Erin and I met at Tryst for breakfast. There was a man with a cute little chubby-cheeked boy on a couch near us. The boy, who was about three, looked like he'd been recently awakened, chucked into clothes, and toted to the coffee house before he was fully ready to face the world. He had still-sleepy eyes and a bewildered, grumpy expression. Erin looked over and said, "I feel exactly like that little boy looks right now."
We sat and watched the world go by. Except for airports, it's the best people watching around. We keep a running commentary on pretty much everyone, and in terms of men, couldn't have more disparate views on attractiveness. She appreciates the exotic, the artsy, the slightly unusual. I gravitate towards very straight-laced American looking guys. She regularly scoffs, "Vanilla! I knew you would think he was cute." I like to think of myself as quirky, so full of surprises, but it turns out I'm fairly predictable.
Last week we ran into a guy that I dated briefly last summer. An intelligent, articulate, successful guy. I think he's cute in that big, tall, conservative, slightly dorky way. But he's very, very serious. How had I not noticed? Two drinks and home by midnight. No random letting loose, no staying out till one or two because you're having so much fun. And so I kept saying, "I dated him? I dated him? He's so serious! What was I doing?" And my friends kept saying, "That's exactly what we were telling you last summer!"
The truth was that it was perfect timing. I had, for a variety of reasons, imposed a moratorium on contact with B. And I was sad. And all of a sudden this guy, who in many ways is my type, was calling me every day and taking me out and keeping me well distracted. We didn't get the least bit close, and actually, our dating amounted to nothing more than 8 or 9 dinners over two months. It ended very easily and I quite like him as a person.
But I digress. The point I was leading up to is this. I was talking to Christine about running into this guy, and how I was surprised that I'd dated him. When she asked why, I said, "Well, because he's so serious. He never lets loose. He's not remotely fun-loving."
And she said, "Would you describe anyone you've ever dated as an adult as 'fun-loving'? Have you ever dated anyone who really lets loose?"
And the answer is no. Bright, interesting, dynamic, accomplished, yes. But no, fun-loving would probably not be the first or even the 10th adjective used to describe the men I adore. They are not laid back and they do not, on the whole, let loose. They have measurable goals, and they work very hard to maintain control.
And so I discover that I am a cliché. I have spent my whole adult life trying to date my father.