I found my soulmate at Crate and Barrel. I was not looking for a serious relationship, but love found me. Then love gave me a well-deserved backslap.
Karma is a bitch.
I used the Crate and Barrel as my personal “Match.com.” Meeting men there was easy. I would saunter over to any confused-looking male and offer to help him. Ask him what he was trying to find, then find out if he was married. If he was, I’d help him then run away.
If he was not married, then I would engage in flirtatious conversation, hang onto his every word, and laugh at his jokes. Listen to him like he was my precious five-year-old son. Work with him to find the exact right item for the occasion.
If he intended to buy a perfect wedding gift, I’d let him know I was single over the matching bride and groom gifts.
If he wanted for a present for his mom, aunt or sister; I would accidentally bump against him as we studied the silver trays and baking accessories. I would be very embarrassed by this accidental bump.
If he was looking for items for himself, the door was wide open. I would inquire about the colors in his apartment, how big are the drawers, the man cave — whatever. I would invite him out for coffee and take it from there. Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be.
My rule is that I choose them. They don’t choose me. Once the thrill is gone, I move on. These relationships last between two to four weeks.
I have a little goodbye scene I execute. After a relaxing dinner and drinks, we take a walk somewhere public. I stop and look unhappy. I gaze up at my C&B pickup from under my lashes. There is a tear at the corner of my eye. I smile sadly. The tear crawls down my cheek. I sign.
“I’m sorry. It’s not working out. I don’t want to get hurt, so I’m calling it quits now,” I say.
By now the tears are running down my face, I kiss his lips gently.
I say, “ I know you’ll meet someone. Don’t be afraid to love again. Goodbye.”
I turn and hurry away. Works every time.
I met Jamie at the Crate and Barrel. He stumbled into a display of pots right next to me. The pots made a lot of noise as they fell. I helped him pick them up. I was searching for a wedding gift. He was so embarrassed at his clumsiness. So innocent, charming that I broke my rule and had coffee with him later that day. We hit it off immediately.
Within two weeks, we were together all the time. By four weeks, I practically lived at Jamie’s condo. I was considering who could move in with whom. I had never been so happy. I had met my soulmate.
Valentine’s Day fell on our two month anniversary. I had a perfect evening planned. We would start at the Crate and Barrel where we met. I’d propose that I move in, then we could buy a few items to celebrate our new commitment. I was so excited that I left work early to be at the store when he arrived. As Jamie walked in, I felt the pulse in my wrist thumping.
We met near the Valentine wine glass display. The glasses could be etched with the couple names and a special date inside a heart. They were beautiful. Jamie picked up a glass and examined it.
He whispered my name, gazing down at me. Jamie put the glass back. He took my hand in his and looked at it. Ok, this is it.
“I never met anyone like you,” he said. “ You are smart and fun and lovely.”
His words broke off as he fumbled for the next sentence. I held my breath.
“I’m sorry… I’ve met someone else. I’m sorry.”
I thought, “What? You met someone else?” I said nothing. I was in shock.
He looked down at me with sorrow in his eyes, glancing at me through his eyelashes. His eyes were glistening. He brought my hand to his lips and softly kissed it.
“You can pick your things up from the doorman. You’ll meet someone else. I wish you nothing but happiness. Goodbye.”
Jamie turned and walked away. I sat down in a chair nearby. My broken heart hurt, my mind reeled. Time lost focus for me. I don’t know how long I sat there before I got up and walked out to my car. It could have been a minute, or it could have been an hour. I don’t know.
As I walked toward my car, a strange thought came over me…the hunter was captured by the game. I laughed.
“Damn,” I thought. “Damn, he’s good.”