Last weekend was my final free weekend until the middle of November (practically Thanksgiving), and in spite of my opting out of trying to stalk my anchorman, it really was the perfect last free weekend. I got stuff done around the house, like cooking, cleaning and laundry. Sunday, the rain held off as I was going to and from church, and then it rained steadily all day, making it the perfect day to spend on the couch with a good book.
With that book, I had a weird art/life/art mingling experience. The book was Love @ First Site by Jane Moore, and I picked it up Friday afternoon because I'd bought one of her earlier books on my last trip to England and I was in the mood for a good British chick lit book. Then on Saturday I mentioned my bias against online dating, which resulted in some discussion in the LiveJournal comments. Sunday afternoon while I worked the newspaper crossword puzzles, I watched a Live From Lincoln Center concert by Audra McDonald on PBS. There's something about good story songs, especially those from musicals, sung by a really expressive singer that makes me weepy, so I was already kind of sniffling and teary-eyed when she did a song called "I Won't Mind," that was from the point of view of a woman who's a kind of "aunt" to her friend's kids. For some weird reason, that song and the way she did it wiped me out, and soon I was sobbing (I think it struck off a book spark, though who knows where that story idea will take me). When the show ended, it was really raining, so I made some tea and picked up the nearest book at hand, which was Love @ First Site.
As you can probably tell from the title, it dealt with online dating. A woman in her mid-30s gets the not-so-welcome surprise gift of a membership in an online dating service for her birthday -- with her own ad already placed. She does want to meet someone because her sister's happy marriage and family really makes her want to have that for herself. She loves playing aunt to her sister's kids and would like her own someday. So, she figures she may as well give it a shot. In other words, the book seemed to include just about everything that's struck a nerve with me in the past couple of days. It had a lot of funny moments, plus some strong emotion, as well as the kind of ending that left me sighing. Perfect rainy day reading.
As I mentioned before, I did try online dating once. I met a guy who seemed great. We seemed to hit it off. We went out twice. At the end of the second date he was talking about things he thought would be fun to do together, and we were making vague plans -- everything but the exact date and logistics. Then he vanished completely. His profile went off the site, and he didn't respond when I sent him a casual follow-up e-mail that wasn't nagging, merely giving him my impressions of a movie we'd talked about that he wasn't sure of, but that I'd seen in the meantime. I guess that's about the same as my non-online dating life. But in the past few years, there's apparently been a predator using online dating to get his victims in my area, where he plays nice, meets his date at a restaurant, and then after the date he offers to walk her to her car -- where he then kidnaps and rapes her. And it's happened at restaurants in my neighborhood. That's made me a wee bit nervous about trying online dating with anyone in any proximity to me. I don't think they've caught him, since he used false info to sign up for the online dating site and the women don't know anything about him beyond the screen names.
Then there's the fact that I am apparently not compatible with anyone. I did one of those personality tests on one site, and it couldn't find anyone within a 50-mile radius who was in any way a match for my values, personality and interests. I'm not sure if that says something about me or something about the men on that site.
But who has time for dating, with all I have going on in the next few weeks! Speaking of which, we weren't able to arrange an "official" event in New York next week, but if I know that at least a couple of people are planning to show up, I'm willing to meet up for a chat and to sign any books you want to bring. I'm free on Tuesday late afternoon and evening and Wednesday evening. We just need a location. The cafe at the Union Square B&N has been suggested, but they're having major author events both nights (Tuesday it's Paula Deen!). I don't know if that will make the store crazy or mean you can get a table in the cafe, for a change. I love the coffee shop on Irving Place (71 Irving Place, I think?), but table hunting there can be a challenge, too. So, if you want to do this, let me know when works for you and if you have any place suggestions.