My biggest fear in regard to most things in life is the unknown. Oh sure, this is not uncommon – many of us like a sense of control and order in our lives that, when threatened, makes us entirely uncomfortable. I like to know what’s about to happen. It does not mean that I had a hand in planning it (because lord knows I’m an awful planner-aheader) but despite that juxtaposition I really do like simply being aware of the path ahead of me.
This is why one of my greatest fears when it came to dating was exactly that: what am I getting myself into now?
I always had this irrational idea that when I went on a first date with someone there would be something about them that was so glaringly different from what I thought, I wouldn’t know what to do. This especially applies to the online or blind date world when you only have a small glimpse of who this person is. Your friend calls you up and says, “Hey I have the perfect guy for you. He’s smart, driven, and loves cotton candy.” You’re all, “I’m in!” without asking anything else. Because your friend would tell you everything you needed to know, yeah? And that person would tell you everything you needed to know on their online dating profile, yeah?
But what if, what if, you get to the restaurant or bar or park bench or wax museum and you’re standing there waiting for him and he approaches. Something seems different than what you expected but you can’t quite grasp what it is. He comes in, he sits down, he removes his jacket and oh, there it is: his right arm stops just above the elbow.
You’re not disgusted. You don’t think he’s only a quarter of a person by any means. But. Come on. No one thought to mention it?
So you sit there and wait, urging yourself to look anywhere else. You start talking about work, your day, possibly your family. Your brain is on a different track, yelling out to you to just ask about the fucking arm!
Is he really not going to mention it?
Will he be offended if you do?
So you try a different tact like, “Once I got this really brutal bruise on my leg playing floor hockey.” You hope that is a decent enough segue for him but surprisingly it is not. He still does not mention it. You wonder if he is playing a game. Does he always play games? Does he enjoy making women look helpless and stupid? He must. He must.
Or maybe he is just tired of talking about it. “Oh, this old thing? Yeah, funny, isn’t it?” But he doesn’t even say that. Nothing.
You decide to not bring it up, it’s his thing just like he shouldn’t ask about your cowlick just yet. It’s just not something you point out.
But what if you go the entire date and no one ever mentions it? Will it become like Jerry trying to guess Delores’ name? You sit there the entire time, having a lovely time I might add, but all the while in the back of your mind is this thought about the question you never wanted to ask.
And then it gets to the third date and you guys are all like oh yeah third date, wink wink, nudge nudge, but your brain is still baffled. Do you look at him and ask, “Well can you… like do you… do we have to… is it different because…?” But you still don’t say it and he’s offended because you just questioned his manhood in some way.
Then he leaves and never calls you again.
You aren’t too broken up about it, really – you find someone else that you also like and you also get to the third date with. But it will always be the unanswered question in your life.
Thank god I am no longer single.