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.
Read more here.
My sons drove me to SeaTac Airport after K2′s game, helped me get my bag out of the car, gave me hugs, and left me at the curb for departures. It was a little after 8 p.m., so I checked in to my flight and proceeded through the maze of other travelers going through the scanners.
Once through, I still had an hour to kill before my flight took off, so I wandered around browsing shops I would never step foot in were in not for the fact that I was now a captive of the Port of Seattle and the Transportation Security Administration. I bought a copy of Bossypants, and finally decided that, since I hadn’t eaten before my son’s game, I should grab a bite before boarding my plane. I settled on fish and chips from Ivar’s, found a table, and sat down to eat and kill time on my phone. I checked in at SeaTac International Airport on my Facebook page, and within minutes I had a text message from Sam.
“Where are you going?”
“I have a date.”
“What? Who are you with? The Stalker?”
“You mean The Talker, as in all talk, no action? No, The International Player.”
“How long will you be gone? And when will you be back so we can interrogate you properly?”
“Three days. I’ll be back Monday night, late.”
“Ok. Have fun. Be safe, and you have to tell us all about it when you get home.”
“Ok. I will.”
And that was that. As I sat there eating my airport food and playing with my phone, I started thinking about how surreal this all seemed. Who would have ever thought that in following my therapist’s prescription I would end up going on a date with a stranger in The Bahamas? Blogging is a lonely business. Most of the time I don’t feel like anybody’s reading what I write, but I’ve been fielding more and more requests for guest posts and fighting off content thieves lately. At one point, Lauren had warned me, “I don’t think you realize this. To me, you’re just one of my friends, but to other people, you’re THE AUTHOR of My Dating Prescription!” One woman, newly introduced to me by a friend, during a conversation about dating, told me I HAD to read my blog. She did not know I was the author. ”That’s my blog,” I said, “I write that.”
“No way! My Dating Prescription?,” she asked, as she started pulling it up on her phone and reading it to me. “Are these your legs?”
“Yes, those are my legs.” Let’s just say; it’s pretty strange to have a stranger tell you that you HAVE to read your own writing and then proceed to read it to you.
Another friend, Paula, said women at her gym were talking about one of my posts in the locker room. When she mentioned that she knew me, they wanted to know all about me. Was I really as outspoken and sarcastic in real life as I am in my blog?
Anyway, I was reflecting on these conversations and thinking about how I now found myself headed to The Bahamas to meet a total stranger. The International Player had simply contacted me through the email address I have on the blog. He could be an ax murderer for all I know. I had to keep my wits about me, but it was all part of a much bigger issue. I’m not prepared for celebrity. If Man #42 could contact me, then so could anyone else. Would that be ok? I don’t know. Did I have safety concerns? Absolutely. Men seem to either love or hate my blog, and the ones who hate it make up a very scary demographic. What should I do about my security as my blog becomes more popular? What if people start to recognize me? I’ve already had people come up to me out of nowhere and ask if I’m “the blogger.” It’s a very startling thing when it happens. I wondered if this is how Kurt Cobain felt when Nirvana blew up with the release of Nevermind.
But for the moment, I was alone and anonymous in the food court at SeaTac Airport. I decided that, regarding the perils of being a minor celebrity, I would respond by making sure I always wear makeup to the grocery store. No more sliding on my slippers and rolling down to the store for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in a ponytail and my University of Washington sweatspants. Maybe college freshman can get away with that, but as a snarky critic of male daters in Seattle, I can’t.
And as far as my date in The Bahamas…I would go and have a good time. As nervous as I was, I didn’t think I was headed for anything I couldn’t handle.
Last night, as I was doing my makeup and getting ready to go to a Christmas party at my girlfriend’s house, I received a text from Date of Last Resort Guy (formerly Bootie Call Brotha). It said, “Hello. How are you luv?” (I’ll save my rant about unearned terms of endearment for another time.)
“Fine,” I responded.
“Awesome dear…I’ve been out of town the last 3 days. Good to be home.”
“That’s good,” I said.
“What are you doing Sunday after 6 p.m.?’
“Why? Do you want to make a date?” I felt my response, at this point, was part challenge, part sarcasm, and part “fuck you asshole.” I will also note that it took him a really long time to respond to this text.
“I would luv to. Would you like to meet halfway? Say in Federal Way? Or what would you prefer? If I wasn’t working at 3 a.m. I’d ask what you were doing tonight.”
His last statement brought back all of the feelings of exasperation I felt in the preceding weeks. What a dick to assume I would always be available! Perhaps his parents just didn’t raise him right. I decided to try to make this a teaching moment.
I wrote back, “Actually, I’m no longer interested. You’ve wasted so much of my time, treating me like a last resort and not making a date, there’s no point in going now.”
“I really am sorry. Please forgive me…if you’d give me the chance, please let me make it up to you?”
“Maybe, but let’s be clear, I am not your beck and call girl. If you want a date, schedule a date. If not, there are other women who will let you be disrespectful,” I said.
“I apologize again. I was not respectful of your valuable time as a single and working mom. If you would allow me to make it up to you…please rethink your decision…
…And let me know.”
That last part right there was it. This passive-aggressive asshole was still expecting me to commit to a date he was unwilling to commit to. “And let me know.” Ha! If he’s going to wait for me to make a date with him, after the bullshit he put me through, he will be waiting a very, very long time. Obviously, if this guy can’t even commit to making a date, there is no way in hell I would want him in a relationship.
I finished doing my makeup for the party, put my grey skinny jeans and festive, red suede cowboy boots on, and went and had a great night with my girlfriends. We had all committed time to each other by scheduling our party two weeks ago.
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