Sex and the Single Mom: Apparently, Anxiety is Not Sexy

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anxiety is not sexyMy most recent first date was not planned, and, for me, that is something I make sure never happens. I usually spend days thinking about and then hours getting ready for a first date. This night started very differently.

I was at an Irish bar with my best friend. We split a delicious burger. There was live music by three (very drunk) musicians. Then, as conversations with your best girl friend often go, we began to talk about men. We exchanged info about who we were “talking” to, pictures, what we liked about each (and didn’t like), when dates were planned, etc. I had little to report so far. I was talking to two men, but no dates were planned. Then, my phone vibrated with a text from someone who will, from this point forward, be referred to as the “Jamaican Gentleman.” He, too, was out with his friends. I, tipsily, recommended we should meet up later. He agreed. I freaked out.

As a mom, you have to be prepared for anything, and usually, I am. But, earlier that night, when I was going over all possible disastrous and delicious outcomes of my long-awaited girls’ night out in my head, I hadn’t planned for this. I thought about texting back a “JK” or ghosting to get out of it, but he was so cute, and I never did anything impulsive anymore. So I slapped on some lip-gloss and decided I was ready to have a great night, come what may.

My Jamaican Gentleman picked us up from the bar, gave Hilary a ride home (see, I told you he was a gentleman), and we had immediate chemistry. I thought that my decision to go against my grain and really leave love up to chance was going to pay off. It didn’t.

We decided to stop at my favorite local bar. It was full and way too loud. We walked to the wine bar down the street. It was empty, and he didn’t really like wine. So, we kept walking and talking; then his friend called because his car needed a jump. Had you caught me on any other date, a night in which I had planned to go to that local bar or the wine spot down the street; I would have taken the full bar, no to wine (my favorite), and now apparent emergency as signs that this was not meant to be. But, that night, I was determined to be spontaneous. So, I agreed to go with him to jump the car and figure things out from there.

As soon as my passenger door closed, the anxious worrier in me reared her ugly head. A million scenarios involving death, dismemberment, and Law and Order SVU episodes ran through my mind. I nervously joked, “You’re not going to take me somewhere to chop me into pieces, are you? Your friend’s car really is broken down?”  He promised he wouldn’t, and it was, and offered to have me take a picture of his license and registration and text it to Hilary or to drop me off at my place and reschedule. Ah, schedule, a word I love and live by, but not today! I was going to be carefree, darn it! So, I laughed like that was ridiculous and talked myself off the ledge – while texting his license plate number (which I’d previously memorized) to my mom.

After several more stops, once his friend was all set and on his way, it was well past midnight, and we were still trying to decide what we wanted to do. “I read about this bridge in CT that lights up at night. Want to see it? Walk across it?” he asked.

“Sure,” I nearly shouted, trying so hard to take on this fun and free-spirited character for the night.  

So he hopped on I-95 North, and our adventure was underway. Fifteen miles or so in, all remnants of carefree Keveney were gone. I was fully myself: anxious and planning. I began googling Connecticut bridges, trying to find out where this very specific lit bridge was. It turns out it was the Q bridge, formerly Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge, and it was all the way in New Haven, about 45 minutes away from where we currently were.

I quickly calculated and discovered it would be past 1 am when we got there. Then an hour on the bridge and an hour home. 3 am?! Who was I, Miley Cyrus? I looked at Uber prices from where we were currently to “home”  (in case he refused to drive me back), then New Haven to “home” (just in case he tried to push me off the bridge when we got there). I didn’t have either amount in my bank account, so I began to panic. “This place is still another 45 minutes away. It’s too late to go that far,” I argued.

“It’s a Saturday night. Live a little.”

Little did he know I was living, a whole lot!

At that moment, I decided I did not want to walk across a bridge at 1 in the morning with this possible serial killer. I wanted to be in my own bed, curled up with a good book. “I have to pee. Can we pull off this exit?” I asked a little too loud, pointing and pleading.

“Sure.”

The second he said it, I knew he wasn’t a serial killer. He was a good guy, a gentleman. But, I had already turned into an anxiety-ridden mess. He didn’t even ask where I wanted to stop. He just took the exit, turned around, and started heading south. I plugged my address into his GPS, and he took me home. We chatted a bit on the ride, but that chemistry was gone. We lost it somewhere on I-95 North, on the way to (what I’m sure is) a beautiful bridge that I will never walk across.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Keveny,
    I love reading your stories. We chatted about this one time in Maine at Dummers…what it must be like to be single in “the city”! You laughed then and told me you could write a book about it!!! And look at you..pretty darn close! I felt anxious just reading it…so I can’t even imagine how you were feeling. You are brave even if you didn’t get all the way to the bridge!! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thank you for the encouragement (now and then). It feels great to write again and who knows – maybe a book will come of it!

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