Letter #42: Dear Future Boyfriend During a Summer that is not This One

Dear Future Boyfriend,

Sometimes I feel a little silly writing these occasional letters to you. I fear that they make me appear to be like a little girl crushing on the pages of a teen magazine of the music star she listens to every night. Like I'm focusing on a person that I can envision but not quite really see. Someone who I know exists, just is so out of my touch right now that it almost seems not worth it to daydream.

But I think we do meet you'll find my daydreaming adorable. We'll spend an hour in a coffee shop in our neighborhood just making up stories about those who pass on the street before us, in-between our own conversation and sips.

And it will be at this local coffee shop, on one slightly, unseasonably crisp July morning that I'll be reminded of my summer of celibacy. And I'll start to tell you all of the things I did in Summer 2012 when I wasn't out looking for you. I'll tell you about how I liked a law student who wasn't ready for serious things. I'll make you laugh when I tell you how many times I took down, and put back up, my online dating profile.  I'll tell you how I got asked out on dates by library patrons while reading at Starbucks.

And then you'll tell me about how you kept going on dates with a woman from your office out of habit, but they always ended poorly. You'll share funny quips from your own online dating profile.  And you'll tell me the books you downloaded for your Kindle, confessing which ones you read and which ones you left by the wayside for another time.

We'll each have a funny memory that comes to mind when we hear Call Me Maybe on the radio. And sure enough, there will probably be a song from Summer of 2012 that makes me wistfully nostalgic and bring tears to my eyes. And you'll listen to me tell a long-winded story of my premonitions and bad dreams that came along with that summer.  I'll listen to you tell me about the phone calls you fielded from family members all summer long about a reunion that was going to happen over Labor Day weekend.

"Why the summer of celibacy?" you'll ask? A few days after my first mention of it at the coffee shop. And truthfully I'll say to you that I self-imposed a season of not trying to meet anyone. Because I just needed a break. I had too much on my plate. I was too worried about the future. And I just wanted to meet someone who wanted to be in a relationship and all I kept finding were men who liked me very much. Just didn't like commitment to me very much. I'll tell you that I was very open to finding and dating and discovering. But I just wanted to make sure the next person who came along was serious enough to make time for me in their busy world. Not just squeeze me in when a few moments became free.

And you'll nod your head, kiss my forehead, and say you understand. And on another trip to the same coffee shop, we'll share the stories of what came after.


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