Single In The Suburbs, Installment 33

Our writer had an amazingly sexy date with Kevin… but now she’s worried about where things are headed. Should she slow down?

By Sara Susannah Katz

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

n the last installment, our columnist had a hot date with a guy she’d previously been seeing who had said he just wanted to be friends. Are things different now? Find out here.

Sunday, 11:05 a.m.
Kevin wants to see me again. I feel victorious but also pathetic for caring so much. Why does it matter so much to me? Why is it that until I read this email, I was in such a foul mood that I actually hated my forsythia? Aren’t I always telling my daughter Molly that her happiness shouldn’t revolve around boys, that no one should have the power to make her feel miserable?

I try to ignore the chatter in the back of my brain, the voice that says if Kevin were a gentleman, he would have
“Kevin wants to see me again—and I can’t believe I care this much.”
phoned me after our big date (read: sex). But the word “gentleman” sounds as outmoded today as “eight-track stereo.” Or, perhaps more aptly, “diaphragm.”

I remind myself that the year is 2007, not 1985. I’m like Rip Van Winkle, waking up to a vastly different world than the one I inhabited when Craig and I got married.

I write back and tell him I’d love to see him again. Delete “love” and replace with “like.” Don’t want to appear overeager. A couple more emails, and a date is set. Tonight, 8 p.m. We make a pretense of agreeing to meet for coffee, but who are we kidding? The date may begin at Starbucks but we both know where it’s ending up. And that’s just fine with me. It’s a good thing Molly is with her father tonight. One less thing to feel guilty about.

Sunday, 1 a.m.
Another fine evening. Based on my limited experience, I have to say that Kevin is light years ahead of my ex-husband in the sex department. This guy makes Craig look like an amateur, a prude, a lover with an extremely limited repertoire. I feel a little guilty admitting that—we were practically kids when we got engaged, and we learned everything together for the first time, including sex. Given the number of women he has sexed up since we separated, I’m sure he’s learned a thing or two. Now it’s my turn.

I promise myself I will always be careful and safe. I have no intention of getting pregnant at my age, and I am definitely not interested in getting sick.

Sunday, 1:30 a.m.
I brush my teeth, take my meds, and as I’m washing my face I realize that something is missing.

My nose ring.

Oh no. It must have fallen out in Kevin’s bed. I’ll mention it to him tomorrow but the chance of finding that thing — a silver post and teeny rhinestone — is almost nonexistent. I don’t want the hole to close up so I find an earring and try poking it through the hole. OUCH! I can’t even find the hole now. I take a deep breath and try again. OUCH! This is agony. I run downstairs and get an ice cube to numb the spot. One… two… three… OUCH! I am tempted to just let the damn thing close up, but this little nose ring seems to have brought me good fortune and so, like a baseball player who insists on wearing his lucky underwear, I will wear this nose ring even if it kills me.

I finally get it in on the third try and now my whole face is throbbing. Busy day tomorrow: my job interview! I can’t blow it. I must escape the hellhole that is my workplace.

Monday, 3:15 p.m.
I am sitting at the head of a very long table in a very small conference room, surrounded by 11 members of the search committee. Five on one side of the table, five on the other, and one directly across from me. I have worn
“Kevin makes my ex look like an amateur lover and a prude…”
an ensemble I bought last year at Chico’s—a tan pinstriped blazer in some kind of stretch fabric, black silk button-down shirt, black pants, black shoes and an interesting silver and leather necklace. I removed my replacement nose ring—don’t want them to think I’m too counter-culture. Let them hire me first, then I’ll wear my nose ring. I think I’ve done a good job of drawing attention to my face and away from my hips; the fashion mavens would be proud of me.

As I field the questions, I realize that I’m not nervous. At all. In fact, I’m enjoying holding forth, talking about my experience and accomplishments. In a fleeting moment of insecurity, it occurs to me that I might be blathering. But I notice the nods and smiles around the table as I’m talking and I relax. I think they like me!

Monday, 4:30 p.m.
I’m back at the office. Brenda McAleer takes one look at me and says, “Have you been on a job interview?”

“What?” I stop breathing.

“You look nice. You’re not looking for another job, are you?”

I flash Brenda my sweetest smile and say, “Why on earth would I do that? I love my job.” And inside I’m thinking: Die, Brenda McAleer, die!

Monday, 5:30 p.m.
As I drive home, I think about last night with Kevin, and it makes me tingle. The man knows what he’s doing, that’s for sure. But there was something else, something weird, that I find myself fixating on: He talked a lot. In the throes of passion, he started saying things. Not just sexy things, but real information, like:

I love how passionate you are, Sara. I wish my girlfriend was passionate like you.

At the time, I figured he was talking about his girlfriend in the past tense. But now, as I’m driving home and obsessing, I am thinking that if he were referring to a past girlfriend, he would have said: I wish my girlfriend had been passionate like you.

I’m not normally so punctilious about other people’s grammar, but in this case, I’ve got to know. And I’ve got to know right now. I pick up the cell phone and punch in Kevin’s number.

Sara Susannah Katz is a writer in the Midwest.

Read Single In The Suburbs, Part 34

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