I accept that I am not super model thin or hot. But I am definitely cute enough to kiss. So it is with sincerity I can say, I am smoking hot this Thursday night in my strapless funky printed dress, denim bolero and bronze sandals. However, Reindeer has not complimented me. Nor has he noticed me dress, as he is preoccupied with a mood bordering on sullen.
We’re sitting at an outdoor café in Little Italy eating pasta. For early October the weather is amazing. I clear my throat and say, “I think we should do something fun for your birthday.” He is turning 40 in 10 days. “I am,” he replies. Oh? Why is this the first I am hearing of such plans, unless of course, they don’t include me. “What’s that?” I ask, forcing my tone to stay light. “My buddies and I are going to our alma mater for a football game and golf.” Because I feel a little kicked in the gut, I try to joke and say, “What no strip clubs?” He smirks a little, almost like he doesn’t want to but cannot help it. “Maybe Hooters. For the wings,” he replies. And the breasts, no doubt!
After dinner we walk around but the gelato and cannoli options don’t appeal to either of us. “I have an idea,” Reindeer says and leads us to Rice to Riches. “Rice pudding in every flavor you can imagine,” he says.
We survey the choices and holy moly Durga; Rice to Riches makes every flavor imaginable, from fruit to nut, spice to chocolate and everything between. I get plain, which seems to annoy Reindeer, who gets a tried and true mom flavor like maple nut.
I cannot explain it, but literally it feels like he slipped away sometime between our Star Wars dinner and now. Last we spoke he said I could not date anyone else, now he barely makes eye contact.
And these BIG plans to spend his birthday with his friends (fine he has known then for 20 years) don’t trouble me as much as realizing that his friends have NO IDEA I exist.
Of course he travels too, so that makes dating him difficult because I am competing with grocery shopping, his friends, yoga, golf and errands. Which then occurs to me, why are we still formally going on dates at this point? Why aren’t we running errands, cooking dinners and frequenting Target/Wal-Mart? So I ask, “Hey, I have an idea, we should integrate our lives, and do the day to day stuff, too.” He sighs and keeps eating his rice pudding. No good, right?
The Sunday night after our Italian dinner I call Reindeer. I presume he must be in Florida by now. I know he has been working a project there and planned to work Monday to Thursday and then meet up with his friends for the weekend. All of which means I won’t be seeing him for at least 10 days.
“Hello,” he says. “How are you?” I ask trying to keep my tone bright. “I’m good,” he replies. “How is Florida?” I ask. “I will let you know tomorrow,” he says. “Why?” I ask. “Because I am still in New York,” he says.
Like air being released from a balloon, I deflate. He was here all weekend and obviously he didn't want to see me.