Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Getting “Stung” by Love!

Even when I was young, I didn’t like first dates. There’s the stupid nervousness and trying to learn about each other without it sounding like an interrogation. Wait…let’s not forget the pre-date issues, like getting a big zit in the middle of your forehead! Or discovering two minutes before you’re getting picked up that the shirt you want to wear is missing a button; the one at your chest. So, you find a guy who doesn’t make you nauseous, you get married, and never have to worry about first dates again. Right?

Then why, at the age of forty eight, did I find myself standing in my bathroom getting ready for a first date? The interrogation had been done online, but now I was going to come face-to-face with a man who seemed so great, I knew there was surely something very wrong with him. I danced in my bathroom to “It’s Raining Men” to get me in the mood for the date. I chose a turtleneck sweater and dark jeans. Every inch of me was covered. I guess I didn’t want to give off any kind of signals—like I was a woman.

My daughter drove me to the art museum where I was meeting him. In a weird role reversal kind of thing, my daughter told me to “go have fun” and call her if I needed a ride home.

The lobby was full of people, so I searched all the male faces to see if I recognized him from his photo. I spotted him leaning against a wall, and worked my way through the crowd. Now, what happened next had everything to do with my age. I can see objects which are miles away, but I can’t see anything within three feet of me. That causes a problem with my depth perception. When I walked up to him, I accidently pressed my body against his. He told me many months later that he thought I was very friendly--so much for not sending signals.

The date was incredibly fun. My only embarrassing moment was when I was pointing to a certain area of a painting, and a guard jumped out of nowhere and told me quite seriously to step away from the painting. I guess I was trying to break the tension, so I stuck out my wrists so he could cuff me. I don’t think the guard got it, but my date was amused.

After we left the museum, we walked downtown to get dinner. The conversation was great, he was smart and witty, and there was definitely chemistry. But, I had reached the point in our date where I started to wonder how this fantastic guy could possibly be single. I knew there had to be something wrong with him, I just hadn’t figured out what.

Our nine hour date—yes, I said nine—was coming to an end. We walked through a city park to get to the parking garage. I couldn’t believe I was having romantic thoughts, and this was our first date. Maybe when you’re in your forties, everything is speeded up. Anyway, I was starting to give up on finding something wrong with him. The hour was late and the garage looked empty. We got to his level and his car was the only one in the whole garage. As we got closer, I could just make out the shape of his car. I suddenly froze. Actually, I was still walking, but my brain froze. Directly under one of the lights sat a bright yellow Gremlin. With black stripes. Like a bumblebee. I just couldn’t grasp in my brain that this guy I was just feeling so attracted to, would choose to drive this car.

I told myself I had to act like the mature woman I was, and not be judgmental. I had come a long way from the teenage girl who got back with her boyfriend when he bought a Camaro. I searched my brain to come up with a comment about the car that didn’t sound at all sarcastic. I had just opened my mouth when I realized he was walking past the Gremlin. WHAT? This wasn’t his car? We went around a bend and sitting there was a dark blue Jeep Grand Cherokee. This mature woman wanted to jump up and cheer! This was exactly the car I thought he would have.

After years of being together, I still wonder if I would have gone on a second date with him, if the bumblebee on wheels was his car. Thank goodness, we’ll never know.


Staging Tips - Help for Selling your Home said...

OK, you had me. I was thinking I had mistaken you for a single mother and this was a date! You are so great! OK, now I should chronicle some of my near misses to go along with your posts.

Elaine said...

I was married to someone else for 24 years. Luckily, Mr. Jeep Grand Cherokee turned out to be the love of my life, and we have been together now for almost 7 years!

I would LOVE to hear your stories!

Ready? Set,...Sell! Home Staging said...

Dear Elaine,

Your writing can make me laugh. Your writing can bring me to tears. I've only met you online a very short time ago, but I have to say god blessed me the day I opened up a blog with the title; "How does one stage an outhouse?"!

Laura Baker

Elaine said...

Who would guess a story about an outhouse would bring me a new friend?