I Just Met Your Future Husband

Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Recently my cousin sent me an email to ask if I was seeing anyone. She also called me, mid-work day, to ask the same question. Now I almost never answer my cell phone at work, but I picked up because this cousin is getting married soon and I am her MOH. This requires me to be available when I might otherwise not be.

She was ecstatic to hear I was still single because she believed she had met my future husband while he was doing some work where she lives. I can only imagine what he thinks about me given the third degree he must have been given by my cousin and the terribly flattering, but limited, description she gave him of me: beautiful, funny, smart and athletic. His highlights include:
  • He is an adorable 28-year old who is both SUPER cute and very nice
  • He seems to be something of an entrepreneur, having previously owned a business and currently working in sales, but is also working towards being a police man
  • He loves to work out and run, having quit smoking several months ago (Cold turkey! With no cheating!)
  • And… most important… he has a full head of hair
This last one is pretty amusing, if only because I can’t recall ever caring about hair. In fact, I think the close cropped/fully shaved/bald situation is pretty attractive. Very Ed Harris. I digress.

Her darling find was going to be out of town for work for a few additional weeks, and my cousin wondered if I wanted to reach out to him, given that he was also a bit shy.

By all accounts he seemed like a decent guy so despite being a little worried about his age, four years isn’t much but he is younger than I am, I said she was free to give him my email, or sure, if she wanted to give me his I’d reach out.

I decided to leave out my concern that her excitement about this find was probably skewed by the fact that she herself was madly in love and planning a wedding. Besides, if we start dating now he could definitely be my plus one at the wedding.

Will You (Hypothetically) Go Out With Me?

Thursday, February 17, 2011
About a week ago I was invited out by Hobbes. Yeah, remember that guy? I’m sure all romantic interest between us is over, but he’s pretty fun to chat with so we still do that every now and then. In one of those conversations I had asked him about whether my spring trip would coincide with ski season, since I would be in Denver visiting friends and wanted to get some skiing in, assuming I could find someone to come along with. He mentioned that he would never turn down skiing, and I said I believed him, but that I also would never make plans with him again, ever.

He seemed to think that was pretty harsh. Let’s see, we had tried to meet up in Denver and in Chicago, at least once – and sometimes twice – a year, over the course of four years, and not once had we been successful. Yep, the Universe had made himself clear: Hobbes and I were not going to interact in person, and there wasn’t anything either of us could do to change that.

Hobbes clearly thought I was overreacting since he went on to hypothetically ask me whether I wanted to meet up when he’s going to be in Chicago for work. I responded fairly negatively, so he suggested I mull it over.

I don’t want to mull it over. I want to not have been presented with this scenario. It’s a Catch 22.

If I say no, the stars will align and he will be in Chicago, and I will be free, and then I will be that girl that’s too afraid to put herself out there to meet up with a guy she still talks to even though she hasn’t seen him in years.

If I say yes, the meeting will fall through. Maybe his trip will get canceled, maybe he’ll have to work late, maybe he’ll be in the burbs and traffic will be so terrible due to 12+ inches of snow it won’t make sense to keep the date (we did, after all, just have a blizzard). Some part of me will get excited about this meeting, even though I don’t think it’s likely we’ll actually get to the meeting part, and then that same part of me will feel bummed about it after. I’ll also feel really stupid, for not knowing better.

I told Hobbes to ask me again closer to this hypothetical visit, but we all know I’m going to make myself available in the end. Hypothetically, anyway.

Be Mine, Valentine

Monday, February 14, 2011
I have never been a subscriber of mushy, gushy displays of affection, including almost everything that goes with Valentine’s Day. When a high school boyfriend once celebrated the holiday with a dozen roses, which he gave to me while driving me home after his school-night basketball game, I didn’t light up with warm and fuzzy feelings. I remember thinking they were totally unnecessary. And that I was an asshole for not getting anything for him.

To this day I remain terribly suspicious of any over the top or greeting card company manufactured demonstration of love, but there are a few gems out there who’s simplicity makes for more of a genuine display of sentiment.

Like Necco sweethearts. I know they taste terrible but how can you go wrong with their cheesy yet classic sayings like “Cutie Pie” and “Sweet Talk”? A well selected candy heart would cut straight through my disenchantment with love.

Or grade school valentines. I loved when we all made a mailbox at our desks out of a decorated shoebox or heart-shaped construction paper stapled together and then passed them out to everyone, even the smelly kids no one liked. Who wouldn’t smile at a little 2” x 3” card with a picture of a Sponge Bob reminding you to “Keep it Spongy”?

I would. And this year I could think of one such smile I’d like to inspire. Not on some guy I’m secretly crushing on, but an old friend who has reminded me of a time when I couldn’t wait to fall in love, when I believed everyone got a happy ending. So I sent him a teeny tiny valentine.

I had to buy a whole box, which by the way still costs $2.99 and came with stickers but not teeny tiny matching envelopes, but it was worth it to tell him I thought he was groovy and to "feel the happy".

I know I do.

Hello, I Love You.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011
As I walked home after a semi-awkward parting with Mr. Numbers on Saturday I couldn’t shake the thought that I was being my own roadblock (as I so often am), and that I’d never find love if I didn’t give people more of a chance than 1 ½ dates. But after a rousing spin class on Sunday I had another thought: I like who I like, and I know it right away.

It’s not entirely physical, the instant attraction, but that’s certainly part of it. And I’m not saying that I don’t think attraction builds over time, because it does, but for me, if I don’t instantly feel a pull towards a guy, I probably won’t ever feel one.

I have always been this way. In fact, I can only think of two relationships where I didn’t feel this immediate attraction to the other person. In both, I hadn’t even considered the person a romantic interest; it was suggested to me over and over and over until I simply got worn down enough to agree to pursue it.

They were both years and years ago, high school and early college, and in the first it was the friends of the guy who pressured me into it. That whole relationship I felt like he was more into me than I was into him, which was true, and ultimately the imbalance of it made me cut and run. Well that and the fact that my interest in him didn’t grow over time.

The other guy wore me down himself over what must have been close to a year. We had started out as good friends, but once he got it in his head that I was his future wife he never let up with ideas about our future. He slowly integrated me into every aspect of his life so by the time I finally agreed to give things a go we were practically dating already. I wish I hadn’t given in, since that relationship crashed and burned with such fury that I attribute most of my inability to let other people in to the devastation I felt when he shut me out.

After such remarkable success stories, I’m not sure why I stopped relying on the instant attraction, although I’m guessing it has something to do with the well meaning suggestions from my friends that perhaps I was still single because I was being too picky.

I’m not, though, and I’m not shortchanging these guys (or myself) by cutting them loose after such a short amount of time either. No, I just know what I’m looking for. I’ll know it when I see it.


Sunday, February 6, 2011
For my second date with Mr. Numbers I pulled a series of seriously rookie moves. It was embarrassing, especially for a seasoned dater such as myself.

We had plans for dinner, sushi, which I love for early dating because it (a) gives you a chance to share food (but not germs) and (b) is a streamlined dining experience. Plus it can be kind of adventurous, depending on the other’s person experience, or lack thereof, in raw cuisine. It’s always interesting to see someone a little bit out of their comfort zone.

Anyway choosing sushi dinner date wasn’t the issue, no; the rookie mistake was that I had agreed to this date on a Saturday. As in, not a school night. As in, unless you had previously indicated you had plans after dinner you have left yourself wide open for an indefinite date extension of infinite possibilities.

I thought of this useful fact while I was walking to meet Mr. Numbers and seeing that I hadn’t laid any groundwork for later plans I figured I’d just see how I was feeling during dinner. I made my second rookie mistake by expecting that the date extending discussion would happen at the end of dinner, instead of in the middle of eating winter maki. Mr. Numbers had asked me on date #2 during date #1, so it stood to reason he’d do the same thing at dinner.

He invited me to watch a movie at his place after dinner (clarifying there would be no making out pressure). I answered with the honest answer I had available to me at the time: No, thank you. Had I been prepared I could have been clever, suggesting a rain check or feigning exhaustion. But no, I just went with my gut, and my gut said that I was not interested in that man’s couch.

It wasn't as positive as our first date directness had been, but I guess the rub with the direct approach is you get a direct response. No hemming and hawing, just the raw truth.

Well There's Always the Direct Approach

Thursday, February 3, 2011
Patti Stanger, the self-proclaimed Millionaire Matchmaker, counsels her clients that if they are interested in the gal on the first date they should seal the deal for the next one while still on that first date. I only watch the show as a guilty pleasure, but I’m sure it has something to do with being clear and direct in your intentions.

Until this week, I don’t think this has ever happened to me, interested parties usually say things like “we should do this again” or “I’d like to see you again” without any specific dates/times. Until this week, I would have thought I would have felt terribly on the spot if asked, mid-date, for another date. Until this week, I didn’t realize how right she is.

When it happened I was on a first date with Mr. Numbers, grabbing drinks as well as some impromptu dinner. At first glance he wasn’t anything special, an average looking guy with a physique a bit more slight than I’m used to, but he really won me over during the date. He had this fantastically dry wit, causing me to laugh out loud several times well before my third glass of wine. He was clearly very bright and successful, ambitious even but with an obvious work-life balance in place. He respected my feelings about men spending money on women they have just met (I don’t think they should have to), and then he promptly rejected them (which I respected). Also, he thought I was great, and said so.

I had, as it turned out, already decided I would go on a second date with him when he asked me whether I had plans on Saturday, so it didn’t feel like I was on the spot and I didn’t feel pressured to answer. I just felt like he was really interested. And I was interested, so I just said Yes.

It was clear. It was direct. It was awesome.