Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hope Floats

There are things that some people might take for granted that I miss doing with a significant other.

Like holding a guy's hand on a chilly spring afternoon while walking down the street to get groceries for dinner.

Like casually throwing in "babe" or "love", or various terms of endearment, in such banal phrases as," Oh, that's just Mean Girls on TV, love." or "Babe, while you're in the kitchen can you get me a glass of orange juice?" Not that I would ever overuse these words... I just miss the feeling of knowing that I could say them to someone.

Like ordering different things at a restaurant and then trying each other's dishes and debating who had a better meal.

Like bypassing a loud, rowdy neighborhood bar filled with boozed up kids right out of college and going to a wine bar instead, where the music is subdued enough to have a meaningful conversation and the candles are bright enough to see that mischievous sparkle in each others' eyes.

Like waking up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason and feeling his arm around me. And moving my body closer to his for a tighter embrace before drifting back to sleep again.

Like placing an order at a bar that's crowded enough that there's not enough space for the two of us. And while placing an order, turning around casually to double check what drinks he wanted, just to catch him checking you out.

Maybe that's why there is a tiny bit of hope in me that is refusing to burn out inside of me.

Maybe that's why I don't turn the ringer of my cell phone off at night - telling others that I only leave my phone on because it serves as an alarm to wake me up, but really, secretly hoping that he will call late after a night out.

Maybe that's why when he does call, I don't answer, but I smile because he still thinks about me too. And it's that feeling of comfort that makes me believe that I am still not over what we once had.

Whatcha doing to me, Hope? Or am I just mistaking you for your cousin - Blind Silliness....

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It's Not You... It's Me. REALLY.

That's what I feel like saying when, time after time, I find myself completely unattracted to men whom most women would consider to be quite great catches.

Like, this is the case with the most recent guy I have gone out on two dates with thus far. (I shouldn't say thus far, because it's very unlikely that there ever will be a THIRD date). Our first date we went to a wine bar downtown, ordered a small tray of cheese and a couple of glasses of wine, and just settled in the cozy lounge area to try to get to know each other. There was nothing particularly wrong with the guy, though I critically and, admittedly shallowly, noticed some signs of aging, like some wrinkles around his forehead and mouth. But, at that point, the tiny little wrinkles were just my excuses for trying to find something wrong with the guy where there was nothing wrong to look for.

After all, he was successful, tall, polite, attentive. He made me laugh at all the right times and even when the conversation got awkward or stale, he, God bless him, tried his best to change the topic of conversation to something that would start the chatter again.

Yet when I returned home that night and wiped my make-up off my face, I had no intention of seeing him again for another date. The butterflies in my stomach that I craved so much? They were simply not there and I couldn't think of a single reason why. Why.... WHY wasn't I attracted to this dude? On paper, he was, literally, everything I was looking for. Face to face, I couldn't give a damn whether I saw him again or not.

It was unfair of me to dismiss him like that, so this Friday, when he asked me out again, I decided to give it another go and meet up with him for another date.

This time we went to dinner at a lovely little restaurant - tucked away between residential town homes of a wealthy section of a city neighborhood - this was exactly the kind of restaurant I would hope a guy would pick for a date. He ordered me a cosmo and a gin martini for himself, and I've made a note to myself that he, indeed, was much more handsome than Mr J. I was determined to keep that fact in mind and remain open minded to see if I could get some sparks going on my end.

No such luck. After a delicious entree of scallops and exotic pumpkin puree and three strong drinks, even the alcohol couldn't disguise the fact that I was just. Not. Attracted. To this guy.

What a pity.

As he moved his chair closer to mine so we could have a more "intimate" distance between one another as we talked to each other, I could tell that he was totally digging me. He was loving that I told him that I grew up playing Transformers and that I took a lot of art classes. I, on the other hand, while being impressed that his business was taking off at the speed of light, wished to have another martini in my hand so I could numb that awkward, empty feeling in my stomach when you know that the date isn't going anywhere.

He moved his hand toward my back and gently rubbed my shoulder blade up and down as we talked. Normally (if it was Mr J, hypothetically) that kind of touch would have sent an electric chill up and down my spine, awakening my senses and asking for more, but the brushes of his fingers made the skin my back feel itchy and irritated. I wanted to move away and pull the chair away from him so he could keep his hands to himself. But, instead, I just sat there, trying to ignore the inexplicable aversion I had to this perfectly acceptable man.

At the end of the date I, somehow, avoided a good night kiss. God knows, the man lingered long enough saying goodbye at my car to warrant a smooch. But, nevertheless, thanks to my clever maneuvering skills, I managed to get away with just a hug.

I guess he will make some girl very happy (and very financially secured) one day. But I don't think I can do a third date with the man, when I seemed to have developed an allergic reaction to his touch in just one night.

I just KNOW that it's not his fault. It's mine. I just can't figure out how to fix this and get myself excited about someone... anyone again.

But don't cry for me just yet. At least I got a free dinner out of it.