The title of this post may pique the interest of those excited about my summer crush, working in the receiving room as we speak, but I’m afraid I have not yet gotten any surreptitious pictures, nor have I been asked out for a second round of pancakes. In fact, Overstock.com alerted me that my new bathroom rug has been delivered but I cannot go down there looking like this. There’s too much work on my desk to stop and get cute right now; I’ll have to get my package tomorrow. Love stinks!
Love doesn’t stink for everyone, though. All around me, I see summer love blooming. Oh, I see bedraggled people emerging from the subway in 100-degree heat and I see women depressed that anything they did to their hair before they left the house vanished on contact with the outside world, but I see love, too.
Yesterday I watched a coffee date that went very, very well, for example.
I was working in a coffee shop in my neighborhood. The girl and the guy looked to be on summer break from college. The girl had done something to her hair that I knew she was trying for the first time, a kind of bouffant avec ponytial that got a little too excited but saved it at the last minute. The guy was a standard-issue, cargo short guy; sandy hair, Cubs t-shirt. They sat down at a table near me just after I had gotten myself settled and I heard enough of the conversation to understand they were meeting for the first time. Either it was an online thing or they had mutual friends who put them in touch. In my heart of hearts I wish they were pen pals. This is unlikely.
From where I was sitting, I had a clear view of the girl. It was hard not to look at her because everything about her was saying, I really really really really really like you and it was an interesting study in body language. She was leaning ever-so-slightly forward. Her eyes were big and shiny. She was either actively smiling when her tablemate was talking or she was on the verge. At one point, Dude must’ve said something that was sad or bad, because she made a “Noooooo!” face and cocked her head to one side. Then she stuck out her lip and she sighed, shaking her head. A minute later she was laughing again.
I wondered if the guy knew how well he was doing. At one point, he got up to use the bathroom and the girl waited a moment or two, looked behind her to see if he was gone, then pulled out her phone. Her thumbs flew over the keyboard as she surely texted her best girlfriends that he’s hot, he’s nice, he’s funny, etc.
Is it a terrible, terrible thing that I felt depressed? It’s not that I envy the situation – I do not. I am allergic to love right now. I need a break from the Ferris Wheel of The Heart after these love affairs. No, I was depressed because – I’m such a drag – the puppy-dog looks don’t last. Even if these two people fall in love, get married, and live together till their dying days, the eyes-as-big-as-saucers thing has a shelf-life. First-blush love is fabulous. It’s addictive. It’s an atom bomb of happiness. And then the spaceships of infatuation take off again and you have to make things work for real.
My birthday is on August 6th. I like the age I am. It’s a little weird to be in the second half of my thirties, but I wouldn’t go back for anything. Still, insights like these come with a ruefulness and I find myself crossing my legs in my cafe chair and wondering if that on-again off-again pain in my knee might be a real issue someday.