When I began looking for a serious, long term relationship, I dreamt of the moment when I would hit it off instantly with the right person. The kind of person who would be able to finish my sentences, read my mind, spoil me and anticipate my every need. I guess I would call that the princess/prince charming syndrome we’ve been brainwashed with since we could listen to fairy tales.
That’s what happened with Gus. Right from the first email, he seemed to “get me”. Once we progressed to the phone, it went smoothly still. Hmmm, nice voice, funny, good listener….what’s the catch? I started to get excited. Could he be the next big love of my life?
We made plans to meet at a restaurant near my house and I arrived on time. I could see Gus through the window already seated at a table with a rose and a glass of wine. “Oh, how sweet,” I thought!
I entered and he stood up gentlemanly and pulled out my chair and offered me my flower. He looked like his picture only bigger; taller and wider and he had a sling on his arm. Turns out he had broken his arm not too long ago. Bummer.
And he couldn’t drive. (Here’s where the title fits in.) He had to take the bus to our date.
Hmmmm, am I being superficial of me to think less of him for using a local bus? Only very poor people in the suburbs take public transit to get around town (unless you’re a commuter than you see all types of people). Is he poor? Have no friends or family in the area?
While I pondered this ethical dilemma and thought badly of myself for pondering it, I ordered dinner. It was an Italian place and I typically don’t eat other people’s Italian food. It’s just too hard to live up to my Italian New Yorker family recipes and I’m always left hungry. The garlic bread was especially horrible.
So conversation and wine flowed but the rosy glow of my initial excitement faded until sitting across from me was a large, bald man with a broken arm. Dinner became one of those long, drawn-out dates you wish you had just gone for coffee and had a cat emergency at home which is really your roommate calling you back after you call her in the bathroom to say “HELP”!
I finally had to leave. I gave the guy a ride home because I felt bad for him, but not so bad that we went out again. I’m nice, not a martyr. I couldn’t help but sing Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” as I drove off. “Just hop on the bus, Gus. Don’t need to discuss much. Just drop off the key Lee and get yourself free.”