While on vacation, my friend Lisa and I decided to dip our toes into the Virginia singles scene (when in Rome, and all that). We were both struggling to meet a dateable guy in the cities we resided–Lisa, in Las Vegas, and me in NYC.
I’m all about the possibilities from random bar meetings in strange cities.
We got gussied up and headed out—beachy was our dress code.
After a detailed Internet search we decided on Catch 31 at the Virginia Beach Hilton.
We know how to have fun.
We’ve been practicing for years.
Lisa and I have known each other since high school. She’s a year younger. We went to the same university. We were around for marriages, the birth of our children, divorces, remarriages and all the other stuff that comes in between those milestones.
Lisa was the person who gave me the most support while I grieved Neal’s death. We became travel buddies over the last five years. I found if I could leave the familiar it gave me a temporary reprieve from the pain. I also found that laughter came easier when Lisa and I got together.
We went to New Orleans for Mardi gras—and collected our beads (don’t you dare ask).
We traveled to Miami to see The Police reunion—sang and danced our way through the concert (and then got lost in the stadium parking lot, but that’s another story).
We met up in France and I drove through the French countryside as her co-pilot—her kids in the backseat.
“Bonjour, blanc boeuf!” we yelled out the window, as we cruised past the herds of white cows that dotted green pastures. It was a guaranteed eye roll from her offspring, which only made us say it more often and laugh harder each time.
We’ve both decided our kids don’t know how to have fun. Let’s just say that Lisa and I know how to get a party started.
“Let the screaming begin,” says my oldest when I tell her Lisa is coming to visit.
So we headed to Catch 31 knowing that even if the men were scarce a party would be had.
Things move a little slower in Virginia so once we found a seat at the bar it took us a while to get our drink from the bartender. We had an opportunity to study the room and the universal things one will find in just about any bar. Our personal favorite is always—the young, hot, very blonde and scantily dressed Eastern European woman. I’m always surprised the middle-aged men don’t throw out their neck with the speed they whip it to follow her around the room.
After our first drink, we wanted to move outside to the patio area but seating was limited. Lisa stayed inside and I waited on a bench just beyond the patio area to grab the next available table.
“Are you waiting for me?”
I jumped as a man sat down way too close and asked.
“Um, no,” I said, and scooted a little further away. “Who are you looking for?”
“Veronica. It’s a blind date. I was hoping it was you.”
“Not me. Is this an online date?”
“Yeah, and she’s a brunette but I hoped she’d changed her hair color. I’m Ted, by the way. Can I buy you a drink?”
Quite smooth, and yes he could.
Ted was a nice looking man, mid to late fifties. I attributed his proximity to a Southern Thing–lots of close talking going on in the South. I explained that I was there with a friend and she was waiting inside. I quickly scanned the patio for available tables (none) and then invited Ted to join us inside. Lisa wasn’t a bit surprised when I brought him along and Ted immediately got the bartender’s attention and bought us a drink.
There was something quite charming about the confidence he had and the three of us chatted comfortably. Ted finally confessed that it wasn’t an Internet date—he knew I wasn’t Veronica—but it seemed like a good opening line.
It wasn’t good—it was GREAT. Probably the best pick up line I’ve ever heard. Lisa agreed.
Finally a table opened up on the patio and we moved outside. Ted told us about his dating life.
Online sites were cruel in VA, too.
Ted waxed poetic when I told him that I didn’t want to date a seventy-year-old.
“I don’t think there are any rules about dating. You might meet a seventy-year-old you’re attracted to, maybe a twenty-year-old. Number one thing is the initial physical attraction.”
I highly doubt I’d be attracted to a guy that age, but Ted had me thinking.
Then Ted began to talk about his failed marriage. The usual stuff—married too young, the passion was gone, yadda, yadda…until…he went to a place where no man who’d like to keep his testicles goes.
He said something that made me suck in my breath.
Probably a fairly innocuous statement to most, but I knew differently.
“I sat my wife down one night and just told her that I’m fifty-four years old and I deserve to be happy.”
I quickly looked at my friend. Her fists were clenched. You see, that sentence was exactly what Lisa’s former husband said to her. Word-for-word.
And actually, her ex was never big on happiness—woebegone was more like it and the last time I was around him it still seemed to be true. Wonder what he’s waiting for? I didn’t know what Lisa was going to do with those fists so I quickly changed the subject.
I asked Ted what he did for a living.
A timeshare salesman, he told us—and a good one because within five minutes of describing the benefits of vacation ownership, Lisa was seriously considering it. I was happy to wrap up the evening on a positive note and was actually beginning to look forward to tagging along to Cancun or Greece when she bought her place.
We thanked Ted; I gave him my card and told him I’d be blogging about the evening.
On the way back to the house we passed a 7-11. You don’t see many of those in the Big Apple, but there’s nothing like a Slurpee on a hot Las Vegas day. It was like our cities collided. Cops on horses in front of a 7-11. Who knew there were mounted police in Virginia? I had to pull over and take their photo.
A couple of days later, Ted sent an email message. He asked if could take us to dinner or simply buy us another drink but Lisa was only staying a day or two more and lots of other houseguests were arriving.
Ted also said he’d love to be the one to introduce us to vacation ownership. Now that one hurt. I think if we’d had more time, Ted could’ve sold Lisa on two weeks a year at thousands of locations worldwide. Damn it, I would’ve probably been invited, but I’ll just have to be satisfied with Ted’s gift of the all-time best pick up line—and one I’m going to use the next time I see a handsome man sitting alone.
“Are you waiting for me?”
Big, Big, Big, thanks to everyone who added their email address for Special Delivery of the blog to their Inbox. It was such a nice feeling to return from vacation and see all of you signed up. I have to think of something special to do. Perhaps all the outtakes of photos from blog posts. Some are quite fetching!
“You don’t need a pickup line. Just glance at a woman from across the room. Glance– don’t stare.” Jenny McCarthy