I got an email yesterday from a man I used to work with at a place we'll just call Presitigious U. The email is only two blips long, but the content has thrust upon me (thrust upon me!) a dilemma.
"It occurs to me, Nina, that you live within earshot of the midtown explosion. I hope you are not affected by it. Perhaps you are overseas by now; you were training, I believe, for Kilimanjaro or Inca Trail when last I saw you.
I am finishing summer session at Prestigious U and then I am overseas myself until August 21st. I hope, when we both return to the US, that we can meet up for a drink."
Ahem. Have I just been asked on something sort of resembling a date?
My initial reaction is: absolutely.*
The fact that I even noticed that the email is a possible date request gives me pause. For at least a year, men have been invisible to me. I haven't even felt a glimmer of anything resembling attraction, let alone interest.
The reason is that my last relationship totalled me. (Recently had the,uh, breakthrough moment when I could actually admit that. Good Lord). While totalled, I realized that willfully ignoring the whole show has many advantages.
I have been, for the first time since I was about sixteen, able to look at male creatures simply has fellow creatures. I can be 100% motiveless. I can be friends with male creatures without having a glimmer interest in whether or not X male would smell good if I got close enough to find out. I can enjoy all the magic that is maleness (good heavens I love male creatures) - without confusion or the requisite emotional wonkiness. Also, for the first time, I can sit back and watch other women fall all over themselves in an effort to attract the lovely male creatures. What before I considered a deadly serious business (getting attention from the creatures) is now merely something fun to watch other women try (and mostly fail) at. Great, I tell you. Just great.
Friends and family have been not so gently demanding that I give it another go. Another forty years (I hope) is a long time to go all by yourself (or in this case, myself). (According to them). (Sounds fantastic to me, actually).
Reservation A: he works at Prestigious U and if we actually start dating, I might have to attend PU stuff. *gag*. Also, he is divorced, and while I know many people are divorced for valid reasons... well, it's a long story but the short version is: I could never date a man who has a storehouse of rage built up against some other creature to whom he was once legally bound. (Never again).
Before you ask, yeah. He is smart enough, nice enough, mature enough (late 40s). I don't care about looks (not kidding - totally don't care), but if I did, I'd say he's acceptably attractive. As long as he doesn't spend all (or actually, any) of his time plotting against his ex-wife, it could work. That is, if I were able to actually locate him, visually.
Reservation B (dilemma!): I have no desire to date. However, I might be wise to force myself, kind of the way people force themselves to eat brussel sprouts or endure embarrassing medical exams. Not so appealing, but perhaps for the best.
So, um, I am not begging for comments or anything (ok, I am) but I would like input here. Is it stupid to date if I don't feel like it? Or is this is brussel sprout situation?
*If you are not sure, let me tell you why I am. First, I worked with him for years and I know him to be a shy and reserved and serious man. Also he is an Engish teacher and he knows (due to many a water cooler chat) of my obsession with syntax and sentence rhythm. He knows that I consider parenthetical expressions suggestive - or at the very least, friendly. Intimate. He knows that the semi-colon is the sexiest thing since the double dash. (--). (ooooo). If you doubt this consider the function of the semi-colon; the semi-colon coordinates two clauses - two clauses so closely related in meaning that they require no transitional expression for the reader to understand (nay, feel) the relationship. The clauses, in a really well composed sentence united witha semi-colon actually lose meaning if separated from each other. The clauses, united by the semi-colon, are sun and moon, earth and sky. Peanut butter and jelly, even. The two clauses tango. That he used one in his email to me is, therefore, no accident.