Monday, March 07, 2005

Play Your Cards Right

I'm the "play your cards right" girl. For some reason, every time I meet someone, or I'm about to be set up, those horrible little words are whispered to me with an arch look and a knowing nod. !!Warning!! in construction site orange, "don't screw this up" or you won't get this "catch" of a guy. Of course, the people offering the sage advice usually barely know the man any better than the guy at his coffee shop that makes his coffee every morning. Actually, knowing how someone takes their coffee is pretty intimate, I think, so the coffee shop guy probably has an advantage.

I often wonder if the guy being set up with me hears these things from anyone. I doubt his buddies, or his mother, or his sister's cousin's friend's roommate (who set us up) ever say that. I don't think any man ever hears, "play your cards right, dude." Well, at least not in a non-sexual conquest sort of way.

I met someone this weekend through a set-up. The guy's stats/info are such that I would normally not agree to a date, but of course, in the interest of not offending anyone and not ruining friendships among families for what could be considered my misplaced conceit, I said yes.

I must, as an initial disclaimer, say that he is a perfectly nice guy. But nice in the shoulder-shrug kind of way. The things I'm not happy with: He's ten-and-a-half years my senior. He's old fashioned. He makes lots of money (good) but does so in an industry that I don't have much respect for (bad). He's old fashioned. He's short. No really. He's old fashioned. He didn't finish college. And did I mention he's old fashioned?

Of course, my family and its accomplices probably feel that as a divorced woman, I really don't have a right to be so picky. I mean, I'm sure he was informed, in a leaned in whisper that came behind a hand "She's divorced" and then the informer, leaning back, compensated with, "but I heard she's a nice girl."

It's as if my divorce cancels out the objections I would dare to have. It doesn't matter that I'm a fifth year associate at a large NY firm, or that I own my own apartment and car, or that I'm relatively cute and have an extensive vocabulary. I should "play my cards right" and maybe I'll be able to catch someone I don't even want.

But I prefer a nice game of solitaire. Let someone else gamble with their happiness.


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