My next date was with a guy named…hmm..let’s go with John..In his profile, John described his love of running marathons, his successful career and a penchant for spending an absurd amount of money at Banana Republic. While I happen to save my own running for occasions when it becomes absolutely necessary, (ie: being chased by a pack of wild dogs) I liked that he seemed to live an active and healthy lifestyle. The Banana Republic comment gave me slight pause as I remembered that I had, only the night before, somehow attracted a man that knew more about the Michael Kors Spring collection than I did. John’s pictures however, were reassuring.. they showed an attractively tall and muscular guy and so, when he suggested grabbing a few beers for happy hour, I was game to give it a shot.
Earlier that day, I had been in contact with my ex (unfortunately) and he let me know he would be stopping by the house to pick up some mail. I had planned on being gone long before he showed up, so as to avoid all that unwanted awkwardness. Things were going according to plan and I was just pulling out of my street when a strange car started honking at me as it passed. I stopped to figure out who this was and if maybe they needed something. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be my ex. Now let me back up for a moment. The last few times I had seen him, it was always the wee hours of the morning and he was showing up drunk and crying about how much he missed me. There was also one Sat morning with me in pajamas and no make-up. Suffice it to say, I probably did not look awesome. This time however, standing in the middle of the street in my very attractive date attire (only 7 outfit changes before figuring this one out), with make-up, hair done and a good 10 pounds lost (a broken heart can do wonders for your jean size)..I looked, well..HOT. There is no better feeling in the world than to have the man that told you only a few months ago that he wasn’t attracted to you anymore, do the slow down and up look. You know the one ladies. The one that should be done by a Loony Toons character, where their eyes bug out, tongue flaps to the ground and that “awoooooooga” noise quickly follows. That moment, standing in the street and having him look at me like that, made me feel like I had finally gotten the last word. Or maybe, words…possibly sounding something like this:
“Oh yeah? Not attractive enough for you? Well you know what? I am more than enough for any man. I am beautiful inside and out. I am smart and kind and the best damn thing you ever had in your stupid selfish life.” (If, at this very moment, you have a black woman’s sweet southern voice in your head going..’you is kiiiind, you is smaaahht, you is impooortant’ don’t worry, you aren’t the only one.)
He hugged me and told me I looked beautiful and I ignored the way my bones fit into the curve of his shoulder..traitors. I pulled back and told him I had to go..I had a date I was going to be late for. I saw this register on a face I knew as well as my own and in that moment, I had the knowledge that even though I was sad that the relationship had failed and that some part of me would always love and worry about Jeff, it wasn’t my job to worry about him anymore. I had settled for the kind of love I thought I deserved and from that day on, I didn’t care how many dates it took. I would never EVER settle again. He wasn’t my person and I am so grateful that I am now free to find out who that really is. He is going to be awesome.
My date with John was not awesome…not terrible but not awesome. The following are 7 thoughts that ran through my head over the next 2 hours. 7 thoughts for 7 beers:
1. “Well that was false advertizing.”
2. “Man, this conversation is a little one-sided. Maybe he’s nervous.”
3. “Wow, he’s drinking that Blue Moon pretty fast. Maybe he’s super nervous.”
4. “Hmm..do you really think it’s a good idea order another beer? You’ve had 4 already.”
5. “Yes, I would love to talk about your ex-girlfriend with you. I’m sensing some unresolved feelings here. Please, tell me more.”
6. “I don’t know if it was really good to tell me that your job gets in the way of your relationships.”
7. “Maybe I should call this guy a cab.”
I think it’s fair to say that John and I weren’t a great match. He seemed like a perfectly nice guy. Just not my guy. I headed to the restaurant next door where my best friend Leigh and her husband were “eating dinner.” aka..my back-up in case anything crazy happened. They filled up my wine glass and I filled them in on the disaster that was my date. “Don’t worry,” they reminded me, “plenty of fish in the sea.” And while that date was certainly not what I had hoped for, it did serve one important purpose. It gave me the ability to have that really great last word.. and that my friends..is priceless.