Over a year ago, I thought I was ready to date again; actually there was no thought about it. I had to date again. Any time I spent without concrete plans was wasted. Tick tock. I had to move on, and that meant meeting someone new. (I wish I had the strength then that I do now to just be alone) I sorted through match.com profiles with a very open mind. So he looked like Al Borland from Tool Time… so that could be cute in a “lets cuddle in matching flannel” kind of way. I was done with hot. I was married to hot. Hot was 28-years-old and lied to me, running around town without his wedding band, pretending to be single, with a much older women while I was pregnant. I had hot, and it didn’t take. I was looking for the perfect man for me, someone just good looking enough to get me aroused. Excess leads to torment.
The date was set. We talked on the phone for hours, and I of course conjured up the wrong image of this cuddly man. He would “fix” things. I wasn’t shy about my recent past. Details were shared with a stranger; a stranger who I hoped would be a replacement. He was emotionally available, compassionate; he seemed evolved and to possess excellent communication skills. He had feelings beyond anger because the ref made a bad call.
I was beautiful in my new cream coat and cashmere wrap. I waited in the cold with anticipation. As he approached, all I could think was “uncle.” He was not my uncle, but he was asexual in an uncle sort of way. My shoulders fell, I smiled harder to conceal my disappointment. This guy was cold milk. We exchanged an awkward kiss on the cheek and walked to High Life Bar & Grille. I downed two glasses of wine in a hurry. That’s better. Okay, let me make the most of this. He did go to Columbia, was a banker and a film critic writer. There were things to say. I hadn’t anticipated what happened next.
“So Stephanie, thanks for meeting me. I’ve been sad lately… tomorrow is my birthday and I have no one to go out with. Will you please have dinner with me.”
Okay, so freeze frame there for a sec. I’m on a pseudo-date with him right then, and I’m not feeling him. And now, in my emotionally tender state, I have to commit to another date? No way, right, I have plans, would love to, sorry. Wrong. “Of course I will.” Oh dear lord. Okay, so the man knows I’m into sushi, so he promises a spectacular sushi dinner. He says he’s going to pick me up in his car and take us there. I keep a car in Manhattan, too, but what a hassle to drive to dinner. What’s the point–parking, drinking. Maybe he just wants to show off his car. Yup. So he picks me up on the Upper East Side, then we’re buzzing over to the West Side of Manhattan in his Ferrari. Where can he be taking me, Fujiyama-Mama? My mind is reeling through Zagat pages, Haru? There’s a Haru on the East Side. Then it becomes clear. We’re approaching the West side highway. “Are we going to New Jersey?” Okay, so if he were cute, the gesture of bad sushi with a great Manhattan view would have been romantic, “How creative is he? He put so much thought into our date. What effort.” Friends would have swooned. When you’re not into the guy it’s “can you even believe he took me to NEW JERSEY for sushi?!?” Friends shake their heads.
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