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The Crush

Sex and the Queen City

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I long ago lost count of the number of men I've dated in my life. One of the things that I will never say if I ever get married is that I didn't date enough. I can also say that I've heard every single excuse a guy uses for anything from getting sex to borrowing money to breaking up -- or at least I thought I had until recently. I got dumped for the ghost of Miss Ann Taylor.

The guy in question is of European decent and has recently come to this country with his company on a three-year work visa. He was reasonably handsome, extremely intelligent, well-traveled, and spoke four languages. We met at a Beaujolais wine tasting last November, and even though he wasn't my typical type, I decided to give it a whirl.

It's around this time in a new dating situation that I make like the Wicked Witch of the West, and turn an hourglass upside down and start to count down to see when the nice part of the relationship starts to die, and the weirdness starts to come out. In this case, it was two weeks, which is quick but didn't quite make the record book.

After a fortnight of bliss, I got the "I've-got-something-we-need-to-discuss" speech. I never know what to do in these situations since these mysterious lectures are a lot like a penis -- they go up and down a lot and you never quite know what you did to set them off. I treaded very lightly as I braced myself for whatever news would follow. This is also the crucial point where guys fail to read women correctly, because by this time, they're getting very close to getting laid if they haven't already. When we get the "us" lecture, we aren't about to let men know how close they are. We just sit back and listen because the only thing worse about getting dumped early in a relationship is getting dumped early after you've done the nasty. It's a little power trip that we try to maintain as long as possible, and we do relish in the victory.

This is when my date informed me that there was "another woman" he had failed to mention before. I sat and listened to his long discussion of how he met her before he had met me, how he didn't expect things to progress the way they had between us, the final stab being that he had very strong feelings for her and couldn't stop thinking about her. He said the two of them met as he was shopping with a female friend of his at Ann Taylor about three months prior.

Now, it was my turn to ask him questions to size up my newly introduced competition.

"How long have the two of you been seeing each other?" I asked.

"Oh, we're not dating, she has a boyfriend," he answered. I mentally checked the "she's not available" box.

"Well, when did you two first go out?" I pressed.

"Well, we haven't exactly been out on a date yet," he said, as I was beginning to wonder what about Miss Ann Taylor made him think she was at all interested in him.

"You do talk to her on the phone, don't you?"

"Well, I don't exactly know her telephone number."

It was then that I realized that things were just getting weird. An hour later, I learned that he didn't know where she lived, he had never asked her out, she had never asked him out, but yet he was sure she was interested in him. Why? He had a divine notion that her boyfriend looked a lot like him, and she in fact, had met my date first, and therefore, it was only a matter of time before she came to her senses and flew into his arms.

I just sat there with a this-beats-fucking-all look on my face as I said to myself, "You have just been dumped for another woman who theoretically doesn't even exist." I had just been dumped over a crush! Miss Ann Taylor herself.

I didn't even begin to know how to process this new information. It's not like anything else I had ever encountered. I was dealing with circumstances and not real events, things that I had absolutely no power to change or control. There was nothing I could say; I mean, how can you put up an argument against a ghost? He was dead set on waiting the situation out to see if she and her boyfriend would eventually break up, which I seriously doubted, considering my date also casually mentioned that Miss Ann Taylor's boyfriend had proposed marriage.

I just grabbed my purse and twisted my little ass out of his apartment. I came to the conclusion that good quality relationships are hard to find; this definitely wasn't a budding prospect of one; and I wasn't about to sit out the wait with him.

I was starting up my car and took notice that for the first time in my life, I actually wished I had been dumped for a woman who was really in his life and not just in his mind. *

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