musical chairs (the mating edition)

– Posted in: speed dating

I sat down with some girl friends recently to eat Indian food in the village when the conversation shifted. With deep concern in their eyes they asked me how I was, whether I had spoken with Jackson, and if I could soon imagine myself getting back on that horse. I know that was what they really wanted the answer to. I just wasn’t sure how to answer. Do I tell them what I think they want to hear (that I dug out my cougar-wear from the closet and am ready to paint the town red?) or the bitter truth (that I slip into a sad place from time to time and lose minutes of the day staring into space)? I decided to go with the truth. I love these girls and they’d know it if I were lying through my teeth.

They mentioned a speed dating event in the city they went to some time ago (back when I was caught up in the novelty of living with my first boyfriend ever) and how much fun they had had. I should try it, they said. I listened to them recall the awkward game of musical chairs they had played (awkward to me; they swear they had a ball) and I tried imagining myself in a similar situation.

Suitor #1: Hey, Charlotte. Nice to meet you.
Me: Oh, hi! Uh, my name is Charlotte. Oh, shit! You just said that. This is my first time. Doing this! Not like… other stuff. So like… What do you do for a living, uhhh…?
Suitor #1: Jeff. My name’s Jeff. I’m in advertising. Right now we’re working on marketing an eco-friendly diaper.
Me: Wow! That’s great! (I am actually enthused about this, as I’m all for protecting the environment)
Suitor #1: Not really. The pay sucks, hours are long, I hate my boss.
Me: Oh.


Me: Hi! Nice to meet you! My name is Charlotte.
Suitor #2: Yea. I can see it on your tag.
Me: Oh, right! (Nervous laughter). So what’s up?
Suitor #2: You don’t do this often.
Me: What gives you that impression?
Suitor #2: Because you look as though you might hyperventilate.
Me: Oh, that. It’s just this sweater is a little tight. Is it hot in here? No? Okay.


Suitor #3: Oh, my god! Are you okay?
Me: Yea? Why?
Suitor #3: Because you’re pale and your hands are clammy. Dude, seriously. You look like you’re going to barf. Do you want me to call someone over here?
Me: No, I’m cool. So like (reads tag), TOM! What do you do for…

And this is the moment I barf uncontrollably and have to be escorted out by a really hot guy named Lucas, because why would I have a matronly caretaker in my moment of total embarrassment?

I told my friends I would think about speed dating.

Later that evening, after I had fully digested my Indian food and was winding down with a hot cup of tea, I began to think. Was I ready to get back out there? I mean, I am carrying A LOT of baggage these days. Samsonites full of memories, regrets, photographs, dreams… I can’t imagine anyone signing up for the job of transitioning me back into bring-home-to-mom material. And I can’t imagine myself meeting mothers again without having minor panic attacks (in all honesty, the speed dating scenario is not a complete stretch).

Sure. I got along just fine with momma Jackson but I had known her for many years. Just before the dreaded night Jackson and I moved out of our shared apartment, I chatted with his mother on the phone, wheezing into the handheld and lining up an army of tissues on the wooden floor in a matter of minutes (I was quite a sight, truly). She consoled me as though I were her own daughter in an hour-long conversation I will not soon forget. I‘m not sure she even realizes how much it meant to me and that I still think of it, but maybe now she does.

6 Comments… add one
Erin January 31, 2010, 8:18 PM

Charlotte! Your former coworker here. I will tell you what you need to do. Give yourself all the time you need. Meet a handsome stranger. Have a one night stand. Then give yourself a few more months where you concentrate on doing things that make you really happy, no guy involved. The rest will follow!

Also, eliminate negative thoughts of singledom. In fact, rid the word “single” from your vocab. This is a break-up elixir that I have concocted and it works every time eventually!

admin January 31, 2010, 8:59 PM

thanks so much, erin! 🙂 it’s great to hear from you. i know you’re absolutely right, and i no longer feel so bad about where i am. i am slowly on the mend. of course sometimes i think i’m not healing at the pace i should be, but each day gets better. yoga, writing, dancing help to lift the spirits.

hope all’s well with you, bunny! maybe HH soon? it would be great to see you again! *HUGS*

Emily February 2, 2010, 7:27 PM

Hi Charlotte! Current coworker here! I agree with not jumping back into the dating scene. I tried to do that after my break up and it was a disaster. My motto: just live. Enjoy your friends, plan a vacation, do some yoga (my favorite) and you will be good as new exactly when you’re supposed to be :).

Reba Yang February 3, 2010, 10:55 PM

I have been following your blog and really enjoy your writing. You seem like a intelligent women. Erin you are a whore! Erin keep your STDs to yourself. My advise would be to keep up the good writing and stay away from self haters like Erin.

admin February 3, 2010, 11:19 PM

Hey, Reba! Thanks so much for writing and following my blog. LOL, I can assure you though–Erin is no whore 🙂 She’s a very sweet gal, in fact. Stay tuned for a new post soon!

marc July 2, 2010, 1:16 AM

holy crap!!!!! charlotte !!!! you have a friend named reba? ?? hi reba!!!!! . dun dun dun doot doot dun doot dun doot dunnnnnnnn doo doo dooo odoo dooo dooo dooo dun dunnnnnnn…………. bag it tag it , sell it to the butcher in the store ohhhhhh. i wish i had a friend named reba.

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