And I stayed in the game long enough to notice my priorities changing (from “You should see him put away the Jim Beam! When I married at 31, I had been officially dating for half my life.I devoted a great deal of energy to it, and I seldom gave myself time off.It never occurred to me that everyone else in the office —rolling their eyes—had already passed on it. He’s got his own dating stories, of course, which we studiously avoid.
And after budgeting for eye-catching hosiery, breath mints and cab fare home, there’s not much left over for private detectives.
I once accepted a marriage proposal—and a respectable diamond solitaire—from a gentleman who, among other omissions, had neglected to tell me his real name. It’s nearly impossible to avoid a dating disaster or two. Think about it: We’re taught that there’s at least one guy out there that we should, in theory, be able to stand for life.
“Respect yourself,” I’ll say, and “Keep an open mind” and “Drop that loser now.” But I know she’ll probably learn as much from the things that I don’t say.
If I can tell her one thing, I’d like it to be this: Each time your heart gets battered, it heals a little bit bigger.
Or maybe they’ll decide that they prefer to be on their own. I’m due to give birth any day now to my first, and my single life seems very long ago.
I know that they shouldn’t need another person to define and validate them. I’m not sure what I’ll tell my daughter when it’s her turn to date.
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The spot where he was standing was obscured by a mysterious black bar of undeveloped film, as if God—or Mr. Or, as Smokey Robinson’s mama more specifically told him, “You better shop around.” It’s not as fun as it sounds, of course — but it occasionally came close.
I remember one year when she took a photo of me with my high school homecoming date. Nothing dramatic, nothing messy; just an unspoken legacy that I was to avoid the big mistake they had made: settling down early.
If two people do manage to come together, for mutual awkward conversation and cocktails, the overwhelming odds are that at least one of them will be rejected. He’s not one of the brash young Ferragamo heirs, for one thing. (A girlfriend just today e-mailed me: “A guy I once went on a blind date with is now calling me several times a day from his mental institution, asking if I understand that every time President Bush says the word ‘challenge,’ he’s actually sending him a secret message, since his name is Charlie and it sounds an awful lot like challenge.”) The hardest part of the single life is the uncertainty: How is it all going to turn out?