The Immortality of Hope

I am often amazed by the resilience of hope. It seems unsquashable.

It was ten minutes to a date I didn’t want to go on. I’d just performed the Cinderella act with my dressy-casual best. My hair was rearranged, my face was tinted all the right shades in all the right places…

My watch said 6:30, but my watch was fast by an indeterminate amount. (Keeping it uncertain is the best way to get me out the door on time. Otherwise you just wind up thinking “well my watch is ten minutes fast so I have another ten minutes.”)

My clock said 6:30, but my clock was set from my watch. My electric toothbrush also said 6:30, for the same reason.

…Ah, my cell phone. 6:24. There’s time yet.

So I fidgeted. I sat down, then stood up, checked that my skirt wasn’t too creased. Went to the mirror to double check my hair. In this humidity, it was amazing it hadn’t frizzed up over the course of the day. And while I was at it, was my makeup still intact? I have a deplorable tendency to rub my eyes, which wreaks havoc on the mascara.

All was in order.

I checked the clocks again.

“This is absurd, Bad4,” I mocked myself. “The only reason you’re going on this date is because it’s easier than explaining why you don’t want to. You have nothing in common with him, you are uneasy with his background, you are sure that you’re not hashkafically compatible, and the result of this date is a foregone conclusion. And yet you’re still patting your hair into place like… well, like someone who is nervous about the outcome of the date. What’s up with you?”

“Because,” I answer in a sheepish voice, “Because that’s how all the stories start.”

And then I had to laugh.

Is there anything to be done with such a ridiculously stubborn phenomenon? Can’t anyone kill hope?


14 thoughts on “The Immortality of Hope

  1. Is it really easier or better to go on a date with someone while you really don’t want to be there? Is that fair?

    Although, speaking from your perspective- life isn’t really fair. And it isn’t fair to you or him. But c’est la vie.

    And, I hear you about hope- loud and clear.

  2. Wow this sounds exactly like my life! I do the exact same thing. If there is no good reason to say no, or if we’re sick of people giving us a hard time about saying no, we just say yes, we go on the date, even though we know that it won’t work out, because somewhere there is this tiny drop of hope. It’s really insane. We keep trying to squash the hope because we know, we know, we know, it’s not going to work, but that voice keeps coming back that says maybe, maybe, maybe it will. And while it might seem a little unfair to the guy, I don’t think it is, because we are giving him a shot, a real shot. We still hope it will work. And enough people have told us about how they ended up with someone who they were sure was not the right person. Like Bad4 said- that is how the stories start.

  3. P&P again!

    My last few dates I was not excited about – I grumbled and kvetched beforehand, faked adorableness on the date itself. Only one turned out more pleasantly than I had expected.

    Although I don’t fuss over wardrobe or face. I have it down to an official system that needs no tweaking.

  4. I’m a story! My husband and I still laugh at the misinformation I was fed about him by his “references”, and about my interpretation of what he wrote on his profile, which so does not represent him. Why did I decide to go out with him anyway? I have no idea. Perhaps because my sister picked up his profile on my kitchen table and said “You should give this one a shot. He sounds intriguing.” On his resume, his intriguingness (is that a word?) was “not my type”, however, when my sister said it like that, intriguing was, well, intriguing. And still is :).

  5. I like that you call it hope. I call it being so openminded that my brain falls out and everyone (myself included) is left wondering why I did that. Thank you for giving it a new name. 🙂

  6. lol, great post, i think lots of girls can identify, in general, we like to be liked. Do you often go out on dates you dread? My brother got married to a girl he was suggested to but said no many times to 🙂

  7. O I know it, I know it.. how well i know it!

    “Because,” I answer in a sheepish voice, “Because that’s how all the stories start.”

    This is eerily familiar. I think that sheepish voice belongs to me too.

    With these voices we just can’t win. When something sounds promising “maybe it’ll work out” it chimes and if it sounds totally off, but you’re compelled to ‘give it a shot’ then “well you never know….that’s how all the stories start”

    Good luck Bad4. May we all be proven wrong (or right) soon!

  8. Two things. First, I know of two stories similar to that of Chan. Second, given the limits of bad4’s dating world, a date that doesn’t work out could result in a friend of the date who will. So…..

    This was a bit of advice that I heard 40 years ago from a wise older friend when I was “dating”

  9. Pingback: hope « words from the soul

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