New Year's has always been a bad date night for me. In high school I didn't "put out" so I was the night's FIRST DATE, home by one. I learned this later from my former dates at my high school reunions. What is it about getting older that made those guys think I would like to find out stuff like that?
In college my New Year's dates were usually our last dates. For some reason I broke up with everybody I was dating on December 31st. Right about midnight. Clearly I did not have good New Year's Eve karma.
But I was young and continued to have romantic notions of expensive, candlelight dinners, dancing, and late night smooching, you know the drill.
After college I met a guy I wanted to spend New Year's Eve with for the rest of my life. This was back in the day, when young women did things like keep scrapbooks for their dream weddings, complete with pictures of their silver, china, first home,and fairy tale bridal dress -- before there was even a guy to make plans with. They still do that, but usually in secret because let's face it, it's weird.
I didn't do the bridal scrapbook thingy, but I always dreamed of the perfect New Year's Date. In fact, I had started dating the target of my obsession a couple of months before the big day. I was crazy about him and just assumed he felt the same way, because, well, he was going out with ME.
I should have known I wasn't going to be number one on his dance card when he didn't invite me to his family's house in Aspen over the holidays. He did say he would be back for New Year's, which was as good as asking me out as far as I was concerned. However, he didn't actually ask me out by saying anything that resembled, "Would you like to go out on New Year's Eve?"
So I simply decided to wait for his return. Because I was worth returning for. No one could dissuade me. He and I were going to spend that magicial evening together.
Not that I didn't have other opportunities. I think it's relevant to note that I turned down a total of five offers to go out on that particular NewYear's Eve.
But noooooo, I turned them all down. Mr. Perfect Date was going to be back from his trip so WE could have that time for OUR special evening.
Needless to say his original return date came and went. I got this information from his friends who were in touch with him. The fact that he wasn't in touch with me never crossed my radar.
Denial was at DEAF-con 4. When the big day came and he still wasn't back from Aspen, I turned down offers four and five for the evening, because I just knew he would show up around dinnertime and give me a call. I imagined him racing to a pay phone at the airport after getting off the plane. He would be so pleased that I had waited for him, only him. Then he would take me to a romantic restaurant, after bringing me flowers and a small gift from his trip. And we would find outselves in a quiet spot when the clock struck twelve and have one of those Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr moments. Did I mention he was as goodlooking as Cary Grant? On the other hand, I thought I looked better than Ms. Kerr.
He never came back for New Year's. No suspense there. He stayed in Aspen, smitten by a beautiful young woman from Europe who was the houseguest of friends, something I learned later. I stayed home, dazed and confused.
[Being dazed and confused continued after my marriage to someone else a few years later, when I once celebrated New Year's Eve watching the ball drop in New York on TV, only to discover that I had celebrated the midnight moment at eleven my time. My husband was watching a Notre Dame game, so we didn't even kiss. Happy New Year babe, I'm going to bed.]
A few weeks after the New Year's Eve that wasn't, I waited again for the original Mr. Romance to ask me to a big dance that everyone was going to. As I write this I am beginning to understand the reason I am alone today, but I digress.
The weeks passed. Someone else asked me to the dance first and I accepted -- I wasn't going to miss this event. About a week beforehand, after the movies or something, my dream man said, "Well, I guess you get the nod." Has there ever been a less enthusiastic invitation?
If I hadn't been so crazy [blind, an idiot, etc.] about him, I could have said, "You waited too long, I already have a date." But, no, I accepted and told my other date the truth -- that the guy I really wanted to go out with had just asked me and I couldn't be at the same party unless I was with him.
We dated for four years [go figure] until it FINALLY became clear that I wasn't THE ONE.
There were times we talked about THAT NEW YEAR'S EVE when I waited forhim to come back like he said he would, but didn't. Those conversations usually started out with me saying, "Remember when you stood me up for New Year's?"
Despite everything, we're still friends. He had a few redeeming features. Luckily, after forty some years, I am no longer waiting forhim. I do think he still carries a torch for the cool blond from Europe who kept him out of town way past his due date that New Year's in Aspen. [Even after four kids and an ex-wife later.]
These days I look more like Cary Grant than he does. As for whatever her name was -- his Aspen fling -- I think it's ironic that she was Deborah Kerr's assistant.