Okay, I admit it, it was one of those weekends that make you really a little crazy as a single chick. I finally jumped back in the internet-dating pool and had a Really Fun Date last week. I met him at a bar in town where I know the bartender, and one of my bestest guy friends was at the bar when I walked in (and then came over to introduce himself and sort of loom in a very older-brother kind of way that I found endearing). We had fun. We chatted. We flirted. There was touching and knee knocks and then we went for some dinner. There was kissing on the sidewalk. A date was made for Saturday night.
And then he stood me up.
With an excuse that would have been legit if I’d ever heard from him again, but as I haven’t, well …
In retrospect, there were red flags. My guy friend tells me the RFD (Really Fun Date) had come into the bar early, ordered a drink and then had gone over to lurk in a corner before I came in. Like he was checking me out. Like he was going to bail if I didn’t meet some unknown criteria. My friend the bartender seemed decidedly grumpy about the date (and as he’s been a pro bartender for a long time, there’s a reason we meet people in his bar). And then there’s the fact that he didn’t tell me his last name until I asked on email afterwards, and never would give me his phone number. And although the slightly-aggressive kissing was flattering at the time, when combined with Saturday night plans that elicited the comment from my dearest friend in Tucson: “Isn’t that what the kids these days refer to as a ‘booty call’?” well, like I said, red flags.
And so, it was a disapointing weekend.
However, as I sit here in the Backyard of Gorgeousness, with cedar waxwings and western tanagers and sparrows in my apple trees and Ray-the-dog curled up beside me on the couch and a wee fire in my firepit, I have to say — after all those years in the wilderness, after all those years renting crappy apartments and hoping for fellowships in graduate school and being broke and not knowing what was going to happen next — I look out over my garden, from which I ate a delicious dinner of sauteed Senza Testa greens with homemade pancetta; I look out at the gorgeous thunderheads shot through with that western light we call “God beams,” and really, despite all the difficulties of the past few years, I feel pretty lucky.
I have a good job. I have a house I bought myself with my own money and that slowly, bit by bit, I’m fixing up. I have a garden and two great dogs. I live in the kind of town where even when I go to meet a guy at a bar who turns out to be a snake, there are people who make sure to point out to him that I live here, that there are people looking out for me (and my sweet fraternal friend called that night to make sure I’d gotten home okay). I have a firepit, and a lovely yard and a Coleman lantern hanging from the branch of an apple tree by which I can reread Siri Hustvedt’s terrific novel What I Loved and a table in the backyard where I can eat my lovely dinner and write this post and four terrific girls, my pretend children, who will be back from LA for the summer next week and a whole town full of nice people who love me.
It would have been fun if the RFD had worked out, but well, looking at the glorious thunderheads lit up in the late-evening light — it’s hard to be too upset about it.