I am a single, straight woman nearing the 30-year-old mark.
This frightens me.
But that's not what this post is about. This post is about how I - as a single, straight woman approaching 30 - deal with the men I meet on a daily basis. Because, believe it or not, I do meet men daily! Ok, so maybe I don't meet them. I see them. I order food from them in restaurants. I sit next to them on the bus. I encounter them, shall we say.
Today, for example, I was ordering my beverage at Caribou (yes, yet another Ho Ho Mocha - this time they didn't screw it up at all). For those of you who aren't familiar with the coffee shop chain, it's a lot like Starbucks, but I think they have better coffee (but, like Starbucks, if you cross the street in Minneapolis, you'll come to another Caribou - I'm pretty sure there's one in every building downtown). They have a trivia question (that varies by location) every day, and if you answer the question correctly, you get 10 cents off your order (measly prize, but it's still fun). I answered the trivia question today because I knew the answer - the question was something about a composer dying while working on his 10th symphony. Obviously, it was Beethoven (ok, it's obvious to anyone who took a music history class - the question also supplied the year of his death). As the cashier was ringing in my discount, I said, "Yay! Finally that music major is finally paying off!" And he told me that he, too, was a music major! I thought to myself, this guy is a little young, has a little more facial hair than I prefer, but he wears glasses and seems pretty nice. And a good conversationalist, too!
So, I did what any good single, straight, almost-30-year-old woman does: I glanced at the ring finger on his left hand. Sure enough, he wore a nice gold band on his ring finger. Married. Taken. Off the market. Tied down. Locked in. No banana for me.
So much for that.
This is a normal chain of events for me. Nice conversation, reasonable level of attractiveness, casual glance to the finger. I'm used to it. And - damn - there are a LOT of married guys around here.
Last night was the TGIO party for NaNoWriMo (TGIO = "thank god it's over"). I've gotten to know a number of people in the local NaNo community thanks to write-ins and the various parties. We're sitting around, chatting, eating food, comparing crap levels of each other's novels, when suddenly a guy walks in that I don't recognize. He sits down without getting any food, and he sits near the podium where the excerpts will be read. I ask the people around me if anyone knows who he is - no one does. Mystery Man seems to have a laptop with him. Perhaps he will read? But being the true social butterfly that I am, I don't listen to any of the readings because I want to socialize with the other chatty people in the group. I don't know if he reads anything or not. I don't know what his name is, how old he is, or anything about him. But he piqued my interest.
It should be noted here that I was the person who said on the regional NaNo forum that I originally joined NaNo to meet men.
Naturally, my next series of thoughts was: "Mystery Man must be creative, since he's here for the big party for writers. Is he single? Is he straight? Is he as old as he looks? I wonder if he's wearing a ring?" But I'm too distracted talking to everyone at the party. By the time I think to look for him - and possibly build up the courage to talk to him - he was gone.
If others hadn't seen him as well, I would wonder if he were a ghost or a figment of my imagination. I never even got to see whether or not he had a ring.