Back in November, when I was in Truckee with my college girlfriends (you can read about that here and here and here), I entertained my long-married friends with dramatic dating tales. As always, they were enthralled. I filled them in on what happened with Nate, my ex-boyfriend, and told them about the basketball coach with the infected toe and the police officer who reunited with his estranged wife (but still wanted to sleep with me. No thanks!) Then I told them the wondrous story of Raymond, boy genius, but even then I was beginning to doubt if the tale would end as happily as I had once hoped.
I met Raymond online in 2014, shortly after Michael 2.0 and I broke up, but before I met Nate later that year. We immediately hit it off, and began sending each other longer and longer emails. I called his “word candy.” He called mine “literary crack.”
We desperately wanted to meet in person but had trouble finding the time. His work schedule was insane. I had sitter limitations. Then after six weeks, his emails abruptly stopped. I was deeply disappointed, but figured he had met someone younger, hotter, or both.
After several weeks, a message arrived. He was sorry. There was an emergency. He was not sure how much longer he’d be in Texas. A week, maybe two.
I knew this guy was stressed. I suspected he had full-custody of his twin boys, who were then seven. From my own experience, I knew he was grappling with the enormous difference between being a working parent and being a single, working parent. I was a few years ahead of him on that learning curve, so I decided to cut him some slack. I told him not to worry. Just give me a call when he got back to California and we’d set something up.
Three years later, in the spring of 2017, six months after my break up with Nate, I was once again trying to muster the energy to date. My daughter was at the park with the sitter, so I had the house to myself. I pulled up the online dating app, and there at the top of the recent visitor list, was a face I recognized.
His hair was longer and more silver, but it was definitely Raymond.
I’m not sure why, but I fired off an email asking him how online dating was treating him. Was he still flitting around and sampling the wares?
He immediately responded that he was flitting, but not doing much sampling. He knew I hadn’t been on the site much, so he figured I was dating someone. He said he had sent me good thoughts over the years.
I learned he was in Seoul, Korea, keynoting at a conference. It was 2 in the morning and he couldn’t sleep. We chit-chatted until he dozed off, and then, with nothing to do, I searched for our old emails.
It was a riveting read, sparks flying off the page. I got a third of the way through and wanted to kick myself. Why hadn’t we dated? I had never had an exchange like that before or since. Before I could stop myself, I sent Raymond an email stating that we might be smart, but when it came to dating, we were TOTAL IDIOTS. I insisted that we go out when he returned to California, so we could finally discover if we had as much chemistry in person as we did on paper. I apologized for being bold and bossy, but said I needed closure on this issue.
I simply had to know. Didn’t he?
To be continued…
Until next time,