Following my separation almost three years ago, I thought I was ready. You usually don't split up when things have been going great in the romance department. It was me. Really.
It turns out... I wasn't ready. There were my kids. They needed my total love and attention. There was me. I needed it, too. After years of being someone's other half, I vaguely recalled that I was once a "whole." And, lord help me, a hole.
There was also my career to consider. "What career?" my ex might ask. To him success is measured in dollars. Period. And since I stopped having one, I hadn't been making many.
Dating would be a distraction. I took solace in the belief that once I got the $$$$$$ happening, the dancing boys would follow. They were both taking their time, dammit.
After endless movie nights sans escort, as the loneliness became palpable, my therapist suggested (Hell yes, I have a therapist. I'm Jewish.) that I talk to my kids about my reemergence into the dating world. Reemergence? I'd never really dated. It was... a look across a crowded, smoke-filled room, and then exchange keys.
The kinder were cool. As long as they approved. That list had... no names on it.
Eventually, I dipped a toe in the water, or, what I came to fondly call, "the cesspool from hell." First there was the handsome policeman. "Copper" would text me incessantly, all day for days, and then disappear, without explanation, for weeks at a time. After the second round, I "lost" his number. At least it didn't take three strikes.
There was the insanely smart and funny guy. I wasn't exactly attracted to "Writer" that way, but there's nothing sexier than the smart and the funny. We talked on the phone for hours at a time... sometimes till morning, but it always ended in high drama with him being cold and demeaning. Hey, I can call my mother for that shit.
There was "Midwest Guy," who after a slow-build, mutual flirt, decided to fly left, to take me to dinner, combine a bit of business, and see old pals. On the morning of our rendezvous, "Midwest Guy" confided to a mutual friend, "I'm having dinner with Vicki. I think she thinks it's a date."
I wanted to cancel. My therapist talked me out of it.
I arrived at what is considered the third most romantic restaurant in L.A.
He greeted me with a kiss. On the lips. He escorted me to a dark corner table banquette, the choicest, most secluded spot in the dining room. With every word, and I mean every word, he touched my hand, my arm, gazed into my eyes. For hours. As he walked me to my car, he asked permission to kiss me.
This is what they call a non-date in Boise? Go fuck yourself.
Then there was the "Hero." As in legend, not sandwich. After innumerable attempts to get his attention on Twitter, for professional reasons, one day, I did. For the next couple of weeks we Tweeted, emailed, spoke on the phone and laughed like hell. Then he began to slide away, without a word.
It was me. Right? It had to be.
By this time I was despondent. Sure I was cursed.
My therapist thought perhaps I was coming across a tad too strong and independent.
She challenged me to be vulnerable and ask a man to coffee.
There was this new friend... "Comic," was younger, handsome, exceedingly sharp and amusing. I sucked it up, held my breath and asked. He proceeded to tell me that he had, only three days prior, joined the "sex program" and was not allowed to coffee with girls. Even, "just friend" girls.
Now even my therapist was despondent. She took to wearing garlic at our sessions.
There was a coffee date with "I'm a Designer But I'm Not Gay Even Though I'm Wearing a Pink Scarf and Khaki Linen Pants Guy," midday... no food... even though we were both salivating over everyone else's. Was he cheap? Food phobic? Or am I just not salad worthy?
Not long ago at a friend's intimate soirée, I met, "Young, Super Famous, I Never Thought He Was Attractive Till I Met Him and Then, Holy Shit, Guy." He flirted me up like crazy and then got pulled away abruptly before we could exchange info... kind of. He did mention where he lives. Exactly where he lives. He said, on purpose. I haven't acted upon it. My kids are begging me to.
If something doesn't happen soon, I may stalker his ass, and take up that challenge.