Unacknowledged love, even if it’s only lasted 2.4 seconds still hurts so good.
It’s kind of like being drunk on one too many vodka tonics after a particularly romantic wedding reception. The giddiness of lust mixed with love is bursting out of you and it’s like a physics problem that can’t be solved. Where do you transfer the energy?
Suddenly, you look across the crowded parquet dance floor and you spot him.
He’s older, he’s suave, and he’s a cross between the Dos Equis man and Sean Connery if you squint hard enough.
You saunter over and casually stand around listening to him discuss the latest episode of Mad Men with no interest at all. He’s talking to five other middle-aged, daddy-daycare types that are clinging onto their bacon-wrapped shrimp (and his every word) for dear life.
Because let’s face it, your only interest in Mad Men is Don Draper shirtless.
So you start to picture Don Draper as the douche husband from Friends with Kids or the douche bag hook-up guy from Bridesmaids. But that still doesn’t stop you from wanting non-douche John Hamm.
You force yourself to focus on your version of Don for tonight, he’s the groom’s older uncle or third cousin of some sort.
You laugh at his punch lines; you smile casually while pushing your empty fourth glass of vodka and soda towards him.
Because let’s face it, you want to look good naked and clear liquors are made for women on diets.
He glances over and smiles at you. You won’t be paying attention to anything he’s saying unless he’s feeling the vibes you’ve got pointed at him.
He notices. “Would you like a refill?” he asks.
Goddamn right I would. “Yes, thanks, vodka and soda with lime, please,” is your actual reply.
He hands it to you from the bartender and when you gracefully take your drink, you let your fingers linger on his. It’s electric; you’re ready to drop your panties now.
He smiles and then you hold his gaze.
Because this is not a time to look away, you aren’t sixteen and this isn’t the junior prom.
Let’s get dancing, Don.
Finally, he starts to make small talk with you and the initial attraction is amplified. It’s not a spark, but more like a chemical pull. You can feel that he wants you and you want him, now. The dance is subtle but there’s no mistaking it.
“Would you like to dance?” He asks.
Does a fat kid like cupcakes? Don’t ask stupid questions, Don. “Yes.”
You set down your drink and restrain yourself from finishing it because you aren’t that ‘drunken hot mess’ of a girl at weddings.
As you dance together every nerve ending in your being starts to tingle. You press yourself closer to his chest and you sway effortlessly in time to the music.
He smells like smoky scotch. You wonder if he tastes like salted caramels. You could lick him right here and now.
You make a mental note to tryout that dessert combination for your next dinner party. He pulls you tighter. You feel the warmth of his body through his black tuxedo.
“Want to go for a walk?” He asks. You nod.
Outside in the warm night air, jasmine and gardenias are abloom and you inhale the heady aromas.
You close your eyes for a minute and picture the story you’ll regale everyone with at your next dinner party with Don. What’s his name again?
You don’t want to ask it because you weren’t really paying attention when he introduced himself. You were more focused on getting him to ask you to dance than caring what Don’s name really is.
He’s talking about himself again, you nod in agreement. His voice sounds like angels singing across a rainbow harp.
He asks you about yourself, the one question you actually pay attention to is the one about your status.
“You’re such a beautiful lady. Why are you single?” It’s a seemingly innocent question. You smile. Do you want the truth, Don?
Because, according to my calculations, I’m guessing that you can’t handle that truth bomb right now and will run screaming if I’m honest with you.
“Because I haven’t met anyone that interests me enough.” You smile.
He gives a hearty laugh and squeezes your hand gently. “What do you think about me?”
“You might do,” you say with a wink.
Suddenly he wraps his arm around your waist and pulls you tight. His head lowers to meet your perfectly painted rose-nude glossy lips and starts to explore your mouth with his tongue.
You reach around and grab his neck and urgently return his kisses. You haven’t felt this alive in months. Sparks are flying, unicorns are dancing, and you are about to get your shameless wedding night groove on with Don.
Everyone’s getting lucky tonight.
He slides his hand slowly under your overpriced coral chiffon dress. Your dress earned its keep tonight.
You wrap your leg around him and he slides his hand under your thigh to hold it up. You feel like you’ll break out into a tango scene if ballroom music was playing at this very moment.
Then you hear your name being called in the distance. Who the hell would interrupt you at this magical moment in time?
Of course. Your best friend. She’s standing far enough away to watch everything without interrupting and yet she’s clearly trying to lip-block you from going further with Sean Connery Jr.
You turn to her annoyed. What the fuck do you want? “Yes?”
“I’m ready to go home, now. Come on,” she says.
She’s giving you that look that means you have to stop kissing this random stranger immediately and go home as well. Even though you’re a grown-ass lady, you live alone, and have keys to your house. But she’s not leaving.
And now Don / Sean is looking uncomfortable and he starts to make excuses for having to go back inside as well. You tell him don’t leave. But he kisses you on the cheek and says he’ll see you around, it was so nice to meet you.
Nice to fucking meet you?
You were going to let him meet you naked tonight, if he didn’t wimp out. He should have fought for you. He turns and heads back to the reception.
Clearly you’re drunk, but tonight drunk equals happy and now having five vodka’s is starting to equal you becoming angry at your best friend.
“Let’s go home.” She’s one of the few people on earth who won’t put up with any shenanigans from you. You give in. Sisters before misters, right?
You stop by the bar for your farewell vodka and Sean winks at you. You blow a kiss at him. He catches it and sticks in his pocket.
If you weren’t drunk right now you’d roll your eyes. Because all this sweetness makes your bitchy side nauseous.
But his gesture is so perfectly timed you can’t help yourself. You turn to look at your best friend to say see…it would have worked.
“Finish your drink and I’m going to get the car. I’ll be right back,” she walks away giving you the ultimate side-eye. Sean/Don walks over. “What’s your number?”
You rattle it off and he enters it in his iPhone 5, old and technologically advanced. He’s a keeper for sure. You friend returns and Sean squeezes your hand as he walks away.
Yes, sleeping with Sean Connery Jr./Don/Dos Equuii’s man probably wouldn’t have been a good idea tonight. It’s called a one night stand, your friend reminds you hastily.
But good ideas be damned. There aren’t many over-fifty reasonably attractive available men out there and he could have been a quasi sugar-daddy as well.
Now what do you have?
You’ve got your friend taking your sorry behind (that’s amped up on oxytocin love hormones) home.
What are you supposed to do when you get home with the fire in your Victoria’s Secret panties? Finish watching episode forty-two of Fringe in your Netflix queue?
You push the car seat to recline as you slide in head first and the valet guy closes the door on you while shaking his head in mild pity. “Don’t judge me Mr. Valet Man, you don’t know my life,” you tell him silently, because now your anticipation has turned to frustration.
Your friend drives off annoyed as she threatens you not to vomit in her freshly detailed car. You clutch her arm for a shred of human contact and reassurance while moaning, “I’m so lonely,” as if it’s your own private anthem.
Stumbling in the door, you step on your tiny Pomeranian (nearly murdering him), and he yelps relentlessly. Its times like these you’re thankful that you don’t have to look a babysitter in the eye.
The next morning you awake bleary-eyed and in need of a gallon-sized vat of espresso. You face the harsh light of day and stumble down your busy street to the corner café.
Jesus, the attentive and gorgeous Spanish barista who you lovingly named, “Sweet Baby Jesus,” smiles and hands you a triple macchiato with an extra dollop of whipped cream and chocolate drizzle.
You call your friend while sitting at a table trying to find someone’s discarded New York Times so you don’t have to buy it. Because after all you’re into recycling and you’ll save the earth on your own terms.
She tells you she rescued your sorry ass last night.
You glance up and in walks Sean/Don. He’s freshly showered wearing a button down shirt and an old man cardigan, which makes him look like a saucy college professor. Tutoring time? Yes, please.
You hang up on your friend immediately.
He sees you sitting there; you’re working the bed head today and the v-neck white t-shirt that you slept in is showing off your tanned cleavage nicely. You lock eyes and smile. You wave hopefully. Your prayers are answered.
He stands up a little bit straighter and an indecipherable look crosses his face.
He averts his glance suddenly and behind him in walks a rather attractive middle-aged woman smiling with a small child in tow.
You watch him order two coffees and sit down uncomfortably at his wife’s insistence as you stare with your mouth hanging open.
You get up and walk towards the door and suddenly their crazed child spawn runs out in front of you almost causing you to spill your coffee down your white t-shirt.
His wife rushes over. “I’m so sorry! My grandson gets a little feisty,” she says sweetly.
How can you not like her? Pearls, pink cardigan, stylish ballet flats. You could be her friend, if you hadn’t made out with her husband the night before.
Feeling like a hooker, you smile sheepishly and say, “That’s ok.”
She looks at you and asks, “Do I know you?”
You stare briefly in the direction of her rat bastard husband and he silently mouths, “I’m sorry.”
“Oh well you have a familiar face.” She gives you a warm, heartfelt smile. She’s distracted again by their grandchild. She turns her head and chases after him.
You have an itch to scratch, you rub your nose with your middle finger, and he catches the gesture. “Hope you have a great day.”
You wave goodbye and pull open the heavy glass door to freedom.
Walking down the sidewalk your face flushes, you feel heated, irritable, and the heartache of unacknowledged love and what could have been hits you hard.
It could have been something spectacular. You were ready for it. You wanted it. You felt it. You could taste it. And then it was nothing. Even though it only lasted a night, you will still mourn it.
You dial your friend’s number. “You were right, thank you.”