Properly decorated for my first Friday night on the town, I headed for the Congregational Church, meeting site of the Chico Havurah. They’re a nice group of Jews, not too woo-woo, not too traditional. I didn’t need to frolick around embracing everyone, nor was I – on the other hand- required to hide my elbows from the men lest said elbows arouse their lustful desires. There are no eligible bachelors in the group to crave my elbows anyway. I’ve made friendly connections with some cool women, though. So it goes.
We chatted after services and Laila inquired about my writing.
“It’s humor mostly, my dating nightmares, stuff like that.” Without hesitation, I launched into the Mr. Cemetery pitch. I’ve got it down to 14 seconds by now: “It’s outrageous what these men put in their ads. There’s Mr. Cemetery, who’s given me the best reason for celibacy. He’s looking for shared cemetery in a relationship. He believes that if the cemetery’s there, everything else can fail. Yep. It’s pretty morbid out there.”
With that, I bid the Jewish gals “Shabbat shalom” and headed to Café Culture. My night would surely get exciting. I just knew it, until I pulled into the parking lot. Why did I get a space directly in front of the club? Note to self: You are not in the Bay Area anymore. Yet the place emitted Berkeley beatnik. With African masks spotting the walls, yoga retreat postings, and fliers advertising drumming circles, I was at home.
Plus, I danced with some cute, sweet partners during the salsa lesson. I wasn’t happy about this, though. They were women. A total of 12 females and 3 males attended. Reminder note to self: You are not in the Bay Area anymore.
Alas, Javier won my heart, the dark and sexy instructor with an ivory smile and manly physique. Wow. Less than a week here, and I'd already found my dream man. Could it be so easy? I knew he felt it too, since he approached me for a dance right after the class. “You’ve done this before,” he told me. That clenched it. I began planning our wedding song list. But the dance ended, and Javier proceeded to ask every woman (one by one) for a dance.
I sat for hours or minutes pretending not to sulk. But wait! Javier was darting my way again. Slowly and methodically, he reached for a glass of water that rested on the table in front of me. And then, he took a sip. He then placed it down, and then walked away. I could almost hear an obnoxious man’s voice over the microphone announce: “Would the woman who’s dressed in Quaker-Jewish-Nun attire, the one who’s sitting alone at the table – as in, all by herself – please report to the losers’ section. That’s 'losers'' with a capital ‘L’ babe.” I pulled my right hand up from my lap to flip him the bird, just as Rory asked for a dance. Then, there was Juan. Next, Luis.
Finally, I departed with pride, though I could best describe my night as “not exciting.” Reminder of reminder note to self: You are not in the Bay Area anymore. Get used to it, self. Non-excitement abounds.
I landed home to an email from my new gal pal, Donna. Though her spare room wouldn’t suit my needs, Donna and I get along splendidly. One month after moving to Chico, she has a new beau. They met through plentyoffish.com. “It’s your turn to place an ad now,” she wrote. “I need someone to swap stories with.”
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