I am not much of a dater. I can go months or even years without going on a date. William Faulkner and I have something in common, we both like to say that a thing cannot exist unless there is also a not-thing. A thing is defined by what contradicts it. William says it over the course of many books. I just kinda say it. If I am going to be a non-dater, then I am going to have to define that through brief periods of dating. Thus … dating stories.
It begins at a bar. On a Tuesday night. About six weeks ago.
I arrive at the bar and must make a monumental decision: where to sit. Where you choose to sit can change your life, or not. The opposite side was empty but I decided to forego that and I sat directly next to a couple. Girl next to me, her date on the other side. I say her date because with very little eavesdropping it was clear they were on a first date, based on the questions he was asking her. They commented on the food I ordered. So that opened up some intermittent conversation. Next step was whenever he went to the restroom I would chat her up. Good banter. Her purse was hanging between us on a hook under the bar. I wrote my cell number on a business card, along with a joke to remind her who I was, and slipped it into her purse. And as they were leaving I told her about my card and she responded that maybe something good would come out of the night.
As I was sitting next to Business Card Girl and her date, a woman entered the bar and sat on the opposite side. She was wearing a sleek black dress, that is to say, overdressed for this bar, especially sitting alone, which she did until Business Card Girl left, and I went over and sat next to her. She had just come from a first date that had gone poorly. We got along well.
The next day I received a text from Business Card Girl and she and I scheduled a date. I also had a date with Black Dress Girl.
Black Dress Girl and I met at a wine bar. Business Card Girl and I met at a regular bar. Black Dress Girl and I moved to another bar. Business Card Girl and I ordered another beer. Got along great with both, but otherwise nothing remarkable. Black Dress Girl was more aggressive. Business Card Girl had prettier eyes.
The weekend in which my dating overflowith enters Yoga Girl. Know her from yoga but didn’t really meet her at yoga. She indirectly expressed interest in me. I messaged her, then we started texting, then we agreed to meet for a drink. She only had an hour before she had to pick up her daughter, but we hit it off well and scheduled a second, real date. The real date went even better, and I even loaned her season 1 of Game of Thrones (which actually belongs to my ex-wife, my kids brought the DVDs over years ago, and I still have it. Well, not at the moment.)
There I was. Three women. Previously, if I had such options I have always felt compelled to choose early. I have never allowed myself to just date. I made a conscious decision to force myself to not choose. Dude, go out a few times with each!
Business Card Girl went out of town, during which we texted some, then it dissipated. Did not see her again. Just wasn't that motivated.
Black Dress Girl remained aggressive and so things labored on longer with her. It was fickle and kinda dramatic. We saw each other four more times. But I am not motivated enough, and her aggressiveness only goes so far. Think we are done. But it wouldn't surprise me if she contacts me again.
Yoga Girl I liked the most. Just a few days after our real date she said she was just too busy to date. Demanding career. Active kids who required driving around. Family and friends. Did I believe her? Was I just getting the brush off? I told her to keep Game of Thrones. She could just return it one day when see each other at yoga. Weeks later she said she is ready to return the DVD’s but that she had not had time to watch any episodes. To which I replied I guess I could believe she actually was too busy to date!
After all that, but with Black Dress Girl still lingering, I met someone from Tinder. Whirlwind Girl. For about 10 days it was rocking and rolling. Lots of texting, which she always ended with “txt me whenever.” We meet for lunch. We plan a date. She meets a friend for lunch and casually says I can join if I want. I drive across town and crash lunch. We go out more. She says she wants to take it slow, slow, very slow (She means no sex. Just a hug, thank you. Otherwise it seemed to be going fast, fast, very fast). Fine with me, for now anyway. But still a whirlwind of activity with Whirlwind Girl. An established trend of heavy texting. And then it nearly stops. Maybe because she is out of town on business? Then it totally stops after her return. She had said she likes her space. She had said she is independent and values her alone time. All of that is fine with me, but if that means on and off, whirlwind and no wind. Then I am out, and it appears she is out as well.
This is how my dating life has been for 12 years. Nothing goes beyond a few dates. Either I am not interested, or they are not interested. Most times it just fades. Sometimes I say no thanks, and other times they no thanks.
I could go months without a date. I might meet someone tonight. Or in-between tonight and months. Or maybe never again.