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The Dating Project | ‘The Foreigner’

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.

Photo by Moya McAllister, moyamcallister.com

I had gotten another set up from the VC. After a quick email introduction, we exchanged numbers and my date began texting furiously, right away.

     I want to meet you right now.
     Seriously?

He is in New York only for a few days, but wants to move here permanently. And he is persistent. It is Friday afternoon, so I offer him 3 to 6, between my conference call and my evening event.

How will we find each other?
We both have phones.
I don’t always have a charge on my phone.

He texts me a picture of himself. My blind date appears to be extremely cute, so OK, fine, I bite: I send him the link to my entirely googlable author page and consider him lazy for not having found it himself.

Like!!!

I am, needless to say, dreading this date. But I dread them all. My dreadometer is off. I go forth into that good afternoon.

When we meet he is unshaven, adorable, and wearing bright blue tennis shoes. English is not his first language. It is not, alas, even a passing second.

We have wine at a cafe and he wants to hold my hand. Am I old fashioned? Hand holding in a cafe 10 minutes into a first date seems so forward, but, he is so cute, so, OK, fine, I’ll bite: He can hold my hand over wine.

Then he proposes. It turns out, he is a very lightweight drinker.

Can I come to your place and use your WiFi?

This is the 21st century version of looking at my etchings. But he seems harmless. Young. And so very, very cute. We walk toward my apartment and I get a passionate and loving kiss on the way home. As nice as it is to be kissed passionately and lovingly, he’s a total stranger and I’m not quite feeling it. That is, I’m not running at the same speed he is. And I say so.

I am an entrepreneur, a dreamer. I imagine how life could be. As CEO of a start up, you have no revenue, you have to live in your dreams.

I worry that I am an old lady who lives somewhere else.

I am so drunk. And so jetlagged.

He lies down on my bed.

Wow, you have a lot of books.
I even wrote one.
I have read only three books: Start-up Nation. The Goal—it is about how businesses have to have a goal, you know? And one other is about the Holocaust.
Which book about the Holocaust?
No, I think it was about the Mossad.

He wants to cuddle. Cuddling him is a lot like being groped. He is so very cute that it is nice for all of 12 seconds before I realize I want to cuddle him as much as I do a Labrador puppy. That is, not so much.

But I am Latin.
But I am not.
This isn’t about sex. If I wanted a one night stand I would have brought condoms. I did not bring condoms. I like you and I want to settle down.
Please take your hand off my ass.

He starts arguing with me. And there it is: I am arguing in bed on a first date.

Have I been too tolerant? He was beautiful so I let him invite himself him over to my place though there was no remote chance of happily ever after. Or have I grown so twisted that I think men are only good for either a) scratching an itch or b) marriage? He is a candidate for neither. He is 10 years younger than I am and seems appropriate for something in between, closer to a) but not quite.

I get out of bed, offer him unlimited WiFi, compliment myself on having cast a spell on a man who will clearly be a catch when he grows up. Or maybe the spell will break when he sobers up. Then I go back to work. It’s 4:30 on a Friday.

He leaves. He also leaves the toilet seat up.

One proposal, one break up, one and a half hours.

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