For our second date, the Man from Marshalls and I are going to an art gallery. An actual art gallery! It’s an opening reception, to be exact, and just in case that wasn’t cool enough, I know the artist. She’s a co-worker, and I have a feeling that she invited me only because she invited everyone in her address book but I still can’t quite contain myself. I, Kat Richter, have been invited to an opening reception! And the Man from Marshalls has agreed to come with me, which means that I’ll be going with a date! Look out, Philadelphia, I have arrived.
There’s only one problem. The Man from Marshalls, aka Date #16, doesn’t realize that he’s Date #16. This was brought to my attention during a recent conversation with my friend in Lyon. “He knows about the blog, right?” she asked.
“Well, no,” I replied, “Not exactly. But I gave him my card when we first met.” It’s not my fault if he didn’t immediately run home, turn on his computer and run a Google-search background check like a normal person.
“You mean he doesn’t know about your Match.com dates?” she pressed.
“In other words, he doesn’t know that he’s Date #16?”
“Correct,” I confirmed, “although it sounds so much worse when you phrase it that way!”
“I didn’t phrase it that way,” she corrected, “you did, my dear.”
And so I did.
“I just don’t want this to blow up in your face like it did with what’s-his-number,” she continued.
“Number 4,” I sighed, feeling rather ashamed of the fact that my girl-talk has come to comprise of phrases such as “what’s-his-number.”
I resolved to come clean, but there’s the thing: there’s no formula to predict how the Man from Marshalls will react to the news that his new lady friend happens to be a serial dater. And a writer. And that in the name of “It seemed like a good idea at the time” she decided to start posting the details of her romantic exploits on the internet.
Will he freak out? Will he cut and run? Will he read through all of my previous dates, work himself into a jealous rage and then proceed to hunt down (and possibly kill) each of my former suitors, one by one, using homemade murder weapon to unleash his latent serial killer tendencies?
Or, having decided that I’m a bit of a head case, will he simply cancel our date, return to Marshalls and attempt to pick up a new girl? Someone with a bit more going on in the sanity department, perhaps…
If there’s one thing I’ve learned through this experiment, however, it’s that love is never predictable. And not only is love not predictable but love’s accoutrements (the flirting, the dating, the kissing, the holding hands and so on) are just as bad.
The way I see it, I have four options.
Option 1) Say goodbye to “After I Quit My Day Job” and never blog again. Methinks, however, that my “public” would not like this.
Option 2) Say goodbye to the Man from Marshalls, thereby sacrificing my happiness to spare the lives of dates 1-15. I’m not particularly keen on Option 2 but I figure I’ll earn myself automatic sainthood (and perhaps even immortality) in the process of becoming a martyr. Just like Joan of Arc. They’ll call me Kat of Sou’ Philly and pilgrims will flock to Pennsylvania from all corners of the globe to pay tribute to my single girl selflessness.
Option 3) Stop being so dramatic, get a grip and just tell the Man from Marshalls the truth.
The only problem with the truth is that I can’t picture the conversation going very well in my head. I’ve been trying to think of ways I could mention the blog casually. Maybe something along the lines of…
So, I was reading Dostoyevsky the other day, and hey! You know what? Dostoyevsky starts with the letter “D.” You know what else starts with the letter “D?” Dating. Dating starts with the letter “D” and I’ve been doing a lot of dating lately—you’re my sixteenth first date in less than three months actually—but it’s no big deal. So tell me, have you started Crime and Punishment yet?
Or perhaps I could try a more direct approach. Just dive right in and take the bulls by the horns.
So, Man from Marshalls, we need to talk. I know that we’ve only just met but I feel obligated to inform you that two months ago I started this little “experiment”—
(Except I don’t get to explain because, being male, the Man from Marshalls is out the door as soon as he hears the words “we need to talk.”)
I’ve also considered a little scheme I like to refer to as R&R: relief and relativity. For example, if I preface the discussion with something really horrible (“I’m pregnant!” or “I slept with your younger brother!” or “I’m actually a KGB operative and after I seduce you tonight, I’ll be turning you over to my buddies at the CIA”) he’ll panic and this panic will give way to relief when I reveal, “Just kidding!” Then, when I tell him about the blog, he’ll realize that relatively speaking, an online presence is no big deal.
But I don’t see the R&R technique going so well either, especially if he’s turned on by the thought of being seduced by a KGB operative.
Option 4) (And this is my favorite option.) Do nothing. Assume that if the Man from Marshalls hasn’t stumbled upon the blog thus far, there’s a good chance he never will.
Given the danger of assumptions, however, I’d like to put to a vote.
I have a feeling that you’re all going to advise me to tell the truth. But beware. If you pick the third option, you need to tell me how to do it. In person? In an email? Via text? Clad in sexy lingerie? (Mind you, this will require a shopping trip. Perhaps to Marshalls. And we all know what sort of trouble I manage to get myself into when I go to Marshalls.)
Furthermore, should I go for the direct approach or the indirect? The R&R technique or something entirely new all together? And, most importantly, if and when I reveal the truth about my recent… er, anthropological endeavors to the Man from Marshalls, what should I wear?
Now vote. Please. The annual Hoopers Island Black Friday Martini Bar Soiree is less than a month away and my Match.com subscription is going to expire in two weeks. In other words, I need to not screw this up. Especially because I like him.