A date

Keeping an open mind and heart to the possibilities

I remember dating—one interview after another. It’s been a long time since I went on a real date, where there was a reasonable chance of something nasty happening. Janice and I had two dates, fireworks Friday night and a picnic Monday, and we were a couple, just like that.

Since at least high school, I have had friendships with women where we could hang out in any context without my ever making a move on them. It’s not necessarily that I never thought about exploring their orifices; I definitely have, even if only long enough to decide, “Oh, Hell no!” There are some I have to reconsider every time I see them; it’s that close.

I have a few women friends I occasionally have coffee or a meal with. They’re all friends of Janice too, sometimes primarily friends of Janice, and being with them is entirely unromantic. That’s changing.

Based on early signs, I resigned from Zoosk.com a few months ago, in anticipation of not resorting to websites for company. Having seen the very same signs before, I hung on to Match.com just in case, and I may let it go, too.

I recently went on an offline date, and a blind one at that. A reader contacted me and we met for a movie. I actually didn’t think of it as a date right away. I didn’t want to and I tried not to, but sitting there in the theater with a lovely stranger gave me the fantods, something I haven’t experienced in many years and is a sure indication that a date is occurring.

I was intensely aware of her presence and I remembered how often I had sat in that very row with Janice and how that’s all over now, and then I wasn’t even in the theater but in my same old sadness. I don’t think my date noticed me weeping in the dark.

I can’t say I felt much guilt about being in another mutual audition, and Janice would never ask for or expect forbearance from me. I did experience a certain dread, though, and I thought I heard screaming violins in the background, so I’m not making any sudden moves and I’m definitely not going down in the cellar to see what’s making that moaning sound.

In this phase, I have no thoughts of marriage and a family, which is what sprang to my mind and Janice’s when we met. I don’t figure I’ve got more than a handful of years left, and I ain’t aiming to try to find somebody to take Janice’s place—mother of my children and all that. I’ve already had a mate. I’m gonna keep my eyes and heart and mind open just the same.