I walked outside my building last night to find the Artist leaning awkwardly against his car in an unflattering sweater and I thought…no. Who can explain these things? It was just a big fat no from the first moment. After he did the gallant car-door-opening on my behalf, I sat in the passenger seat having a small panic attack that this was just all wrong. I gave myself a fast pep talk as he walked around to the other side: “Just let him be who he is and keep track of how you’re feeling. Breathe.” Small relief. Good conversation up to Golden Gate Park but too many peppered references to our already locked-down future together: Please always give me the benefit of the doubt. Our dates should always have a theme. It will be so nice to have someone to do things with.
We parked in the gloomy fog and strolled in to the Academy of Science. Once inside, looking in the aquariums, I longed for the simple life of a fish. It felt like such a big farce. This was just not at all the guy of my imagination. He gave me the strong impression he had not dated in a million years, or maybe ever. Just a rejection story from Burning Man and a conspiracy theory about a former boss… a theme was emerging of being wronged, misunderstood, victimized, the perennial single guy. After seeing the roof and the penguins, I announced, “Let’s get a drink.”
Over at the Alembic, I ordered an Old Fashioned, which can be trusted to take the edge off anything. He asked me what I’m looking for in a relationship. I told him, honestly, that I want to have a family. And, I kid you not, with a quick disclaimer that “I know it’s early,” he told me he would be an awesome dad. He asked if I was open to adoption because he’d been reading up on problems caused by “older dads” (he’s 38). He has always wanted kids and has even considered adopting them on his own. I was thinking, “This is totally nuts.”
I mean–how crazy that here’s a guy just begging for the whole enchilada and I’m on pins and needles hoping he doesn’t touch me. I ordered a second drink.
In the car, I thought I’d let him kiss me good night since it would be one last potentially important piece of information. The information was not good. The information confirmed my decision to let him down easy the next day.
Amazingly, when I walked back into my building, I felt relieved, happy, free, loving my single life. Feeling like I have a backup plan. I’m trying to have a baby without trying to make it work with some guy. I was light as a feather having had the perspective, yet again, of trying and trying to make something wrong feel right which is a huge exhausting burden. I won’t do it.
I sent the following email today:
I’m so sorry but my heart is telling me we’re not a match. You have so many great qualities and talents, and I’ve truly enjoyed getting to know you over the past week. I’m unfortunately just missing that intangible spark.I wish you the best of luck in your search and in all things.