This "Best of Wink" column was originally published November 13, 2003. Sonja will return with a new column next week.
"Do you need anything?" the waiter asked as I waited for Tina to show up for lunch.
"Yeah, the ability to fast-forward my life to the good part, ya know? I mean, hell, it's like the tape is stuck, and it keeps playing the same part over and over ... meet a man who seems perfect, fall madly in love, then break up. It's like that Bon Jovi song that goes: Shot through the heart and you're to blame, darlin' you give love a bad name. I definitely give love a bad name. Then I'm left wallowing in self-pity, wondering if I should even try again. I mean, what's the point? Maybe I've put too much emphasis on finding Mr. Right. Maybe there is no such thing; maybe there's just a series of Mr. Rights who float into your life at different times, for different reasons, and your job is to decipher those reasons, grow from the experience and share your wisdom with the world, right?"
"Right," he answered, as though I'd just told him I had a bomb strapped to my body. "So, you're still waiting for someone?" he added, glancing at the empty chair.
"Yup, still waiting. But I've taken an active role in trying to find my soul mate. I mean, hello? I went online trying to find love ..."
He walked away before I finished. Great. Not even a guy working for tips would humor me. Ten minutes later, Tina still hadn't shown up, and I was assigned a new waiter.
Oh well, at least I was out of the house, out of my bed and out of those disgusting flannel PJs I wear when I mope. It felt good to be among the living again, although I was sure I'd done the right thing by quarantining myself from the rest of the world as I nursed my broken heart back to health.
I didn't want to jump right back into the dating game. The worst feeling in the world is to be sitting across the dinner table from someone who is trying in vain to get to know you better when all you can do is stare blankly at him, wishing you could magically transform him into the person you just broke up with.
Nope, this time I sat around the house having one hell of a spectacular mope. I didn't even over-romanticize the failed relationship.
He was no good for me; I should have seen it coming. For starters, he was a workaholic. He loved his career so much he was happy just working around the clock. I mean, he earned a good living and took very good care of me, but still, what about my needs? That didn't exactly leave much time for me. And because he worked 16-hour days, he was always too tired to go anywhere and definitely too tired for passion.
I need passion. And although he promised that when his busy season was over, which it is now, he'd have more than enough time for me and we could make love all day, travel and take the kids on fun adventures ... well, I just didn't have the patience to wait.
Just then a very handsome man walked into the restaurant. He glanced my way and smiled. There now, that's the ticket. I'm back on track. He just threw a strong vibe my way. I decided at that very moment that I was ready to get back into the game. I called to the waiter. He froze and looked over his shoulder. "Yes, you," I said. Obviously he'd been warned. Don't worry, little amigo, I thought, you're safe. I'm just going to match that adorable man's vibe with a little Sonja charm. In just a matter of minutes, he'll be joining me for lunch, and we'll be laughing and chatting and I'll think, "What ex-boyfriend?"
"Can you please send that gentleman a drink and put it on my tab?" I asked the waiter. Ha! Genius! He'd be so flattered he'd have to come over and thank me.
I watched the waiter approach the table with a glass of wine on his tray. The handsome man smiled and stood up. I checked my lipstick in the butter knife. Handsome man pulled out the chair next to him at his table. He was going to invite me to join him. Nice move, handsome man! The vibe was so strong between us that I couldn't help but giggle with anticipation. Just as I stood up, I saw her. A beautiful yellow-haired woman carrying a handbag that I'm sure cost more than my car. She approached handsome man, and he kissed her on the lips, just as the waiter points at me and explains that I've sent him a drink.
Apparently my vibe-rater was broken.
I wanted to die.
Beautiful yellow-haired woman turned to see who the waiter was pointing to. A smile crept over her face as she realized my mistake. She flipped her golden locks off of her shoulder and mouthed the words: Thank you.
Sing it, Bon Jovi: Standing there just a live wire, with nowhere left to turn / You were gonna set the world on fire / When will you ever learn?
That's it! I'm gone! I'd left the house for the first time in four weeks, and within 30 minutes had been stood up by my girlfriend, dumped by my waiter, made a fool of myself with a handsome man and got shunned by a beautiful yellow-haired woman. And to top it all off, I was a big, fat, hairy liar! I missed my ex-boyfriend so much I couldn't breathe! The reality was that I'd dumped him for ... working too much? That was the best I could come up with? My shrink told me that I'd find a reason to sabotage the relationship. That I fear happiness. That I'd find some reason to end it, and I certainly did.
I motion for the waiter to bring my bill. What? Twenty-one dollars for a lousy glass of wine? I have the worst luck. On the upside, things couldn't possibly get any worse.
That's when I noticed the other very attractive couple in the restaurant. She was very pretty, Latin like me, only younger, with long chestnut hair and a smile that lit up the room. She was listening intently to every word he said, and she laughed at all of his jokes. She was positively glowing. And he was my ex-boyfriend.
Baby does what baby please / And baby must have what baby sees / But not this time, the tables have turned / Baby, you just got burned / You give love a bad name ...
Sonja is a writer who covers the ins and outs of relationships. Or is it the ups and downs?