Stood Up! Shot Down!

pretty blond with nose ringNavigating a Tragic Love Life

I’ve been stood up more than my fair share of times. I don’t know why this should be, but my stats are undeniable.

This all started when I was in high school more than half a century ago. I arranged a date with a cute little slip of a blond from the neighboring village of St. Henry, Ohio. I had in common with the girl, whose name is long lost to history, that we both played saxophone in our respective high-school marching bands.

It was my first bona fide date in the sense that I’d manned up through my own force of will, asked her out in a straightforward manner without the usual teenage machinations and guile, and she had accepted in spite of already knowing what I looked like, an obvious fact to me since I was standing in front of her when she said yes. It was a pretty satisfying experience up to this point.

Imagine my surprise then, when I showed up on her doorstep two evenings later only to be informed by her dad that she was “out on a date.” Apparently she had gotten a better offer in the interim. I was a little cheesed, but I didn’t have a lot of experience against which to evaluate this outcome so I just moved on.

Recognizing a Pattern is the First Step to Change

Some time later I met another blond slip of a thing named Dee. We worked together at a motor hotel in Columbus, Ohio. She had a pixie haircut and an engaging sense of humor. I liked her a lot, but I waited a good long time before I asked her out. I wanted to know her well enough, and she me, that there wouldn’t be any surprises.

I still remember her name because she surprised me … twice. The first time (shame on her) I got the news from her dad.

“Out on a date,” her dad said.

Was a pattern emerging? Yes, I think so, although I failed to recognize it at the time.

The second time (shame on me) the news came from a roommate at her new apartment near the university. The explanation was in two parts: “Out on a date,” and “Got back together with her old boyfriend.” Oh well.

About this time I quit asking women out on dates. It didn’t seem to me that there was any future in it, at least not for me. Whenever a woman agreed to go out with me, she would use the occasion to leverage herself into a better situation with someone else. Or so it seemed. I mean this kind of thing happened a lot. I’m just hitting the high points here.

Elusive Quarry

When I quit asking women out on dates they found new ways to frustrate my romantic aspirations. I remember one in particular, yet another blond slip of a thing. We ran in some of the same circles in Tampa, Florida. I didn’t know her so much as know of her. I saw her frequently at our local watering hole. I don’t remember her name either, but she was originally from Powderville, South Carolina, and she had a voice as thick and sweet as magnolia sap on a late Spring morning.

She also had a reputation for being elusive quarry. Many of my braver friends had tried to woo her, but she wasn’t having any. She never went out with anyone I knew. I’m not sure she went out at all.

Then one night she confided in a friend of mine that she thought I just might be the balm in her breeze. My friend told me about this conversation. She was a good friend to tell me this, so good in fact that eventually I married her.

Thus armed with superior intelligence, I thought I had a legitimate shot at the skittish Powderville blond. I approached her a few days later.

“Hello,” was all I said.

She turned away abruptly without so much as a nod to my presence. The balm in her breeze had apparently become the bitter in her lemon. This was a stunning reversal for me. It was a curious turn of events that left me wondering if there was ever any sense to be made of my universe. I did the only thing that made any sense in the circumstances. I quit blonds altogether.

Love, Redemption, and Justice: Why I Write!

I don’t know if hair color was the crux of my problem, but I do know that for me at least, brunettes have been much more likely to behave in ways that do not defy logic. My wife is a brunette. She has never tested the limits of my understanding. Good thing too, since we now have a president who does it on a daily basis. (And, no, it has not escaped my attention that he is a blond, or at least he used to be. Most of his coloration of late seems to have originated in bottles.)

Now I just told you all that by way of explaining one of the reasons I write. I can take all the blond women who have left me confounded in the past and incorporate them into the stories I write. This is not like revenge exactly. It’s more like justice. The beauty is that I can then make them behave in ways that make sense to me, logical ways that obey the rules of causation and consequence. I do write fiction after all, so they are allowed to be a little strange.

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