Last weekend I went on a date with chemistry bachelor #3. We went out for dinner, but it was difficult for us to have a conversation because it was the weekend before St. Patrick's Day. Therefore, apparently every bar and restaurant in Chicago was full of drunk people wearing green. Also, bar owners everywhere apparently thought that drunk people in green clothes like loud music a LOT because the music was blaring; everyone had to yell to make themselves heard.
Here is a little bit of what our conversation was like:
CB #3: So, have you ever been here before?
CB #3: I SAID, HAVE YOU EVER BEEN HERE BEFORE?
At that moment, a drunk guy at a table nearby jumped up and started dancing while waving a glass of beer around.
Drunk Guy: WHOOOO!!! I LOVE St. Paddy's Day! Everybody DRINK!
Drunk Guy's friend: Keep dancing! I want to get a video of you so I can put it on Youtube, hahaha!
Drunk Guy: WHOOO, YOUTUBE! Everybody DRINK!
After yelling over the music for a while, we went to a coffeehouse, where, despite the large amounts of caffeine everyone was drinking, the atmosphere was much more tranquil. Unless you count all the people running back and forth in front of the cafe who were screaming for no reason and spilling beer on the sidewalk. (Gotta love Chicago.)
What made this guy different from the last several guys I've gone out with was that I actually liked him. Those feelings that just weren't there when I dated chemistry bachelor #2 all came rushing back when I was with this guy. How did I know I liked him? I mentioned in last week's post that when I'm around a guy I like, I become overly self-conscious. With this guy, I was way too aware of how I thought he must have seen me; because of that I became Super Klutz. (Neurotic Workaholic is my not-so-mild-mannered alter ego; Super Klutz is the superhero I become when I go around trying to save people but end up knocking things over and falling down instead.)
I normally carry Band-Aids with me just because I trip and fall that often, but when I'm around a guy I like it's even worse. I didn't fall down during the date, but I did accidentally knock over my drink. I also made the mistake of talking with my mouth full at one point, so that a piece of bread fell out of my mouth and onto the table in front of him. I was so embarrassed I wanted to distract him by pointing to Drunk Guy, who was now acting like he was going to take off his shirt and do a striptease in front of his cheering friends, and then I wanted to run out of the restaurant and never eat bread again.
The problem was, chemistry bachelor #3 didn't feel the same way about me. I couldn't help noticing that at one point during the evening he spent more time looking around the room than he did at me, as if he was looking for the nearest exit or at least for a less neurotic girl with nicer legs whom he could finish the date with. I sent him a message to say hi the next day, but he didn't answer. And that, in itself, was an answer.
Even though it's too bad that we didn't make a connection, a part of me was still glad that I went on a date with him because for just a little while I got to feel those emotions that I hadn't felt in a long time. Before that night I'd started to think that I'd become some kind of robot who was incapable of feeling anything, the kind you'd see in a science fiction movie who looks and talks like a regular girl, right before she malfunctions and turns into Evil Robot Chick with scary red eyes and then starts attacking everyone.
I have to admit that I briefly had a "woe is me" pity party when he didn't call. I started thinking that maybe I really am the problem. I wondered if there was something about me that repels every guy I'm interested in, yet somehow attracts every guy I would never be interested in.
I thought about how maybe there's a reason that I'm a workaholic. Maybe I'm not meant to become anybody's "one true love" someday. I thought that maybe I should just forget about dating and focus on making my other dreams of becoming a published writer and a respected college professor come true instead. That's not to say that being a workaholic means that you'll be single forever, because of course there are plenty of people who are addicted to work and still manage to have successful relationships. But maybe the fact that my work has always been more important to me than any guy I've ever met means that I'm just not the marrying kind, or even the dating kind.
But I stopped feeling sorry for myself long enough to realize that I haven't given up hope of finding the right guy, at least not yet. "The one" for me will be someone with whom I can be my true neurotic self without making me feel self-conscious about it and who will love me in spite of (or because of) that. I also think "the one" will be someone I'd be willing to take a day off from work for, just so I could spend some time with him.
But I wouldn't take too many days off, of course. Maybe it could just be an occasional afternoon off instead of an entire workday. What can I say? I am and always will be a workaholic.
Check out Daniel Powter's video for his song that came out a few years ago; it's called "Bad Day". I like watching it after a bad day (or a bad date), not only because the song is good but also because of the video's hopeful ending. In a way, watching the video motivates me to keep hoping that something good really will happen for me.
What kinds of things do you do to motivate yourself to keep hoping for what you want?
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