Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Going Dutch

Although I am focused on forcing Bob to recognize that I am the woman for him, I still need to keep my options open just in case Bob does not see the validity of my quest. So as in the past, I have turned to my friends to look for single, available and somewhat normal men to set me up with. And while very few have come through (you know who you are and you better be working on it) one friend did find someone. I am game for a blind date. God knows it has to be better than the other dates I have had. And since really in this modern world of FaceBook and Google, there are no such things as blind dates, I am feeling a little less nervous. I am told by my friend that this blind date is fairly shy and may not contact me first. Strike one. Sure there are fabulous shy people out there, I just fear that my intoxicatingly large personality may overwhelm his wall flowerness. But he is a nice Jewish boy with a steady job and a good pedigree. And I need a date, so I email him and suggest he friend me on FaceBook so we can get a look at each other.

I get a look. Well, I was forewarned that he wasn't the best looking guy ever and he isn't. But I was told that he is very funny. So I am hopeful that his sense of humor and stunning personality will make him so much more attractive. I am practical. Looks fade, right? After too many false starts, we settle on a lunch date at a local deli. I am not feeling optimistic. I am starting to tumble into cynicism. But I will go on this date although I am not sure I will go as far as wearing makeup.

So I arrive, late as usual and there he is. In person he is less attractive. I grin and say to myself, 'Move past it. Looks fade.' We awkwardly say hello and I am feeling that something is off but I can't put my finger on it. We sit down and look over the menu, although I really don't need to as all I have thought about in prep for this date, is what I will order to eat. And still I have this sense of unease. What is it? I order. He orders. This date is off to rocking start. I begin to talk. He is mute. I stop talking to see if perhaps I am overwhelming him. He is mute. I start to talk again. I talk about myself which is normally a topic I find fascinating but now I am starting to tire of. And still something is off. And then it dawns on me. This man has not looked me in the eyes. Not once.

Now there is shy and there is shy. And this is beyond that. I am now determined to maneuver my faces in front of his eyes, so he will have to look me in the eye. This will keep me entertained. I move to the right and downward as he tells me he has rented a summer house with a bunch of 20-somethings. I lurch to the left as he tells me he has moved every two years and does not own a home. I duck and weave as he tells me he has never been married and never had a long term relationship. And yet, I never catch his eye. And he is never going to be as funny and engaging as I need him to be to make up for his looks. I resign to eating my meal and continuing my much rehearsed and often resorted to speech about how amazing I am.

The end of the meal approaches and I am grateful that the hour and a half is up. I am even tired of hearing about my exploits. Plates are cleared and drinks are drunk. The bill arrives on the table just as I rise to use the restroom. I return to the table and he is sitting, holding the bill in his hand, looking awfully confused. Without daring to catch my eye, he holds it up and asks 'Did you want me to pay for this?' Really? Now look, I am all for women paying for some of the dates. Or splitting the check. But geez, first I had to contact this guy because he was too shy to make the first move, then I have to pick the lunch place and time and then I am forced to eat a meal with someone who never looks me in the eye. And now you want me to pay for that experience? I split the bill and think to myself, strike three (strike two being the very obvious inability to make eye contact). And it was $20. Twenty Dollars. Ok, I'm done.

I drive home thinking to myself that I will have to kiss a lot of frogs before I find my prince. Or I will have suffer through endless horrendous dates that can't be believed, before I have one that doesn't leave me feeling like I need to take a long hot shower. And in the end, I do have to thank my friend for fixing me up. She tried and while she didn't succeed, she was thinking about me at some point and put herself out there for me. And so in that spirit, I will put myself out there again because after all I am still 41 and single.