I met Tarik back in May when I was out dancing with some friends. We danced, we tried to talk but the music was too loud, we exchanged numbers, I went home.
And then he called. And then he called again. And then he texted. And then he asked me out. And instead of my first thought being, “Oh, isn’t that nice? Tarik wants to get together,” my first thought was, “Oh Lord, a date?”
You’re right: that reaction didn’t bode well for Tarik. I seem to have gotten to a place where I’m not all that interested in dating. I’ll slog through a relationship, but I’ve lost the patience for the pre-game show. I’ve done a fair amount of dating, but I don’t think I ever really learned how to do it. I think you’re supposed to learn about it in high school, and I missed that class.
I’ve said goodbye to Tarik, but I’ve decided to “get back out there” in something that might vaguely resemble an active way … and this is going to mean going on dates.
What’s the problem with dating? I like going out for coffee, out for dinner, out to the movies. I like visiting museums and walking in the park. I even like going to ball games … you know, sort of. So what is it that I don’t like? I think it’s the part where I have some guy there with me who I don’t know well and who expects me to make charming, sparkling conversation and show some level of interest in and attraction to him.
Yeah, that would be it.
I’m not really this anti-social. Really not. And while it may be true that I’m solidly on the way to becoming a crotchety old lady, it’s also true that there’s something annoying about dating. It’s not the you-have-to-kiss-a-lot-of-frogs-to-find-your-prince part (though that’s annoying, too: there are some hella bad kissers out there!). It’s the feeling that you’re being taken for a test drive; it’s the displeasure of having to be civil with some man who has just revealed his racism or sexism or something-ism that turns me off totally; it’s having him lean his puckered lips across the table as you’re putting on your chapstick and ask for some; it’s having men assume that, simply because I said yes to dinner and a movie, I want to bring them home with me. Feh.
But it’s a necessary evil, right? Even though AC basically fell into my lap and no dating was required for us to suddenly be in the middle of a messy entanglement, it just doesn’t happen that way all the time. So I need to get over my distaste and get out of the house.
And so, I have a date tonight — try not to fall off your chairs. Thanks to my friend Marilyn, I’ve got a date with her friend Dan. Dan seems nice enough, but he’s already got a strike against him. As soon as our first phone conversation started, he was going on about how articulate I am. I’m trying to keep an open mind …
* (And how much do I love Blossom Dearie?)