I was reading Advice From a Single Girl’s blog on dating–she’s very charming, by the way–how the blind date/online date meetup/meeting a stranger thing doesn’t work for her (quick aside here, meeting a stranger? so she can only date people she already knows?). Nonetheless, it struck me that I’ve only been on three dates in my entire life, the way I define dating, anyway: a specific request from a stranger or friend and being driven/walked/bicycled/carried/flown to a destination.
I’m not counting my two marriages, seems like I just slipped into those: the first, I was too young to date, my dad’s belief that all boys were untrustworthy assholes, after just one thing–like I would become smarter when I got older? Anyway, whatever it was, the times or both my parents’ vigilance, I was actually a virgin when we married. My second marriage was a chance meeting at Malarky’s Irish Pub for Taco Tuesday and that was that, together “forever.” Or so it seemed.
So, my first official date was when I was 17, about to become engaged to my first husband–who was doing his military service in what is now Zimbabwe–when this “older” guy, around twenty, told me he couldn’t let it happen. He couldn’t let me marry someone else before giving it his all to change my mind. A couple of things to note here, I was in two minds about the engagement anyway, plus I was flattered all to hell, I mean, I barely knew the man: I’d caught him staring at me at Nkana Swimming Baths a couple of times and then he walks over and tells me this. Whew. Heady stuff. Anyway, so he picks me up in his MG convertible, just for a “ride.” I guess I could rationalize that. And then he asks me to go to Chingola–another copper mining town about thirty miles away–for dinner that Friday. It didn’t happen. I got the guilts and that was that.
So my second date was when my first husband and I were separated four years after we emigrated to the States. A stockbroker from Los Angeles. He took me to Five Crowns, a swanky restaurant in Corona Del Mar and spoke of flying me to Las Vegas in his private plane the following week. It was positively mind boggling to bushbaby super-hick me. But I never got the chance, my husband picked that night to reconcile. I still loved him so that was that.
My third date was a couple of months ago with someone down the street. Nice guy, Thai food, convivial and all. And that was that. Maybe I’ll cook him that lamb curry, I mentioned, maybe not. Thing is I can’t imagine actually “dating.” I love my life just the way it is: empire of one (and two dogs).