Single In The Suburbs, Installment 27

In this installment of our series on dating after divorce, our writer gets good news—but not the kind she was expecting.

By Sara Susannah Katz

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

ara went on another, equally ill-fated date with Sleep Apnea Man (Sam, for short), and found that things were no better between them the second time around. She returned home to find a very interesting message in her inbox…

Saturday, 7:35 pm
“You didn’t hear it from me,” the email begins, “but this job is yours if you want it.” The message is from Dave Myers. I stop breathing as I continue scanning his message. “I’d like to tell you more about the job before you interview. Can we meet tomorrow morning, 10 a.m., at the bagel place downtown?”

Let me pause here to confess something. I’ve always had a little crush on Dave Myers,
I send Hopeless Romantic a wink, then follow up with an email.
ever since we served on a school committee together, years ago. Dave is a strapping Swede with big paws and the kind of crooked smile I find irresistible. He is confident bordering on arrogant (another trait I find attractive, usually at my own peril) and sharp as a Wusthof chef’s knife. So there’s a part of me — a hopelessly optimistic part — that wonders whether Dave might want to talk about something other than this job.

Saturday, 7:45 p.m.
“I’d be happy to meet you tomorrow morning at the bagel place. I’m buying.”

I’m buying? That doesn’t sound like anything I’d ever say in real life. I hit delete and type “I’m looking forward to it.” I do not, however, write what I’m thinking, which is: The last time we met you were married. I really hope you’re not married anymore.

Sunday, 9:30 a.m.
Still hoping that Dave Myers is unattached, I am wearing lip gloss that claims to have a plumping effect but I know that the tingling I feel isn’t a sign that my lips are plumping, just that they’re irritated by the capsaicin, the thing that makes hot peppers hot. And yet I willingly spent $12 on this tube what is, basically, Vaseline and pepper.

I check myself one more time in the mirror. Not bad. OK, I’m off!

Sunday, 9:32 a.m.
Just before I leave the house I take a moment to adjust my little Ganesh statue, the elephant-headed Hindu god my friend Bobbi gave me for Christmas. She claims that Ganesh brings great success by removing obstacles. I nudge him slightly so he’s squarely facing the front door as Bobbi had instructed; I’m not a big believer in these things but I figure it can’t hurt. If Ganesh is on my side today, I might wind up with both a job and a date this morning.

Sunday, 10:10 a.m.
Dave Myers is sitting across from me, actually straddling a backwards chair with his legs splayed as he cradles a mug of hot coffee in his big hands. I am dismayed to see that he is still wearing his thick, gold wedding band. (Jeez, what am I saying? Just because I’m
I tell him I’m looking for someone to restore my faith in dating.
divorced doesn’t mean everyone else should be, too. He has a wife, kids, a presumably happy family. I should be glad for him.)

We’ve made the perfunctory small talk — weather, kids — and are talking about the real purpose of our meeting: the job opening. The more he talks, the more I think I must be dreaming. The department I’d be joining, he says, is flush with money. My salary would be about fifteen thousand dollars more than I’m currently making. The staff is easygoing and fun (“someone’s always throwing a party,” he says). I’d be in charge of my division. There are no micromanagers. Everyone already loves me and hopes I apply for the job.

Am I dreaming or did he just say I can have a new job, a promotion, and a $15K boost in pay?

I tell Dave that I’m very interested and will submit my resume and cover letter on Monday. He shakes my hand — rather, he compresses it with the force of an industrial vise — and beams at me. “We’d love to have you join our team, Sara.”

In a fleeting and wicked moment I think, “And I’d love to get you in bed, Dave.” I nod my head instead and say, “Thank you. Thank you so much.”

Sunday, 8 p.m.
I’m back online, perusing profiles. I’m looking for men in my age range within 10 miles of my zip code. There’s Tim, an amateur guitarist whose goal is to live life in the moment. He looks cute, but it’s hard to tell because someone took a picture of him from way up above and I think most people look pretty good from that angle.

Then there’s Lenny, who describes himself as a cross between Woody Allen and Nixon (umm… I think I’ll pass). The next guy is either careless or dyslexic; either way, he could have taken the time to run a spell check. That’s inauspicious.

I click on the next page. Hey. There’s Mr. “Just Friends,” my former date, and yes, he still claims to be looking only for “friendship and fun.” Lotsa luck, I say.

I keep scrolling. Hmmm. This one looks promising. “Hopeless romantic.” He’s six feet tall, pleasant face, salt and pepper hair, divorced for five years, is a firm believer in love at first sight. He’s a high-school phys-ed teacher who loves to cook, enjoys camping, likes kids and pets of every variety (which is a good thing since I’ve recently acquired two pet rats). I look at Romantic’s picture again. He has a slightly sheepish smile, as if to say, “I feel silly doing this but what the heck, I’ll give it a try.” I know exactly how he feels.

I send him a wink, then follow up with an email because I’m not so sure anyone takes winks seriously. At least I don’t. I tell him I liked his profile and would love to know more about him. I also admit, impulsively, that I’m looking for someone to restore my faith in dating.

I click send, and within moments I’ve gotten a response. Romantic says that if I’m looking for someone to restore my faith in dating, he is just the man for the job.

Sara Susannah Katz is a writer in the Midwest.

Read Single In The Suburbs, Part 28

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