The guy I'm sort of dating asks me, “Do you know Glenda Bautista?”
I say, “No.”
He says, “We're trying to hire her.”
I say, “Really.”
He says, “Yeah. I was talking with my business partner and we both thought it must really suck for her that they are not dating anymore but they are still mentioned in the same breath a lot.”
“Really? Like how?”
“Google Glenda Bautista Matt.”
That conversation was four weeks ago. And I have talked with this guy I'm sort of dating, D, a lot since then. But I am not saying that he's my boyfriend because maybe I want my boyfriend to have as big a brand as Matt.
For forever, girls have been looking for guys with a ton of money — even the smart girls. But I married a guy who never earned any money, and honestly, I never really cared. We had problems, but not because I earned all the money.
So now I know that I don't need to look for a guy with a ton of money. And since my divorce, I’ve taken time to be sort of a free spirit, just dating people for fun and connection and all the corny things my readers ask me to pay attention to, as they explain how the farmer is not right for me, and how the 25-year-old is not right either, and that the alcoholic private equity guy is an alcoholic.
Then I thought about Glenda. I immediately thought she must be a good hire because she dated Matt. It's a good reference. You know she's smart. Because how could Matt be with a moron? He couldn't. And even before you see her in person, you can know she's not below average in the looks department, because I don't think Matt needs to go there. So my point, here is that attaching your own brand to a known, solid brand is very good.
So, D, who is really attentive and normal—two traits I have never had in a boyfriend, ever—is scary to me because I'm giving up the chance to enhance my brand by dating an online star.
So I was sort of keeping D a secret. Because I was worried doors would close. But I could see doors closing because each week I'd spend more time on the phone with him. You might have noticed this. There's an inverse correlation between how smitten I am with who I'm seeing and how frequent these blog posts arrive.
Last week, for example, there were two posts, and I only wrote one of them. When I was in a terrible marriage and trying to hide in my work, there were four posts a week, sometimes five.
I found myself doing stuff like talking with him all day via IM and text and email and the phone. So that even though he lives very far from me, it felt like he was sort of everywhere, all the time.
I got tired, so tired that I actually sent the kids to school one day and went back to bed and missed all my meetings. When I called Ryan to tell him I overslept I felt like I was the intern calling human resources and hoping not to get fired.
Ryan didn't care. He knows I work way more than most people and that I would probably be more sane if I worked less.
But I got nervous and went back to working long hours and still talking on the phone late at night, until one night recently.
I saw I missed a call, and I called him back, and I said, “Where are you?” Mostly I asked because it sounded loud and I know his routine now, and it's never loud at 8pm. He said, “I'm on a plane. Stuck on the tarmac.”
I said, “You didn't tell me you were flying tonight.”
He said, “You didn't ask.”
I went ballistic that how could we talk this much and he not tell me his travel schedule.
Then he told me his schedule.
I told him I am planning a trip to the same city. We could be sharing a hotel room. Why is he not telling me ahead of time? I tell him I'm so frustrated that I have to hang up.
He says, “I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I didn't know you wanted to see me.”
I said, “Are you nuts? I talk with you almost every night. ”
Then we both paused.
He said, “You don't know who this is, do you?”
Then I died as I realized he is my freelance sales guy who lives in the same area code as D.
I tell him,”Oh. God. No. I didn't know it was you. I have to hang up. I have to call you back. I have to call you back in maybe ten years.”
That was the first thing. Of many things that are the result of me spending way too much time talking and writing to D.
He sent me a quote about how we each vibrate a certain way and we find our vibrational match.
I told him I think that's true, but I vibrate like an insane person. And I worry that I am attracting my vibrational match for insanity and that if I could just get more sane, I'd attract a different match.
He pointed out the obvious: I will probably not get more sane. “This is just you,” he said.
And then I got happy that he is stable and calm and largely unshakable, when I am often shaking as much as I can.
And then I tell myself that I have to admit that I'm dating him. I'm not sure what that means, but the only reason I'm not doing it is because I'm holding out for some amorphous online brand that will perfectly complement my own.
Do not write to me and tell me that's shallow, okay? It's the new millennium version of a gold digger. And I know I'm not the only one. I'm just the only one willing to admit it.
So I guess when someone wants to hire me, I'm not going to be able to get the job based on who I've dated.