A Column by Christina Bruni
I Fell for a Pinhead
Readers: I broke the cardinal rule of dating.
Years ago, a woman gave me a psychic reading in her apartment on the waterfront in Sheepshead Bay. She told me: “Don’t throw yourself at a guy. Remember: you’re a diamond, not a rhinestone.”
Diamond, my ass. My brilliance hasn’t attracted a guy to me.
So, my curiosity got the better of me. I threw down a challenge to T.—the guy I have pined for since 2016—and sent him a short e-mail in these exact words: “I realize you don’t like me and that’s okay.” The cardinal sin. Then:
“You keep talking about your numerous ex-girlfriends. I’m a woman with a photogenic face and skinny body and I can’t get one guy to go on one date with me. What’s your secret?”
Since he was “date bait” himself with striking good looks and a kind heart, couldn’t he spare a few alluring ideas about how I could reel a guy in? Couldn’t he tell me this as one great friend to another? I clicked send on the e-mail and shut down my computer for the night.
T. responded: “Most romances are played badly just on the surface level. Even the ones where people are happier are adolescent. Are you at the library this week? We can talk then.”
I responded to T: “Yes, I do attract guys—what a psychic called ‘turkeys.’ Like the guy with the screen name sexywomanneeded—adolescent indeed. How is a guy going to get a woman if he frames it in terms of what she can give him not what he can give her?”
Then I told T.: “I’m not going to wear a cleavage-bearing mini dress, yet apparently, that’s some guy’s sole criteria for a love match.”
Our conversation quickly sidestepped that he was the first guy I was madly and physically attracted to. He had conveniently deflected any reference to my comment that he didn’t like me.
That Sunday was the first time in my life that I ever felt like something was wrong with me. Having a diagnosis of schizophrenia doesn’t upset me and hasn’t upset me for decades. It only crushed me to know that a kind, sensitive and intelligent guy like T. didn’t like a kind and compassionate and elegant lady like me.
“Pinhead!” I wanted to tell him. “By all means go out and get another chick that will treat you like shit all over again. Get going—Number 100 is on his way to me.”
It’s over—partly because T. has moved to Austin, TX where he found a job.
T. and I were a photogenic item out in public. I was confident people thought we were a romantic item. Thus, when we appeared together I wanted to wear a tee-shirt that proclaimed: He’s Not My Boyfriend. Try Your Luck.
The ending with T. reminded me of the Donna Summer song, lyrics about the cake left out in the rain. It took so long to bake the budding romance with him and I won’t ever have this recipe again either. The cake’s been soaked. That’s all there is to it.
On some days, I still pine for a guy. On other days, I’m happy to be alone. I miss the cake frosting.