Not another a first date.

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I’d seriously considered hand picking the weirdos again. That was moderately entertaining and made for some hilarious reading to go back to when I’m feeling lonely.

I kept trying to force myself to shift gears into dating or making some semblance of an effort to stop the eternal comparison between He-whom-I-want-so-badly and Mr. whoever is standing in front of me.

It’s just not working. Not at all.

I got a handle on the daydreaming, but nights are still an epic wasteland of insomnia or graphic dreams detailing everything I miss so much. I’ve never been so tortured. Consequently, I lose interest at the speed of light when trying to replace him.

At 9 PM, I’m trying to move on. I open the variety of apps and see the same thousand men who don’t interest me in the slightest. I found myself collecting men with a vague resemblance to the man I love, or worse…

With the same name.

None of my intentions are pure with that last one.

So I’m hanging up my high heels and packing away my makeup. I’m so stuck that I’m a contagious broken heart, ricocheting around other people who are looking for love (or ass, & don’t even get me started on those guys). I’m looking for peace. There’s a huge difference and I don’t want to hurt someone else in the process of feeling better. I’m not a selfish asshole anymore.

I just happen to be wildly in love with the wrong person. It happens. It’s frustrating as hell, but it’s far worse to start creating casualties as a result.

Because by 9 AM the next morning, I don’t want to even text them back. My phone is like a choir of beautiful, available men… all singing me their own version of compliments and dick pics in hopes that I will say yes.

They’re doctors, lawyers, pilots, students, farmers, fishermen, etc… The internet allows you to select from a vast range of men. Thin or thick, tall or short, smart or hot… it’s like a catalog. Dominant, intelligent, successful, funny men. Every bit my type.

The one thing they aren’t: is him.

I don’t want to be on a date with anyone else, and faking it or trying to is absolute misery. I owe it to my date to not be subconciously wishing he were someone else the entire time. That’s shitty.

So the Dumpling and I went to the farmer’s market yesterday and bought another dozen tomato plants… a few more peppers… some pumpkins, and so on. I filled up my garden like I said I wasn’t going to do, because it fills my time and my heart with joy.

A dozen dahlias? Hell yeah, why not?

But I’ll pass on the date, thanks.

I have hours to sit and think about him and it sucks, for sure… but sometimes the only way out of hell is to walk straight through the center of it. It’s been months… surely I’m near the damn exit?

If nothing else… I have: red and golden beets, kale and swiss chard, spinach, carrots,2 varieties of basil, 6 varieties of potatoes, 2 varieties of peas, shallots, strawberries, zucchini, a rainbow of dahlias, 18 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, purple and green pole beans, mammoth delphiniums, arugula, zinnias, and 6 varieties of hot peppers.

Ya know… since I promised myself I was going to have a small garden this year.

It is nothing short of therapy for me and after a busy day in the dirt yesterday, I already feel a little better. That could also be because I deleted all the dating apps and flushed all the creepy new aspects of online dating down the proverbial toilet.

I’ll take dirt over dick, any day.

Not exactly sure what I’m going to do with all the vegetables that will result from the emotional overplanting of a lifetime, though.

Perhaps a little emotional crutch canning later this fall?

Dinner and a choke.

Part of me feels like taking this date to my grave, but I just can’t. It just wouldn’t be right.

I met David on Bumble. He’s very George Clooney meets Napoleon. Cute with a side of small man syndrome. Handsome with impeccable spelling and grammar resulting from his journalism major and long hours in the gym. Clearly successful and aggressive. Loves football and full disclosure.

A miniature Great White Shark, if you will.

I came home from work on Friday to my favorite roses, with a note that said:

Hi Baby, now your hands will be free on Saturday. XO Alex (David is my middle name)

#1 flagThere’s only one reason a man doesn’t use his real name when dating…

I wasn’t nervous for the first time in my entire life. I was excited. He was smart, funny and handsome. Success is great, but to be completely honest, I was most grateful that he helped dull the heartache over the man I adore. He was easing my frustration, though falling a trillion miles short of he-who. But I was trying.

He made reservations at my favorite restaurant and I drove nervously to meet him, early Saturday evening.

I met him on the patio of the beautiful hotel beside the restaurant and he kissed me.

Not a good kisser. Eeek. I ducked away and walked swiftly to our table. He made a point to sit across from me so that he could stare down the front of my dress.

It hit me like a truck in that moment.
I missed the man I was there to forget. I was more heartsick in the presence of some bullshit substitute. Dating was maybe not my best idea, because it only made me compare the two and consequently mock the sad, little stunt double seated across from me.

I can feel you all shake your heads at me, but.. damn it… I missed him so much in that moment that I’d have sold my soul to anybody capable of switching the two.

My dates hands were ridiculously clean and well manicured. His nails were buffed to a shine, or polished. I cracked a joke about them.

J- Wow… you’ve never pulled a weed in your life, have you?

A- Can’t say that I have?

He starts to explain that he’s driving the Coroner’s Van because his car broke down the week before and he had to borrow the neighbors. I’m beginning to count flags.

#2 flag Strange that he wouldn’t mention it during the constant stream of texts…

He dropped the bomb I’d been starting to suspect he was hiding and admitted he was MARRIED. Separated for two years and just days away from a legal separation. When I watched him pay for dinner with cash, I knew he was not as close to that separation as he’d like me to believe. He’d planned ahead and was holding an envelope from the bank… I know a married man covering his tracks when I see one.

#3 flagIt’s not very often that people pay cash for a $150 tab. Unless they’re worried about the paper trail a debit card would create.

I was regretting telling him I had until 10, looked at my watch and saw that it wasn’t yet 9. I decided to end the uncomfortable evening, early.

J- Well hey I’m gonna get going! You have a long drive ahead and I’m exhausted. Thank you for dinner.

A- You want to wrap up early?

J- I do.

We left and he walked me to my car. He pulled his necktie off and smiled sideways at me, as he pulled it over my head and tightened it around my neck. I wasn’t sure what to say. The last time that happened to me it was a very intimate moment and I was naked, not in the parking lot of a restaurant.

I gave him an awkward side hug and climbed into my car, fastening my seatbelt around my little black dress… now trimmed by an ugly silk tie. Oy.

Which is when he leaned in my car window, slipped a card into my purse, kissed me on the lips and choked me. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he thought this was something hot and exciting, but all it really prompted was a reminder to take that concealed weapons class I’ve been considering. I’m pretty sure I have bruises from his hands, if that tells you anything. He gave me a sultry look and I laughed as I rolled up my window and drove away. I hung out until I saw him leave, then went back to retell the horrible tale to my best girl.

Her face said it all.

Then we opened the card.

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… …. I’m an atheist and I’m offended. This redefines presumption.

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He’s a Bears fan, and I love Brett Favre… but never did I think that admission would earn me a pair of Green Bay earrings as an inappropriate first date gift.

Live and learn, I guess…. oh and YUCK.

I did have some spectacular sweet pea and asparagus risotto though. 🙂