"A man on a date wonders if he'll get lucky. The woman already knows."
~ Monica Piper~
"I've been on so many blind dates, I should get a free dog." ~ Wendy Leibman~
The shrilling ring of the phone began as soon as the bedroom door closed behind me. I glanced back at the door thinking that if that phone woke up my babies someone was going to die tonight. Emily was back in her bubble like tent after another bout with Asthma and Cooper had not wanted to sleep without her. He had demanded I sing Cum Ba Ya for at least five hundred verses. He loved that song. He loved the someones working and someones crying verses but he loved the someone is singing verse most of all. He would sing with his small voice for hours when he didn't want to go to sleep. " Some one is singing Lord Cum Ba Ya!" Over and over we had sung till finally he had give up and went to sleep. Now it was after ten o'clock and I was plum wore out. Anthony was gone for the summer to work in watermelons at my sisters so I was handling the little ones all alone. We had been today for a cancer treatment for Emily. Cooper was cranky. We Both were cranky. I snatched the phone off the hook ending the ring and as quietly as I could I said Hello.
"Hey Girl, What ya doing?" It was Tracy, a girl I knew from a store close to where I lived before I moved here. Before the divorce. Before the world started making me mad. She was just a person I knew Not someone I would have expected to call me. "I got your number from your Brother-in-law" she said, "he was just in here a while ago. I tried to call you but you didn't answer." I began to explain that It had been a rough day and I had been getting the kids down.
"Oh I don't care about all that." she said, "I have a guy for you to meet. You need to go right now to Harry's and he is...."
"Hold On" I said. " who is this Guy?" She had the whole thing planned out for me.. He was someone I didn't know But he was right now waiting for me to show up at a local bar. I would know him she said by who he was with. He was with her own Husband right now.. I had to go there right now..He wanted to meet me right now..
There were so many things I felt like I needed to know before I loaded up to go meet a stranger in a bar. Not to mention that now was really not a good time.I was tired. I had just got the babies to sleep and what was I supposed to do with them while I traipsed around to a bar this late at night? She had all that worked out too. I was to load them up and take them to my sisters house. she had already asked Trudy and Trudy had told her she would watch them. I asked how old he was and she swore he was our age. There were really a lot of things that didn't suit me about this date but they talked me into it. They brushed aside all my complaints.Trudy was waiting on the sleeping kids and Tracy was going to come to the Bar just as soon as she could get there.. Hurry they said he is waiting and he's nice and on and on. Giving the bedroom door one more glance and saying a silent prayer that I would not regret this I hurried to the shower. It was by Now eleven pm and I still had to drive the babies to my sisters house, But I wasn't going to meet a man in the clothes I had worn all day.. I still had some pride after all.
I walked into the bar at eleven thirty seven.And looked around for John. He was Tracy's husband and Was supposed to be with the man of my dreams. Well at least Tracy's dreams for me. I spotted John near the back of the bar in a booth and headed that way. I had never been in that bar before and was surprised to see a lot of people I knew. A lot of People I saw had went to High school with me. I was stopped a few times before I reached the table. I had dressed in a pair of jeans and a tank top with a white long sleeved shirt open over that. I wasn't vain but I knew I looked pretty good for a woman thirty two years old. I looked pretty good for a Mom of three. I hadn't started dating yet. This would have been my first date. I didn't like the way it had happened but I was still hopeful. I walked up to the table where the two men sat with a little hope in my heart. My instinct had warned me.. But I was here now. I was ready for this date.
John was sitting across from a very nice looking young man. He didn't look my age. He looked much younger than me. John was my age. But John was also much older than Tracy. Maybe she had meant he was her age. They both had their legs stretched out across the bench on the side they were sitting on I stood at the end of the booth and waited for them to offer me a seat. I said Hi and reached to shake his hand saying " You Must be Mike?" He nodded then waved for the waitress to come over. " Yea " he said " I'm Mike" He and John both ordered beer. I wanted a coke but no one offered me a drink. They still hadn't offered me a seat. I was beginning to get a head ache from the loud music and all the smoke. I was also getting angry that not only was he way younger than me But he was rude as well. I wondered what Tracy had been thinking. Where was she any way? I knew the store was already closed. I was about to just walk out when a guy who went to school with me, came over and asked me to dance. His wife was already on the floor and the song was rather slow. I figured I might as well get something for my trouble so I walked away and left the two of them still laughing and talking together. They didn't even appear to miss me when I looked back from the dance floor. I knew this was a bad idea. I told my dance partner. He laughed and asked me where my ex was. He was shocked that I was divorced. I was shocked when he pulled me closer to his body after learning I was single after an eighteen year marriage.
Finally the dance was over and I had just walked away from the second man in one night. I felt as if this must be some crazy nightmare. I even for a second thought maybe I was asleep on the bed beside Cooper having sung myself to sleep right along with him and Em.I pinched myself to make sure. I really was in a bar in the middle of the night and My kids really were with Trudy. I felt stupid. I went to the bar and asked if they had coffee. The female bartender laughed at me and said I could get a cup at the store next door. I thanked her and was about to leave when John waved me over again and shouted my name. I went over again and this time I asked if I could sit down. Mike moved his legs and allowed me to sit by him. He was extremely tall and had the greenest eyes I believe I had even seen. He truly was very nice looking. But I was mad now. I had no intention of being nice at this point. He was way to young. He hadn't bought me a coke. I was way to tired for this whole thing.
"Look, I have to go." I said as I reached for a napkin. I asked John to borrow the pen I could see in his shirt pocket and wrote my number on the napkin. " "Mike, I'm not sure we should date, But call me tomorrow if you still want to go out and we will set something up between us." I said handing John his pen and Mike the folded napkin. I was going home. My head was pounding and my heart was not. I had made a mistake. " Hey Patsy" he said as I started to walk away, " how old is your baby?" I stopped and looked at him wondering if he had really said Baby. Not children or even Kids. He said Baby as if I only had one lone child. I was going to kill Tracy if I even saw her again. I explained that I had three children. He nodded when I said Emily was two years old. He even nodded when I said Cooper was four years old. I have to give the young man credit that he didn't faint when I said that Anthony was fourteen years old. But what he said scared me to death. He said. " Wow, he's only six years younger than me. I bet me and him will be friends." I tried to smile but couldn't I was suddenly feeling sick. I ran from the bar and all the way to my car. I got in and locked the door then sat there and cried. I wasn't supposed to be at a bar meeting a man who was twelve years younger than me. I wasn't supposed to be out in the middle of the night with my kids at my sisters house. I wasn't supposed to be a single mom at all. Then I heard the knocking on my window.
I didn't know the man outside the glass. He was standing there holding a steaming cup of coffee and smiling at me as if we were old friends. I rolled the window down and he handed me the coffee.. "Here" he said, "I see you are new at this dating thing." I nodded as I tried to wipe the tears away. He assured me it got better and that I would find a lot had changed since I had been out there in the world. He reminded me to be careful. Then he laughed and said I shouldn't accept drinks, even coffee from strangers. I felt better as I drove to My sister's house and got my kids.
Emily never knew she had been on a midnight ride that turned into the worse date of my life. Cooper woke up as I carried him back to his bed and demanded that I sing again. I was glad to sing him a few verses as he fought to stay awake for only a few minutes before he gave a great sigh and curled into a sleeping ball. I closed their door for the second time and headed off to bed myself. I was glad I had gone even though it hadn't been a good idea. I had learned something tonight. I had learned that people mean well but that I might better hunt my own dates from now on. I also learned that I would be treated different since I was a divorced woman. I also decided that I was worthy of the best life had to offer and that I wouldn't settle for less than the best.
I never saw the coffee bearing stranger again. I asked about him in the bar but no one could remember having ever seen him. I did see Mike one more time when he came by my house one night UN-invited and drunk, hoping for, as he called it, a little older woman fun. I explained to him that he was way too young for me and that he needed a girl his age. I forgave him for being not what I was looking for. He was just a kid compared to me. I hope life is treating him good now. Tracy and John divorced a few years after that. I think life is treating her good. He's still being himself. Still hanging in the same bar. I never did date anyone from the bar. I only dated two men after the divorce. The second one was my prince charming. He and I have been married what seems like a life time. I didn't settle. I got the best.
Never trust someone Else's word when it comes to a date with a stranger. If something feels wrong it most likely is. And remember that Our age only works if you and she are really the same age! Laugh at me.. I know you are. I am too. I wouldn't change my life but God knows I wouldn't live it over.. especially that date! The worse date of my life! Have a great day!