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Friday, January 28, 2011

Date#42 - The Hot Chocolate Incident

This man sent me a message, inviting me to a deluxe coffee shop deep in the heart of the suburbs. Driving at night on country roads in mid-January is less that thrilling but it reminded me of good times driving to visit friends for massive house parties some years ago, so I cranked the heat, turned on the CBC and put my foot to the floor. At least there was no traffic.
As I pulled into the parking lot I noticed that it was right beside a quaint motel with a vacancy sign flashing. Obviously this motel pre-existed the shiny strip mall. This gave me pause. A motel? Was this man a creepy lecher or a dashing opportunist? Actually, neither.
He was a gently person who was freshly separated from his wife and very young child. In the new year, he had stopped drinking, joined a gym and Match.com. Well, 2 out of three. He may not have stopped drinking, but he certainly had some funny reactions around it. At first he told me he wasn't drinking. When I said I would have a glass of white wine he clearly stated that he did not like wine. When the waitress arrived he said that he would like some wine but then changed his mind as I stared in bewilderment as he ordered a B52. The last I checked, both of these had alcohol in them. But a Rules Girl says nothing, she simply observes.
Then we stated to talk.
Full Disclosure: Dating men who have had a recent serious breakups is like dating the walking wounded. It's a complete mistake. Not only because his heart belongs to another woman, not only because he is about to be broke and bitter, not only because his relationship with his child should be paramount but all of these things result in there being nothing left for you. It either wasn't clear, or I didn't see his status on Match.com (forgive me, I am new) otherwise I would never have met with him.
Take Heart! Single Girl, divorced men are often catches.
In my experience, they are great guys who got married for good (not great) reasons in their twenties, and then grew apart from their spouses. The vast majority claim they were cheated on and abandoned. This may or may not be true, but I remain deeply touched by how many claimed to have wanted to work it out, to get over it. When it comes to divorced men, a good rule for myself is, wait until 12 months after the divorce decree was actually signed. This means that "separated" men are off limits (because often he is still living with her) and this means that newly divorced men are off limits too. If I walked away from a terrible traffic accident that I had just caused, would you hand me the keys to your new Bentley? No. You are the Bentley, your heart is the keys and the driver at fault is a man going through the break up. Steer around the incident, you are not qualified to help, his injuries are not life threatening and it's not your problem.
But back to the date.
The waitress arrived to ask if we would like to have another drink. I said, No thank you and he said "She will have a hot chocolate."
No thank you, I said
Didn't you say you would like to have a hot chocolate?
No.
No?
No.
The waitress left, flummoxed.
I thought I heard you say you wanted a hot chocolate.
Nope
Sarcastically: Ok, so I guess it must have been somebody else.
Guess so.
This break in reality was interesting to me, so I asked:
What did it sound like when I said I wanted a hot chocolate? What words did I use?
You said...I ... would...like to have a hot chocolate!
No. But I did notice that you said you weren't drinking alcohol and then ordered an alcoholic drink.
I know. I am bad, right?
No, you are not bad. I am just wondering why you said one thing and did another?
I know. I am bad, right?
Given that I was sitting in a really comfortable chair, I decided to play psychologist.
No. You are not bad. But what's going on?
He responded: What are you? Are you some kind of detective?
I got up and left. It was the only time he smiled.

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