The SMITH Diaries Project

Is That All There Is?

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

By Frida in the City

A: French-speaking guy
B: Short, bald guy
C: Sports nut guy
D: Graphic designer guy
E: Guy with girlfriend
F: Thai-speaking guy
G: Italian guy
H: European jailbait
I: E.’s girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend
J. Bad Kisser

K: Shaved head guy
L: Country bar guy
M: Jewish hippie
N: Not The One

Zero: the number invented by the ancient minds to express the perfect state of mathematical nothingness. Also the number of men I am currently dating. At its highest point during this Love Diary, the number hit 3.5. But now, I am at zero, or more accurately .5 about to become zero.

When we last left off, I was about to teach J. how to kiss, a skill you would think he would have picked up along the way in his 28 years on this earth. After dinner one night, class began. After a few pecks (I was chicken feed to his rooster), I had to say, “WHAT is that?” He said, “Oh, I thought this is the way you like to kiss.” I replied, “Um, no. Relax your mouth, and try it this way.” He was too naïve to be offended, and things improved after that — so much so that we ended up in bed. A few strange techniques and an anticlimactic climax later, he left. We still chat from time to time.

I went on a few dates with K., who I met online, and he made me think that bald (or shaved head) can actually be attractive. Unfortunately, he did not feel the same way about my full head of hair and disappeared after date number two. Thanks for playing!

L. really threw me for a loop. Built like a Viking (not really my type), he painted (my type), played guitar (ditto) and had traveled extensively (double ditto). On our first date, we went to a hipster bar, where I proceeded to get stinking drunk on four margaritas, buy the bartender a shot, down a shot myself, and fall on my ass in the middle of the street after exiting the bar. L. invited me to see his friend’s band play, but first, he had to stop by his apartment to get his cowboy boots and cowboy hat. Exsqueeze me? What kind of band is this??? He lent me a John Deere trucker hat that should have said “Big fat Jew,” because that’s how out of place I feel in a country music bar. Lo and behold, we danced, had a wonderful time, and I ended up back at his place. Oops. You know what they say about sex on the first date? They’re right. Surprisingly, I got a text from him asking if I wanted to meet up for a drink after work, but we never managed to meet up. No love lost: making plans with a guy who only text messages is tiresome.

The highlight of this whole dating marathon was meeting M. His online profile was sparse and said he was 37. I took a chance and wrote back to him, and I’m glad I did. He was undefinable, but the closest I can come up with is clean-cut movie star on the outside and Jewish, New Age Californian hippie on the inside. Needless to say, I have never met anyone who could fall into both of these categories (I didn’t even know that the latter was a category.) He seemed guarded, but I ended up telling him things I usually don’t even tell my closest friends. By the time we left, I’d had two beers to his none. You know that look you get from a guy — all dreamy-eyed when he either really likes you or has had a few drinks — that’s the one. When I got home, it hit me: I was smitten. I decided that if he didn’t contact me again, I would demand another date for the sake of our future children. He e-mailed me the next day.

He took me on scooter rides that made me feel like Audrey Hepburn in Rome. We sat on beaches crowded with Mexican families. He told me was really 40. We ate sushi and ended up at my place where we got high and made out. He once got off a plane after a week-long trip and came straight to me. I was having a lot of fun. Unfortunately, he had broken up with a girlfriend two months before and was gun-shy, so we had to take things slow.

One day, I detected a change. I had to ask one time too many for him to come up. He asked me what my intentions were, and I said honestly that I wasn’t going to sleep with him (that time of the month), but it would be nice if he stayed over. He said, If all you want is creature comfort, then you have your cat for that.

I got the inevitable “We have to talk” e-mail from him a few days later. I learned that it was not his ex-girlfriend, not that he needed time, it was me. He was attracted to me, but something was missing, I just didn’t do it for him. I made a sincere but not desperate plea about how we should take the time to get to know each other. He didn’t know how to proceed, I didn’t know if I want to take his baggage on board.

We went out a few more times, took his scooter for a few more rides, drank a few more glasses of wine on my roof, before we decided independently we were too different to be compatible. A third of the time, it felt as if we came from other planets.

Now I’m on N., and though he’s not The One, he gives good date. Most accounts of women searching for love — chick lit, romantic comedies at the multiplex, HBO series—end happily ever after. I’m still trying.

One response

  1. Gary Belsky says:

    This is very funny. Of course, you’re living in Chicago so it’s partially fated for you to be miserable. Too many Wacker Drives (South, Lower, East). Good for you, though, for not giving up.

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