I’m pretending today is a sick day so I can just stay home in my pajamas and catch up on my to-do list. Today’s innovative strategy for tackling the list is to integrate work and personal tasks so that it looks like this: “breakfast, meditation, email B re: gifts, write card to D and J, assemble work to-do list, blog, clean closet floor, install shoe rack, do symposium agenda… ” etc (that’s only half of it). So far, so good.
Yesterday was a really good day that ended with email drama. I came home from the date wanting to blog all-caps WE LIKE THE ARTIST! but I restrained myself since I was then off to a bowling birthday party (good lord do I suck at bowling) which pretty much took me up through bedtime. The drama was related to an email that followed the date, which resulted in the kind of email fail for which email is world-renowned.
After parking coincidentally adjacent to my sperm bank, I showed up at the appointed meeting spot to find that the Artist is tall and cuter than his single online photo in which he’s doing kind of a half-scowl. I felt comfortable right away, we settled on a brunch place and had such a good conversation in line that people around us were chiming in. We sat outside–it was absolutely gorgeous and hot in the sun. He’s interesting and earnest and whenever he touched on something personal he had this way of bookmarking it as such and then taking a step back from it and then asking more about me.
We finished up lunch and went around the corner to the Center for the Book street fair called Roadworks where they were pressing linoleum cut tiles with an actual steamroller, kind of a cool gimmicky thing to promote printmaking and the crowd gave a huge round of applause every time a new print was lifted up and displayed.
We strolled, I bought a journal and a card, he bought a gorgeous print of redwood trees for his parents for $200. Afterward, I walked with him to his new Prius he bought the night before so I could check out the differences with my 6-year old one (there are many), he drove me to my car, I gave him a hug and he said he’d call me.
Then he sent this cryptic email that I shared with C in the bowling alley in an effort to understand its point. It was about whether or not I’d looked at the art website he shared with me via email like a week before, with all of his paintings, sketches, etc. I had seen the site and been genuinely impressed with it–but between emails and our live conversation it just didn’t come up. I perhaps jumped to the conclusion that he was accusing me of committing a crime by not specifically addressing it, and that this was some type of nutso dealbreaker for him, which got my hackles up. So my last response was like, “I can’t believe you’re calling me out on this after such a nice time…what am I missing??” And then he just called.
Now that I’ve listened to his calm, rational voice on my voicemail it all kind of makes sense again and I feel like a dork. Probably I jumped the gun. C will tell you though–the original email was weird. He says he just wondered if I missed it originally because he’d sent 2 emails in a row–he wanted to share it, not scold me for not mentioning it. He tried to make it lighter and flirty in his next email (which actually made it worse), which is why he picked up the phone because I sounded upset and he wanted to explain. And see me again.
Sigh! Why is dating so complicated. Am I just going to jump on every hint of odd behavior, assuming there are mountains of oddities behind it? Is my baggage piled so high that it’s a fortress? Can we all just get along?
Even as I peer in on the woes of my friends in the kinds of long-term, committed relationships I aspire to be in, I see that even the best of them are full of really enormous challenges at one time or another. And sometimes it’s non-stop challenging. Just another one of those life arenas where you never really “get there,”and it truly is about the journey. (I’m feeling grateful right now to have separated the dating journey from the mama journey–theoretically, at least, it helps to simplify.)
So, in an effort to continue learning about myself, and maybe also him, I’m backing away from the keyboard and picking up the phone.