Two years ago, at K’s pre-K end-of-school year play, one of the other attendees looked familiar. I kept stealing glances at him, trying to figure out if I really knew him, and if I did, from where.
Finally, I thought I had it, and went up to him and said, “Are you Roy?” He affirmed that in fact he was, and I had the slightly sheepish pleasure of reminding him that we had “dated” briefly in college, twenty-some years before. I put “dated” in quotes because this was an extremely chaste relationship. It was a fix-up of sorts – he was a friend of my best friend’s boyfriend’s roommate (got all that?) and he may have been on a break-up with a girlfriend at the time. We never so much as kissed. However, I do recall going out to dinner a few times, and generally enjoying his company (and I believe he enjoyed mine as well). While I can’t say for sure why it never went further, it was possibly because I was extremely young (a very sheltered and naive freshman), and he was either a junior or a senior with much more worldliness. At any rate, we never “broke up” since we were never really a couple, and any memories I had of him were of the fond nature.
So we did a 60-second recap of the past 20+ years and it turned out that his son was in K’s class, but he was divorced from the boy’s mother. He still lived near where we went to school, which was about an hour or so away, and I’m not sure I caught what he did for work. We parted with hugs and more sidelong glances, and that was that.
That fall K was invited to his son’s birthday party, which we attended. Both Roy and his ex were there, as parents of the birthday boy, and we exchanged a few sarcastic, mildly flirtatious, comments about something or other. But that, again, was that.
I believe the next time we saw each other was last June, at our kids’ graduation from Kindergarten. We chatted a lot, I got both a hello and a goodbye hug, and he said, “I do hope we see each other again,” and I was just about to say something along the lines of, “do you have email?” (hold me back, I’m so forward!) when someone else came up to us and the moment was gone.
Today K was invited to another birthday party of a girl she had attended Kindergarten with, and I was shocked when Roy was there as well, accompanying his son as a fellow attendee. Shocked that the son was also invited (at age 7 parties seem to be split more on gender lines, and also because this kid lives in another town), and that he would be the one to bring him. But we both were very happy to see each other again – more hugs were exchanged. And I really, really wanted to find a way to exchange contact information, but it was all over before I could work up my nerve. So, that, for the umpteenth time, was that.
My question, for anyone still reading – what to do? I have tried all the online directories and he is not listed. The only person I know for sure would know how to contact him is his ex-wife, but I think that’s a little weird, and it’s not like she and I were ever really all that friendly, despite attending many joint school and birthday party events for various kids in the class. I don’t even know if she knows I used to know him. She might even be the girlfriend he was on the break with way back when! I don’t know if I’m ready for a relationship, but it seems like someone I sort of already know might be a good place to test the waters….and he has seemed at least mildly interested. Not enough to ask for my number, but look how tentative I am! Men are like that too sometimes, right? Or should I just forget it?
Dating in your forties is for the birds……