, I sensed some weirdness about him. He already seemed distant and too in himself (probably a sign of depression).
One Sunday I didn’t have anything to do, so I called him to see if he wanted to hang out. “Oh, um, maybe,” he said. “What would we do?”
“I dunno,” I said. “It doesn’t matter.” I began to regret my calling him. “You can say no, you know. It’s not a big deal.”
“Oh, no. It’s okay. We can hang out. If you want.”
We had a very nice time, and at the end of the night, he said, “I wish you could stay,” but I still felt weird. Another time I invited him to a friend’s improv show, and again he had a strange response: “Where is it?”
I wasn’t sure. Midtown maybe?
He hemmed and hawed, and said he’d think about it. In my mind, I took this as a no.
Later he called and said he felt bad about his response, that he should have said yes right away.
“Only if you want to go,” I told him. I had been disappointed that he seemed to not want to, but that was that. Now he was saying yes because he felt guilty?
“And about dim sum on Saturday,” he said. “You can invite your friends if you want.”
“Why would I want to do that?” I asked. Dim sum was a date – why would I want my friends there? I did not get this guy at all.
We ended up not going to my friend’s show (I was feeling lazy), and dim sum was fun. But things still felt not quite right.
His birthday came up around this time, and I got him a gift certificate to a spa near his apartment. He told me all about the birthday party he was having, yet didn’t invite me. We hung out one more night, he chucked me under the chin, and then I never heard from him again.
Yeah, dating really sucked.
When I watched TV, I didn’t really want to be reminded of my own life. That was why I turned away from SATC and became obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Gilmore Girls. I’ll take ass kicking slayer and living in Stars Hollow over dating any day.