Most all of my dating experiences involve me getting all excited about a guy who says, after a first date, that he’ll call and that he’d really like to see me again despite the fact that, clearly, this is not going to happen. I feel so happy and hopeful despite the fact that I know, or should know, better. After all, isn’t there something that “they” say about learning from past history?
Generally this, the days and weeks following the first date, is the point where I never hear from the guy again. Sometimes, just to break the monotony, a man might call one more time before he disappears completely, never to be seen or heard from again. It’s like they go into the Dating Protection Program. Maybe that’s it! Maybe there’s a whole town somewhere made up of men that I’ve dated, all of them with just the tiniest bits of plastic surgery to disguise their identities...the holders of newly minted documentation for their newly minted lives.
Wouldn’t it be funny if somewhere, in some tiny town in middle America, there was a town where all the men who never called me back live, safe in the knowledge that not only will they never have to endure a second date with me, but they will never be forced to own up to their actions or explain why, in the grand scheme of things, I wasn’t even worth a telephonic, or even an email, rejection.
I imagine this small town is like so many others that we’ve all seen in movies and read about in books...remember Sleeping With The Enemy??? Everyone knows each other’s business, people have forged lifelong friendships, and there are few newcomers. The locals, over Blizzards at Dairy Queen, remark on their luck in getting some occasional fresh blood and then go right back to discussing The Farmer’s Almanac. They seldom wonder why all the newcomers are men, and why these men have such generic and one-dimensional pasts...almost like their lives started on the day they strode into town.
There’s Kevin, he just hung up his shingle as the town lawyer. No one is sure where he came from, but he talks like a Yankee and his hands have clearly never seen manual labor. The people in town, many of them farmers and laborers, aren’t sure if they trust him yet, but he’s trying hard to win them over with his smooth talk and his outlandish promises. He can often be found at the local grocery store searching in vain for the imported olives and not so subtly flashing his Rolex Oyster. Only I know how hard it must have been to leave the Alfa Romeo behind. At least he got to keep the Rolex...I wonder whether the Dating Protection Program let him keep his Yale Law School diploma or if, as part of his new history, he’s forced to tell people he went to night school at the University of Akron? I sincerely hope it’s the latter.
And David. Sweet, sweet David. Good thing for him he’s an electrician, so, unlike a lawyer, at least he’s useful! When people ask him where he learned his craft he’s evasive. As a matter of fact, a few especially savvy people have noticed he’s evasive all the time. What could he be hiding? A wife and kids would be my guess. Well, not a guess so much as 20/20 hindsight.
Ooh, a bakery! All this reminiscing has made me so hungry! Would you look at that, it’s Steve the bagel guy! I watch him dish out bagels and pastries to people who are bustling about, trying to get all their errands done before they have to be back to work. I wonder if he ever gets sad when he thinks about how he used to own his bagel bakery? Does he ever think about the girl he used to give a free bagel to every Friday until he finally got the nerve to ask her out? Does he ever ask himself “Hey self, it took you SO LONG to get the nerve to ask her out, how come you never called her again?”
I wonder if I walk around long enough whether I’ll find the repository of men who didn’t even make it to the first date. The guys in bars, grocery stores, gas stations, classes, places of employment, and sometimes just the plain old street, who asked me for my number and then never used it. In my heart I hope they are made to sit at tables all day in a portable trailer behind the community college writing my number hundreds and hundreds of times on screechy old blackboards, sneezing from the chalk dust and wishing they had only asked for that which they would or could actually use.
The list could go on and on. I am dating repellant. I am the sender of men to the Dating Protection Program.