Why I Don’t Date Musicians

Josh GrobanI don’t date musicians. Musicians make me crazy. Sure, they drive me crazy in the good sense, but they also make me a psychotic, emotional roller coaster. The highs are high, the lows are low, and I am generally a basket case.

I swore off dating musicians about three years ago after I realized how much they transformed this normally sane, rational, logical, methodical engineer into a completely unstable crazy lady!!! And tonight, I was reminded of just how potent the combination of me + a musician can be.

Background: My baby brother is getting married in three weeks. Yep, the one who proposed to his girlfriend on the same day that my fiancé broke off our engagement. Since his fiancé lives on the other side of the country and they are getting married in our hometown… and since I just planned a wedding in this city (albeit one that got cancelled last minute on account of the groom’s lack of commitment), my help in planning was requested. I have obliged as gracefully as I can without suffering internal combustion. So far I have selected the photographer (as a photographer myself), done taste testing at their venue (my dream location), given entrée recommendations (with the help of the ever-loyal Ashley) and hand designed their stationary (using my pending second degree in Graphic Design). I am also singing in the wedding, so tonight I drove 45 minutes across town to meet my duet partner, an up-and-coming star who studies at our city’s nationally acclaimed college of music.

Here’s where I get to the part about how musicians drive me crazy. First, Jack – this young star – irritated me. He had already cancelled on me twice, like a typical musician, and then tonight, we were supposed to meet at 7:30 pm, but he sent me a text at 6:30 telling me that 7:00 would actually work better. Since I live 45 minutes away from the university, I wouldn’t have made it by 7:00 even if I had left immediately, so I just ignored his text and decided to arrive at the agreed-upon time of 7:30. I felt guilty for not meeting when he wanted to, but there’s no way I could have made it by 7.

Next, I got angry. The college campus is huge, so I couldn’t find the building, and parking is a nightmare. I’d just spent 45 minutes in rush hour traffic; and then Jack responded to my request for better directions with, “The [music building] is on the back side of campus.” What the heck, Jack. What constitutes the “back side of campus”?! I prompted him further, and he told me, “There is a lot right in front of the building that might cost you 5 dollars but is probably the best option.” Jack. I don’t freaking know where the building is! Try using cardinal directions, son! Fortunately, I’m not above asking for directions, so I eventually found my own way. And paid I don’t even know how much for parking.

Jack called my phone right at 7:30 as I was pulling into a parking spot. I turned off the ignition and looked toward the building, where I saw the silhouette of a man leaning against a door frame as he held the door open with his body. The silhouette put a phone up to his ear just as I answered, so I knew it was him.

“Hey, Jack,” I said, watching his figure as he stood backlit by the building lights.

“Hey, Aurora. Did you get parked?” There was a quiet confidence to his stance, and it came through in his voice. Stop it, Jack. I’m trying to be mad at you. But I couldn’t. He looked so sexy standing there (sorry, Mom), and he was entirely too charming, in a completely unintentionally disarming kind of way.

I almost hugged him when I walked up – I don’t know why – but we shook hands instead. He had a warm grip and friendly smile. I am attracted to this 23-year-old punk. What is wrong with me?

He led me to a rehearsal room in the middle of the building, where a pretty red-haired girl waited at a piano. This Masters student had agreed to accompany us for our run-through. I’d wanted to talk a bit before we jumped right in (I think chemistry is important to singing duets), but she started playing, so we started singing.

Any time people hear me sing – at church, in the car, around the campfire – I inevitably get compliments. I’m not a bad singer. In fact, I’m a very gifted singer. I was a three-time All State Choir member in high school (ranked 2nd in the state my junior year), auditioned with Houston Grand Opera at the age of 18 and could have gone pro if I had chosen that path. But I was practical and decided to be an engineer. So now I work full time at a job I hate, going to school part time for Graphic Design (trying to pursue something that gives me more joy), and my vocal talent is largely being wasted. Tonight when we started singing, my vocal cords weren’t warm, and they’re muscles I don’t exercise much. I hadn’t realized how much of a difference regular rehearsal makes until Jack opened his mouth to join me in our duet.

His voice was rich and deep and warm and… beautiful. Heavenly. He is a young Josh Groban. And I was simultaneously overcome by joy, pleasurelonging and insecurity. No one has made me feel insecure about my voice in years. I have more vocal talent than 99% of the world’s population – purely by God’s grace and generosity. But next to Jack, who is training vocally full time and is in his prime, I felt like a shadow of who I could have been. And I felt regret for not having pursued music. I miss it. Intensely.

We finished our first run through, and it went so well that both Jack and the pianist were ready to call it a night. I was floored. I’d driven nearly an hour in maddening traffic to rehearse, and they were ready to be finished after five minutes? As Jack and the young pianist talked, I saw a rapport and camaraderie – perhaps even attraction? – that suddenly filled me with jealousy. I honestly don’t know if I was jealous for Jack’s attention or for the musical future those two are aspiring to. Either one is ridiculous. Jack is almost five years younger than me, still in school, and – most importantly – I’d met him five minutes earlier. My mom told me once, “You have to be careful with guys like that. You’ll fall in love with his voice and think you’re falling in love with him.”

I convinced them (without much effort) to run through the piece one more time, and it went even better than the first time. Our voices blended well, especially when the song swelled to a crescendo. Jack complimented me on my Italian pronunciation, and I glowed. I realized, then, that I – the ever-confident dragon lady – felt shy around Jack. What is happening?! I am a MESS!

We all looked at each other, agreed that the piece seemed performance-ready and packed up. Jack grabbed his backpack and walked me out to my car. In the chilly darkness, I felt safe next to him. We made small talk – I don’t remember what about – and he made me smile. When we reached my car, he reached out for a hug, even though we’d just met.

He’s a good hugger. It’s probably just a musician thing – kids were always pretty huggy in choir – but I felt peaceful when he hugged me. I told him to call if he thought of any questions about the wedding, and he echoed the same back to me. “Sure, just give me a call.”

Driving home, I felt hopeful.

And confused.

Especially when I realized that over the last hour, I have felt irritated, guilty, angry, disarmed, attracted, joyful, pleased, filled with longing, insecure, regretful, floored, jealous, shy, safe, peaceful and hopeful.

THAT is why I don’t date musicians.

Authentically Aurora

A Very Monday-like Monday

This morning started out great.

When my feet hit the floor, there were no fleas biting at my ankles. Victory! Better yet, I got out the door on time, found a great parking spot and even caught the elevator door in the parking garage just before it closed. It’s the little things in life that truly set the tone for the day.

Unfortunately, when I stepped into the elevator, it was full of eight men and one woman, the latter of whom immediately started hissing at me. I quickly glanced at her, startled, and heard her say something about my blouse.

It’s actually one of my mom’s old blouses from the ’80s, and I love it – maroon with tiny cream pinstripes and peasant sleeves. I never had a sister to share clothes with, so it’s been fun going through my mom’s old professional wardrobe and picking out pieces that are coming back into fashion.

“Thanks,” I said, smiling over at the elevator lady, thinking she’d complimented me on my “new” blouse. Instead of smiling back at me, her eyes grew wide and frenzied. She hissed at me some more, but I couldn’t understand what she was saying. It sounded like she was going hoarse or had laryngitis. She kept prattling on about my blouse.

“Yes, it kind of matches your scarf,”  I spoke slowly and gently to this obviously unstable, socially awkward woman as I took a step backward, away from her crazed look and incessant hissing. Suddenly she spoke in a normal voice, and I realized she had been trying to whisper at me. “Your blouse is undone.” Oh. I glanced down and, sure enough, a rather importantly-located button was unclasped with the beautiful blouse gaping open and displaying some rather lovely lace (and more) for all to see.

I buttoned up (literally and figuratively) as the elevator doors opened, and I hurried to my cubicle. As I plopped down in my swivel chair, I realized that I had forgotten to apply deodorant this morning. Fortunately, I keep a spare stick in my desk drawer for just such an occasion, so I got it out, proud of myself for salvaging the day. But when I pulled off the cap, two things happened simultaneously: 1. an attractive coworker, Kyle, stepped into my cubicle, and 2. the stick of deodorant flew out of the tube and landed with a thump at Kyle’s feet.

Awesomely awkwardKyle and I are no strangers to joint awkwardness-coupled-with-hilarity. A couple of years ago, we traveled together to New Orleans on a business trip, and the hotel fire alarm went off at 2:00 a.m. As per fire safety instructions, we each evacuated our separate rooms and made our way to the hotel lobby. Unfortunately for Kyle, he was so disoriented when he woke up that he forgot to grab his room key. Or, you know, put on any pants. So I walked into the hotel lobby to find my very single, very muscular coworker standing barefoot and shirtless in little black boxer briefs. Some people were irritated to have been woken up at 2:00 a.m. for nothing. I can’t say I was among those who were complaining.

So when I unintentionally assaulted Kyle with my flying deodorant this morning, he looked down at the white mass at his feet; then looked up at me and said simply, “So it’s going to be one of those days, huh?”

And we laughed.

Authentically Aurora

The Kind Men of Mankind

Hey Girl - Boyfriend MaterialI owe Moe an apology.

I wrote and told him that I had joined MeetUp to find groups of people with common interests (not to find a date), and I explained that I was uncomfortable meeting one-on-one with a complete stranger. Instead of responding in anger like most guys in my past experience, Moe replied in a kind, respectful fashion:

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 12.41.29 PM

I know that a lot of my posts have sarcastic, cutting humor at the expense of the men I meet, and that’s probably due to the season of life that I’m in, but that’s no excuse for poking fun at genuinely good guys who happen to catch me at a time where I generally despise all of mankind… emphasis on “man”. But the kind men of mankind deserve my respect, admiration, and kindness in turn.

I don’t think it’s true what they say – that nice guys finish last. Admittedly, good guys like John and Moe have failed to win my affection, but correlation does not guarantee causation. In other words, their “nice guy”-ness was not the reason that I wasn’t interested. If I could be physically attracted to Moe or emotionally connected to John, I would happily consider dating them. They seem like good men who truly want to love a woman well. But chemistry and attraction are not things that I can control, and I am too much of a romantic to imagine marrying someone I don’t love and respect

Truth be told, there have been few men in the history of my existence – nice guys or not – to whom I have been physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally attracted. Are my expectations too high? I would rather be single than settle. I am not under the illusion that anyone is perfect or even perfect for me; I acknowledge that marriage is the union of two sinful people who are trying to cohabitate in a broken world. But I have to hold out hope that God has uniquely created someone with whom I will share mutual respect, admiration and love. And, to be clear, I genuinely hope that he is one of the “nice guys” – one of the kind men of mankind – because those are the men who know what it means to truly cherish the woman they love.

Authentically Aurora

Match Madness – Part III

My online dating profile doesn’t always get matched with socially awkward, grammar challenged bums. Although Parts I & II of this comedic trilogy may have led my readers to that conclusion, allow me to debunk that misconception by showcasing some of the genuinely wonderful bachelors I have come across during my adventures in online dating.

First of all, there’s Blake. He’s an attractive, 6’1″, 30-year-old Finance Manager who loves working out and playing guitar. Just look at his awesome profile!

Blake box

But then I came across the section that tells me about his smoking and drinking habits, along with his familial aspirations:

*Issue - maybe kids

This is a non-negotiable for me. I would really love to be a mom someday, whether biologically or through adoption if my husband and I are unable to conceive. It’s true that Blake “might” want kids someday, but if he’s 30 years old and still on the fence, that tells me that he’s probably not the best daddy material, and I want a loving, engaged father for my future kiddos.

Then there’s Josh. He’s a good-looking, 28-year-old, 6″ tall dentist. Josh is self-described as a deep thinking Christian who is looking for a godly, independent woman with a penchant for sarcasm. Hmmm… could this be a more perfect fit?!

Josh box

But then I noticed his location:

*Issue - distance 800 miles

It’s pretty daunting to consider starting a relationship between two people who have never met and live 800 miles apart. So much of chemistry is determined through face-to-face interaction that Josh really seemed like a great catch who just isn’t meant for me.

Lastly, there’s Nate. He’s another 6″ tall 28-year-old, only he’s a Mechanical Engineer and, unlike Josh, he actually lives in the same city as me! I got really excited reading over his profile, and my best friend Ashley picked him out of all my matches as the one she envisions being most compatible with me:

Nate box

I sent Nate a smile and waited for him to initiate the first series of get-to-know-you questions. But his questions never came. A week went by; then two, until finally:

*Issue - over month 2

I realized that an amazing man like Nate wouldn’t have stayed single for long. A lot of dating sites don’t close out their inactive members’ profiles, so I’m sure Nate found his lady love and is off enjoying his “best friend, [his] lover and the mother of [his] future children.”

I just wish she was me.

Authentically Aurora

Gorgeous Goliath (the timid)

Gladiator - are you not entertained

A frozen yogurt shop just opened on the first floor of the office building where I work, so last week, two coworkers and I went down to stretch our legs and check it out. When I opened the door to the shop, my eyes immediately went to the man at the back of the line. He was about 6’4″ and broad-shouldered; built like a tank. This goliath of a man turned around when we walked in, and I estimated him to be about thirty years old. He had pleasant features, intelligent eyes and a kind face, so I mentally renamed him Gorgeous Goliath.

hopped into line behind GG, and when the server asked what I’d like, I thought, “I’ll have a scoop of that, please,” but of course what I said out loud was, “I’ll take vanilla with Reese’s” (clearly an excellent choice). Goliath was well-dressed, so I figured he worked for one of the oil companies in the area, and I caught him looking my way a few times, but every time I glanced over, he looked away.

I  decided to make life easy on him since he was clearly interested, so when we made it to the register, I gestured to his cup of froyo and asked, “Oooh, what’d you get?” He smiled and nodded at a cup of vanilla froyo topped with fresh fruit and granola. I laughed lightly and said, “Wow, that looks a lot healthier than mine!” He looked down at my peanut butter concoction and grinned at me. I could tell he wanted to say more and engage in conversation with me, but he stood awkwardly for a second and then fled the scene.

My married buddy Shawn (who is a former football player with a build like Goliath’s) missed the exchange, but as we walked out with our treats, he teased me, “Hey, somebody was getting checked out back there!” He wiggled his eyebrows at me.

“What do you mean?” I asked. I looked around for another young guy who may have been interested.

“That tall guy,” Shawn pointed to the back of my Gorgeous Goliath as he walked away.

“Oh, him,” I said. “Yeah, that’s why I tried to flirt with him. All he had to do was ask my name, and I would have handed him a business card.”

Shawn chuckled. “He seemed kind of skittish to me. I wondered why he looked away and left so fast. Pretty timid for such a big guy.”

I agreed. I’m not sure what’s so intimidating about a 5’3″ brunette. What has happened to all the manly men; the heroes; the gladiators; the warriors? Oh yeah. They’re all either dead or already married.

Authentically Aurora