My ex used to test my loyalty by asking, “If I die, how long would you wait to marry someone else?” Seriously, how stupid did I look? This was clearly nothing but a trap—a “tell me what I want to hear, or I’ll make your life a living hell” game. Knowing this, I would always paste a fearful expression on my face, then explain how terrifying it would be for me to even think about dating.
I’ve been on my own for a while now. Last Thanksgiving I attended a holiday gathering with a couple friends, and afterward, was told that one man I’d met was interested in me. I think he wanted to ask me out for coffee. And, guess what? My reaction was to paste a fearful expression on my face, then explain how terrifying it would be for me to even think about dating.
Talk about a learned response. Okay, yes, I’m having a bit of trouble with the whole idea of this dating thing. Let’s jump forward to a more recent event.
I was settling in at my new place, and made a run for supplies—necessities like dish soap, toilet paper, and enough Chinese takeout to feed six people twice my size. Anyway, on the way home, my car acted up. I got it into a shop that week, and $800 later my girl was good as gold again. The mechanic said he was sending a guy out to pick me up to return to my car… and that’s when I met Tim.
Tim is a pleasant, fairly good looking guy who managed to pack a lot of conversation into a short period of time, and by the end of our little journey, he said I was amazing. No, Tim isn’t his real name. I did that to protect his identity. Also, to keep any other middle aged ladies off his trail. That’s right. Back off girls!
Two hours later I was surprised when Tim started texting. He wanted to see me again, and I’m proud to say my reaction was a complete break from the years of past training. My graceful reply went something like, “Uh… What?”
It was flattering, yes. Also, dumbfounding, and more than a little hilarious. Perhaps, in the interest of full disclosure, I should give you this somewhat significant piece of information:
Tim is 21 years old.
Sadly, our ill-fated romance lasted only 2 weeks. That’s how long it took for him to tire of my polite refusals. At one point, he admitted to telling his father about me. Tim Senior had quite a laugh at Tim Junior’s expense, what with him being turned down repeatedly by a woman over twice his age. Finally, one day the young man asked me, “I’m S.O.L. here, aren’t I?”
“I’m sorry, Tim, but yes. Yes, you are.”
That was the last time I heard from him, and in the quiet of his absence, I realized I’d made a mistake. I should have asked him two little questions before he left.
How old is your dad? And, is he single? 😉