Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Bad, the Bad and the Ugly

As a single young woman with a bag full of recent stories about blind dates, dating an ex, meeting a man in the grocery store, and dating a bank customer, etc. etc. etc., I have to admit that all have been nothing more than futile efforts for me when it comes to finding a good man to date. Recently, I had a blind date - a double date, where I was paired with the best friend of a good male friend of mine. He was actually a very nice guy. I just wasn’t attracted to him in my usual sense plus he was only visiting the area so hardly a reason to think of it as anything more than a night out. Blind dates have the reputation of being indisputable disasters, but if you double with friends, it usually means a non-committing, safe night out. I would blind date again only because…well because…a girl’s gotta eat. Lessons Learned: #1 Never expect anything out of a blind date except the opportunity to be fed. #2 Be aware of your best friend’s taste in men, there’s a good chance her idea of the cute blind date she’s setting you up with will keep you asking yourself throughout the entire evening, “what the heck was she thinking?”

Dating an ex is a major no-no. It was your typical state of affairs…girl starts to realize that the ex wasn’t as bad as the rest of the losers she’s dated in the past couple of years. Somehow all of those annoying things about your ex seem to have miraculously been erased from your memory. (When this happens, ladies, give yourself a good slap in the face and snap out of it!) Although he’d been gone for two years, and he was really looking good, in the end, and I do mean this time THE END, the whole thing was a mistake on both our parts. Lesson learned: Remember Humpty Dumpty.

The chance of meeting Mr. Wonderful at a grocery store while knocking on cantaloupes is a ridiculous myth. Alexis and I met a friendly man one night while shopping on the fruit aisle at Kroger. After a 15 minute conversation he invited us to have dinner with him at his house. Supposedly, he’s a great cook. No, we did not meet him for dinner! Don’t worry. Good thing since a month later my boss (who is like my new protective father away from home) told me he’d read in the newspaper that this same guy was recently arrested for indecent exposure outside his apartment complex! So, that’s it for talking to friendly men in the fruit aisle of the local grocery store. Lesson learned: Always wash your fruit extra well!

Oh, and that customer I dated. My mistake! Oh, he was cute all right. It’s just that I had to shell out $30 for wine and cheese since Kroger would not accept one of his checks EVER AGAIN. Ugh! The funny thing is since he’s a customer I know his checking account had money in it. In spite of that, Kroger’s bells and whistles went off when he tried to pay with his check. So, in order for me to prevent a brawl between the cashier and my date, I paid…This, my friends, was the beginning of a first date disaster. Would you believe this guy had a rottweiler and thought it was funny when he pointed at me and gave the command “GET her!” Thank god the dog continued licking my leg and ignored his good master. Lessons Learned: “Do not buy the wine nor drink from the vine on a first date.”

I love my fellow employees at the bank. My dating life has become the entertainment for my near middle-aged bank co-workers. They’ve told me, “We’re living through you, Tara”. They not only want to hear about my dates, but they want to protect me, fix me up, and, of course, offer me all the free advice I can handle. There’s Danny, my protective father and manager, Debbie, my “cool mom”, Suzanne, “my older sister”, Brian, “my protective brother”, and the other Brian, “the frat guy pervert who Danny tells me not to listen to”. And like my life back home, I’m still the little sister.

With the many dating anxieties a single girl experiences today, this single girl still maintains a positive, optimistic attitude when it comes to someday finding love. It remains my constant practice that a man begins with a clean slate. As the minutes tick by and then once again I hear those dreaded screeching fingernails chillingly coming down that once meticulously clean slate, I know it’s time to once again push the eject button on my parachute for virtually a safe landing, alone on my own two feet…While alone isn’t perfect, it’s ok for now. Even so, I still believe in my heart that someday, somewhere out there is the right man for me. One who will gently take a mere piece of chalk and write I love you on that slate.


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