Friday, May 19, 2000

It’s Friday, May 19th, 2000, at 11:31 p.m. I’m alone on a Friday night and, for once in my life, I’m almost completely okay with it.

I used to think that being alone meant being unhappy… a loser, even. Now, after 23 years of living on this planet, I finally realize that spending time by myself is sometimes BETTER than spending time with other people. Imagine that!! Self-imposed solitary confinement. Maybe that’s stretching it a little, but the point is that, for once in my life, I’m content to sit here at my computer, rather than pining over specific aspects of my life that I need to fix or overhaul.

Don’t get me wrong, I know there are many MANY things about my life that I would love to fix or change. Most of them are money-related. I owe almost everyone I know. It’s not a nice feeling. I always say, “Next payday, I’ll start paying them back. Just bite-sized chunks… I can handle that…” But that ‘next payday’ never comes.

Right… I wasn’t supposed to be pining away over stuff like this. I was supposed to be talking about how deliriously happy I am to be spending this Friday night (of a long weekend, no less) by myself.

Well, for one thing, I’m finally mobile. After 3 operations to my right tibia, I’m “me” again, whatever that means. I had the plate and 8 screws put into my leg in August of 1998. I had the “synthetic bone putty” put in in July of 1999. I had the plate and screws removed (and more “synthetic bone putty” added) on April 3rd, 2000. After 2 years, I’m finally mobile. I can finally walk to the store without worrying about whether or not my leg will get me there and back without collapsing under me. It’s a good feeling.

I’ve been reading tons lately. I’ve read two books by Nick Hornby (at Stefan’s behest). I read “The Pearl”, and “Northanger Abbey”… Now I’m reading “The Grapes of Wrath”. Great book. Every day, I wonder what will happen to the Joad family.

Although saying this next bit will force me to take the risk of contradicting previous statements, here we go:

I met someone on Wednesday night. While I was lying on the couch, watching the final episode of “Beverly Hills, 90210”, Ru came into the room and announced that we are going to Stat’s. I was less than eager, but trudged downstairs to find something remotely decent to wear.

We got there, and E&Ri were there. Hugs galore. We played a few games of pool (I played against Ri and he lost. I played against E and she lost. Notice that I didn’t say that I won. They lost.) and then just stood at the bar. I stood between E and Ru (who was talking to Ea). Sitting on the stool to E’s left was a semi-handsome stranger. When I would lean over to say something to E, my eyes met the stranger’s, and we smiled at one another.

E got up to play a game with Ri, and I stole her chair, which placed me beside the aforementioned semi-handsome stranger. He had a boy-next-door, blue-collar kind of look. Baseball cap, jeans, sneakers… Not usually my type, but very interesting at the same time.

The stranger and I were both playing a video trivia game, and one of us made a comment to the other about one of the questions. And we were off.

Smalltalk is not one of my strong suits, but I think I would have put Kathy Lee Gifford to shame. “Where are you from?” “You live around here?” “What kind of work do you do?” “Oh, by the way, my name is T.” “Nice to meet you, D…”

For the rest of the night, D and I sat on those stools and played the games which heterosexual males and females play with each other. Mock insults, semi-sincere flattery… You can never be too careful at this point.

Then, out of the blue, D asked if he could buy me a drink. Well, this changes everything, doesn’t it? We’ve gone from two strangers being sociable in a public place, to a man offering to buy a woman a drink. I was thrilled. He’s not just being polite. He wants to spend money on me. Maybe he just wants to get me drunk… Then again, he said, “Beer? Coffee? Milk? Water? Milkshake?” So what do I say? “No, thank you. I’m okay.”

Two seconds later, I ordered a daiquiri. He was offended.

“Do you have to work tomorrow?” “Yes.” “What time?” “8:30.” “What time do you get off?” “5:00.” “Oh. That doesn’t work at all.” “What doesn’t work?” “Nothing… Just thinking out loud.”

After a few other meaningless-yet-earth-shattering conversations…

“So what won’t work because I get off work at 5:00?” “I was just thinking out loud.” “Yes, you said that… Tell me.” “Well, I’m going away for the weekend, but I was hoping that we could go out tomorrow, but I’m leaving for Wasaga at 6:00.” “Oh. That sucks… Another time then, I guess.” “Well, it’ll have to be. If it can’t be tomorrow, it will have to be another time then, won’t it?” “Yes, I guess it does have to be.”

When Ru was showing signs of wanting to leave, he said, “Do you have a phone book?” “Yes.” “Well, my number’s not listed so I’d better give it to you so you can update it.” I thought that was frightfully witty. Exceedingly charming.

D gave me his home phone number, his cell phone number, his pager number and his two email addresses. I told him to check his email when he got home from the bar. “You’ll be on line tonight???” “Maybe. If I have reason to be.” “Cool. I’ll check it when I get home then.”

I got home, turned on the computer, tried to find him on ICQ unsuccessfully, so I sent him an email. Then I waited by the computer, reading “Grapes of Wrath”, waiting for him to come on line. (I’d given him my ICQ number, and hoped he would add me to his list as soon as he got home from Stat’s.) Sure enough, he appeared.

We talked on line for about 10 minutes, and he asked me if I would go out with him sometime. Of course, I said yes. Then I suggested that he call me. So he did.

We talked on the phone for 2 hours (meaning we got off the phone at 3:56 a.m.) and had arranged to have lunch together the next day. Well, technically the same day, but let’s not get picky. He had a few things he needed to do, in preparation for his long-weekend excursion to the trailer, but I said I would call him at noon to see what time would be best for him.

The next day, I practically counted the minutes until I “could” call him. Finally, 12:05 came. I called his cell and got his voicemail. I left a message, asking him to call me at work. I called his pager and left my number at work. No response.

Finally, at 2:00, he called to say we couldn’t have lunch. His car stereo was being installed or something and he still had things to do after that, and didn’t want to leave late for Wasaga. I was so disappointed, that I know I sounded angry. He said, “Please don’t be mad. PLEASE don’t be mad.” I think I just laughed… He said, “What shift do you work on Monday?” I said, “I’m a 9 to 5 girl.” And he said, “Okay…” “Okey dokey… Have a good weekend, and I’ll talk to you soon!”

I didn’t mean to sound so cold. I really didn’t. I was just so disappointed.

He’s 31. Much older than any other guy I’ve dated. Well, except for the time that Johnny Depp proposed to me. Wait, that was in a dream so I guess it doesn’t count.

He told me that his last relationship, which ended almost a year ago, ended because he wanted to get married and his girlfriend wasn’t ready for that kind of commitment. I can’t even say how that makes me feel. I am SO ready for that kind of commitment.

Ru and I were looking through her photo albums tonight. There were wedding pictures, baby pictures of the boys, their baby books… I’m so envious. I know it didn’t end the way she wanted it to, but still. I can’t wait. I want so much to find the man that I want to spend the rest of my life with, and that feels the same way about me. I want to have that man’s children and I want him to want me to mother his children. I want to have a family. I want a man to tell me that he loves me and say it so convincingly that I believe him. That I honestly, cross-my-heart-hope-to-die believe him.

I can’t help but hope that D is that man. He’s so intelligent… so funny… so charming… so cultured. I’ve always hated that word, but I can’t think of another word that means the same thing. “Cultured” sounds snobby, but he’s anything but snobby. He just knows things about books and theatre and movies… He’s “hip”, I guess.

He said, “You sound pretty smart. I don’t think I’ve ever gone out with a smart woman. This is really cool. It’s weird, talking to someone about actors and actresses, without hearing them say, ‘Yeah, that actress, look at her fucking tits!!!’” I took that as a compliment.

Anyway, he gets back on Monday and works nights all week. I guess I probably won’t hear much from him (or see him) until maybe next weekend… That sucks, but I guess absence makes the heart grow fonder, though hopefully not unrealistically fond… As in build-the-person-up-so-high-that-it’s-impossible-for-them-to-live-up-to-the-persona-you’ve-created-for-them… Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

But let’s hope that this Friday evening spent alone, no matter how peaceful and content I am, is one of my last.