Lois: Oh, hi, Chris, how was school?
Chris: It was great — I met a girl, Mom.
Lois: That’s wonderful, honey.
Chris: I’m gonna go upstairs and alternate between hopeful excitement and suicidal pessimism!
— Family Guy (season 10 episode 13, “Tom Tucker: The Man and His Dream”)
The good news is that I met someone at the weekend. The bad news is that I don’t know if I’ll ever see her again, or indeed whether she feels anything for me other than a bland sort of friendship.
Ah, that’s got the readership’s attention, hasn’t it? Has your hero Dave-ros finally found someone special? Well, er… the best I can say is “TBC”.
As part of my drive to get out of the house and socialise more, I went on Saturday evening to a pub south of the river for a science fiction gathering, feeling rather like I was a student again (remember I said Meetup.com was a bit like Freshers’ Fayre?). I have to say, I’m in two minds about going back: never have I felt so worryingly normal! And I don’t mean I fitted in with the crowd, I mean they were… well, weirder and dorkier than me (yes, there exists phase space for this configuration point), loud to the point of “annoying woman at work”, and in some cases considerably overweight.
(I know fat people aren’t “evil”, but considering the work I’ve done to lose weight (to say nothing of the remarkable changes my mother has made in her own life), it seems somehow wrong to be that large and do nothing about it! I’m not talking “curvy” here, which is no problem, but “flowing over the edge of the pub seat” — what about their health?)
But in the midst of this carnival of people who don’t seem to have heard words like “deodorant”, “indoor voice” and “Slimfast”, I encountered an attractive Oriental woman, who seemed quite happy to talk to me for ages, even after a stereotypical “trying to talk to a girl” nerd swaggered up and started going on about ships. Indeed, she didn’t mention having a boyfriend at all (unless I misheard at one point!), and revealed that all her friends were marrying off and leaving London as well. She’d even been to the Grand Canyon, like me…
She’s of English birth, but I won’t hold that against her (nor the fact that she’s from “oop North” originally), because even though I said I was done with English women, she’s of exotic heritage and so doesn’t count for the purposes of this self-denial!
I got her full name before I left, so I could “friend” her on Facebook (yes, I know I should have asked for her mobile number, but still). Alas, she’s joined the legion of people who I’ve friended only for it to remain forever at “friend request sent”, not knowing whether that means she’s said “no” and Facebook doesn’t tell me, or just not clicked “yes” yet. She did respond when I wrote to her through the Meetup.com website, but only really to say she would be busy next (this) week and so couldn’t meet me again (a not unfamiliar brush-off), though she did say it was “good” to meet me. I wrote back and said it was okay, let her know my mobile number just in case, and wished her a good week…
So here I am in limbo, not knowing if I’ve got a chance or not. If nothing else, I suppose I at least know the way forward now: keep going to these societies, and try to find a lonely thirtysomething Oriental woman who is also fluent in English (or American English). Of course I want to meet this one again, because she’s a geek like me and enjoys science fiction (and maybe she’ll lend me her Battlestar Galactica (remake) DVDs?), and if not to date her then to add her to my worryingly-small circle of local friends… but right now, the ball’s in her court.
Patience is the thing I need — either to find someone special, or to find out if this particular person is as special as I hope. It often takes ages for me to reconnect with friends I’ve made (“newest friend” finally arranged to meet me at the Castle about two weeks after I first gave him my number!), and some people are more disorganised than me (again, yes, that phase space actually exists).
After all, almost exactly a year ago I got myself overwrought wondering if an American thirtysomething I’d met at a dating site was interested in me, if she was going to write back, if I’d upset her by something I’d said… admittedly in her case it may only have been delaying the inevitable, since I wasn’t flirtatious enough on the phone to get to the next stage. Some women are attractive enough that they have to set a series of tests for any potential boyfriend, just to screen out the losers; perhaps I should feel gratified that I got that far with her (mainly by the simple expedient of being a vegetarian), but it always sucks when you build your hopes up only to see them dashed.
So, for now, the search continues — at least now, in June 2013, it’s begun in earnest! Maybe I shouldn’t be looking for a long-term relationship (or even to “get lucky” ) during this period of putting my life back together… but when have I ever done the right or sensible thing regarding affairs of the heart?