Saturday, March 25, 2006

love will not find you tonight

The blogging has been light because life has been busy. Not busy in a "I have a lot to tell you about" sort of way - more of a busy in a "I have nothing to show for how I've spent the past 6 months" sort of way.

I suppose that's not exactly true. I might have a story or two. Nudged by a friend, I embarked upon what my coworker affectionately refers to as "power dating." I tried online dating, speed dating, and the usual - meeting men at bars, through friends, etc. I started a different blog to chronicle all the escapades and then after a few posts just gave up. Maybe I'll try cross-posting them here later on.

I don't think I have much to show for this experiment. Right when I started online dating, I started seeing a guy I met at a bar. My former booty call wouldn't stop calling. And then a friend of a friend coerced me into taking him home. What do they all have in common? All of them are only interested in sleeping with me. The guy I met at the bar, Tenacious D, might have had more interest at some point. If nothing else, we'll at least grab a few drinks before he makes his way home with me.

One night Tenacious D and I had plans to see each other and I was excited about finally having a nice, sit-down dinner date. We had met up for drinks a few times, he had come over a few times, but we never had an actual romantic date. That night, I did not hear from him until 6 pm. I was incensed. I nevertheless met up with him after I had consumed a hefty amount of vodka with some coworkers. I'll skip the details of the evening and fast forward to the part where we left the second bar to go home and I drunkenly decide that I'm going to ditch him. I start walking (or drunkenly wobbling) away and he ran up behind me. "Whoa. Where are you going?" He ran up behind me. But it was too late. I started crying. Full on sobbing vodka tears, in the middle of the street on a busy Friday night, still in my suit.

I didn't know at the time why I was crying, but I thought about it, and a day or two later I figured out that I was just so sorely disappointed. I wanted to have a nice romantic evening with him, and he was content to just sit at the bar and drink, and talk to his buddies on the phone, and watch sports on TV. I'm not opposed to these things, but I had been so excited for a night that never materialized. When he asked me why I was crying, I said it was work. He was actually very concerned at my outburst. He was very sweet and responded better than I would have expected. When I think back on it now, I wonder if that's what it takes to galvanize this man to be who I want him to be.

The following week I finally told him why I had actually been crying. He was interested in what I had to say, but I think I gave him too many outs. I told him that it wasn't fair of me to expect something I had never articulated with him - he couldn't be responsible because he didn't know. He agreed, of course, with my excuses for him.

A few days later I called and left him a message. I was going to be in his neighborhood for work later in the evening. Did he want to meet up for dinner? He agreed to meet me, and gave me the name and address of a bar at which to meet him when I got out of work.

I should have known better.

I show up, and it's a hopping happy hour, with young professionals hanging off bar stools, music blaring, people pushing their way through the crowds to the bar. He isn't even there - he moved to a different bar. He came back to meet me and said, "Well since we're here we might as well go in," at which point I turned and glared at him in disbelief. "No. Absolutely not," I said. I was not in the mood for a crazy drunken happy hour. I wanted dinner. Just like I said in my message. Dinner does not mean gnawing on chicken wings at the bar. So where did he take me next? To a sports bar. At that point I think he realized that I was just pissed, so he said "Why don't we try this Cuban restaurant around the corner?"

We get to the Cuban restaurant and he won't even go in - it's too ritzy for him. He referred to it as "Chez Whitey." [Perhaps this is where I should mention that I am white, he is not.] My feet are tired from staggering around in impractical heels, plus I'm wheeling around my very large gym bag, and I'm hungry, and I have to go to the bathroom, and I'm annoyed. He suggests that we go to a Mexican restaurant a few blocks away. (He did not mention the name of this restaurant.) As we walk there, we pass an Applebee's. He said, "Do you want to go there?" to which I responded with a resounding NO. He laughed and asked why I was so anti-Applebee's, and I gave him the short version: I'd had a bad date and any guy who subsequently suggests Applebee's is automatically gone.

We arrived at the restaurant that Tenacious D suggested and when I walked in, I immediately said, with an air of finality, "This is like a Mexican Applebee's." Tenacious D laughed, hard. Then, realizing the import of these words, suggested we go somewhere else. "I know this little Caribbean restaurant not too far..."
"No," I said. "We are staying here. I am hungry. My feet hurt. I have to go to the bathroom." Then he started to get angry. "You clearly do not want to be here. Let's go somewhere else." I refused. He insisted. I refused. "Well," he said quietly, "given what you just said about Applebee's, and then you called this a Mexican Applebee's..." That right, I thought. You draw your own conclusions. I sat down, drank a margarita that came in a glass the size of a bucket, surrounded by cheezy 'Mexican' or 'Western' themed furniture, and thought that the only thing that was missing from this absurd scene was a singing cactus on the table.

Now, I don't want my readers to think I don't frequent restaurants such as this. There's one in my hometown that I go to every time I go home, and I love it. Margaritas, tortilla chips, things covered in mountains of melted cheese... mmmm. But this was my second attempt at going on a DATE with this guy. Restaurants such as this one don't exactly inspire romance. It seems that in the end, he just wants to be my drinking buddy. Until the end of the night, of course, when he decides that he just might be inclined to show half an ounce of affection, and tries to carry my bag for me, because he wants to go home with me.

Of course, it doesn't end there. The next weekend he called me at 2 am and I let him come over. I think it's safe to say that the relationship was officially dead that night. He stayed way too late the next day - I couldn't wait for him to leave. I just wasn't interested in him anymore. Then I caught him 'trying to use' my cell phone when I got out of the shower, but I had changed his number to 'Disappoint Cell' and he was looking at that name in my list of received calls. I freaked out. I don't think he figured out it was him. We used to have fun hanging out, but now I'm just exasperated, and sick of trying.

So last night, around 6 pm, I received a voicemail from him, asking me to a movie. I was excited to hear his voice. In his message, he conceded that he knew it was late in the day and he knew that I like to set my plans earlier than that, but he wanted to see me if I was around, and asked me to call him. Knowing that I was going to cave, I immediately went to the friend who I knew would tell me not to see him, at all, under any circumstances. She didn't let me down. I was going to go out with another friend who was meeting up with her friend "NonSportsGuy," who had coerced me into going home with me one night. I like him a lot. I like him more than I've liked a guy in a while. But, he came over, we made out, and he left the next morning without asking for my number, and I haven't seen him since. I knew that if I met out with them, I'd want him to like me, and I'd break down and let him come home with me again, and if he didn't want to, then I'd call Tenacious D to come home with me at the end of the night instead. I know myself well enough to know this is what would happen. Since they are all unhealthy, unproductive choices, I forced myself to stay in last night.

It was actually difficult knowing that there were two men out there that I could see, especially since I felt lonely and unattractive, and in need of some attention from the opposite sex. It took all my willpower not to change my mind. It took all my willpower not to answer the phone when Tenacious D called at 2 am again this morning.

I have another date or two coming up, but for all intents and purposes, I'm on a dating timeout. I don't feel attractive or desirable. I have not had a boyfriend in almost 7 years. SEVEN YEARS. I acknowledge that part of this is attributable to the fact that I like my independence - I like to come and go as I please, I like to plan my days and weeks without regard to anyone else - but I haven't found anyone that I'm interested in making time for on a regular basis (now that Tenacious D is crossed off the list). My dates are not successful. The guys who do take me on the types of dates that I want to go on usually end up being guys that I can barely hold a conversation with.

I'm still so afraid that love will never happen.


Mr. Vasquez said...

great post good reading.

travis said...

never give up. it will work, eventually. and see, you were on a nice date just a few days later. I thought at one point that I had dated every crazy woman in Manhattan before I met my wife at age 33, and that was 11 happy years ago. dating works, eventually. don't give up.

thanks for the nice, open post.