• The Archer

What If This Is What I Was Avoiding?

I took a long break from this blog. Then, I came back. I opened up my spreadsheet of boys to see where I was up to, and looked through my most recent posts to see who I had written about.


Oh.


I'm up to my younger man phase.


Like Selena Gomez (Justin Bieber), Taylor Swift (Taylor Lautner, Connor Kennedy and Joe Alwyn) and Kim Kardashian (Pete Davidson and no I don't get it either) I don't mind dating a younger man. I believe in stage not age and find that dating guys who are younger means getting guys who are less burnt out and therefore less likely to treat me callously.


But the very first younger guy I dated was special. This one hurt for awhile. It did make me wonder if I've been avoiding this blog simply to avoid writing about him, which would be silly because it was years ago and none of you would know the difference anyway.


I don't think I've been avoiding having to write about him as much as I have been looking for an angle, or a way in that makes sense.


So yes, he was younger. And we Escaped A Room. And there were nachos involved. All fun things.


But I only know how to tell this story from the top.


The top was a bar with games two hours after a fast day. We were set up by the husband of a friend. We played games and he won by enough that I respected him and not enough that I was sulking. They were also playing musical trivia in the bar and each song they played was connected to a holiday in some way (Memory for Memorial Day, Wake Me Up When September Ends for Labor Day) and they played New Year's Day by Taylor Swift for New Year's Day which was the moment I knew (10 points if you got that) he was the one.


I mean, I didn't fall for him or anything, but when Taylor speaks you listen.


It was nice, nothing screamed no and I said yes to date two.


Date two was spectacular.


We went to an Escape Room, an activity for which I cannot seem to develop a knack. We had fun mostly watching the other escapees help us out. At the end they took a picture of all of us.


When I say I deleted that picture this year, I mean that I literally deleted that picture while waiting for them to start the megillah this past Purim. That picture lived through three new phones, COVID, 3 jobs, 2 apartments and 30 more guys.


Then we went to get food, which is how you get me to love you.


We talked about school and families and I mentioned gymnastics. I remember him telling me how it boggled his mind that gymnasts do two full backflips in the air before landing and how that should physically be impossible. He was so mystified by their prowess it was very endearing. On our way out we met one of his friends by coincidence and they chatted for a moment and I thought "He has friends! They seem normal! We should get married!" Then he put me on the train home and texted to be sure I was safe. On the A train that night I giggled to myself thinking of the barbs we had traded and then put my head in my hands and begged G-D. Please. Please. Let this be over. Let this boy be the one and this horrible waiting period finally conclude.


I got into bed, awaiting the text of the boy or shadchan that would tell me my destiny.


I rarely wake up in the middle of the night but on this night I did and I saw a 45 second voicenote.


I knew right away that was too long to tell me he had a nice time and wants to see me again.


Instead he told me he really liked me but he didn't feel ready for a serious relationship and he could tell I was looking for serious. He apologized.


I went back to sleep because there is nothing in the world that will stop be from sleeping.


I woke up the next morning, cried, and called in sick to work.


But, I did keep reminding myself that it wasn't a no. It was a not now. In my mind, I subconsciously began a countdown to a year from then when I knew he would most certainly be ready.


I did reach out at that time and discovered that he was still not ready.


Later on a pandemic came around and based on my intensive social media stalking he fell into a crowd to which I'd rather not belong and I will most likely not be reaching out again.


I don't think I was avoiding telling this story for any reason other than it's not super funny. As I look through my list I see some hilarious stories I still need to tell, but also some mainstream experiences where emotions were felt and a time was had by all.


I'd like to think this means that, from a data standpoint, I am moving closer to where I need to be.


I also know that this is a scenario that eschews data rules which is likely why it infuriates me so greatly.


Though here is some data I can use: every single hurt has faded. They all sucked and they all ground the thin edges of my heart but they've all dissipated into time, as we all will someday.


Each hurt feels like the end of the world when it happens, but I turn around and go again. I feel fresh again. I start over.


It's nothing to avoid.


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