It’s been a long time since I’ve been single and in the market, but having a contractor do some work around the house this year kind of took me back to the thrills and insecurities of my dating days.
You finally find the guy you want, the one who impresses you with his smarts and know-how. But if it’s springtime or even close to it, you know he’s seeing other people. Still, he calls. You make a date. He cancels once or twice, but then he calls you on his own and makes another date. He shows up. You’re elated. You see him every day for the second half of a week. You’re walking on air all weekend. Things really seem to be moving along nicely. This could really be Mr. Right.
Then he doesn’t show up, for one, two, three days.
He doesn’t call. You find yourself looking out the window every time a big truck goes by.
You break down and send him a text, carefully wording it so you don’t sound too needy. He texts you back right away. He lost his phone, misplaced your number, he’s so glad you got in touch. He’s still totally into you and he’ll be by tomorrow or the next day. He sends flowers. Oh, wait, it’s a contractor we’re talking about. He sends one member of his crew to take care of some important-seeming task — maybe making a big pile of dirt or filling in a big hole. Something that makes you feel as if you’re on track again.
You go door shopping together. Online. This is getting serious.
He starts coming by a few times a week again. You love what he does for you. And then Memorial Day weekend rolls around. One small part of the job is three-quarters done. Another part is midway between chaos and completion. You haven’t seen him or heard from him for days . . . weeks? It feels like forever.
He’s left you for someone richer and more fabulous. You’re sure you’ll never see him again. You send him an e-mail. You text him again. You feel abandoned. You can’t call; you could never disguise the desperation in your voice.
Then he calls again. He’s coming by today. He’ll be there all week. He’s finishing the job. Everything you asked for . . . well almost . . . is done. He puts the fence back up, picks up his tools, and moves out. And you say to yourself, “That’s it? He’s leaving? Just like that? It’s over?”
Carissa Katz, an associate editor at The Star, is happily married with two kids.