My Story, Yours Too.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Woman on the Verge of Paradise: Reagan Error

Sign reads "May you find Paradise to be all its name implies."

Thanks for joining me on the verge of Paradise, as this chapter of my life unfolds. If you're new to Life by Chocolate, or just madly trying to catch up with your blog reading (Can we ever truly catch up?), this non-fictional story begins here. My last Paradise post is this one. While I strive for accuracy regarding place and time, I alter names as I see fit. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The rains halted to a drizzle.

I imagine Andrew’s still gazing at his wristwatch, wondering when I’ll arrive at his ballroom dance class as promised several weeks ago. Oops. I hope he’s grabbed a chair by now.

Next, the doctor doesn’t make house calls – not to this house anyway. That is, he never called after taking my number. Perhaps he’s scoping out the neighborhood in search of a lousy diner. I haven’t seen a Chuck E. Cheese’s so it could be a while.

That leaves Matthew, the writer. Well, not professionally, though his emails were impressively articulate: fraught with nouns, verbs, and appropriate punctuation. My heart raced with exclamation marks, as we made coffee plans.

The time arrived and I waited at Chico’s Fusion Café. And I waited. Fifteen minutes later, he called. He was lost. I was annoyed. Another fifteen minutes elapsed and I headed back to my car. Then, he ever so casually steered his truck into the parking lot.

“I was about to leave. I DON’T like waiting,” I ruthlessly lectured, as he approached with a warm smile. “You didn’t have a GPS or directions?”

My navigational skills equally challenged, I envisioned the two of us capturing the title of Biggest Losers on the Amazing Race, then voting each other off the island but inept at finding a way out.

“Yeah, waiting’s not fun. I had MapQuest but it was wrong. Oh, well. Wanna grab a bite?” He was still smiling.

The Café menu’s too trendy. (What does one do with a wrap on a sunny day?) He suggested Applebee’s, which would’ve involved further navigation by vehicle, so I proposed a nearby Chipotle. The fifty-yard walk was manageable, even without tom-tom.

“It’s my treat,” he said upon arrival. I was no longer irritated.

Our lunch discourse was interesting until it started. I was propelled into REM sleep by talk of carburetors, generators, alternators, tax evaders, and other four-syllable ors.

“Sorry if I’m boring you.” His consideration jarred me into wakefulness.

“No, I was just, uh, napping. No worries.”

I should say he’s very nice, patriotic too. Matthew joined the military during the Reagan era. “I still think of Reagan as my President.” He beamed with pride.

This wasn’t good, not good at all. How could I possibly date someone for whom Reagan rules? I’m too sensitive and honest. In an intimate relationship, I’d feel compelled to reveal that Reagan is, well, dead. I can’t fathom the subsequent tears and anguish. That wouldn’t be pretty. Not to mention his response.

Finished with our burritos, naptime, and four-syllable oratory, we wandered back to the parking lot.

That’s when it happened. He gave me a hug. I decided I’d earned it. Relaxing into Matthew’s arms, I appreciated a moment of paradise. It was just a hug, and we wouldn’t see each other again, but it wasn’t just a hug. It was a little big thing to keep me going. I’d been in a slump (not just during the date) and his embrace was uplifting. I’d venture to call it celibacy at its best.


  1. Awww...this post brought forth such a mix of emotions from me! First I was angry for you (because it appeared you were going to be stood up)...then relieved (because he was sweet and offered to buy your meal)...then, worried (because of his boring finally, well, I guess acceptance. What the hell...she had a nice free lunch and got a hug out of it, even if there was not much more to say. It could have gone a whole lot worse, so, looking positively, I'd say you did alright, babe.

  2. I bet that was the best hug you ever got from a Republican.

  3. Hey! I see that comment above mine, and you've never received a hug from ME. And I don't grope. Wife won't allow it.

  4. It wasn't a total failure! That, alone, is promising!

  5. Aw Robyn, you sure do go through a lot to find that perfect someone. Girl, I just wanna give you a hug! xoxo ~Ames

  6. psst.. you won my eco lips giveaway! need you to email me your addy

  7. Robyn that is such an endearing story about Reagan...I mean, the hug. Time is so short. At least this way you can date faster.

  8. Marlene, thanks for going through it all with me. xo

    GB, I think you're right, but only because I haven't received a hug from Alex yet. ;0)

    Ms.A, true. It's all relative. Thanks. xo

    Ames, I'll take it with appreciation. [-;

    Baygirl, really? Me? Woohoo! Thank you! Not that I need moist lips for anyone but I'm happy. xo

  9. I'm choking on my wine I'm laughing so hard. You friend, are hysterical. Lunch discourse was interesting until it started.....that is so freaking classic! I love it!

    The hug...there is something universal about a hug... poor thing... hopefully he paid for the meal and at least THAT was satisfying :o)

  10. Always cracks me up how people see Reagan as a god in retrospect - on the bright side you didn't end up in Applebee's tho...

  11. I love hugs. such a great sign of love for a person. It always makes me feel safe

  12. Great writing there Robyn.

    I particularly like the line... 'My heart raced with exclamation marks,'.

    An interesting date too by the sounds of it. People are late sometimes. Shit happens, but the Reagan thing would have pissed me off. Still, not everyone is perfectly matched. Wasn't worth a second go of it?
    I guess if the chemistry isn't there, you just know.

    Anyway, I did really enjoy reading it. Great work Robyn.

    The adventure continues!


  13. Awww I didn't laugh so much during this one, though parts were funny the underlining message prevented my giggles...this was great. Just great. and well, Yuck e Cheese not being in your town is a good thing you know that right?

  14. Robyn! Bravo on this beautiful post. I honestly read this gasping, waiting, anxious to hear what happened next. Really good storytelling, kiddo.

    I must admit though, I am so bummed that you weren't feelin' him ... I agree with your Reagan thoughts and whatnot, but he seemed so nice. Dang!

    PS Guess what we're having for dinner. No lie. We <3 burritos.

  15. Well, he actually sounds quite pleasant. The Reagan thing definitely would worry me though. I'm sure it was not meant to be, but the hug sounded oddly, very oddly, romantic.

  16. BTW... This post was soooooo well written! Nicely done, friend.

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  18. Thank you all. Your comments are like good hugs. They lift my spirits.

  19. If only Reagan wasn't in the picture!

  20. who ever said you have to like all the nice guys?...if the heart ain't singing...the legs ain't swinging

  21. Rek, your lines are so good. I love it!

    David, good point. Seems all a person needs to do to achieve sainthood is die. Thanks so much Daffy, Ally, Cheesseboy and all. Marnie, yeah, especially since dead people don't tend to photograph well.


  22. This date reminds me of a date I went on a few years ago, where I was bored to tears. He was talking about his theories about life, theories about politics, theories about everything. Yet, I stuck it out...because the guy was cute. Shame on me.


  23. *sigh* Why do they always have to talk about boring stuff??