I did my share of fidgeting, completely uncomfortable in this scenario of a dad—whom I help as my current job—taking me on a date. Was it a date? I was certainly dressed up and shaved my legs for it. Nah, it wasn’t a date. For goodness’ sakes, he had a mortgage, a gardener, a dry cleaner on standby, and recycled because it was good for the planet. Most of the guys I dated didn’t even take their clothes out of the dryer the same week they put them inside it. But here I was, with this responsible man, father of one, signer of my paycheck, and had somehow he had morphed into Mr. GQ, with whom I was sharing a ride in his Jaguar to attend a public event on his arm—his very attractive arm. I imagined me smacking myself and reminding myself that he was older…wiser…complicated…and very much not on my radar. I simply was suffering from guy withdrawal. The smelly guy handing out cheese at the farmers’ market on Saturdays would probably look alluring to me at this point. Any man with a pulse within ten feet of me would get a hormonal salute from me. And wearing a tux? Make that a double salute, with a side of weak in the knees.
“Looks like we might’ve dodged the bullet of the speeches. I’m sorry we’re running late. I hope all the food isn’t gone when we get inside. I’m looking forward to the stuffed mushroom caps. They always have mushroom caps at these sorts of things.”
Mushrooms, brushrooms—the man could be telling me Soviet secrets, and I couldn’t have cared less. I was entranced by his steady hand resting on the gearshift. It was an older hand…one that’d probably seen combat in the navy before he retired—seen his share of relationships, too. Like the horrid one he just got out of. Rebounder, rebounder. That’s what he was. I saw the image of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh in my head. Bouncing, bouncing, like a rebounder does. What did I care? I wasn’t even on his radar.
Boy, did I need to get me some young, unattached, un-rebounding male companionship soon. Some simple guy to take me out for tortilla chips and a movie he illegally streamed on his laptop. Whatever. I wouldn’t care this one time. I’d save my “thou shalt not commit piracy” speech this one time. I just needed distraction…and perhaps a small, insignificant peck at the end of the evening. Some physical contact to keep my jumping hormones at bay. I’d hate for one of those to sneak up on me, force me to reach out and touch something that wasn’t for touching.