I am not used to being pursued by men. This is not to say it’s never happened, but the eight and a half years I lived in New York can best be described as an incredibly long dry spell interrupted by too many bad first dates, as many one-night stands, and one seriously flawed serious relationship.
While I know some of the fault lies in my refusal to date actors, bad spellers, or men who work in finance, my sister and I joke that in New York I was fat and average, but in Kansas City I’m hot. Not that there aren’t plenty of attractive women in the Midwest, but New York is a city full of models, actresses, and hundreds of thousands of women who look like models and actresses. Going out in New York in our size-10 jeans, my sister and I concluded after her first visit, was like going to a gay bar anywhere else in the country.
I often dreamed of moving to a far-away land full of single, available manly men. And after too many Saturday nights stuck at home with “Men in Trees” on demand and endless bottles of red wine, I actually looked into moving to Alaska. New York writer chick moves to the Middle of Nowhere and has her choice of bearded men, I thought, I can do that! I didn’t, figuring an extended case of the winter blues in the 49th State might be worse than trying to wrangle the attention of skinny hipster boys in Brooklyn. But when I finally decided to move to a quieter and cheaper city for the mental and physical space to write, it did not escape me that my entire dating game was about to change.
I don’t know if it was the confidence those smiles instilled or the fact that I’m comparatively “hot” in the Midwest, but within a week of my arrival in Missouri I was being pursued. An old friend had invited me to happy hour with her co-workers and 20 minutes after she dropped me off at my apartment, she called to say that the quiet guy who had been sitting across the table had already asked her for my number. I laughed it off at the time; we’d barely spoken a word to each other, let alone made any eye contact. The next day, he tried again. By his third attempt to get my digits, I told my friend he could have them.
Happy Hour was Friday. At 10:30 on Sunday morning my phone rang. I don’t know that anybody but credit card collectors had called me that early on the weekend in years. But the guy from across the table was on the phone, asking me out.
Beginner’s luck or the beginning of lots of sex in the Show-Me State? Only time will tell.