Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dating in a Small Town

It's no surprise that I love country music, however it wasn't until recently that I realized that my suburban New Jersey life could actually relate to it.  Although I don't have a dog that ran away or a truck that broke down, I do live in a small town and Miranda Lambert's "Famous in a Small Town" has described how I feel about living here lately.

I live in a small town.  Specifically, there are 8,165 people in my town.  61% are single.  The female to male ratio is 10:8 and 30% of people are between 25 and 44.  There are 313 people per square mile. I'm a lawyer, you do the math because I can't.

My town is a great place with access to walking trails, a CVS, Starbucks, a local supermarket and plenty of single educated men.  While I know that there are of other towns with eligible bachelors, I prefer to date close to home because I'm lazy, gas is expensive, and I live in cluster of neighborhoods that is filled with divorced men. I can afford to date within a 2 mile radius...or so I thought.

As I mentioned, there's a supermarket within walking distance to my house.  I go in there so often that I have made friends with one of the guys who works at the deli.  He even reads my blog, or at least he claims to, presumably in an effort to impress me and get me to go out with him (hi, Mike, thanks for reading but it's still not happening).  Deli guys notwithstanding, I've seen some good looking men walk into the supermarket on occasion and recently joked to a friend that I should hang out at the supermarket to meet men.  That's the thing about jokes, they sometimes come back to bite you in the ass...

So I got an email last week from a man on who works for the corporate part of the local supermarket.  I mentioned I shop there and am friends with deli guy.  Right away he knows who I'm referring to (apparently Mike flirts with all of the customers and I'm not that special after all) so I did some recon and asked my favorite meat slicer about the guy.  After things checked out and the deli guy confirmed that the Match guy wasn't a known serial killer, I scheduled a phone call with him.

Within the first two minutes, Match guy tells me that he got a call from the manager of my specific store  earlier that day.  The manager called and said, "Oh, I heard you're going out with Emily, I know her and her mom! How great is this?! (yadda yadda yadda)" Apparently my conversation with the deli guy about the Match guy turned into the hot topic over the prepared foods counter and rumor spread amongst the supermarket employees that guy were dating, nevermind the fact that we hadn't even met. 

As it turns out, the conversation with guy was nice but not that great.  We had little in common and I didn't think our connection on the phone was enough to warrant an in person date.  No harm no foul, right?  Wrong.  

I went into the supermarket the next day.  As I walked past the deli counter, I felt all eyes on me. I turned around to see them talking and gesturing toward me. Not that I'm not a head turner, but these hoagie slingers weren't just checking me out.  It was the kind of, "Oh yeah, there's that girl who Mike said is dating the corporate guy".  Awesome. (sarcasm font)

I quickly got my essentials and proceeded to the checkout, all the while bitching on the phone to my mother that this town is too small and my frustration with the awkwardness of my shopping experience.  I can't even go to the freaking supermarket without wondering if I'm going to be the subject of the manager's phone call (which by the way, I'm totally still contemplating complaining about because really, how professional is that?!).  I felt like a celebrity, just without all the money and paparazzi and more of the gossip.  As usual, my mother tells me I'm overreacting, there are plenty of men in this town and it's a silly coincidence.  I rolled my eyes at her through the phone and say goodbye.  

As I hungup and collected my groceries, I turned around to see E, a guy I dated back in September, standing there with his kids, waving at me.  Miranda Lambert is right, everybody is famous in a small town.

1 comment:

  1. So, to sum it up. If you do date, then make sure it isn’t dating in the way that our culture has defined it. It should be dating for the purpose of discerning marriage with this person or not. During all of these times, make sure you are seeing a spiritual director who can help you cut through the noise and confusion that surrounds us, especially in dating.
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