My first date with Steve 16 years ago in San Francisco – we went to Olive Oil’s on the water – I remember we both ordered and never touched a bite – we were part of a threesome – Steve, Doug and I worked and lunched (read: margaritas) together often. Doug couldn’t go to lunch that day. (He ended up being my best man.) Steve and I were at the bar waiting for our table and he was telling me about this woman he had a crush on, who was living with a photographer he had designed a studio for, we got our bloody marys and went to our table – after we ordered, he got very serious, and he said, “I’m thinking about leaving the company.” I was shocked. “Why?” He said, “Because I am in love with you.” That’s when our food arrived. The train got on the tracks pretty swiftly after that – he took me back to the office and insisted on driving me home after work – I used to ride the Number 42 bus home to my hovel across from the whore motel and the methodone clinic. On the way home, he said he wanted to show me some things so he took me by a Maybeck that he liked so much, then he knocked on the door of the photographer’s studio to show me what he had done to it. Then he dropped me off at my apartment. I was married to my second husband – had been for 4.5 months – it was not going well – obviously – the total marriage time was 5 months. I knew it was going poorly when I got on a plane to Spain and sat next to a guy name Zane and realizing my new husband’s name was Gayne – I felt like I was in for a lot of pain and cried as I looked out the window – “alone again, naturally.”
I never learned the art of dating – nor did I learn the art of breaking up. Like a coward, I moved to the next relationship without finishing the last. Reminds me of that song by Amy Rigby – “The Trouble with Jeannie” which concerns the ex-wife of a present husband and she says “how can I pick up where she never left off” – it’s a great song – “we’re like a club of two who’ve seen him with his clothes off” – the “trouble wth Jeannie is she’s all right” – “can somebody explain to me this modern life.”
S asked me to ask G how she tells a guy on the first or second or whatever date that things are not going well – G, a self-professed professional dater, said she sucks at it. She usually takes it all on herself and says “Look it’s me” when she really means “ick!” – I don’t have the answer either. In the book SuSu sent me that I stayed up last night reading, the author says “I could never break up with anyone, so I cheated to get out of relationships.” A universe of cowards.