So…remember the comic strip Peanuts? It was very popular in the 1960’s and 70s, with characters such as Charlie Brown, Linus and Lucy. It featured only kids, but kids who acted and spoke like adults. Oddly enough, it worked.
Every so often, Lucy would offer to hold a football upright so that Charlie Brown could run up and kick it. But just before his foot touched the ball, Lucy pulled it away. Charlie Brown would fly up in the air, yell AAUGH, and then hit the ground with a WHAM or WUMP, or sometimes a WHOMP.
Welcome to the dating world!
Her name was Jo, and she sought me out. On the Match app, she sent me a like and a nice note. Jo was attractive and professional looking, and worked in the same small city as me. It seemed too good to be real, but after several days of conversation, we seemed to click and had even set up a first meeting.
We decided on a local tavern, close to both our workplaces, for an early dinner.
I parked my car far down the main street and walked to the tavern. I could see her in the distance, waiting by the front door. Well, that was refreshing; I wouldn’t have to wait.
Wearing my best smile, I walked up to Jo. She looked very nice in her spring coat. She asked me how my day was, and I tried to give a complete answer. As I talked, she didn’t seen to listen but kept moving around, as if to take me in from all angles. I began to guide her to the door, and then she suddenly stopped.
“Oh! I have to tell you something. My uncle has to have emergency surgery tonight, and my mother needs to know. She’s in a nursing home across town, and I’m going there now to tell her.”
This was a shock, and to me, unusual. I said, “Oh, that’s too bad. So…we’ll reschedule?”
She didn’t answer, instead making some small talk before heading to her car. I walked with her a few steps until Jo stopped and looked at me. “Don’t you want to go in and have a beer?”
Anyone who knows me knows this is the last thing I would want. I’m not a tavern, bar or saloon guy. I was ready for dinner, but a beer, alone?
Not knowing quite what to do, I walked off in the other direction. No idea why. Then I came back and walked to my own car.
I didn’t hear from her that night, or the next morning.
Around 1:37 that afternoon, I finally realized what had happened. She lied.
WHAM. WUMP. WHOMP.
It’s not easy to describe what happened next. My body collapsed in on itself and a toxic brew seemed to replace my bloodstream. I felt sick to my stomach and every other part of me. I asked my boss if I could leave early. My workday was over.
That night, I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe her uncle really was in trouble. I sent Jo a quick message asking if everything was okay. Her reply was short and bland.
“He’s better, but he has a long road ahead.”
No other details were forthcoming.
That confirmed it. She had lied. This attractive professional woman, a director of some type, had made up a casual lie to get away from me, and as fast as possible.
I didn’t get it; maybe I never will. Of course she never wrote to me again. I expected to see her around town but in three and a half years, it hasn’t happened.
There’s no moral here, just a rude personal lesson that people are not always what they seem. And there’s no doubt I failed the audition, all ten seconds of it. I guess I can sum up the whole experience in one word, courtesy of Charlie Brown: