Benched, balls and the game of love


I finally told Nic that her yoga pants had seen more Real Housewives then a yoga mat. It was time to drop the wine glass and “woe is my singleness” and get out there and embrace her free time.

I met her the next week to discuss her adventures. She had told me on the phone that she had accepted an invite to go see a work-league softball game. At the game, she met Kurtis. He was a SWM 30 something, with great hair and an intelligent knack for light conversation. All the next week, polite texts bleeped on her phone and by the next weekend, the banter got personal.

I met her for a martini and she handed me her phone to read the recent developments with Kurtis.

Nic – Soooo, ( sitting at the table and laying her purse to the seat beside her) I just found out he’s been married before and when I told him I had not been, he asked me if I was (air quotes) “mean or something”.

Me- Ohh Sh*t. Noooo. (shock)

Nic – and he asked me what was wrong with me.

Me – (orders martinis and looks at her wide eyed)

An hour later ….

Nic – So now if you haven’t been legally divorce-dumped you aren’t nice!? ( she looks up at the bartender with a nod and a lift/shake of her martini glass to order another one)

Me – (to Nic) It is kind of illogical that never being married now makes you seem like a liability.

Nic- So is the train of thought, if you haven’t been “picked” – are you destined to be left on the bench?

Me- Woah… is dating in your thirties, actually like softball?

Nic- Don’t you dare make this into an article, I am mean. Oh my god. My mother told me this would happen when I refused to go out with her friend’s second cousin. But he had moth-ball breath, MOTH BALLS. I couldn’t do it. Maybe I am mean and single and I’ll be the mean old lady that neighborhood children are scared of. This is how it happens… how the mean lady gets her street cred.

Me- Can we wait till 60 before we start buying mumu’s and arranging what your haunted cat house is going to look like ? ( laughing )

Nic – Ugggh ( haha ) FINE!

Poor Nic felt like an old maid – destined to be this woman who wasn’t “picked”… but is this theory only for women? Or do men suffer the “never married” stigma as well?

The next day, I met our friend Peter for a round of pool and a catch up chat. Peter was also a 30’s never married “bench warmer” and I decided to ask him his thoughts.

As a bachelor, Peter ranked as the tall, blonde, race-car driving type outlaw meets movie good looks. As he swallowed his sip of a Miller Light, I asked what was it like as a mid-30s single guy.

Peter – (looked at me flatly)  you are writing about this topic aren’t ya? (smiles and hands me his pool cue) I can be interviewed after I pee, Barbara WaWa.

Me – (smile/laugh) shut up and go to the bathroom ( take the pool cue as he walks off to the men’s room)

I killed my drink, motioned for another round and lit one of his cigarettes.

Peter –  (back from the bathroom and taking the cue ) so what is this all about. I want to find love and in the mean time I want to get laid. Pretty simple.

Me – (thoughtfully nodds a response while taking a sip of my beer)  Ha, you forgot to mention that since you have been 21, you have continued to date girls of the same age …even though you get older.

Peter – hmm Ha yea. Your shot. ( he points to the pool table with this beer)

I changed the conversation, I knew he was lonely – and though I was curious, I would not pry into it.

As I puffed on another of his Camel lights and swallowed the last bit of my warm beer, it hit me!!

The “formerly married”  now in the single game, have an advantage over relationship rookies. They have the experience of the rise and fall of marriage, which gives insight on what will and won’t work for them in their relationship futures.

Maybe those of never married “bench sitters” can take this tip. In the game of love and dating maybe we need to keep in mind what we learned from our dating experiences to make thoughtful choices in our dating futures.

*Oh and it never worked out for Nic and Kurtis. Peter is still a bachelor.

** Nic and Pete would be perfect for each other…

Let’s play ballllll !


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