“I can have you married in a year!” Carol Courgette told me, assessing me with her serious gaze.
Shocked by her confidence and her words, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or run. “I don’t want to get married! Been there, done that!” I said.
“Oh, you just want to get laid,” she said, putting down her wine glass.
We sat on the deck of a wine shop in Seaport Village, San Diego, California, overlooking the water. The weather was a perfect 65F and I was buzzed from the wine that I’d already imbibed. Mary and I were in San Diego on a house hunting trip, and Carol was sitting next to us. She had jumped into the conversation when she heard us talking about neighborhoods, and as usual with me, the conversation had turned to dating.
That’s right, I was in San Diego to look for a condo. I’m moving to Cali! On Facebook I joked about moving to become an actress; that’s not strictly true, I’m moving for my day job. If I get discovered one day while looking fabulous in a coffee shop, well, who am I to question fate?
Until then, I’ll see if Carol knows some magic tricks that I don’t know.
“Um, no. I would like a boyfriend,” I answered. “What’s your formula for getting me hitched?”
Carol Courgette’s Rules for Snagging a Husband
- Don’t put out for a while. Make him wait for it. Ok, we’ve heard this one before; The Bitch’s Guide to Dating stated, “Don’t give away the jujubes; make him want the candy store.” Or was it, “Men Love Bitches”? You know, I get those two books mixed up. Anyhow, I’m sure that rule has been around for a while; it’s just not very fun, so people choose to ignore it. Hey, I didn’t say that I ignore it, I said You know, in general.
- Let him pay for the meals. “Wait a minute,” I said, “I like to pay, so that I don’t feel obligated.” Carol snorted and said, “Guys like the old fashioned shit. Trust me.”
- Create a very specific Match.com profile. Ok, I feel like I’ve been there & done that, then widened the search because the guy I wanted, didn’t exist. “Trust me,” Carol said. “I wanted a guy over 6’ tall, blue eyes, professional. Here sits my husband, the lawyer.” Can’t argue with that evidence, counselor!
- Join clubs, so that you can meet people. Ok, so I feel like I’ve done this before. Maybe all the engineering clubs are full of men, but they’re either too young, too married, or too…well, not my type. I need a cool engineer, like me.
- Wear sandals; you get used to them. Hey, Mary and I walked all over the city, and through several condos, so I wore sneakers with my dress. I wasn’t there to pick up guys. So what if I looked like a tourist – I was one!
I asked a couple of bankers what they thought of these rules (ok, not the last one—that one’s solid). Yes, bankers—they were nice, we were having a good time, and so I asked ‘em what they thought. They were married, so they had no vested interest in whether I used the rules or not. The convo went something like this:
Banker #2 said, “I’m sure it’ll get you married, but it might get you divorced. You should be yourself.”
Wait, I should be myself and put out as soon as possible? What kind of a slut does he think I am? And does he expect a guy to divorce me because I love sex? Or does he think that I’ll get married and go back to wearing sneakers with dresses?
“Well, uh, I’m not going to comment on whether you should or should not put out. I do think you should join clubs, so that you can meet people who share your interests. And then, if you hit it off, great!” the first banker said.
The second banker said, “No, don’t join groups just to meet people! Join them because you want to be there and want to be doing those things. If you meet someone, they don’t have to love all the same things as you; you should share some interests and have some things that you do, that he doesn’t, and the other way around.”
“That’s what I said,” Banker #1 (the hot one) said. Too bad he’s married! “Join a running club, meet some people, and if you find a guy there to date, then you know that you have running in common.”
“No! Don’t do that! If you like running, then join the group, fine. But don’t do it expecting to meet someone!” Banker #2 (the funny one) said.
“Um, I think you’re saying the same thing, in different words,” I finally said.
Banker #2 wasn’t sure, but he quit arguing. “So, do you know anyone in San Diego?” he asked.
“No, I don’t,” I answered honestly. “I’m going for a new job. It’s exciting and scary and OMG I can’t believe I’m leaving TEXAS!!!”
“Have you visited yet?” Banker #2 asked.
“Yes, my friend and I went house hunting,” I said.
“Ah ha!” he said. “So you DO have a friend there!”
I just looked at him. Then I explained verrrrry slowwwwwly, “My friend and I bought tickets and boarded an airplane, so for the short time that we were in San Diego, yes, I had a friend there. However, since we are now back in Texas, having returned from our trip, I no longer have a friend in that city.” Like, DUH! I imported a friend for the weekend!
Ok, that sounds a tiny bit pathetic. Stay with me here.
“And who is your friend?” he asked, voice dripping with suspicion, leaning forward and glancing slyly at Banker #1, as though saying, We’ve got her now! She has to confess!
I wonder what I was supposed to be guilty of. Having a friend? Having a lover? Did he think that I was hiding a hot guy in my closet? Well, sorry to disappoint!
I answered, quite honestly, “My friend Mary. She’s a 65-year-old grandma, who is a dear friend of mine. I was very grateful that she agreed to house hunt with me.”
Sigh. I wish my travel partner had been a hot guy! (No offense, Mary. I’m sure you wish that I was a hot guy, too.)
The movers will be here on Monday and I’ll drive into the sunset on Tuesday. Ok, I’m driving west, so technically, I’ll be driving into the sunrise. At any rate, I’ll be leaving my beloved Texas, friends, and family behind to start a new life on the west coast. As much as they’re sorry to see me go, several have promised to come visit. It warms my heart to have such great friends. Ah, who am I kidding—they’ll be visiting San Diego, not me!!
And who can blame them?! The city is gorgeous, the weather is fabulous, and there’s so much to do! Legoland, the zoo, Balboa Park (which is 140% the size of New York’s Central Park and boasts 17 museums PLUS gardens, and more!), Little Italy, the Gaslamp District, Old Towne, and…what else? Hmmm, what did I leave out?
Jack told me, “Mom, I don’t like the ocean.”
I answered, “Sweetheart, you’ve never seen the ocean.”
“Yes, I have,” he answered, “I’ve been to Galveston and Port Aransas.”
I stared at him in silence for a moment. Oh, no, the boy was serious!! “Um, Jack? Those are Texan cities on the Gulf of Mexico. Comparing the Gulf to the ocean is like comparing a bathtub to a swimming pool: they both have water, but they’re verrrrrrrry different.”
He said, “I reserve judgment until I see it.”
His sister first saw an ocean in 2010, on the east coast: she ran to it, jumped up and down like a child (she was a mature 12 years old at the time), and insisted that I splash in the waves with her. Then we had to build a sand castle—YES WE HAD TO! It’s MANDATORY when visiting a REAL BEACH for the first time. At least, that’s what Sally I-Love-the-Ocean-And-I’m-Never-Going-Home Strawberry told me!
So now you know why I haven’t posted in a while. And now you know that you have much to look forward to: stories of my adventure in a new state with foreign customs! Ok, so California isn’t really “foreign,” per se, but Trust Me when I say it’s a different culture! Who knew that you’re not supposed to wear sneakers with a dress!
(Ok, so I knew that. I was just throwing out a convenient example.)
And I may just have to try Match.com again, with Carol’s pinpoint precision instructions. Who knows – maybe I’ll actually meet a guy. And maybe—just maybe—I’ll want to marry him.
Hey, I’m a dreamer!
P.S. “All my exes live in Texas. That’s why I hang my hat in San Diego!!”
P.S.S. It’s not strictly true, but I’m going to say it anyway. Sorry, King George, for misquoting you!
My sad face when I had to get on the plane leaving San Diego.