In my new state of realization that I wasn’t going to quickly or easily meet the new love of my life, I tried settling into a new rhythm. My philosophy of the period pretty much consisted of ‘be open to everything and rule out nothing at first glance’. My girlfriends were luckily more than happy to help me get out and interact with people instead of sitting alone mourning the loss of my last love.
One of my best friends was very fond of karaoke. There was one particularly seedy establishment which met all the requirements of not being fancy, selling booze and the aforementioned singing to bad instrumental renditions of famous songs. Rich was out with his friends doing the same thing my girlfriend and I were doing on that particular night; relaxing after a work week. I thought he was cute and the boldest member of Rich’s party struck up a conversation with our twosome, which lead to us joining tables and musical forces.
Rich was physically fit, had lovely blue eyes, and had dark hair (that looked as if it wouldn’t be there in the next 10-15 years based on the way it was already faintly receding). He was painfully quiet and didn’t sing, but at the end of the night I slid him my number on a piece of karaoke request paper and walked off into the night. Rich took advantage of my offering and used that number to set our first date. We scheduled a breakfast at a place close to me and we learned about each other as people do. It was not a horror show as some first dates are, nor was it sparks and fireworks. I mostly remember thinking of how cute he was, I thought he was at least 25 to my 28 years.
He ordered blueberry pancakes, drenched them in syrup and cut the stack as if he were going to put all of the pieces in his mouth at once. It made me chuckle and I mentioned it. He did not think it was as funny as I did. After breakfast we decided to go for a walk. It was a nice summer day and we chose a spot not too far from the center of town. It was there that I found out my date was barely able to drink at bars. He was the youngest person I had ever dated and an image of me as a cougar crossed my mind. I was awkward to the point of making him uncomfortable, poor thing. But in honor of my new philosophy I should be open minded.
Thus started my adventure with a younger man. He was full of life and energy, though a quiet introspective type. He read a lot and enjoyed quiet together time instead of louder more crowded ways to pass the time. We didn’t talk about where things were going or what could be, but I thought we had something good going. Rich was responsive and happy, and did I mention cute? Then one day I didn’t hear from him. 24 hours passed, then 48. I started to get worried. I called and left voice messages and a few texts. Then he called while I was out looking at art with a friend. In the middle of the night he had packed up his few belongings and caught a ride back to his home state of New York. He didn’t think to call to tell me beforehand to say goodbye. I was in a panic. How could he do that?! Didn’t I at least deserve I good bye? We had been dating for a few months at that point. Did it all mean nothing?!
Now, because I hadn’t allowed myself to heal from my previous break up, I was feeling particularly vulnerable to rejection. Though I wouldn’t have been able to tell you that in the moment. In any case I took the news of my new beau jumping ship fairly hard. I suggested trying to make a long distance thing work and went so far as to plan a trip over to see him (yes I bought a plane ticket). And then we had a fight about how he left like a thief in the night and I never heard from him again. Not only was I mad at how immature Rich was (though what did I really expect? Consideration? Thoughtfulness? A 45 second phone call?) but I was out over $500! Lessoned learned about dating boys, they don’t care about your feelings OR your money. Talk about a double whammy.