July 11, 2014

Baggage that goes with mine


It was almost one year after Lisa’s death that an overwhelming desire to date came over my being. It was as if I saw this impending life of loneliness approaching, and I felt I had to develop a plan for avoiding the scenario that kept playing out in my mind.

I mentioned my readiness to a couple of friends and within a week or two, I found myself scheduled for a blind lunch date at a restaurant near my office.

I thought I was ready, but I thought wrong.

As the day approached I became more and more uneasy. That morning, I gagged in the bathroom toilet.

At 11:30 I went into a co-workers office, he’s also a very good friend. “I can’t do this. I’m going to puke. I have to call it off. Do you thinking texting her is appropriate?”

This friend, who had walked by my side for the previous 12 months and had heard my rants about moving to a retirement community at age 45 simply to have a built-in social network, grabbed my shoulders. “Get yourself together man! You’re going on this date! You don’t have to marry her, you simply have to eat with her.”

He walked me to my car.

“Take off your wedding ring. Get in the car. Don’t come back without a receipt. And there’d better be TWO entrees on it!”

I think the “date” lasted 45 minutes. She was nice enough, very easy to talk to, and I did not vomit. But I just wasn’t ready.

It takes a lot of cahoonas to put yourself out there. I have single friends who have slugged out the dating scene for years. I think about what I have to offer, sort of like a newspaper want ad:

Single male looking for a date; skinny with slight love handles; works for a nonprofit; will always love his first wife, the mother of his children; lives on estrogen lane with his three teenage daughters; continues to find random hairs poking out of various orifices around his body.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to jump on that?

Year three I decided I was gonna be a “PLAYA”… was gonna date multiple women at once.

Yeah – not so much.

I found my calendar didn’t much support that kind of lifestyle.

Let’s see, I think I can fit you in the 17th of next month from 5:45 – 7:15 pm, after I drop off at ballet and before I have to be at the Stewardship Committee meeting at church.

Nah, going out with one person is plenty.

Two of the women I’ve dated are now in very serious relationships with other guys. One is engaged!

Date Danny Tanner, and fall in love (with someone else). I’m a good starter kit.

I’ve been on a number of first dates, even seconds and thirds. And then, when there are no sparks, I don’t know what to do. Call back and ask, “Are you feeling sparks? Cause I’m not really.” Or, “I’d love to hang out and be your friend but I just don’t think we’re moving each other romantically.” Or, “If you could do something about that annoying laugh, maybe this could go somewhere.”

And the worst is when I then see these women, who I just never called back, in the mall.

“Hey…” this is the most awkward moment of my adult life, “I meant to call you back but…that laugh, well...”

Seriously, they didn’t call me back either so I’m guessing they saw the six-inch white hair poking out of my left ear.

One friend told me I didn't want to go out with a particular woman 'cause she had baggage. Seriously? I got a whole Samsonite 5-piece set! I need someone whose baggage goes with mine.

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