I’ve written a post or two about how I feel about dating in the past (See my post on why current dating practices suck by clicking here.)  But I think you can tell that this new series aims to be a little less academic.  Random poetry written late at night is often more expressive than a five-paragraph essay, in my opinion.  And I’m glad you’re enjoying it, even if you don’t quite know what to make of it (and I don’t always, either). 

 I’m now one week out from that first date I wrote about in the last Dating Files post.   In the aftermath, I called Mr. J back once about a day later, and he was gracious enough not to press for feedback or ask for date two quite yet.  I think he could tell I was still stewing.  However, he did call/text at least twice a day throughout this week, which was making me a bit antsy (stalker, much?). 

Part of this, I understand, comes from our cultural differences.   I am Anglo in heritage, primarily, and he is Hispanic.   His tendencies, to me and my English courtesy-based-wait-at-least-18-hours-before-calling for-the-second-date-rule, seemed invasive.  To him, they were complimentary and meant to express continued interest.   He’s just now figuring out that he’d made me feel flighty and cornered, since I only just this afternoon called him back.

But to my feminine intuition’s credit, I was right to take some time and distance to consider the things I’d learned about him on our date and during our conversations before and after.  

For starters, I was able to accurately relay to him this afternoon that I felt that our cultural differences, when combined with our age difference, were hard for me to overcome at this life stage. He is over thirty, and he spent most of his childhood and adolescence in Mexico. His knowledge and experience of modern American popular culture, dating culture, politics, language, and even technology all reflect this.   Needless to say, it was hard to feel like we had more in common than an interest in salsa dancing and a shared love of Johnny Depp’s films  (We went to go see “Alice in Wonderland” last week).  It also forced me to stretch and focus really, really hard on my Spanish, which is rusty, to the point that his hour-long conversations gave me headaches from simply trying to keep up.  He was having to stretch to understand my theological perspective (which, admittedly, is complicated, even when I discuss it in his own language), my aspirations for love (no, I’m not your typical postmodern female who will accept dating/shaking up for several years before even considering marriage), and even my references to rather common books and films (at least, in English).   

I think you get the picture: I was struggling to keep up and struggling to drag him along with me, in every encounter. We just didn’t fit. 

He accepted this graciously, remembering that I was young, and conceding that I was the first American girl he’d dated. And then he decided, while we were being honest with each other, to tell me that he was divorced, and that he had two children here in Indianapolis  (ages 10 and 14) that he neglected to mention on our first date or in any of our eight phone discussions. Huh.

I know, realistically, that since I didn’t find my mate in college (or, because I was a depressive psycho in college while my dad was dying, I ruined those chances I might have had), I am now entering a wider and less-polished dating pool, full of minnows, sharks, and slimy eels who have various degrees of education, sexual experience, and relational expectations.  I have even accepted that I might, like my mother, wind up marrying closer to age 30 than to 20, and marry a man with some baggage (my dad was previously married for a few years, with no children, before he had his divorce). 

 But a divorced expatriate with two children, an actively meddlesome ex-wife, no desire to pursue better English or education, and no plans to (re)marry any time soon?  No, God, no.

So here’s my early evening poetry.

A Decent Man

“Dear, God,” I said, “I need a seasoned Jewish matchmaker double-quick

because I am tired of the finding/chasing/dating/dumping/hurting/waiting schtick.

The record shows that I clearly seem to stink at choosing my own mate,

and at $50 a month for aliterate (yes, a-literate) goonies, eHarmony isn’t so great.

My matchmaker friends are quickly running out of stock and luck,

so I’m begging here, God: please,  please,  just send me a guy who doesn’t suck.”

God smiled a Cheshire grin at me, then winked, and then he said,

“Dime con quién andas, y te diré quién eres, m’ija.  Así encontraremos tus errores.”

And I answered, “I’ve been hanging with my friends, mis amigas–las mejores–

who accept who I am, but don’t reflect my values, or my belief in you,

but I would have thought these men who met me knew–”

And God raised a hand to interrupt me, smiling still, and sad.

He didn’t speak, but I understood.  And, briefly, I was mad.

“Are you saying this is my fault? For chilling with my friends?

Drinking a little, dancing a lot– all these things are just trends,

things I enjoy innocently. Are you saying they give the wrong idea to men?”

He said, “Like in appearance attracts like in substance, child.

The players, the slicksters, they see only a girl being wild.

You can’t expect them to know that you want quiet,

solid character, and goodness when you’re standing in a riot.

Go where there is good work, and peace, and kindness, and then,

You’ll be surprised to be surrounded by so many decent men…”

Ah, good advice.  Good advice.  But then, that’s God talking, so don’t be surprised. That about wraps up this post.  But before I go, I am going to up my flagging hit counts for the blog with a dash of Robert Pattinson news that’s all over the web this week. In light of Rob’s obvious humility, and Obama’s obvious hubris in the form of the recently-forced passage of a bill that conflagrates our Constiutional rights, I thought this news was pretty. damn. funny:

Robert Pattinson tops Obama in Time‘s list of influential people

New Statesman

Published 02 April 2010

Time Magazine has released the preliminary results of its poll on the 100 most influential people in America.

The final list, based on the votes of the American public, features several Hollywood actors at the top.

According to the preliminary findings of the poll, conducted by the American news magazine every year, the US public seem to find English actor Robert Pattinson, known for his role in the Twilight trilogy, and the US talk show host, Conan O’Brien, more influential than President Barack Obama.

The initial results were based on the first 5,000 votes counted.

The poll asks votes for leaders, artists, innovators and icons who they think merit spots on 2010’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The poll has nominated 200 individuals and calls for votes before it finalises the list.

From Fablife.com's report of the TIME poll. I thought it was clever. See link below to their article. Hail to the---er, God save the---Oh, what the hell. America, let's just go back to being ruled by the British, so long as it's Rob on the throne. 🙂

There’s a more detailed article on the subject here, as well as this clever bit of Photoshoppage (above, which looks great except for the fact that Rob is equally as tall as Obama in real life. Tru fax!).