Single In The Suburbs, Installment 117

High on her work triumph, our writer’s catching the eye of men again.

By Sara Susannah Katz

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

n our last installment, our columnist was feeling flirty and celebrating the end of the work investigation that’d left her sanity in tatters over the past few weeks. Her newfound buoyancy caught the eye of the checkout clerk; is this just the confidence boost Sara needs to get back into the dating saddle?

Monday, 6 p.m.
“I’m probably old enough to be your mom,” I say to the adorable kid behind the counter. My face is blazing.

“And that’s a problem, why?” Oh God, there’s that smile again. “And for the record, you don’t look
I know I will savor this moment for a long time.
old enough to be my mother. My big sister, maybe.”

Bless his heart. I know I will savor this moment for a long time. But I don’t think I can take him up on his offer. Truthfully, young guys don’t really do it for me. It would just be too… weird. I thank him for the offer but pass: “Actually, I’m involved with someone right now.” I know it’s a lie; still, it seems like the easiest thing to say.

“Cool,” he says. “I figured you already had a man but thought it was worth a try.” He scribbles something on the back of a flyer on the counter. It’s his name (Trey), his email address and cell phone number. He says I should call him if things don’t work out with “my man.”

My man. What a joke. If only he knew how completely unattached I am right now, how I totally blew it with the one guy who expressed any interest in meeting me. I’ve been doing a post-mortem on that almost-relationship ever since last Thursday. I can see how LTC might have felt rejected by me; if I’d been in his situation, I probably would have declared those infamous six words: He’s just not that into you. (And if I didn’t come to that conclusion on my own, my friends would certainly have tried to convince me.)

On the other hand, I really wasn’t ready to spend time with him. I was caught up in all the tumult at work and didn’t have the emotional resources to invest in another person. The timing was all wrong. Now that Steve is gone and the investigation is over, I feel ready to date again. I wish there was some way to tell LTC that. But it’s too late and I’m back at square one.

It’s okay. Steve was fired, a 22-year-old guy asked me out, I have a chilled bottle of champagne and a
Seriously. I feel like I’m fishing in a stocked pond.
marathon of my favorite HGTV shows on DVR. Life is good!

Wednesday, 7 p.m.
I’m sitting in Barnes & Noble with my laptop, enjoying the free WiFi and sipping a latte. This place appears to be teeming with single men. Seriously. I feel like I’m fishing in a stocked pond. There’s a cute tattooed guy over by the magazines, no wedding band, casting sidelong glances my way. There’s a massive football-player type browsing through the architecture section. Even as I’m typing this, a seriously good-looking older guy is settling into the upholstered chair across from mine… and he is staring at me.

That’s two guys in 10 minutes. I must be having an exceptionally good day. I glance up from the computer and smile at him. He smiles back and flips open his magazine.

Oh. No. He’s reading a magazine called Bowhunter. Bleh. I don’t have a lot of deal breakers on my list but hunting is one of them. Smoking is another. I’m okay with all kinds of religions and am even willing to ignore political affiliation but I just can’t bring myself to date hunters or smokers. Or, worse, smoking hunters.

Am I making a mistake? I don’t think so. You have to draw the line somewhere, right?

Thursday, 10 a.m.
Right now I’ve got one goal: to write a sparkling letter to Sasha Cogan explaining why she needs to give me a job (as soon as the hiring freeze thaws). I get as far as “Dear Sasha” and feel compelled to check my email. (Am I the only one who checks email compulsively? No matter what I’m doing online — writing, reading, shopping, whatever — I have to stop and check my email every 10 minutes.)

Wait. What’s this? A response to my Craigslist post! “I just saw your ad and it made me smile. Not only am I a superb handyman and a big believer in bartering, but I also happen to be a lasagna afficionado. If you haven’t found anyone yet, please give me a call.”

I grab my cell phone and punch in his number. “Ethan here,” says the voice on the other end.

Sara Susannah Katz is a writer in the Midwest.

Read Single In The Suburbs, Part 118

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