He kept itching his nose–under his left nostril–intermittently until he tilted his head back so I could practically see up and into his brain. “Is it bleeding?” he asked.
“What? Your Cerebellum?” I thought. But “no” is what I actually said. Nothing I could see was bleeding.
At my breakfast.
Where I was eating food.
Food I wanted to eat blood-free.
“See? I told you,” he said finally, holding out the finger he’d been using to pick away at the scab under his nose. “Blood.” He jabbed the bloody digit at me.
He was correct. His finger had a smattering of bright red blood on it. Kind of like my toast had a smattering of raspberry jelly on it. Again, sir, I’m eating breakfast.
Who does that?
Apparently short, Assyrian anesthesiologist do. He was a nice person, but overall it was an…unfortunate meeting…for me. Blood and eggs. WTF? But I have to blame myself. I’d broken a cardinal rule of dating: never meet someone for the first time over a meal. It should be something shorter. Coffee during the day. A drink at night. (Speaking of anesthesia.)
I never pictured myself being single and dating in my forties. When I met and fell in love with Ken in my early thirties, I knew I was “done.” And though being single in my twenties was fun, I wasn’t sad to see it go. It was time to move forward in pursuing a committed, healthy and loving relationship with him.
What’s that old saying? “We make plans and god laughs?” (I’m an atheist, so I couldn’t bring myself to capitalize it.)
Unknown to me, part of my grieving process was coming to terms with not only losing my spouse, but that I was single again. Each, individually stunning enough. Together, unfathomable. But time ushered me forward into understanding and acceptance. Life moves forward. It’s has to. It’s supposed to.
Dating again feels as normal as dating ever felt. All at once exciting, terrifying and disappointing. But the people are essentially the same. What has changed is all the ways in which to meet and communicate. The last time I dated texting wasn’t even a “thing”, let alone smart phones with dating and social networking apps. But as a techie, I like the convenience and multitude of options available. Admittedly, I don’t have the same–or possibly as many–insecurities as I did in my twenties, but there are new ones. Age-related one. Pickier ones. More age-related ones.
I’ve had to re-remember all the “rules” I used to follow when dating back in the “old days.” Some are tried and true. First meeting in a public place. Pay attention to details. Make sure the bits and pieces of his life story fit together. Has job and his own place (no roommates). First meeting is never over a meal–but rather something quick and escapable if necessary–like coffee or a drink. (ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS!!!!)
When I was looking to buy a condo, I knew I wanted my place within five minutes. Likewise, when I sit down at a first meeting with a prospective date, I knew if there is anything there within the same amount of time–such as with the fellow referenced above. Bloody nose picking aside, I already knew we didn’t click. This is the part where I check out and think about how to end the date or make a grocery list. Or just think of candy. (Unless I’m on a date with you, reader, than this never happens. Never.)
At almost-forty-six I know a few things about dating: 1) a sense of humor is essential 2) I’m not the only out there my age doing it 3) Swinging and missing don’t matter as much as trying 4) there are some really nice guys out there and 5) when in doubt, refer to number 1.