In my days of desperate dating, I went to the man mall on the internet, as anyone who has access to the internet at work while she has long, boring conference calls does. (This only worked when I had my own office. Once my spineless boss let another department kick all eight of us out of our offices and into cubicles in the converted warehouse 13 miles away where people were carjacked occasionally and we were warned not to walk to our cars alone after dark, I could no longer indulge in all the internet foolishness that I wanted to.)
I eventually met a long-term boyfriend on matchmaker.com (and know a few friends who have married internet matchups - Hi Kim!), but my first foray into the online personals was not the greatest of successes.
I found a guy - Gus - a couple of years older than I. Never married. Employed. A doctor! That's high on the scale. Owned his house. Cute. Not Catholic, but you can't have everything.
We emailed. Liked each other as much as you can like someone you've never met. He suggested we meet for lunch.
I had to make sure he wasn't an ax murderer first.
My real estate fair godmother/landlady is married to a physician. This was a smallish town as far as that sort of thing went. I asked Mary Linda if she had heard of this guy and if he was who he said he was.
Oh yes. She didn't know him, but she knew of his father, also a doctor, who had abandoned Gus and his mother when Gus was a kid for his receptionist or something like that. Not an ax murderer, though.
We met for lunch. I agonized over what to wear and made the bad decision to don my olive-green pantsuit. Bad because 1. I look like crap in olive and I don't even know why I owned that suit and 2. I look way better in a skirt than I do in pants and I say this with all modesty. I am just blessed with nice legs, at least below the knees, the same way I am not blessed with a bosom. There has to be some compensation for getting the short end of the stick in the cup lottery.
I thought we hit it off, even though he was 20 minutes late. I had expected that. (I expect almost everyone to be late, which is why I almost always have a book with me. Just because I expect it, however, does not mean I like it.)
We discussed U.S. energy policy. Isn't that the ideal conversation to have on a semi-blind date? I didn't make any major eating mistakes. Didn't pick my nose. None of that. We walked out to the parking lot and he asked if he could call me again.
I said yes.
I thought he really meant, Could he call me again?
Apparently, that is guy code for, "I wouldn't cross the street to pee on you if you were on fire."
Or maybe just, "You're nice, but I don't want to go to bed with you."
But I didn't figure this out until later because I thought, Could he call me? meant that he was going to Call Me.
I had several other blind dates set up by my fairy godmothers. None of the others asked if they could call me, so I did not expect a call. They just said "Nice to meet you" and that was that. Which was fine. You don't always - indeed, you rarely - have chemistry with someone. Still, they all insisted on paying for lunch, even though I think on a blind date, you should go halfsies. But this was The South and in The South, The Man Pays.
When I returned to my office (not cubicle), I sent Gus what I thought was a witty and charming email reiterating the points I had made about energy policy.
He did not answer.
He did not call.
Hmm. Maybe there was a hint there. I'm not totally deaf.
Then a friend said I shouldn't give up. She had baseball tickets she wasn't able to use. Why didn't I invite him to the ball game with me?
I debated. Should I put myself out there again? It seemed pretty clear (now) that he was not interested, but maybe he had just been too busy to answer my email. Maybe it had gone into his junk folder. Maybe he had laryngitis. Maybe he'd gone out of town. Maybe he'd been hit by a bus!
Besides, what man can resist free tickets to a ball game?
I was too chicken to call him, so I wrote him a little note. On nice stationary (ery?), of course. Taking twice as long to write as I usually do so that my handwriting was not completely illegible.
He never called.
All that humiliation for nothing. But did I learn my lesson?
But that's another story.
PS He is now married with two kids, one at least of which who came with the (slim, bosomy) wife. It is amazing what you can find on facebook when people do not set their security properly.
PPS Even though I am very happy with Primo and he was worth the wait, there is always a bit of the Sally/Harry moment of, It's not that he didn't want to get married, he just didn't want to marry (or date) me.