Except that it wasn’t.
Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed jogging along the Thames. And it was great to brush up on the theatre scene (if 2008 Tony-winning “In the Heights” counts as current—this is the place where they keep performing 400-year-old works of some dude name Billy Shakespeare). Being wholly ignored by the salespeople at Harrods, not as great, but still a kick to say I’ve been there.
But I’m home again and there isn’t an email or a text from a Ted Baker-clad gentleman, saying he wishes I were still there. No Skyping or Facetime to hear that gorgeous accent and see that sexy face. He has dimples. And thick, wavy hair.
Except he doesn’t.
My prince never appeared. No doubt he had to trek to Scotland to oversee a reno of one of his lesser castles. Terribly bad timing. But that just takes me right back to where I was. Hopelessly single in Vancouver. And still without furniture. Hello, condo. It’s an instant comedown.
And so I search for inspiration. This time I harken Taylor Swift. I shake it off. And after a YouTube detour that leads to “Teardrops on My Guitar”, “15”, “22” and the cathartic “Mean”, I find “Love Story” and get back on the hopeful track. I log on to OkCupid and Plenty of Fish and muster up a renewed sense of optimism. I’ve been gone a week, after all. Surely new local guys have decided to give online dating a whirl.
Except they haven’t.
But I try to be open. I am jetlagged but refreshed. I commit to sending one guy a message. A sign of effort. An act to delay the insufferable whining. (Yeah, I can hear myself.) I squint and scroll through the POF thumbnails generated by my wide-open search criteria—40 plus, photo, within 100 kilometres—and click on a few, quickly shouting “Oh, no!” and “Oops!” each time. This has a purpose. It reminds me that I really need to splurge and buy a new pair of glasses after losing the last ones four months ago.
After ten or fifteen minutes, I settle on one profile. An active guy, swimmer and jogger like me. He describes himself as artsy. And best of all there is not a single writing error in his profile. He even paragraphs properly. So I draft a message. I reread it. I pause to reconsider. I press send anyway. He’ll never reply.
Except he does.
Five minutes later. I’m still going through the obligatory profile search. Nobody replies that quickly. It goes against all the rules. Even for people who don’t go by rules. Too eager. Too desperate. This could be a match.
Sending my first message was all I’d committed to. I still have to unpack my suitcase. (I’m the opposite of most travelers—I cram everything in during the hour before I head to the airport and then take days after my return to get around to the unpacking. The suitcase can sit in the living room for a week. Okay, longer.) I don’t feel like drafting another message. Things can get chatty. Like text messages. And I still hate text messages. They can end so suddenly. Besides, my mind will be fresher in the morning. Perhaps I’ll throw in some witty asides. I decide to write back tomorrow.
Except I don’t.I suck it up and send a reply to the reply. I don’t play games either. Two days later, we’re meeting for coffee. And, just like that, I’m giving Vancouver another try.