by: Adam Guerino
Serial Dater is a dating column inspired by a year-long sabbatical from dating. The author went from compulsively dating to abstaining from dating and decided to write about it. Like a food critic writing during a hunger strike. Though the fast has stopped, the saga continues as the author finds all of his dating problems waiting as he begins to date once again.
I never knew who I was looking for. Not exactly. Best I ever came was an idea or a pursuit. A destination, not a person. I believe now that these aren’t the types of things you can ever know without hindsight. In other words, you’ll just know when you know. It’ll… feel right. And the only way to figure out how you got there is to look at the path behind you. Well, if I were to look at the path behind me, the last few steps led me on a wonderful vacation with my wonderful new boyfriend to New York City. Keyword here is “new.”
Unbeknownst to me, we would mostly just be hanging out with this chick named Sandy. I had two shows booked, a VIP invite to a Halloween party/variety show hosted by Alan Cumming and was going to stay with two good friends of mine. What happened instead was one night of shenanigans on the town and one night of preparing for a hurricane and three extra days stuck inside my friend’s apartment, slowly out-staying our welcome.
It’s important to note that the last time a storm like this happened, the reporter who covered it was an apostle. Though that was a long time ago, I hear the evacuation procedures involved something along the lines of a big boat and two of every animal. We knew a storm was coming, don’t get me wrong. We heard reports that it would be disastrous. But my New York friend’s assured me that (read the following with a bustling New York accent) “They said the same thing last year, we got all worried and didn’t even lose power.” So we went.
Taking a vacation with someone is a big step. One that, admittedly, made me anxious. The only time in recent memory I went on one, I was with my then boyfriend of a month for a weekend getaway to do a show in Michigan. He cut off affection almost immediately after we got in the car then proceeded to avoid me as much as someone could while still vacationing with them. Then broke up with me on the way home, telling me that he knew he was going to break up with me before the trip and yet, really wanted to go on vacation.
When something is a first, you have a hard time separating it from all experiences. When you get food poisoning from the first corn dog you ever bite into, you’ll probably be ever hesitant of corn dogs. If your first trip to the big city involved a mugging, you’d be wary to visit again. So when I say that the first time I ever vacationed with a boyfriend resulted in a break-up, you can appreciate how palpable was my fear.
And this after I was already stocked up on trust issues. Would you like some? No, I’m offering, I’ve got a limited time 2 for 1 daddy issue special. Did I say issues? I meant volumes. I barely speak to my parents, I’ve been stolen from, cheated on and more. I digress. My point is, it has become easier, if not healthier, to look for things that are wrong in a relationship as opposed to what is right. As though seeing what might end it will save myself some grief instead of learning to see what will make a relationship work and pursuing it. But it was the lack of anything wrong–the harmonious, effortless courtship–assured me that this was a man worth giving a chance.
While I thought I was prepared to take a vacation with someone, there’s no way to prepare yourself for surviving a hurricane/superstorm/Sandy with somebody. Though we were lucky enough to be far enough uptown that the actual storm didn’t affect us, the devastation on the lower side crippled the city. We were trapped. In another city. With no way to get home nor even leave our square block. And we were hemorrhaging money.
It was the vacation curse, I thought. I tried to test the waters and was smited down with a hurricane. Smited? Smoted? Smote. Smote down with a hurricane. No matter how great this guy is and no matter how many of my own trust issues I’ve worked through, this cabin-fever, lack of money and stress may be the perfect storm to end this fledgling relationship.
Part 2, and the conclusion to Serial Dater, coming in one week!
Adam Guerino is a writer in Chicago who works nationally as a stand-up comedian and event producer. Adam will be hosting Queer Comedy at Zanies Tuesday January 29th. For more from Adam Guerino, www.adamguerino.com is a great place to start.