Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Blacksmith

I’ve had a long weekend and frankly I’m tired. But, I made a date with this guy, and I find his occupation very intriguing. So, for that reason alone, I am inspired to follow through with the date.

We meet at Stella’s, a coffee shop near Washington Park and not far from my house. He is much taller than I’d expected and very handsome. He’s part Chinese and has thick black hair and big dark eyes. He used to play football and still has the build. He has a striking smile.

We order drinks and sit outside in an area that at first seems great because it’s so private-only two tables-but then turns out not to be so great because it’s really the smoking section.

We talk about his work. He was a real estate agent, and actually still does some of that work on the side to keep the money flowing. But, he decided at some point that he wanted to look into welding. He asked around and discovered that there is not much of a market for welders, so he tried searching for a blacksmith to hire him. He contacted two blacksmithing companies in the area who said they couldn’t hire him because he had no experience and they were far too busy to be able to make time to train him. However, being the charming salesman that he is, he got them both to agree to meet with him. After the meetings, he said they both hired him. He chose the closest one and has been with them now for a couple of months.

I don’t know the proper terms, so forgive me, but there are several types of blacksmithing-the kind that make shoes for horses and the kind that this guy does which is more ornamental stuff like railings and things for fireplaces and the like.

He gets to work with his hands and have something to show for a hard days’ work. It’s rewarding and fulfilling and gives him a sense of accomplishment as well as an artistic outlet. I tell him I’m impressed that he, unlike so many others we all know, is able to follow his heart and not get bogged down by “should’s” and “have-to’s”.

We have a perfectly pleasant exchange for about an hour-he rides his bike a lot and so do I; he grew up just down the street from where I grew up, etc.

It looks like it’s going to rain, so I let him know I need to go and as we are hugging good-bye, I see a look on his face that tells me I won’t be hearing from him again.

Just to confirm my suspicions, I email him a couple of days later to see if he’d like to go out again. As suspected, I never hear from him again.

The Tax Accountant Manager (again)

It is 6:00 in the morning and he is here right on time for our outside climbing date. I love that this guy knows how to climb well enough that he can take me outside. We head out to Estes Park and stop at a Safeway along the way to get breakfast. He pays for all the groceries and then says he’d rather go to a restaurant so we stop at an “Egg and I” for omelets and Eggs Benedict. Back on the road again, we get to the trailhead around 8:30 and start the 3 mile trek. He wants to impress me with his gear, so he brings every piece he owns along with him. I’m impressed, but wow is his pack heavy!

We are the first ones on the climbing route although a couple from New Mexico and a few other folks are right behind us. After getting up the first pitch, it starts to rain and we hear thunder. After some deliberation, we decide to leave for the day. We’ll try again another time perhaps. Meanwhile, we make our way to an indoor climbing gym in Boulder and have a fun time trying their routes.

Driving to Denver, we blast the radio and sing along to the Eagles and some other bands. He tells me about his last girlfriend who owns 10 cats. Scattered throughout the day, there are many moments of no talking at all. I like silence in a way but also like to be with people who are a little more outgoing than I am-less work for me. Also, after such a short time knowing each other, the silences are a little awkward sometimes, and perhaps pregnant with things that we are thinking or want to say or hear but don’t know how to bring up.

On our way back to my house, we stop for some dinner at Pasquini’s off Broadway. He’s never been and says he would definitely like to come back again. It’s my treat finally (he’d been paying for everything, and I wanted it to be more fair). For a twelve-hour date, I suppose it wasn’t too bad that we had a lot of times with nothing to say. However, for it being just our second time meeting with each other, I’m a bit worried that we might not have that much in common. We set up a date for a week from now and he said he’d have me over and cook me dinner.

I’m not sure where this is going. I am amused with looking at how different I feel now from what I wrote in my first posting about him. Sometimes, I think dating is like playing that shell game. Who knows which one to pick? They all look the same at first and it’s anyone’s guess what you’ll unearth when you lift up the shell.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I went climbing with a friend of mine last night and we got to talking about the whole dating thing. He’s married now. He said he always found people to date when he wasn’t looking and that when we are searching for a relationship our desperation can get in the way. I agree.

When it comes to me and my dating, especially right now with the Internet, I have finally come to terms with the fact that this is not a way for me to meet that “special someone” who I spend my life with. This is a way for me to learn a lot more about myself, dating, and guys. All are subjects that I could stand to learn quite a few lessons on. It feels really great to me to not have those unrealistic expectations this time around. That’s something that has really smote me in the past. I would meet someone on and expect that we were going to make things work forever just because there was an initial attraction/connection.

Yesterday, a girl came in my office and told me the advice her 15 year old brother gave her: “If you get a boyfriend, be careful because sometimes they will date you one minute and then change their minds really fast and not want to date you anymore.” It’s taken me a lot of years to catch up with these wise babes. I blame my stunted growth on all the Molly Ringwald movies I used to watch….

During this experiment, I’ve met a number of guys who expressed some level of attraction or interest in me but then never contacted me again. I look at these meetings with these guys as mostly being on a friend level. Even the ones I’ve smooched, I haven’t taken too seriously. I know in a couple of cases, I’ve had a lack of enthusiasm and the guys probably picked up on that. In other cases, I’m not sure why I’ve not heard back from them.

For example, the last time I saw The Doctor, things were starting to trickle into a more serious mode. He went away for 10 days and emailed me when he returned to say that he was taking a break from dating. I see him on the internet all the time. Is he really taking a break from dating? Was that the best he could do at telling me the true story?

I know it sucks to have to tell someone you’re not interested in them the way they may be interested in you. I’m grappling with a situation like that currently. I’ve told a number of guys that I don’t want to see them, or don’t want to go on another date with them. When we haven’t met in person or have only had one casual meeting, it’s easy enough to just say that I don’t feel we have a connection. Even after a few dates, maybe even after a decade of marriage, I think it’s fair to say “I’ve re-evaluated and just don’t feel there is a connection.” To me, it is far better to be honest about my feelings then to try to hide them like a lot of these guys I’ve met tend to do.

In my experience, guys seem to have a difficult time breaking up with girls, or at least with this girl. They will do it through actions but rarely through words. So, I am left wondering why and feeling confused. It is lovely for me now to take more of an observer role. Sometimes I still get frustrated, but no longer devastated, by the actions or lack of action I experience in dating these different guys. This time around, I’m getting exactly what I came for: lessons in love. I’m learning more about how this whole dating thing works for me, and I’m staying detached enough that I can see more of the big picture.

Lest I seem jaded, I am not giving up on the notion of me being in a committed, awesome relationship with someone. I have faith that the experiences that are given to me in this life are exactly right for me and that I am not going to be denied anything that I vitally need.

Lastly, if any of you are concerned as my climbing buddy perhaps was that I may be too desperate in my search for love, I say to you that I have nothing to be desperate about. I have all the love I need right here already.