The second date was much as the first. Funny. Geeky. Alcohol fueled. And still the Juggler 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.
“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.”