Single In The Suburbs, Installment 105

Could Sara have found her perfect match in Mr. HR Guy—or at least a sympathetic ear?

By Sara Susannah Katz

To read the entire series of articles from the beginning, click here.

n our last installment, our columnist had found a love prospect online who, amazingly enough, also worked in human resources. Will this new guy be able to help her out of her current mess? Or will he be another dating dud?

Thursday, 9 p.m.
Loves to Cook (to be known henceforth as LTC) apparently has not been put off by my heartfelt tale of woe. In fact, he seems to be moved by it and wants to help me make things right.

I go back to his profile to take a closer look at his picture. He appears to be older than me, though
My guess is that she’s as scared about losing her job as I am.
it’s hard to tell. He’s also completely bald, which I don’t mind one bit. I’d rather see a guy with a totally shaved head than a five-strand comb-over. I have often thought that if I suddenly woke up one day and found that I’d turned into a man with the classic male-pattern baldness, I would shave my head immediately. I’m not into the Friar Tuck look. At all.

He has aquamarine eyes and bright, even teeth. I can’t really see his body in any of these pictures because he seems to be standing behind something in every single one. In one shot, he’s standing behind a motorcycle. In another, he’s behind some sort of Greek sculpture in a museum. In yet another, he’s peeking out from behind a full-sized cardboard cutout of Richard Nixon. So, either he has a penchant for posing behind large objects or he’s fat. Well, just like I don’t mind shaved heads, I don’t mind fat people. So far, so good, I guess.

Also in the “plus” column: He won a Scrabble championship. He grows his own vegetables. He has a dog. He watches King of the Hill. His profile is well-written; I don’t see any misspellings or weird language errors like “intensive purposes” or “doggy-dog world.” (Those would be deal-breakers.)

The next issue, though, is this whole “doesn’t want kids” thing. That can be tricky. The question is why he doesn’t want kids. Is it because he has them and doesn’t want to start again with babies and diapers? Is it that he has kids but doesn’t want anyone else’s kids, regardless of their ages? Is he easily aggravated by kids of any age? Does he hate kids? And when I’m in a particularly neurotic mood, I have to wonder: Is he a former sex offender who just can’t be around kids? Please stop rolling your eyes. I’m a mom. I think about
This is a nightmare. To hell with the work log.
this kind of stuff.

Thursday, 10 p.m.
I write back and tell LTC that I’d like to meet him, too. Since it’s a four-hour drive between our respective cities, I suggest we find a place midway. But even a two-hour drive is kind of an investment, so I then suggest we take some time getting to know each other by communicating online for a while or talking on the phone. He responds, calling that “prudent,” and follows with a smiley emoticon.

My challenge now is to stop burdening him with my work woes. I don’t want him to be my counselor and I don’t want to throw him into the Mighty Mouse role, if you know what I mean. And if you don’t know what I mean, look up the theme song and give it a listen.

I took a class once on Jungian archetypes — the classic categories that people often fall into. One was the Hero — the person who, consciously or not, likes to swoop in and make things right, especially for a damsel in distress. The Hero represents the ego, in Jung’s view, and in classic tales, the Hero is the one who winds up fighting the dragon. The problem in relationships — and I experienced this firsthand when I was married to Craig — is that it’s a thrill but also a burden to be a hero, and over time, heroes come to resent the responsibility and the damsel in distress. I take full responsibility for my role in playing the damsel; I realize it’s rooted in being a daddy’s girl.

I decide that I won’t talk to him about work anymore. I want him to see me as an upbeat, successful woman, not as a stressed-out, paranoid nervous wreck.

So I write back and ask him to tell me more about himself. What does he like to do in his spare time? Does he have a lot of online-dating experience? What makes him happy?

I click send and log off my laptop. A good night’s sleep will help me gird myself for whatever new and appalling drama awaits me at work tomorrow.

Sara Susannah Katz is a writer in the Midwest.

Read Single In The Suburbs, Part 106

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