I'm sitting cross-legged on my therapist's couch 4 months after my husband's announcement that he wants a divorce when my therapist informs me that he thinks I should start dating again.
I had told myself and others that I was going to take time off to concentrate on myself for once. Between a husband and three boys, I didn't know who I was anymore. I just wanted to hang out with my girlfriends, drink martinis like a fish, and let the hair grow long on my legs if I wanted. I had even gone so far as to announce to my friends that I was going to take a full year off from any kind of relationship.
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I don’t suppose anyone remembers the Financial Planner? He was Man #7, has a sailboat but doesn’t swim, told me he likes curvy women, kissed me on the first date. Remember? Well, he asked me out again. He invited me to come to his sailboat to have lunch yesterday.
Yesterday was a beautiful day in Seattle, and it would have been a great time to be on a sailboat. However, I didn’t want to put myself in a situation I might not be able to get out of. Next to the Italian Non-Stallion, the Financial Planner had been the most aggressive about kissing me after the first date, and I was afraid his intentions might be to make me his lunch.
Not only that, but he has yet to take me on a proper date, which makes me suspect that he thinks he can score an easy piece of ass. I told him I had a lot of work to do in the afternoon and would need to get back quickly after lunch, so I asked him if we could meet somewhere near Greenlake instead of on his sailboat. I was hoping he would suggest a restaurant, but instead he suggested that we meet and walk around the lake. This just reinforced my suspicions that he wanted to get me on his sailboat so he could stick his tongue down my throat and then some.
That’s fine. I need my exercise.
Little did the Financial Planner know that I rarely go to Greenlake without Thor. Yep, I took my cock block. I figure a man would have to be truly insane to try to mount me with my pit bull by my side. Thor is a friendly dog, but he’s powerful and he’s not going to stand for anything bad happening to me. Basically, he’s the perfect accessory for a date where you’re afraid a man might not have the noblest of intentions in mind.
The Financial Planner was a gentleman. We had a good conversation, and he gave me a kiss to say goodbye after I put Thor in the car, and that was that. If he calls again, I think I need to tell him I’m not interested in a relationship, and by that I mean, I’m not interested in getting horizontal with him.
On another recent development, I will just say that the universe works in perverse ways. I was finally notified by the Seattle Public Library that ”The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists“ by Neil Strauss was ready for pick up. At almost the exact time that I picked up the book, The Scorekeeper called me and wondered if I would want to go get ice cream today. (Cue Twilight Zone music.) I don’t believe in coincidence.
Anyway, I owe The Scorekeeper an ice cream. He logged it into his accounts receivable when I had the audacity to call him on April 18th of this year to ask him a tax question.
As far as The Game goes…I haven’t read a single word yet, but all I can say is that I don’t think this book is meant to fall into the hands of a woman. If it’s “packaging” is any indication, men must take this very seriously. It looks, smells, and feels like a Bible. It has a black leather cover, red ribbon bookmark, and the pages are edged in gold. Creepy.
I had it in my purse last night when I went to the Michael Jackson vs. Prince Sing-Along Showdown at Central Cinema. I couldn’t resist showing the book to my girlfriends. I wanted to get their reactions, and they all said it seemed a little creepy. I told them I was a little embarrassed checking it out at the library. Instead of using the self-serve checkout, I had to go to this little old lady to pay some of my fines, and I wondered what she might think of me checking out such a book. If ask, my answer is simple.
Every person we meet has the potential to teach us something about the world, about life, and about ourselves, and eight men into my dating prescription I am just starting to scratch the surface of what this process is meant to do for me.
I met Man #8 at Schultzy’s in the University District last night for beer and sausage gumbo before heading to a book signing event at the University Bookstore. At Schultzy’s, Man #8 and I talked about our love of baseball. One of the things he likes to do when he goes to the games is keep score on his own scoresheet (he’s also an accountant), and he’s also announced some games for local radio, which I thought was interesting. (I had also had a very brief stint in radio as a newscaster.) For me, my love of baseball had come about from watching my son pitch when he was in Little League. There was really nothing more beautiful, and there are few places I would rather be on a warm summer night than, beer and hot dog in hand, watching a game at Safeco Field.
The Scorekeeper was the third date I had set up from my ad on Craigslist. He told me he had seen my ad, gone to the blog, read the first post and the “About the Author” page, and decided right there that he wanted to go out with me. He had decided not to read any further because he didn’t want what he read to influence the experience. He wanted to simply approach it as a date. I was actually impressed by this.
I had also liked the initial email he sent. It had read, “I read your CL posting, and I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to go out with someone as much as I want to with you!! Your quest to date 100 guys is brilliant and I would LOVE to be a part of it!”
How could I turn that down? It was ballzy and authentic and I like that.
So, there we were.
The Scorekeeper had suggested that we go to the book signing event for Neil Strauss’ new book Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness. For those who don’t know, Neil Strauss is a writer for The New York Times and is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone magazine, as well as the author of many books, the most famous being, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, where he lived in a seduction community in an effort to learn how to become a pickup artist.
I did not really know anything about Neil Strauss before this event, but I was impressed with what I heard. He talked about his process and, in promoting his new book, which is an anthology of interviews he’s conducted over the years, he talked about lessons he’s learned along the way. One of them, of course, is, “Everyone loves you when you’re dead,” meaning that as you become more successful, the critics and haters will emerge to try to squash you. Everyone loves you when you’re dead, because you no longer present a threat or competition.
In talking about his process, he said one of the intersting things about interviewing rock stars was these lessons that could be gleened from various individuals, and those lessons may vary depending on the groups you were surveying. He said he hoped that some kid would be inspired to go out on a street corner and interview every passerby or some other segment of the population.
Hmm. I’m no kid, but interesting thought…
I waited around while The Scorekeeper got his book signed and then we went to a bar across the street to talk some more. We sat there talking for about an hour more when, from out of nowhere, The Scorekeeper says, “So, do you want to kiss me?”
“What? I don’t think anyone has asked me that so abruptly before.”
“Well, do you?”
We were sitting in a booth with a bright can light shining down, and I said, “I’m really not one for making out in public.”
His question was like a drive-by bullet, and it killed our date. Killed it dead.
He proceeded to press me for an explanation for why I didn’t want him, a man who was practically a stranger, to potentially stick his tongue down my throat in a brightly lit booth in a bar like I’m some skanky whore. (He didn’t put it in those terms, but that’s how I saw it.)
“Is this something you learned from reading “The Game?” I asked.
I also tried to explain to him that I had only kissed one person since my husband, and it felt awkward. The whole thing made me very uncomforable. I could see how his tactic might be a good way for a guy to take a temperature reading of a situation if he had nothing to lose, but any hope of me forming a long-term relationship from this date, in my mind, was now gone.
Shortly after my refusal to kiss him under the spotlight, the date was over. He walked me to my car, and I hugged him and thanked him.
As I drove home, I felt sad. Up until his question, I had enjoyed my time with The Scorekeeper and I had really liked him. He had been cuter than the picture he had sent me, and that’s a rare thing in online dating.
I got home, ordered Neil Strauss’ books, got into bed, and started reading my Macro-economics book. (What can I say? It’s better than an Ambien.) I read until my eyes started to droop, then reached for the light, and as I shut off the light, I started to cry…
…and I’ll explain later. I promise.
This post is included in the first book from My Dating Prescription, due out in 2013. To receive news about its publication, sign up using the MailChimp Book Release Notice widget in the sidebar.