In honor of Memorial Day … I’ll reverently spend some good memory time for all those who fought for us.
Then I’m moving on to other people from the past. The one’s you can’t un-remember. Can’t un-see. Can’t un-hear. Forever stuck like an earwig. DATES that never shoulda even happened.
“You’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of heart and mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s the signpost up ahead – your next stop, the Hindsight Zone!” ~with deepest, red-faced apologies to Rod Serling.
I admit it. I could stand and give full-blown testimony in a 12-step group. I’m addicted to the intoxication of love/lust in a big way. I LOVE love. And lust just gives me the full-out shivers. Sometimes I have a hard time telling the difference. It regularly gets me into trouble, and it more often backfires. Or used to. I’m more careful now, but I still stick my finger directly into the fire from time to time … because I want to make absolutely certain.
Plus, I love men. That’s all. Most of the men I could even imagine spending the rest of my life with are already spending theirs with someone else … or they live in my past, probably for good reason. But I know this. Relationships in the rear view mirror are closer than they appear.
But I’m hopeful. And I still believe in love. And falling in love.
My friends who long ago gave up on love ask me why I still go out on dates. Whatever else happens, it’s almost always guaranteed to end up as a story. Every time I start telling a BFF (or two, or ten) about “that” date, they roll out laughing. Even while laughing their asses off, they’re admiring my hopeful optimism as I go on “just one more date.”
Y’all aren’t fooling me, I can still see that smidge of pity peeking around that wall of admiration. And then they say “when are you going to start writing this stuff down?” Isn’t it enough that these stories have to live forever in my head? Now I’ve got to share?
Names are not changed. You’re guilty and you know it.
Ken (McLean, VA ’95)
Him: I’m buying the first round.
Me thinking: Who says I’m staying for more than one?
Him: Whatever else we order, it can’t have garlic. Why does everything have to have garlic in it?
Me thinking: Good grief. You remember I’m a culinary school grad, right?
Him: Oh, listen. They’re playing Kenny G. I love this guy.
Me thinking: Ok, I’m outta here (as I plan the bathroom-to-door escape).
Larry (NYC ’96)
Blind date fix-up
Him: Spent the first 20 minutes telling me how beautiful I was.
Me thinking: Hey Larry, I have a mirror and I didn’t just fall off a turnip truck. Your spurious attempts at going home with me grow slimmer by the mouthful. Him: Spent the next 20 convinced (AND trying to convince me) that I was the same person he’d had anonymous phone sex with last summer. She was Southern. I was Southern. Her name was Dixie. I had a dog named Dixie. Ergo …
John (NYC ’96)
NY Sports Club.
He would move one stationary bike closer to me each workout. Drinks after work, he asked? We met at a tapas place around Union Square, sat at the bar, had a nice time. Not great, just nice. As we got ready to leave, he slid his arm around me and leaned in close ….
Him: Well, you’re not the kind of girl I usually date, but would you be interested in gratuitous sex?
Me: speechless, ’cause what exactly do you say to that?
Gentleman that he was (his definition, not mine), he insisted on walking me to the subway (although I did it every other day on my own) and as we got to the top of the subway stairs, he dared, he really did … dared to ask again.
Him: Well? What about it?
Me: What about what? (Toying with him was more fun that I anticipated.)
Him: What about taking me home with you?
I’d had just enough time by now to work myself into a proper little snit of indignation.
Me: Yeah, well, how big is your dick?
Him: About normal, I guess. (He actually had the decency to look surprised at my question.)
Me: Well, then I think gratuitous sex is out of the question.
BAM! Moral: Every once in a lifetime, you do get the chance to say that one thing that normally you’d only think of hours later.
John L. (NYC ’97)
Him: Of all the places in NYC, I can’t believe you chose Dallas BBQ as a place to meet.
Me: Well, you told me to pick the place.
Him: Yeah, but I didn’t think you’d try to kill me with an onion ring loaf.
Me: We didn’t order an onion ring loaf.
Him: Oh, that must be the last girl I met in here.
Me: So you’ve been here before?
Him: Oh, yeah, everybody loves this place except me. Are we ordering the onion ring loaf?
Chip (NC ’97)
Background: 3rd date. We’ve been having fun. Out in public. In a small town where you can’t hide. By the 3rd date, at Top of the Hill, it’s seems okay to start asking the obvious, right?
Me: So have you been married before?
Him: Oh, I’m married.
Me: Now? As in, you’re married now?
Him: Yeah. But we have an understanding.
Me: What kind of understanding?
Him: Well, we both can do what we want as long as we’re discreet.
Me: Oh, cool. Well, let’s call her, just to be sure.
Him: Wow, you’re really aggressive.
Who knew you had to ask marital status when someone asks you out?
It’s standard routine now.
Age 55-70. Check.
Really single? Double check.
Stephen (NC ’98)
Me: um, Stephen, how old are you again?
Him: Well, if you knew I was only 18 you wouldn’t have met me, right?
Me: oh, Lord.
Bill (NC ’09)
Reconnection from the ’70’s
Me: So what’s next for you in life?
Him: I’ve got it all figured out. We’re going to drive around the country in a motor home with one of those bouncy houses. Just set up at county fairs and stuff. Charge all the kids a dollar. Do you know how much money we could make? Live in the camper.
Me: Who’s we?
Him: Well …. you and me.
Tom (Wake Forest, NC ’16)
Him: If you don’t look like your picture, you’re buying me drinks til you do.
Me: Same right back atcha, buddy. –>Truth. his photos are at least 15 years old.
Him: We’ll go to your favorite restaurant as long as it’s French.
I chose Kitchen in Chapel Hill run by the amazing Dick and Sue Barrows, because it IS my favorite restaurant.
Him to the waiter: What’s good here?
Me thinking: Oh, no, he’s kidding, right?
Him: I’ll have the raw oysters. Don’t overcook them.
Me thinking: Blank. Blink. Blink. Not funny.
Him: I love duck. I’ll have it rare.
Waiter: It’s Duck Confit, so it doesn’t come rare.
Him: Talk to the chef. I’m sure he’ll understand.
Me thinking: How far away is my car?
Me: So I know you’ve been married once. What’s your love history like?
Him: My second marriage was only a couple of months. She was from Bulgaria.
Me: Oh, wow, what was Bulgaria like?
Him: I never went there. I met her online and then she moved in with me.
Me: Ah, well then.
Him: Yeah, but can you do this? (hanging his spoon from his nose.)
Restaurant owner: Looks at me and shakes her head.
Now just in case you think I only meet losers … NOT true. I’ve met some great men, some were lovely and lively romantic connections who turned into really solid friendships. But here, where I sit today … coming off of a two year relationship where I’m still tender in places I didn’t know I had, I’ve only gone on one fix-up. Maybe my musings can spare you the humiliation. Maybe not. At the very least it can start a conversation, or abruptly end one. And make for some good stories to tell.
Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad (Derek & the Dominos)
Still Got the Blues (Gary Moore)
What’s Love Got To Do With It? (Tina Turner)
Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Queen)
That’s Amore (Dean Martin)
Feels like Home (Bonnie Raitt & Randy Newman)