Forty-eight hours into my dating sabbatical. Or is it more? I’ve never been very good with numbers.
With no romantic possibilities lined up, there is nothing for me to do but look backwards. And with the movie of my romantic life playing in an endless loop before me, I have a chance to review all of my past likes and loves, mess-ups and near misses.
What went wrong? I ask myself. What can I do better?
Or more specifically, have I made a career out of rejecting men?
A married girlfriend planted this seed in my mind. After I filled her in on a recent potential romance that at first excited me and then repelled me, her response was, “Well at least all these guys like you.”
“Are you saying that I constantly reject men?” I asked.
“I don’t know about that,” she said, in no hurry to placate me. “What I mean is men always seem to like you and that’s something. Not all women have that.”
I hung up the phone and felt rotten. Even if she meant it as a compliment, I heard something else and what I heard tapped into my worst fear, which is: If it’s true that many men like me and I’m the one who always, as my mother would say, turns up my little nose at them, then how long will this last? I mean, won’t I stop being appealing at some point?
So I decided to put pen to paper and write myself a list. The list of every single man I had met – either a date or dated – since my divorce eight years ago. I divided it into two categories: One for all the men I fancied but who did not fancy me. And the other for all the men who liked me something awful, to no avail.
Scrunching up my eyes to remember every last one of them, I started writing when the sun went down and was still writing when the sun came up the next morning. Which is another way of saying, I have gone on too, too many dates. So many that perhaps I am running out of men.
What I’m trying to say is I think the reason I had to leave Chicago was that I dated every last, single, Jewish guy. And a few of the non-Jewish ones, as well.
But alas, alack! In the end, it turns out I’m not the naysayer I thought I was! Because in the end, the numbers were about equal! Just as many men said no to me as I said no to them. Or, if you’re an eternal optimist, an equal number said yes to one another.
What a relief! Now I just need to work on saying yes more and we will see where it will lead…