Monday, August 29, 2011

Adventures in Dating, Episode Three: Fly-Fishing

This is the third installment in my "Adventures in Dating" series.  Read episodes One and Two here.

We called him "Trout."

Not because he was a fisherman, although certainly many of my suitors were.  The obligatory photograph of man presenting fish to camera always made me smile... single men apparently don't have an over-abundance of photos of themselves and so ones taken on fishing trips or mountain bike rides, or where the previous girlfriend is clearly cropped out of the photo were to be expected.

Honestly, I don't remember what his real name was. But he definitely wasn't holding a fish.

Surely our choice of "Trout" was influenced by the abundance of fish photos we had viewed that morning. But really it was the mustache that did us in. Trout's was huge and full, his upper lip crouching somewhere beneath it's brushy glory.  A girl could get lost in that mustache, and not in a good way-- more like maybe a bread crumb or a random droplet of soup. I don't remember if I said it first or if it was Stacy, but the phrase "Is that a Trout on your lip, or are you just happy to see me?" lives on to this day.

Wouldn't we make beautiful, pensive babies together?

It was Labor Day weekend, 2010. I was visiting my sister Priscilla in Texas and my friend Stacy came up from Houston for the weekend. We were each going through our second divorces (strangely, we went through Round One together as well), and so she was uniquely positioned to understand the shit storm through which I was slogging.

Priscilla had an upstairs guest room that held 5 twin beds and Stacy and I were lying in two of them, reading my most recent batch of emails and crying, we were laughing so hard. And there it was, the email from Trout.

He was a good writer, I'll give him that much.  That alone would've caused him to stand out from the crowd of mouth-breathing troglodytes that were vying for my clearly acerbic attention. And then there was that glorious achievement in facial hair. But what really hit me where I live was the sentiment expressed in his initial email.

He said he was a novelist. We later decided it was probably of the bodice-busting, breast-heaving Harlequin kind.  He said he was looking for love. He said he was 57 (so we assumed 62).

But mostly he said he was concerned about finding a woman who could keep up with his love-making.

Yes, his love-making.

Really, Pops? I think I got it. You know, if I could get past the startling bristle of strawberry blonde hair on your upper lip and the fact that you use the term "love-making" in a completely non-ironic way. And the collarless shirt you're wearing in what looks like a book jacket photo.  And the ponytail.

(Hahahaha, I said "jacket.")

He went on to say that while he had found women who were passionate, they weren't monogamous. And conversely, the monogamous women he met had no desire. So he and his hirsute little friend remained alone, together.  Like a furry little caterpillar clinging to a great oak.

By this point, Stacy and I were screaming with the kind of raucous laughter that causes family members to come upstairs to see what's so funny.  So Priscilla flopped down on the third bed and I read the email to her and soon she was in tears as well. They both wanted me to reply just to see where this thing would go. But cruel sense of humor aside, I didn't want to toy with the poor man. I mean, someone so virile in the twilight of his life...he deserved better. He needed a faithful blind bookworm nymphomaniac...and I simply didn't fit the profile (my corrected vision is 20/20).

I spent the rest of the weekend closely guarding my Blackberry so that Stacy and Priscilla wouldn't send Trout a breathlessly horny email on my behalf.

We must have accessed his profile 52 times that weekend, and each time Stacy and I belly-laughed and felt better about our miserable lives...and wondered who might be skulking through my online profile and taking pot shots at me ("Oh riiiight, she skis!"). And for three glorious days that September, the shit storm abated.

I left Texas with a smile on my face and laughter in my heart...the love of good friends and family can do that to a person.  And when I landed in Colorado, alone and lonely once again, I occasionally looked back at Trout's unanswered email and silently wished him well in his search for a passionate, yet monogamous woman with a taste for Nehru jackets and Yanni tunes. And a completely non-ticklish upper lip.

And sometimes when I was feeling sad, out of the blue Stacy would send me Trout's photo and it would crack me up.

It still does.

Separated at birth?

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