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Pauline Lerner

July 23, 2005 at 6:37 AM

Yesterday I had an unusual experience: a good date. I haven’t had many dates in a while, and those I’ve had were not good. This fellow and I had been friends, although not particularly close friends, about 15 years ago, when we worked in the same building and worked out in the same gym. He rediscovered me on the Internet. He told me that he had been attracted to me 15 years ago but he couldn’t act on his feelings because he was married at the time. Of course, I figured that this was a good line, and I didn’t believe him. I remembered him as a happy, bright, people-oriented jock. Now I have learned that there are a whole lot of things about him that I didn’t know, and I see new aspects and new depths to his character.

I was really smitten. I have seldom felt this way about any man. I can’t explain it on the basis of anything he said. It must be that elusive thing they call “chemistry.”

We had some misunderstandings before we met, but we managed to communicate, and we met at Starbucks after he got off of work on Friday. When he motioned to adjourn, I was surprised. We had been together for less than an hour and he didn’t say anything about seeing me again. I couldn’t let him slip away. I overcame my shyness and gave him a good, close hug and reminded him that we had talked about seeing a movie together. I think he caught the bait.

When we met at Starbucks, he told me that he hadn’t had time to buy flowers for me, but he had something else for me. It was a CD that he had with him, and he bought a gift bag for it. Of course, the way to my heart is through music. In fact, one of the ways I evaluate a man as a date is the kind of music he likes and listens to with me. For one man, it was classic recordings of Ella Fitzgerald; for another, the theme to the film Orfeo Negro; etc. This man gave me a CD of Vengerov and Virtuosi Violinists. I wasn’t familiar with Vengerov, but I just love this recording. The first track on the CD is Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, and it moved me so, so much. It sounded like the outpouring of one soul towards another soul. Somehow, in some mystical sense, I felt that we connected through this music. It’s not just that he gave me a violin CD because he knows that I play violin. I sensed a strong bond connecting the two of us. I was so excited that I wrote him an email (I don’t have his phone number) telling him that. I tried to put into words and communicate clearly my feelings for him. It takes a lot to overcome my shyness, and, believe me, this man has a lot.

Don’t worry. I’m not going to do too much too fast. I have done that several times in the past, and I’ve always regretted it. Right now I feel like I’ve been struggling alone in the darkness for years. This man gives me the sense of light, warmth, and romance. I asked myself whether it’s just because I’m at a vulnerable stage of my life, and I don’t think so. There is something real and strong connecting us, as I told him in my email. I also told him that I’m normally not this forward but he has a strong effect on me. I feel as excited as an 18 year old, and I enjoy it. I know that I may be setting myself up for a big fall, but that’s OK. In the words of the great twentieth century philosophist, Billy Joel, “I have been a fool for lesser things.” I feel excited in a sweet way just by thinking about him.

Now is the waiting game. He has corresponded with me by email from his office. I don’t expect him to read my two latest emails until Monday. I can only guess and hope how he will react at that time. Now I’m longing for him.

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