Ok, so technically it began many months ago, but I have finally started to write about my exploits as a newly single woman in the big city. Well, not quite the big city. The suburbs of a medium sized city known for liberty, brotherly love, cheese steaks and Tastykakes. So where to begin. I am in the midst of a divorce. Married for 11 years, 2 of those ok, 9 not so good. I have two wonderful children whom I adore. And I am throwing myself out into the world of dating. And it is sooooooo great.
So to clarify I am in love. Ok, not in love really but slightly obsessed bordering on stalker material with one guy in particular. We will call him Bob. It is not that Bob is so amazing. But he was an obsession in high school. An unrequited obsession. And those horrible teenage feelings have been rekindled as he is single, available, still hot and totally not into me. Sounds like 11th grade, no? Over the summer we hooked up. And by hooked up I mean actually made out on my couch. It was lovely. I could hear all that 80's music in my head as he kissed me and I knew any moment my Mom was going to come and scream 'But he's not Jewish!!!!' And then....well then I dared to ask him to the movies with me. Commitment. The curse of all relationships. Two hours in the dark together. How could he escape? And that is when he defriended me on Facebook, claiming I offended him with a comment on his status and thus cut me off from being able to cyber stalk him. I was an addict without access to my drug of choice. And still horribly obsessed. So many months later I still google him, picking up scraps on information, filling the void. And every national holiday he texts me wishing me Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year. And sadly, I still hold out hope that one day this lust will be requited. Is that a word? And then I can move on with my life.
But as I wait patiently knowing any moment he will come to his senses and love me so then I can grow bored of him and move on, I try in vain to date.
Outing one: My good friend, whom I shall call Mary, invited me to a party in Philadelphia. I was going in order to meet the host whom Mary knew in high school. On paper here is how he sounds: Single, divorced, no kids, works in news, smart, private school educated and fairly handsome. Oh and has all his hair. So far so good. I even thought about buying a new shirt for the occasion but in the end could find nothing that revealed enough cleavage to make it worth the expense. So off we went trying desperately to find parking in a city swamped with snow and plagued by narrow streets. Finally we arrived and knocked on the big wooden door. I was nervous. Could this actually work? Would I meet someone that would be interesting and fun and at the same time would be interested in me? And then the door swung open. And there he stood, medium height, mid life paunch, full head of hair and clearly gay. Yes gay. Strike one. But the party was not a total loss. I got to meet other single women who encouraged me with comments like, 'It is hell out there. Bald, fat men who have Mommy issues. Online dating sucks. Same men lying about their height, weight and income. All the good ones are gay'. It is women like these who make me feel so optimistic.
And onto option two:
Another friend who doesn't know me very well gives my phone number to her 'healer'. She said we would get along because we both went to Boston University. Of course she failed to mention that he graduated when I was 7 years old. 'Harry, you and Marie are both from New Jersey!' Now I say healer because after googling this guy, I discovered that is what he calls himself. According to his website, Roy (not his real name), can manipulate your muscles with his healing hands and mold you into anything you want to be. I am slightly intrigued I have to say. I would like to be three inches taller and ten pounds lighter. Perhaps a date isn't such a bad idea. He did call but as the phone rang in my kitchen, my kids decided to start fighting over a place mat and I couldn't pick up the phone and have him hear me screaming at my kids to shut the hell up. Perhaps he will call again and perhaps I, out of desperation for male companionship, will go out with him. Stay tuned.
But in the meantime I will go out with girlfriends. But my choices are limited as most of my friends are happily married. So I decided to go out with a very married friend from high school. Ok, we actually weren't friends in high school. She was way cooler than me. Much more popular and pretty and together. She told me she thought I was so self assured because I dared to cut my hair in a Flock of Seagulls style. I am not sure about that. Anyway, we agreed to meet at a restaurant in Wilmington, Delaware. Not a hot spot of activity, but it was close to Bob's house (yes, I am still obsessed). My friend, Jane, meets me at the bar and decides we should eat at the bar instead of a table. Mistake number one. It is far too easy to drink too much while eating at the bar, which she and I proceeded to do. It was then that Jane and I noticed the young couple at the end of the bar clearly on their first date. Jane decided the man was too good for the young woman so sent him a drink. When the man came over to thank her, she proceeded to tell him he was too good for his date. Ahhhh, this evening was off to a good start. But the scene at the restaurant grew dull after that so we moved on. The bar scene in Wilmington lacks some pizazz, so pickings are slim. We ended up at a bar that can only be described as Jersey Shore in Wilmington. We got carded.
As soon as we walked in I knew we were in trouble. Jane started drinking more and more. And then came a pack of boys. Now I hate to stereotype, but these guys were...well...guidos. Diamond earrings, slicked back black hair, shirts open wide, gold watches and chains. And then Jane started screaming 'Hey Guidos! Hey Guidos! Come over here.' I was sure death was imminent. But the guidos responded and soon we were surrounded by lots of fake tans, diamonds and hair gel. And then in walked the poor man's Bradley Cooper who my inebriated friend Jane told me was someone she had worked with in her former job and always lusted after. Yes, I do agree with her that there is something very sexy about him and then he opened his mouth. He tells me he is going to quit his job soon and become a hypnotist. WHAT? Yes, he has been studying hypnotism for three years. Does it really take three years to become a hypnotist? Note to self - google 'becoming a hypnotist'. So Jane is flirting heavily with Bradley Cooper. Using the 'I always hated you at work' method to intrigue him. And it is working. She buys him a drink. He tell me he has been married for 25 years. Jane whispers that his wife is a troll. He goes to the bathroom and Jane moves back to the guidos...again. Bradley returns and buys a round of drinks. Jane spills most of hers on herself. I am starting to feel like this evening is turning weird. Eventually after telling me more about how self confident he is and how he is always right, Bradley announces he is leaving. I politely shake his hand and wonder what it would be like to kiss him. Jane ignores him. It works. He is hooked. She smiles at him and tells him she'll walk him out. I sit down on a bar stool and text a friend, telling her I am sure Jane is making out with someone. She texts back that I should top her. Should I? I wait ten minutes in which two twenty something guys say hi to me. I say hi back. And then go back to texting. Maybe I am not very good at this flirting/bar scene. Then I text my friend saying ' I am going to get Jane'. I walk toward the front of the very busy bar and there she is. She has pressed Bradley against the wall and is making out with him in the bar, in public. I am a little jealous. But I persevere. Reaching my arms around her waist, I whisper in her ear, 'Time to go Jane'. The minute she releases her lips from his, Bradley sprints for the door. He never looks back. Jane smiles and thanks me for saving her. Did I save her? From what? We leave the bar. She hugs me and says 'We should do this again soon.'
I am not sure we should. And if we do, I am pretty sure I should be the one making out, not her. She is after all married. And I am single and 41.