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The Dating Project | ‘The Juggler Part 2’

Sarah Rose

Dating with a view to marriage is no other thing than work. I am a writer in New York, but Sex & the City this ain’t. Carrie had friends who weren’t repopulating the planet. She had fancy shoes. I have fuzzy Crocs. I get commuter rail and Brooklyn birthday parties. She got limos and glam soirees. I actually exist.

This is a project and it is a schlep. I used to believe in surgical strikes, now I’m carpet bombing. I’m on three different dating websites. I ask total strangers if they know anyone single because I have dated the pool of my friends’ friends’ friends dry. Somewhere, someone is going to make me laugh and swoon. I haven’t met him yet. I’m trying.

I hope it will end. Happily.

The second date was much as the first. Funny. Geeky. Alcohol fueled. And still he asked me no questions.

I learned that he had grown up on a farm, with horses, cows, and a goat. His dad was a math teacher, and he was about to inherit the same piano for the second time; pianos are like that.

Without being asked, I volunteered information: Midwest. Writer. Loves opera, plays no instrument. I wanted him to know things about me too. The date ended as the first with another great kiss. I got an email the following day:

I feel bad telling you this, but I don’t think I want to continue. I’ve had a very good time, so I hope you don’t feel like I’ve led you on. I just don’t quite feel like we’re a match.

Sorry.

No worries! I wrote back. I’ve sent that email a million times. So it goes. My first second date in two years was not to be my last.

Then I thought, he knows bearded ladies. He is friends with several bearded ladies. And he found me unattractive. Should I grow a beard?

While that was sinking in and I was sinking lower, he emailed again:

Here’s an idea. Do you want to stay in touch? I think it would be fun to be friends. Actually, you wouldn’t happen to have tonight free, would you?

I agreed to go. I don’t really want new friends, but this was now a matter of reportorial interest. Talk is sexy. With all that talking, he still didn’t want me. Was it because I had spoken about myself? Or because I have cloven feet. As a journalist with a dating column, I have the unenviable privilege of a professional excuse to find out.

We had dinner. There was laughter. I tried to discover why he found me appealing enough to know but not to kiss. I pressed. I let him know he was quarry for a column. He gave nothing away.

The date ended long after it started, and before I was even home, he emailed:

That was six hours! Wow. As Kermit says, “Time’s fun when you’re having flies.”

That’s because you just had a really good third date, I wrote back. And it’s better when I get a kiss at the end, Frog.

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