Sometimes, I feel like an a-hole. Like a few weeks ago on that first date. Enter seasonal sports analogy: Team Kathleen was in the playoff game for love and I was the team’s equivalent of Billy Cundiff. That’s right, I was the kicker who only had 32 yards to a game-winning field goal but MISSED. Yea, this was the date that was going to put me in the SuperLoveBowl and I had just kicked wide and had to go home without getting to play for the “championship” ring.
There’s nothing more disappointing than sitting across from someone you think could be “it” and feeling like you’re just not on your A-game. It turns into an almost outer-body experience where you get to watch yourself plummet faster and faster, but can’t seem to come to your own rescue. My heart kept bouncing back and forth between my stomach and my throat – had it been only a flutter, I might have been able to get it under control and build myself a life raft. Instead, I found myself head under water, drowning in flatly-told stories and saying “all-the-wrong-things.”
Somewhere between the sandwich and the dessert menu, I sighed with the thought that “this just isn’t going to amount to anything.”
The farewell walk might as well have been a walk along the green mile. He had been thoughtful enough to accompany me to my next destination, but I almost wished he had shown less chivalry. Mediocrity is exhausting, and I was plum worn out from three hours being a mediocre date. I needed to walk briskly, add a few extra blocks to my trek and let the winter air numb an already aching heart.
The good-bye was awkward enough that, if I tried really hard, I could find a glimmer of hope that not all was lost. But I knew better. As I made my way home later that evening, I resigned to what would become the reality – he would evaporate as quickly as he had appeared.
Love really is a game. Luckily, I’ve been an athlete my whole life, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned on the sports field that’s also applicable to the quest for love it’s this: there’s always another season to be played, which means there’s always another chance for victory… that is, as long as you’re not too quick to throw in the towel.