I looked around the restaurant nervously. I used to be really good at the dating thing, but years of not using my dating and flirting muscles had led to their atrophy. Blind dates like this one were especially trying because let's face it; a blind date is like sticking your arm in a geyser. Most of the time nothing happens, but if your timing isn't right you can get hurt pretty badly.
A regular date is bad enough. But at least then you've already met the person and know something about them. You've more than likely asked them if they'd go out with you and they've said "yes."
That tends to boost a guy's confidence because you have a woman who is already interested in you enough to want to spend some time with you. If it doesn't work out, well that's what dating is about anyway; thinning the herd to find the one for you.
Blind dates on the other hand are usually a case where well meaning friends hook up two people who are probably perfect for each other because no one else wants either one of them.
The people involved are usually described with terms like, "She's got a great personality," or "He's a great guy." When you get out of your twenties it's even worse. People start wondering why you've never been married.
Of course the absolute worst is when you have been married before. If you've been divorced it's like saying that someone else wanted you but once they got a chance to live with you they found out what's really wrong with you and sent you back.
I sometimes have the impression of divorced people as being like those characters from that Rudolph the Red nosed reindeer Christmas Special. They belong on the island of misfit toys. I couldn't believe I was that desperate, but here I was.
Before I got too far into my mental wanderings a group of women showed up at the door. They all looked through the restaurant. At first I thought they were all together but the way they each looked around told me they weren't. The first one had to weigh four hundred pounds. Oh please don't let it be her, I thought. Whew, dodged a bullet, a woman at another table waved her over.
Holy shit please let it be her, I thought looking at the next one. Unfortunately a guy came over to her and took her away.
Uh Oh! I might jut have to sneak out of here. The last one was thin, bone thin and about six foot ten. Her neck muscles didn't appear to be strong enough to support the weight of the lenses in her glasses so she was constantly looking down.
"Looking for me?" the sultry voice came from over my shoulder. I turned away from "Big Ethel," and was pleasantly surprised.
She was about 5' 4" and built like somebody's wife. She was built for comfort. She was neither fat nor overly skinny. She was perfect. She had a few extra pounds on her, but what normal mid thirties woman doesn't.
She had collar length rich brown hair that flared out and was longer on one side in the front. Her blue eyes sparkled mischievously. She was still smiling at me. She had generous breasts and well rounded hips. Just a little bit of rounding in the tummy. Her legs had probably been spectacular once and they were still very good.
All in all, I was happy. She wasn't a super model; she was the girl next door all grown up.
"You are Rudy, aren't you?" she said, bringing me back to reality.
"Uhm Rudy," I said smoothly. She laughed, and it was the most beautiful sound in the universe. Suddenly my feet got really interesting to me and I had to look at them.
She gently grabbed my chin. "Let me guess. You're a little bit nervous about meeting me, right?" she asked.
"I think it's really cute. You're a nice looking man. You have nothing to be nervous about. Let's have a great dinner and get to know each other, okay." With only a couple of sentences she'd restored my confidence.
Guys really are the ones who need to have confidence on a date. The women are usually the ones who are in control of everything.
We ordered, she got some odd sounding thing that she said she loved. I was torn. I really liked this woman and I had to analyze everything I did. Even down to the food I ordered. If I ordered steak, she'd probably think I was overly aggressive and expected to fuck her tonight. On the other hand I also couldn't order "Chicken," in any way shape or form. So I played it safe and got the grilled salmon. It wasn't red meat, but "grilled," still sounded macho enough.
We had a very pleasant conversation during dinner. We laughed a lot and smiled at each other a lot too. We seemed to have similar dispositions and I found myself wondering why this woman wasn't married.
After the meal she suggested we get some ice cream and go for a walk, because she'd enjoyed the time we had so far and wanted to get to know me more.
That was when the fucking train went off the rails. "Ice cream," I hissed. My normally composed face grimaced at the mention of it.
"You don't like Ice cream?" she asked gently. I think she was afraid I was going to freak out.
Maybe she recognized something in my eyes but her smile came back.
"I think there's a story here isn't there?" she asked. I pursed my lips and nodded.
"So why don't we pass on the ice cream and just take a walk on the riverfront while you tell me about it?"
I paid the check and we walked out the door. We went to the river walk near the restaurant entrance. It was a cool night so I gave her my jacket. The moon was high in the sky and lit up the night and the river beautifully. I really liked this woman and I wanted to get to know her a lot better. In my mind I could see us together so she'd have to know sooner or later.
"I've been married before," I began. "I'm a widower."
"Me too," she said quickly. "More than once, three times actually."
"Well it would have to be something like that with you," I said. "You're so nice I can't imagine anyone ever wanting to leave you, so I didn't think you were divorced."
"Aren't you a sweetie," she said grabbing my arm and pulling me closer. In the position we were in my arm was resting against the side of her ample breast and yep it gave me a tent.
"Go ahead, tell me your story," she said.
"I'd been married for about 8 years when I figured it out," I said. "I'd been out of town on business, and was halfway down the street from our home when I noticed the ice cream truck in front of it. My wife Justine was the last one in line behind two or three kids.
She only had on a T shirt and some tight shorts which gave me the impression that she'd been working in the yard. When the last of the kids had paid for his Popsicle and left I noticed Justine get into the ice cream truck and he pulled off.
I was shocked. I couldn't think of any reason for her to get into an ice cream truck. I went home and unpacked while I waited for her to return. When she came in she looked at me nervously and I could tell she'd done something wrong.
She came over and tried to kiss me, but I pulled away from her. I still hadn't decided what to do yet. The first thing in my head was to file for a divorce first thing in the morning. I rejected that because; A I didn't have any concrete proof. And B in our state, she'd get half of everything.
I really didn't like the idea of paying the bitch to continue fucking around on me. I guess deep down inside I loved her and I didn't want to just throw away my happy life. But I think even then I knew that my life with Justine was over. Justine was a beautiful girl. I say girl because even into our thirties she was built like a high school cheerleader. She didn't have any pom-poms but she had everything else. The tight muscular legs, the round little butt. God I loved her.
"What's wrong honey?" she asked.
"I think I have a cold," I said.
"I'm going to take a shower," she smiled. "I'll cook dinner and then we can spend some time together." From the way she said that I could tell she wanted to try to give me some guilt sex.
I didn't eat much; actually I just pushed the food around on the plate.
"Well if you're not in the mood to eat, maybe we should go take a nap," she said.
"Actually I'm not in the mood to sleep either," I said.
"Neither am I," she said smiling at me.
"Justine, I've been on the road for a while," I said. "I need to do some things."
"But..." she said.
"Maybe later," I told her.
I headed out to the garage. When I really need to think, I wash my car. My car meaning my 2009 Mustang GT 45th anniversary edition, not the Ford Fusion that I drove on my road trips and for work.
I didn't go into the house until long after Justine had gone to sleep. I got up early the next morning and left the house. I was too depressed to go to work so I called in. I told my boss I'd picked up a bug and needed a couple of days off to kick it.
He was so happy about the sales I'd made on my road trip that he told me to take as long as I needed. I parked my car around the block from us and snuck into the house next door from us. I'd thought about it the previous night. Our neighbors were away for a month and had left their keys with us so we could water their plants and pick up their mail.
.... There is more of this story ...