As the tall silver fox from Sausalito chatted on, I found my breath taken away. It isn’t often I meet a handsome stranger at a Sharks ice hockey game, but as the fans began to scream; we knew it was time to go inside. Saying goodbye, we exchanged business cards with the promised to meet again.
For the next several days, we flirted via text and email.
“Finally someone normal,” I thought. “How fun to meet a cute guy organically and not on the Internet.” Feeling safe, I couldn’t wait to see him again. A week later, I got my chance.
“Meet me at the game tomorrow!” his text sang.
As luck would have it, my girlfriend had an extra ticket for me.
“OMG!” my quick fingers typed. “Yes!” And, for the next twenty-four hours, I got prepared; what to wear (teal and black), how to style my hair, make-up… I wanted to look my best.
The next evening, after traversing through the stop and go traffic, I finally parked the car and bolted into SAP Center finding Mr. Sausalito man at the bar.
“Hi, Tom!” I cooed breathlessly.
Kissing my cheek, he grabbed our drinks and led me to a secluded corner. As butterflies suddenly broke loose inside my stomach, excitement soared. But, just as they were fluttering merrily about, out came the fly swatter.
“Yeah, my friends keep wondering if I have a wife,” he said casually as if he was asking to pass the salt.
“Excuse me?” I stared, confused.
Apparently thinking this was humorous, he giggled, “Oh she’s never around.”
Turning to stone, I sat immobile. Finally, all I could say was, “You’re married?”
Instantly, his body language went soft, and with a sad puppy dog look, he informed, “Yeah. But, I really like you.”
“Ugh! How do I get out of this,” I screamed inside.
Not wanting to cause a scene, I slid off the stool, locked eyes in uttered disgust, and growled: “I’m out of here.”
Fighting my way through the mob to my seat, I fumed. “What’s wrong with men today? Why can’t guys just be honest?”
But, just as I was about to enter the arena, feeling righteous and indignant, a recent incident popped into my head reminding me perhaps I wasn’t always so forthright either.
While I’ve never lied about the actual status of availability, my age, how many kids I had, or where I was employed, I have been known to stretch the truth to save me from an uncomfortable situation. Let’s face it; a little dishonesty has its benefits. Why tell the truth and hurt someone when a fib will do quite nicely?
Ever the worrier of offending someone, I’ve made numerous excuses for not being available for a second date. There’s been the “I’m out of town” line when in fact I’m sitting on the couch watching another episode of Law and Order; “I’ve got to work late”; “My kids are home”; even the old, “I have to wash my hair.” Not wanting confrontation or the fear of hurting someone else’s feelings, any excuse was better than saying, “I’m sorry; I don’t think we’re a match.”
While that night turned into a huge disappointment, for I had high hopes in Tom, I have to say I’m grateful to know he was married then and not later. Life is too precious to be driving on a dead end street. From here on out, I am challenging myself to have the more difficult, yet honest conversations out of respect for the other person, whether it’s a close friend or stranger. Living in truth with no lies, even those silly little white ones, will be the only road for this girl to travel.
AWE…… thanks Donna. I love you – and that’s the truth!!
Thank you for your kind note!
In everything you say – there is an honest life lesson to be learned. Thanks for showing us that being your “true authentic” self only leads to happiness and fulfillment.
Great article Jackie. I do believe in the truth and being direct, but to avoid hurting someone unnecessarily, I would and do tell a little white lie. I love you and that is no lie.
And, you my dear friend, are my greatest example of living with integrity. What I love most about writing is it makes me look deep into those weak areas of my life I want to improve on. Thanks for being in my life!