If You Won’t Leave Me, Ill Find Someone Who Will

I’d like to leave you with something positive, but I can’t think of anything. Will you accept two negatives?
Woody Allen

I had been mourning the abrupt death of a brief, but intense, relationship for about two weeks. I had gone through all the stages; shock, grief, the uncontrollable urge to write an article… You know, the whole process. It was time to get on with my life.

There are people who do nothing but sit and kvetch (bitch). They never take the time or make the effort to analyze their situation or to create a plan to solve their plight. They expend all of their energy complaining. Not me.

It was the end of May. As I’m watching the Today Show I realize that there are three movies coming out this summer that I really want to see. Dave, Much Ado About Nothing, and Sleepless In Seattle all sounded great. All three are well crafted romantic comedies. I then realized that I didn’t have a clue as to who I would take to see any of them.

It is one thing to go to an intense movie like The Crying Game alone or with a friend, but a romantic comedy should be a shared experience. Kenneth Branaugh’s production of Much Ado wouldn’t be the same viewed with my kids or by myself.

So I jumped into action. It only took one Saturday night alone with the laundry to convince me that I needed to expand my options. I answered a personal ad from the back of this paper.

Ok, I admit it. The first one was a unique experience. We never met. We talked twice over the phone and exchanged letters over a four week period. Nice girl. Not my type, but nice girl. More importantly, once I made the initial phone call, I was ready to fully participate.

I answered several ads. I placed ads in two publications. I developed a game plan. In other words, I stopped waiting for someone to find me and began the earnest search to find someone. And not just anyone. The task at hand was to find someone more compatible, someone I would more likely want to be with five, ten, twenty years from now. (Note to regular readers: notice that I said nothing about marriage.)

Within two weeks I received several responses to my ads and had talked to a few of the women who had placed ads. My first reaction was surprise. I’m not sure what I expected but it wasn’t the wonderfully educated, intelligent, articulate women I found. I was truly surprised by the number of health care professionals, attorneys, and educators. These were genuinely interesting people. The task now became to check for true compatibility.

One by one we met at Borders, Arabica, and the Art Walk. Neutral territory. Non-threatening. The first week I met with four different women. They were lovely, wonderful women who, for whatever reason, were meant for someone else.

I wasn’t bothered by the fact that I had no plans for Saturday night. I had been out a lot that week and though the results weren’t great the process was working.

Saturday’s mail brought two responses. The one that really caught my eye was written on mauve stationary. The tone was friendly. The words and writing revealed someone who was both confident and intelligent. I called. We met that night at Arabica. We have been seeing each other since.

By the time this column appears I hope we will have had the opportunity to have seen all three of those movies. And maybe, just maybe, we will have established some new goals for the months ahead.