Oh, baby ~ #23

When it comes to dating — especially online or through a service — you have to trust your gut. And your heart, of course. I guess also your mind, as well. And your toes. They’re certainly picking up what you are putting down.

The point is — this is a very intimate part of your life and you have to trust yourself.

[begin scene]

It’s late-ish on a damp Friday night. The office is deserted, but I’m still wrapping things up so as to have a fresh start on Monday — consolidating piles of paper, deleting emails, yanking my darnit-why-didn’t-I-eat-this-instead-of-that-Twix yogurt from the fridge. I had told myself much earlier that I needed to leave at 5:50 p.m. to powder my face and make it across town in time. Yet, it was twenty minutes past six and I was still trying to cross one more thing off my list. #onedayiwilllearn

Down the stairs, out the door and I’m racing down 494 on my way to Axel’s Bonfire in St. Paul, glancing now and then at the clock display and hoping the minutes will pass more slowly. Score! I find a sweet {free} parking spot, skid across the street with a fleeting glance at Pottery Barn and duck into the restaurant I used to frequent in another life. Breathless, rosy-cheeked, scarf all knotted and slightly late, but acceptable.

And there, oh there, sits at my table a 12-year-old boy.

It was a beautiful December weekend night filled with unseasonably warm air, holiday festivities, shoppers and the sparkingly golden lights that adorn trees in wintertime. I had slipped into my dry-clean-only (and thus sparingly worn) dress, cuddly-yet-cute leggings and fashionably worn boots, thrown my hair to the side in strategically placed bobbies and redrawn shimmery kohl eyes. It was a limitless Friday night and I was stuck with a kid in a tragically cliché business suit. Sigh.

I knew, knew, this wasn’t going to be a match because he was three years my junior. But you feel like a big, fat jerk when you decline a potential It’s Just Lunch match, so I had gone along with it.

John was a studious, interning law school student — which I’m sure you just pictured as a sexy, quietly brooding, bespeckled man, but which I will accurately re-frame as a cherubish little boy with a thoughtless haircut and a large booger in his nose. (I solemnly swear I will never use that word again, but this particular nasal mucus had a life of its own and, refusing to give up, stubbornly clung on and prevailed during treacherous circumstances, and is thus worth the mention here.) John was very proud of his lifelong achievements, and not wanting to share any details about my life as to initiate closeness, I peppered him with questions about his love of the law while I stringently sipped my seriously sour wine.

Why, oh why, anyone thought we would be a good match is beyond me. I’ve learned not to take it personally and have long since known that my friends would be approximately 23,892 times better at hooking me up with a potential companion, if such a compatible man was ready, available and in proximity.

After shooting the waitress multiple urgent glances to bail me out — it was a Friday night and things were a’hoppin’ and a’poppin so it was an excruciatingly slow process — she finally bestowed us with the night’s tab.

A quick “great to meet you” hug and a hurried dash to my car completed the date. Not wanting to cheat myself out of an enjoyable night, I drove north to my parents’ Arden Hills abode, fed the puppies several richly-deserved treats and scooted onto the couch in an attempt to finally finish season six of LOST.

Next time, when presented with a single and available man, I will listen if my gut, heart, mind and toes are screaming, “Heck NO!”

[end scene]