When looking back on my dating career there are some guys that I am so glad I never, ever had to see again and then there are those that make me question my dating judgment. When I go back and read my emails from David and recall our short time together, I kind of want to kick myself. Was I being stupid and silly? Was I being impossibly picky? If there weren’t twenty other guys in the Match.com queue would I be so quick to dismiss such a worthy candidate? A girl starts to wonder.
David emailed me first and it was soon clear that we were two peas in the proverbial pod. We were both politically minded, word snobs, dining-out aficionados and NPR geeks. I could tell, too, that he was a flirty dude even before I met him. He just had a…way. When David asked to take me out for a weekend lunch at a hip Pike Place restaurant, I jumped at the chance. He did then say that he was a big ‘green guy’ so he would be riding his bike in hence, don’t mind the perspiration, which gave me a bit of pause but was that such a big deal? He would be wearing funny shoes and might need some deodorant but I could live with that.
I liked David right away. He had brought a change of clothes and didn’t look sweaty but rather very fit and very charming. He was obviously a guy that knew his food and was extremely confident and at-ease. I felt comfortable with him right away. I did worry, though, that I was out of my league. He had two masters degrees, taught skiing lessons in his spare time, ran his own environmental consulting firm, was raising two kids from a very amicable marriage, loved to cook extravagantly-prepared meals (but only from local farms with sustainably raised vegetables and meat) and had a wine room in his rooftop condo. Oh, was that all? Yawn. How average.
David was the most eligible bachelor I had come across and, amazingly, he didn’t seem too full of himself. He was assured but not cocky and brilliant but not an ass but, over a two-month period of dating him, it all just became too much. We had a whirlwind dating adventure that included a trip to the art museum (where he gave me an idiot’s guide to appreciating Renaissance Art), to the snowstorm where he drove to my house, whisked me away to coffee only to take me back and cook me a meal from groceries he brought along to the dinner he made at his house, complete with a freshly-butchered goat and a whole trout he smoked on his patio in the snow. David did not know the meaning of halfway. It was all or nothing, baby.
I will admit that I swooned over David something fierce for quite a bit of time. He was attentive, full of compliments, had his massage license (!!!), could make a mean Campari cocktail and would email me Radiohead lyrics because it was a Tuesday and he was thinking of me. How could I not be swayed? But, unfortunately, it soon got to be just a tad excessive. David seemed to be some kind of uber-human. He never had a day that wasn’t ‘fantastic’, he never ate cereal for dinner, everything he owned was environmentally friendly, his children were brilliant and he really, really liked me, I think too much.
Was that it? Did I just think that someone so wonderfully wonderful couldn’t really dig someone so average as I thought myself to be? Or was it just that I was more attracted to a guy with at least one or two really good flaws? After all, I liked macaroni and cheese from a box every once in awhile. And he just seemed to like me too much. After our second date he sent me a text message signed, ‘xoxo David’ which seemed a bit premature but did earn a new nickname amongst my friends.
I went away for a long weekend without David and mulled over the state of our affair. He sent me numerous emails, texts and left a couple of messages on my voicemail about the fabulous foie gras he had picked up for us for to enjoy before he took me out to the opera and the snowshoeing we were going to do and the accelerated class his kid had gotten into and I was just done, done, done. David was smart and he was attractive and, on paper, the ultimate man, but I just wanted to catch my breath and be a real person for a minute. I took my time responding to David when I got back into town and he sensed my hesitancy like a hawk. Was there anything this guy wasn’t good at? He was very cordial but it was kind of clear that we were not going to go any further.
I never heard from David again, he even broke up like an expert, but I did run into him, while on a date at an expensive restaurant with another man, almost a year and a half later. I saw a hot guy with a shaved head walk in the door, took a second look, and it was David, arriving with another woman. I wasn’t sure he saw me until, when I got up to use the restroom, he was waiting in the hallway when I came out. Sweet lord – I had forgotten how cute he was. “Why, good evening, Kate, it is excellent to see you and, well, you look amazingly fantastic this evening. I hope you have a wonderful evening.” And , with that, Mr. Perfection was off. I stood in the hallway and, for a moment, kicked myself, until I remembered that my date had promised we could stop at Dairy Queen on the way home. How average, how boring, how pedestrian and how wonderful.