I’m exhausted. Between my full-time job at the Opera and the freelance gigs I do on the side, I’ve been putting in some really long hours. When I am shopping for costumes I spend a lot of time searching for the “perfect thing.” Sometimes I think I’ve found the perfect thing until I get sticker shock from the price tag, can’t find one in the size that I need, or the item is sold out and permanently discontinued. Too often I waste my time searching for the perfect thing even after I’ve found something that would work fine and looks pretty good. Wasn’t it Voltaire who said “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good?” Lately I have been wondering if I need to take Voltaire’s advice when it comes to my quest for love.
Last Friday, there was so much traffic on my trip home to Baltimore from DC that I took a detour to do some last-minute shopping before my next day’s dress rehearsal. I was starving by the time I finished, but the mall was closing so I browsed past the overcrowded chain restaurants around the movie theater to assess my choices. I was passing by the Pizzeria UNO when I thought I saw the man I’ve referred to in my early entries as Big Daddy, cornering a booth toward the back of the restaurant. To satisfy my curiosity, I popped in for a closer look and sure enough, there he was, joining a table full of people I recognized as members of our movie-goers Meetup. I had completely forgotten our Organizer had scheduled a Meetup that night to see The Call followed by a late meal at UNO’s, but what a happy coincidence! As the Organizer recounted to the new members the story of how I had introduced Big Daddy to the group, he slid his arm around the back of her chair – as certain men are want to do in tight quarters and in the company of women- but his action triggered an emotion inside me I was not at all expecting: jealousy!
He looked so handsome and he can be so charming. Why did he have to be the only man to show up at our Meetup that night? Everyone else seems to like him too. I was so touched when a bunch of our new Meetup friends went to see him perform in a play last year more than an hour away. I definitely know of at least one other single woman who has been giving him the eye. But there is no reason for me to feel jealous, right? After all, he did say that he had been interested in me since the day we met, almost two years ago working at the same summer theater in Ithaca. And when I pulled a muscle in my foot doing yoga he was the only person I knew to call, and he came over and calmed me down when I was sure I needed to go to the hospital. Wasn’t he my date when we won both sexiest male and female at the pajama-themed Meetup brunch? And didn’t he call me when he scored free tickets to see Jason Mraz in concert at the Pavilion? He was also my “stand-in” kiss at midnight at our Meetup’s New Year’s Eve Party and the only person to at least send me an e-card on Valentine’s Day. . .
Oh my God. How foolish have I been?
I ended things with Big Daddy before they got too serious so I could continue searching for my perfect Mr. Right. Could it be that I’ve been so caught up in my search for the “perfect thing” that I’ve been overlooking Mr. Right-Under-My-Nose? Sure, he’s considerably older than the men I prefer to date, and I was totally aggravated by his passive-aggressive approach to romantic pursuits, but now that all of our cards are on the table, things could be completely different. Now I am wondering if I got so caught up in my own daddy issues and stuck on stupid with Boy Wonder that I wasn’t able to give our relationship a fair chance. I don’t have a burning desire to have kids and maybe he would actually consider remarrying if we were to come to that point in our lives. I think I want to give our romance another try, but I am also plagued with nagging doubts and fears. What if he actually is seeing someone else? Would he even be willing to give me a second chance after I rejected him the first time? Have my feelings for him changed simply because I’m lonely and miss having his attention? Am I settling after a year of searching because there really doesn’t seem to be any better options out there for me? Is he only more appealing to me when I think he might want someone else? Will I compulsively keep looking for the perfect even after I’ve found something pretty good? Will our friendship end completely once we cross the line like it did with Boy Wonder? I want to call him, but boy, am I conflicted in my mind.
What’s more is that my revelation about Big Daddy could not have come at a more inconvenient time. My next job will take me to St. Louis, MO from May to September, and I am supposed to be planning a date with someone I recently met online who seems very nice and totally sincere. This is one of those times I could really use some advice from a love mentor. What should I do? What should I do?