Staring up at the ceiling from my fetal position on my therapist’s blue pleather couch I notice a fly. A fly. Although only a 14-36 hour life span, these germ ridden, mindless, wing clad angels are totally care free from all worries, (other than the occasional fatal swat or two). I decide, at that moment, that I want to be a fly. A “fly on the wall” to hear things I’m not supposed to hear. A fly, which at a moments notice, can transport to anywhere but HERE. Without the hassle of making a reservation or buying an over priced ticket that comes with only smoked almonds, a fly that is totally free. I want to be a fly me to the moon kinda gal if you will.
So as I intensely focused on morphing into another species, my therapist leans over and says, “You are the most fucked up, healthy patient I have ever had.”
This was a direct quote. I’m so glad that I am paying this guy $250 an hour for such pearls of wisdom. He goes on to say, “With everything going on in your life, the divorce, loss of your home, a child who is sick and the decline of your successful business, you seem to be doing pretty well. It’s time for you to go on line dating.”
“No disrespect but are you out of YOUR fucking mind and maybe you need to pay me $250.00 to tell YOU that!” He completely ignores me as if I’ve said nothing.
I continue to rant that there’s no way I’m ever going to do that. “It is beneath me! It is stupid! I will meet somebody in the supermarket while I’m picking out melons. That’s what I’ve been told by my married friends who have not been on a date in two decades. So guess what, that’s the advice I am going to take!”
I leave his office. I go home. And I immediately fill out all of the forms needed to be an active participant on this particular dating website. I find just the right current photo of my new self and I upload. I pay. I wait. I get responses. I go out. I go out on what seems to be an endless stream of first and more importantly, LAST dates. I hate everyone!
Being married for the good part of 20 years, I’m thinking that I just don’t know how to date. Maybe it’s me? No, that’s ridiculous, I am fabulous! My mom said so, so it must be true.
How about I share one, only ONE of my favorite stories and you be the judge…
Ok, I decide to meet this guy thinking it just may be a good date. After all, he is date number 28. Maybe this is my lucky number. I am even feeling quite experienced now. I have even become bold enough to offer dating advice to my already married friends who clearly find this info worthless but are too polite to let me know.
For the sake of a name, let’s just call him Dick. I know what you’re thinking, so stop it, LOL.
So, I meet Dick in a neutral place, (very close to my undisclosed apartment address) cause that is what one does. This is clearly for the sole purpose of safety and a faux emergency exit plan.
It is a very snowy, cold evening. I am grateful to be in my favorite Thai restaurant shielded from the elements. Within nano seconds I know that date #28 is a “no go”. He is clearly ten to 12 years older than the photo he has posted. His hair, although the same color as the old photo, seems to be strangely out of alignment. It’s as if his hair defies all of the natural rules for follicle growth patterning. It goes up when it should go down, it goes down when it should go up, I just don’t know.
As I stare in amazement at the hair on top of his head, I realize that it has just moved. I blink, thinking that I need to adjust my eyes to the dimly lit décor. OMG, there it goes again! It seems to have a life of it’s own. I realize that his widows peak has just self adjusted to the right after he scratched his keppie (that’s yiddish for “little head”). Ok, so that is not his real hair, maybe that is not sooo bad. Ok, maybe it is…but I am going to remain optimistic.
Lets here what he has to say. Is he a listener or a talker or will there be polite back and forth conversation? Let me answer that for you, except that I was not able to get a word in edge wise, so the answer is… a long drawn out talker. A man who only talks about him self and even answers his very own questions, how self-sufficient!
I am positive that he is going to have a very pleasant date with himself and his pet HAIR that he seems to take everywhere. I did not know that they let hair pets into places that serve food.
He then decides to relocate his chair by placing it directly next to mine on the same side of the table. He explains that it is because he is mesmerized by the color of my eyes.
He goes on to reveal how much money he makes, that he owns his own business and that in two weeks he is going on vacation and he would like me to join him. As I blink-less-ly (is that a word?) stare past his pet hair and out the window at the raging storm and up at the beautiful full moon, I realize that there is no way I can walk back to my apartment. It is brutal out there. I am panicked because I have to get back to my dog, Gavin, who is an actual pet so that I can actually walk him.
I tune back in to hear him telling me a story about how one of his employees was having a drug problem, so he and his employee’s brother kidnapped this employee, tied him up and “beat the drugs out of him”.
How special is this story considering I have family members who struggle to keep this DISEASE under control. The disease of addiction is not something one happily chooses to have. Clearly he is ignorant as well as self centered…somebody help me out of this one!
The restaurant has turned the heat off as a signal that it is closing time. The bogus excuse to stay behind to talk to the owner and wait out the storm by myself has now been taken off the table along with the dirty dishes. I recall how I felt in my therapist’s office as I longed to be a fly. Just think, I could fly “me” to the moon at this very moment and be free from this dating nightmare.
Having utterly no clue that I am not having a good time, he now suggests that he drives me home. His car is literally parked a few feet away from the entrance door of the restaurant.
I take a deep breath and accept. I begin to rationalize. How bad could it be? He has to drive cautiously in the snow. He will be too focused on the road and not on me. This is perfect. I can do this. I will thank him for the dinner that he would not let me split and gingerly hop out of the car one block away from my real address, avoiding any type of goodnight kiss.
And so the exodus begins. Everything is going as planned. We stopped not in front of my building entrance and I politely say “thank you”. I reach for the door to exit. As I turn away, Dick decides to lunge over and plant a wet one on me. He miscalculates, misses my mouth and his slimy wet tongue ends up in my left ear. Trust me, no one wants that. Even when you like the person! Like a “Hoover” vacuum he is latched on so tight that I could not exit the vehicle completely. I am half leaning out of the partially opened door while struggling to detach from the suction cup grip on my ear. “Flying by the seat of my pants”, because he will definitely not begetting into THEM, I realize that all I need to do is break the seal and I will be free. It will work, I learned it in Science class.
Finally, I break away and sarcastically say from outside of the car, “Thank you but I already have Q-tips in my bathroom!”
He says, “The pleasure is all mine, may I call you tomorrow, perhaps we can meet for Sunday brunch?”
(Seriously)…what part of this date did he miss?
After continued urging to not give up from my therapist, one month later, date #29. I meet the man of my dreams.
Several years later we are engaged to be married.
Dr. R, you were worth every dollar spent.