Mark contacted me with a charming message—well written, interesting and it was obvious he’d read my entire profile. He was also very handsome.
His profile was great—except for two things. He was separated, not divorced and he lived in Connecticut. Two of my deal breakers when I first started this quest, but a situation I’m now willing (albeit, grudgingly) to set aside.
After a couple of email exchanges and several phone calls he asked if I would like to go to dinner or see a Yankees game. Easy choice.
Have I told you I’m a Yankees fan?
Now, this isn’t the sort of blind love of sports that many people have. Oh, no. I’d rather poke a fork in my eye than watch a football game—either live or on TV. My first marriage can be summed up like this:
We had one day off a week together and he spent it in front of the television watching one game after another, football, basketball, baseball, even golf. The requisite bucket of KFC was the pièce de résistance.
No, my love of the Yankees comes from a very different place. My oldest daughter adores the team–all the players but one in particular, Derek Jeter. She decided that simply being in New York City would be all that was necessary to meet and then marry the perennial bachelor. She’s quite serious and has been since middle school. I’m a believer. She even ran into him one day while walking her dog. Here’s our text conversation of that encounter:
Don’t judge. She’s twenty-seven and I’d never text the F-word if she were, like, twenty-six.
Listen, I think number two would be lucky to be with my firstborn. Not even sure he’s worthy, but I’m her mom and may be a teensy biased.
OK, back to my date.
Mark and I met on the corner of my street and Broadway and took the subway to Yankee Stadium. He did not disappoint. He was tall, well-built, boyishly good looking AND a sharp dresser. He had on great shoes. I love a man with stylish feet.
“Put that away,” he said, when I pulled out my MetroCard to pay for the train.
When we got to the stadium he suggested we locate our seats first and then get drinks and food. Well, that’s when it got very interesting. We found our aisle but were sent to a VIP booth for an ID check and wristbands.
Hmm, that’s never happened before, I thought as we went down, down, down the steps to our seats.
No way, Jose Canseco! We were seven rows back from the field, first base line, with the dugout twenty yards away, max. Then it got even better. Mark told me our seats came with food and beverages that we could get in a private area, the Legends Suites. Ours was the Ketel One Lounge. This grub wasn’t just your basic hot dogs and burgers—nope. The offerings were upscale and unlimited.
I’m kind of a foodie.
So is Mark, but he was very careful not to eat any carbs and I noticed.
He was also a bit of a feeder, encouraging me to load up.
I asked him if he had a weight problem at any point in his life. He’d stressed that his daily workouts were a requirement. He confirmed that he’d recently lost weight and was working hard to maintain his svelte build.
I’m an eater, or I used to be until this fucked up aging process cramped my style. Now I eat half of what I did and workout twice as hard to maintain a size that is greater than I’ve ever been. The last thing I need is a person vicariously eating all the forbidden foods with MY middle-age metabolism.
With very little encouragement I could eat myself onto The Biggest Loser.
The game was great; Mark was hilarious, smart, and a staunch Democrat with clever political stories. He even got me to do the YMCA. He was also a gentleman and the moment my drink was finished he ordered another. Did I mention we also had concierge service?
I sent my daughter a text and told her about my experience. I also said I would do this with her. Just call me “Ms. Big Time.”
Kevin Costner attended the game and was on the Jumbotron. As the game ended we went back to the lounge for one last drink and there he was. He’s tall and I don’t know why I thought he was short? Later I did a Google search and learned he’s 6’1”. I could’ve walked right up to him; he was with friends but no entourage. If there had been music I might’ve asked him to dance. One of my fantasies since watching him boogie in Bull Durham with Susan Sarandon.
OK, the bathtub scene, too.
Yeah, the toenail polish one, as well.
After the game we headed back to my neighborhood and stopped for a nightcap at Café Luxembourg.
That’s where the conversation took a more serious turn. I did that and it was probably inappropriate for a first date.
Mark said it was like having a drink with Oprah.
Here’s the truth. Mark is the whole package, with one issue. He’s only been separated a few months and he’s at that place. If you’ve gone through a divorce you will recognize this locale. He’s completely screwed up but thinks he’s fine. He doesn’t know what’s ahead. He’s in shock; his life has been turned upside down. He’s just starting and it’s going to be a battle (from the information I was able to glean). His wife is angry, his almost adult children are devastated, and yet he still thinks it will all be OK.
It will all work out eventually, but he’s got a rough and complicated ride ahead. The last thing he needs right now is a new person to add to the mess and frankly, I wouldn’t consider it.
In about a year, Mark is going to be at a very different place. He’ll be beat up by the battle, but ready to move on and create a new life. He’ll be a great partner to some lucky woman. In my humble opinion, of course.
After our date we exchanged a few text messages but they tapered off. I’m not sure if it was my lack of enthusiasm or maybe I just asked too much stuff that was none of my business. Perhaps he’s in the midst of divorce drama—his new normal for the time. Maybe when the dust lands he’ll contact me again and I will gladly go out with him. Mark is amazing.
Oh, and those seats that I told my girl we would experience? Yeah, that won’t be happening. I sat at my computer one morning soon after the date, ready to buy. I choked on my coffee when I saw the price–$500.00 each.
“Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.” Crash Davis (Kevin Costner, Bull Durham)