“after all, ” my cousin says “you are not getting any younger. after 35, it will be even harder”
i sip my Turkish coffee and say nothing. my cousin has found me the perfect soul-mate. he is Albanian, single, over 35, and looking. and he is so handsome! he is a (what else!) doorman in Manhattan. set for life, you know. and everybody knows that men from that Alb region are lambs, never get jealous except on Fridays, and are always respectful towards in-laws.
i sip my coffee and remember my friend in her frenzy-looking phase, before she proceeded to become pregnant by her Internet sweetheart in Canada, who she had never seen before except on camera. my cousin’s perfect candidate was one of her prospects too. they had one date. as desperate as she was, she was still bored to death and could not remember the date without a shudder.
ahh the world is so small and the circle of single available and sane Alb men over 30 is even smaller. i think i have met three quarters of them at some point or another. well, some damn Yankees too for that matter. New York is so stingy in this direction. i am actually told dating becomes easier in the late thirties, because the 2nd wife syndrome starts around that age.
i start to tell this cousin (twice removed) that i am not interested. it is not easy. she can’t see any reasons why. i mean, she has seen the guy himself and he is absolutely gorgeous. a very good looking man. i am good looking too, but he is far off the charts apparently. and he only has one request, a picture of me, so that he is sure he is not taking a troll for coffee. if he likes my pic, he is ready to come with the ring.
i check the calendar for fear of being time warped. This is the 21st century, right? i look at my cousin, who is divorced from her own perfect mate, a man her family introduced her to, and have no strength to say no. i should start keeping more pictures of me around. perhaps the one in the boob dress? dunno if that would make him guarantee me a ring or a night at a motel.
perhaps i should make headshots, just like actors, with my height, width, eye color and chest size on the back. i should also list my special skills which include compulsive reading, midnight fridge raids and flirting with 85 year old men. would that make me more endearing? maybe his father will put in a good word for me.
i say no again.
“there is nobody else, is there?” she asks, eager to find new fodder for the gossip mill. what can i say? nope, there is nobody else. i date, but i am still sane enough not to admit it to my cousin. it is not my reputation i am thinking of. it is my mom’s eyes full of hope and my cousins all-knowing looks. no excuses.
and yet, i curse my mom for making me so well-mannered, and give my cousin my card to give to the perfect one. i have no pics but he can google me if he wants. i am pretty sure pics of me are all over the Internet.
“all over?” she asks.
“yep. all over” i solemnly affirm. “even the ones with all that leather”
i am of course referring to the pictures from the website of a company i used to work for, which sold furniture leather. but i do not want to ease her frowning forehead. my patent red business card does not help matters along either. my dear designer friend has done a fabulous job with it. remind me to kiss her when i next see her.
she takes it and then i make my excuses and leave. we’ll see what the future brings, but hopefully it will not be ex-military school rejects who are still looking for their promised perfect virgin wife (may they find it, amen).