Stella Dixon’s take on romance at the shore.
Some people are probably wondering what business I have writing a dating column at all. My longest relationship lasted just two years, and that was back in college, when our biggest challenge as a couple was finding the bar with the cheapest cover charge. We once had an argument, a bona fide yelling match, because he wouldn’t lend me his blender.
Kitchen appliances aside, when it comes to finding that special someone, my track record is disastrous. I once dated the cool surfer guy, because he had good hair and was, well, the cool surfer guy. I dated the nice guy when I got sick of the cool guy flaking on me, until I discovered nice guy’s criminal record. I dated the happy-go-lucky guy, who was all fun and games until he stopped taking his anti-depressants. I’ve gone out with jocks, geeks, and mommas boys. I’ve gone on blind dates, bad dates, great dates, and absolutely ridiculous dates with strange men, goofy men, mean men, and, on a couple of really confusing evenings, homosexual men.
Like my favorite and most painful pair of five-inch stilettos, I end up swearing off the entire gender every time I give it another go. But, hopeless romantic that I am, I always and inevitably stuff my painted toes back into those godforsaken shoes and agree to yet another dinner and a movie.
I’ve done my best June Cleaver impression, striving to be an absolute doll of domesticity. I’ve been the endearing tomboy, feigning excitement over a full count in the ninth inning with bases loaded and two outs. I’ve tried to be sexy, forgoing granny-panties for fishnet stockings and a push-up bra. I’ve been the free-spirited hippie, the over-achiever, and the raging feminist – all the while hoping that Mr Right would recognize my own unique persona.
For all the time I’ve spent searching, I’ve never been married. I’ve never even been close. I’ve never lived with a guy or given a man a key to my place. In fact, if I’m worried about keys at all, it’s usually because I’m hiding spare sets from one of several crazy exes.
So no, I have no business offering advice of any kind (the Answer Lady has that covered, anyway). But what I can offer are stories – some serious, some seriously laughable – and, perhaps, a little hope as well. Despite dark dating moments, I still believe that chivalry’s alive, however dormant, and that real love does exist, however rare.
My best friend says that when it comes to dating in Cape May County, the odds are good, but the goods are seriously odd. I’ll be twenty-five years old tomorrow, and so far I haven’t been able to prove her wrong. But I have had one heck of an adventure trying. I’d like to invite you, my trusty readers, to come along for the ride.