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 Economist and I met online, and then we met in person at my favorite date bar. According to the Internet, it’s New York’s favorite date bar too. I’m pretty sure that’s my fault. I’ve put in some miles there.
I had read the Economist’s book so I started off with a crush. I love homework. He thanked his wife in the acknowledgements. The book was new and so, too, was his divorce. He also thanked his kid and lived in Brooklyn. Since my last encounter with a Brooklyn dad landed me in Manhattan’s finest emergency room, it was only a cautious crush.
The Economist had not read my book. He didn’t do his pre-date prep. But he had green eyes, movie star looks, and all his hair.
Economist: My publisher wants me to write another book. I don’t know what to write about.
Economist: The vampire book of economics?
Me: You’ll be a huge bestseller.
I have this theory that in every relationship there’s a hint in the first two dates, some telegraphic moment, the clue that gives away the ending. I started listening for the thing I will need to explain to my shrink six months from now.
Economist: She didn’t think I loved her enough, cherished her. Maybe she’s right. It shouldn’t be so hard for me to remember a birthday or anniversary.
Me: You know that’s why they invented the iPhone, right?
I have another theory: I’m pretty sure that the way a date talks about his ex is how I’ll be spoken of someday.
Economist: I told her we could have a kid and get a divorce or we could have two kids and get divorced.
Me: I don’t understand, why was divorce a necessary part of the story?
Economist: I knew before we got married. I always knew. We had a big fight right before the wedding.
Me: So why did you marry her?
Economist: I was afraid of moving to New York alone.
What if the Economist is a total narcissist, incapable of cherishing? And he doesn’t do his homework. Maybe he needs to be bullied into a relationship? Maybe he can’t be alone. Were these the Easter eggs of doom?
We ordered another round. I told him he was wrong, that is, his economics book was wrong about sex. He asked about my dating column and I told him he was quarry.
The cocktails kicked in and we became those people on a first date who can’t keep their hands off each other. We were like teenagers at a religious retreat.
Every time his hand went up my skirt, it landed on my Spanx. I’m shaped like the fit models from the wardrobe department of Mad Men, these curves need scaffolding. For the next two hours his hand would wander to my girdle–just call a Spanx a spade–I rolled my eyes, and he would move his hand away.
It was a great date. But I didn’t go home with him. For once I actually did have an early morning meeting.
I am hoping there will be a second date. I would like to get to know him naked. Maybe he’ll give away the ending. Maybe it’s a beginning.