Chapter 35 – Saturday Blues

 

Saturday, 6 February 2016.

 

Day 48

 

Morning comes and she’s feeling blue. Anna just needs some answers.

 

Who am I??

                              What do I want now?

What am I seeking?

Why am I doing this again??

Yes, do tell me!

What the heck is the hurry, huh??

            What is wrong with you???

 

Tears are rolling down like a river, as she lies in the darkness of her bed.

 

She calls Mr. Ex.

Not concerning them, no!

I hang on to people, but then, when I move on, I really move on.

Not concerning him. Just about herself. Who am I? What’s going on?

Pedro and Anna have spent over half her life together. He may not love her as his wife anymore, but she knows he cares about her as a friend and the mother of his children. She has no doubt that he wants the best for her, too.

Just not with him.

He listens in no hurry, feels her pain, comforts her. Tells her it will be alright. Talking with him is so easy.

 

She feels better.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 48 since moving out of Mr. Ex’s home – their last home together.

 

 

Chapter 32 – Tinder Date #9

 

Thursday, 4 February, 2016.

 

Still Day 46

 

So, where were we?

Ah, yes.

It’s 6 p.m. that very same evening. An uneventful evening, it’s turned out to be.

Anna’s feeling pretty as she unlocks her door and enters her flat – soaring with stonewalled energy…

 🎵 I was going out tonight, but still feeling alright…🎶

What am I supposed to do?

 

She has a big glass of water and goes to her couch. The apartment is warm and nice. Tidy. No chores to do. She stretches her legs, placing her feet over the coffee table – an old rough chest she’s added wheels to.

Not tired in the slightest.

Ah, I can’t believe I’m here alone. Free on a Thursday evening!! Eu#r&gh&!!!

And feeling lonesome for a moment, just wanted to have a good time. And nothing?! Seriously?? Humft.

Don’t feel like watching TV.

Anna grabs her phone and starts swiping.

A minute later – literally – and there’s a match. He starts chatting. She checks his profile out.

Mm, good looking.

Such spirit in his eyes.

Oh, he claims to be a doctor. That means smart – and I like smart.

Hmm, foreign name?

Ah, I’ll just google him.

Yes, there’s a Ümit gynecological surgeon in Helsinki. Yep. His photo on google pictures. Let’s see, here’s his clinical practice…

Hmm, I wonder where he’s from?

 

…I’m from Turkey, btw.

Anna, come and have a drink with me? I’m here at Casa Largo. You know the restaurant? Just arrived. Are you busy? Let’s meet!

 

Oh, really? That fast? So different from Finnish guys.

 

Really? Sounds fun, but we’ve just chatted for two minutes.

Literally.

Come on. Are you near? If you have time, it would be nice to meet. Why not? Shall I send you a cab?

 

That’s crazy, but I do like his attitude. 

I don’t know. How about a phone call first?

 

He gives her his number. She thinks for a second.

Ah, what’s the danger? A drink with a surgeon in a central restaurant?

 

She calls him up.

His voice is nice, masculine, fun. There’s a beautiful foreign accent in his English. Kind of sexy.

You see, Anna’s an English teacher and she  a-d-o-r-e-s  foreign accents and World Englishes! Indian English, Nigerian English, Korean English. They’re all cool.

She even tells her pupils, “Speak with an accent – even a strong one. Rally English! But do speak. It gives you personality. It tells me a little of your history. And, hey, can you imagine if Antonio Banderas spoke American English without a Spanish accent? How boring would that be, huh? He would lose half his charm…”

But she could die for a boyfriend with British English.

Sigh, sigh. I’ve got Hugh Grant’ to blame for that.

 

Uh…Where were we again?

Ah, yes.

This Turkish doctor’s so lively. Warm.

Ops. I missed a thing or two he said – daydreaming here. He does sound very convincing, though, doesn’t he? Self-confident. Mm. I’m hypnotized.

“Ümit, I’ve never accepted a date like this before – before chatting a few times and getting to know the person a little better first…”

“Ah, come o…”

She interrupts him, “But, I happen to be ready – just came home – and I just happen to have time tonight.

“Maybe I’ll humor you, go with the flow. Will come by bike and… see you in half an hour?”

“OK, great! I’m very glad. Meet you at the bar, Anna.”

 

Now she’s sitting opposite him at his table. The place is crowded. Loud chatter, everybody well dressed.

Wow, I didn’t know this many people went out on Thursday evenings.

I guess they’re like me? Divorced? Teens quite raised? Time in their hands?

What is this?

 

Ümit is talking, smiling, looking deep into Anna’s eyes. Sweet. Already? Ha-ha.

 

🎵 The best thing about being a woman
Is the prerogative to have a little fun 🎶

He’s fun!

He’s wearing a casual blazer and a nice shirt. His hair is more grayish than in the pics. Ah, but that’s no surprise. Her previous eight dates looked older than in their photos, too. Most, much older.

I guess guys are just not into having their pictures taken, like us ladies. Not that into their looks – which is good.

Hmm, I wonder if I look older in person, too? Gotta find that out.

Probably.

 

Ümit is making her laugh, he’s so energetic. Very smart. She’s finally having some fun again.

Finally!

That’s what I’m talking about, baby.

It’s distracting. Comforting.

 

“Anna, what would you like to drink?”

“Oh, just water, please. I don’t really drin…”

His turn to interrupt her, “But tonight you’re drinking.  he says decisively  “What shall I order?”

“OK…” — maybe just a sip.

She tries to think of any drink names she can recall   “Maybe a caipirinha, then…?”

 

He goes to the bar and comes back with a caipiroska for her. Apparently, they don’t make caipirinhas in Finland. How would I know? I’ve never bought a drink before.

Hmm, it’s delicious.

“You have such beautiful eyes, Anna.”

Sweet-talker. She smiles. Cute.

Just a little flirty – like in South America. I like that.

 

And they’re sitting there smiling, animated. The chat is quick, witty. She’s entertained – and sure. He can feel it.

A couple approaches them and stands by their table. It takes a minute for Anna to realize they remain standing there, frozen. Just looking down at them.

Anna looks up to see a beautiful, foreign-looking, brunette young woman, accompanied by a smartly dressed young man, a bit fairer than her. They’re just staring at us because…?

Why aren’t they saying anything? Do they want extra chairs?

Anna looks at the doctor. He’s quiet. Calm. No stress. Everything’s good.

She looks up at the good-looking couple again. Oh, the woman looks so serious. Angry? The guy has a relaxed smile.

What’s going on?

The doctor finally chuckles saying, “Anna, this is my daughter Patricia and her fiancé Sabri.” and looking at them —  “Sit down, do sit down with us.”

Say what…? Family date? Was this planned??

Getting more fun by the minute.

 

“Nice meeting you, too.” Anna responds, trying to figure it all out — “Are you staying in this hotel? Do you live in Helsinki, too?”

“No,” Patricia says. “We live in Turkey. We’re just here for the Avant Premiere of my documentary tomorrow.”

“Really? Wow. Impressive. Congratulations!

“What is it about?” Anna wants to know.

“Ha-ha-ha-ha.” they all laugh “It’s about my complicated relationship with this difficult man here,” she waves her hand in his general direction “My father.”

Anna joins their hearty laughter. Way more entertained than I bargained for. And turning her gaze on him. The old devil’s looking very pleased.

I bet he likes the attention. The spotlights. Artistic like his daughter?

 

“…And if you come to Finnkino’s DocPoint Festival tomorrow – I’ve got tickets – you’ll learn the whooole truth.”

Ha-ha. Do I want to??

Yes.

Later, her curiosity will kill her cat.

 

“Ohhh, I just realized.” Anna exclaims “A friend of mine posted a recommendation of your documentary on her Facebook yesterday!”  and she quotes  “‘All of you who live in Helsinki, you’ve definitely gotta watch this. I can’t, but don’t miss it. Article below.'”

“Show me that FB post, will you,” Patricia asks me intrigued.

I open it and, “No way! Katja? You know Katja? She’s my best friend!” Patricia exclaims.

Small world.

What are the odds? Turns out the mutual friend Katja, who posted the article about the documentary, is Patricia’s best friend from high school and Anna’s best friend from university.

Small Finland – indeed.

 

“Wait, I’ve just gotta text Katja! Let’s take a selfie together. Here.” Smiles. Click.

Patricia sends Katja the selfie on WhatsApp with the message, “Check this out. You won’t believe who’s on a Tinder date with my father!”

No, she definitely won’t.

Ops.

Tinder and Anna??

Noooo.

You see, Katja knows her from the time Anna was working in church.

And married with the pastor.

They sang together in the gospel choir. Alto, both of them.

“No way. Impossible!” Katja replies ringing Anna up two days later to hear all the gory details about the cat’s death.

Ah, where are Sabri and Ümit?

Smoking outside? Hmm.


 

Patricia takes her leave. She’s going to a Directors’ Gala.

“Anna,” the surgeon says with a voice that carries a mix of affection and lively sensuality, “Are you hungry? Let’s have dinner, the three of us.

“I’ll treat you. Let’s go to the other side, to the restaurant.”

Anna’s still sipping her caipiroska. A little food would be good. She’s feeling a bit lightheaded.

 

Tinder, tinder. Unpredictable.


 

Anna sits on Ümit’s left, opposite his son-in-law, an artist. The sirloin steak tastes muy esquisito and a second caipiroska has just materialized.

They chat about careers, art, religion, South America, Turkey, politics.

Trips. The future. Finland.

But every ten minutes or so, Ümit stops whatever he’s doing – a bit dramatically.

He turns towards Anna, looks deep into her eyes and says, “Now let me swim in the green sea of your eyes for a little while.

“Ahhh. Sigh. That’s better.”

She just giggles. It’s nice to get some warm attention after such a long time.

“Tomorrow evening, Anna, you’re going to be my date in the Avant Premiere.

“Would you?

“You’re going to wear a dress, high heels and red lipstick. Loose hair.”

“Is that so? Says who?” Anna teases him.

“Please, I’m a bit nervous. Be nice to me. They’re going to expose my life for the whole world to see. Come and support me with your company…

“Please?” puppy face.

“Yes,” I promise. “But I’m bringing some people, too – your daughter gave me three tickets, so… behave!!”

He keeps diving into her eyes from time to time. Out for a nice swim.

Then he turns back and kisses her fully in the mouth.

Ohhhh! Great kisser. Hot stuff.

But what if someone I know sees me through this enormous window?

OMG, I’m in full display here. Workmates? Some church people?

 

Whatever. They’ll just have to be shocked and accept it. I’m a free woman.

Doing nothing wrong.

🎵 Oh, oh, oh, I wanna be free yeah, to feel the way I feel
Man! I feel like a woman! 🎶

What if Mr. Ex is walking the dog and sees me???

She kisses him back. A long delicious kiss.

Mmmm.

 

What? He’s very bossy with the waitress.

And then whispers some spicy words into Anna’s ears.

He’s quite bossy with me to, come to think of it. I’m amused.

 

“Gosh, a few minutes to midnight! I wake up at six.

“Gotta go. Thank you, Ümit, I had a great time, ” Early school morning tomorrow. “I’ve really gotta go.”

“Thank you again for the lovely dinner. Bye!

“See you tomorrow, dear.” hot kiss is his reply “Bye.”

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day Sorry, I’m a little tipsy.

 

 

Chapter 15 – Tinder Date #6

This blog is a book. Maybe better read from the beginning? 🙂

 

Saturday, 23 January 2016.

 

Day 34

 

So, Luukas and I text. 

How can we have this much in common?

He’s a teacher too – physics; his father is also a retired pastor; he’s divorced with adult kids; loves volleyball and running (well OK, he runs marathons – I struggle to jog 5km). He’s lived in Oulu, Jyväskylä, Porvoo and Stockholm, and like me, lives in Helsinki now. And more. 

He convinces Anna to call her up immediately. She’s intrigued and a phone call would be a first. Why not?

Oh, no! He sounds soooooo formal. And laughs exactly like Santa Claus, Ho, Ho, Ho. Anna, you are so adorable! Ho, Ho, Ho.”

Still, he seems like a good person. Plus, he’s in very good shape, in his really blurry pic. So Anna decides to accept his invitation to have tea the next evening.

 

Oh, Thank you, thank you. Ho, Ho. Where?”

🎅

She’s slowly started to feel that, when unsure, why go all the way to the other side of the center. Let them come to me.

She doesn’t tell him her neighborhood, of course, but suggests a gaming restaurant on Tyynenmerenkatu.

 

 

Day 35

 

On Sunday, after a pleasant day with a little jogging, she’s not feeling too excited, but still, when a human being gives you their precious commodity of time, the least you can do is get nicely groomed for the date and look as cute as possible. It’s a matter of respect.

Self-respect, mainly.

 

And what if he ends up being Mr. One, huh? I don’t ever want to regret not showing up looking good.

Nothing over the top. Just the usual.

Shower. Hair, light make up. A casual outfit. A nice overcoat and a beautiful, fashionable scarf.

A sincere smile, self-confidence and eye-to-eye contact are anyone’s most important accessories.

 


 

Evening has come, and Luukas walks up to her on the dark street, blond, tall, handsome and… shy! Poor dear.

The restaurant is closed, so change of plans, and they go to the Little Big Café inside Verkkokauppa.

Anna can’t remember anymore all the things they talked about that day. She does remember, however, that he was intelligent, timid, and…

… kept on talking about all the wrong topics.

 

(a) His upcoming unemployment and no stress in looking for another job.

Oh, my. His hair looks so oily. Didn’t he wash it for the date?

(b) His illnesses. The pain and discomfort.

This keeps getting better.

Hey, we all have our conditions, but please! Win me over with your talents, your confidence and your charm, first. Show me what all your good qualities are.

Slowly. No hurry. A little mystery is good.

 

Hey you Mr. Wanted out there: win me over and then I won’t mind your brokenness. I have my share, too.

Skills, people, dating skills!

 

I’m here practicing mine. Hmm.

OK, then I can stay a little longer and do this in peace. I’m not wasting my time. Phew.

Oh, poor-fit-marathon, dear. Good attributes, but why are you wearing a cheap, old-looking, hoodie? The color doesn’t suit you. It’s too small and has a couple of holes in it. It looks like a teenager’s hand-me-down. From last decade!

 

Btw, there’s a youTube relationship coach with good advice out there. Matt Boggs. Please, check him out. Respectable stuff.

Some of us need it more than others…

It’s not about positivism, but working to become a better version of yourself. It will take work, but you yourself will benefit the most.

 


 

Saturday, 30 January 2016.

 

A week later, Anna goes to the Educa Messu, an education fair for teachers. Guess who she bumps into there?

Yes, him.

He gets all happy and excited to see her and grabs her hand, pulling her to see different stands.

Walking hand in hand, she panics on the inside and is shocked into passiveness. Wide-eyed.

Akward! Does he think we’re on a date?? What if my teacher colleagues spot us like this? Some don’t even know I’ve separated yet. They’ll think I’ve found myself a teacher lover.

Help!

She has the idea to get deeply mesmerized by some pedagogical books opposite them, and thus has to let go of his hands to flip its many, many pages. Genius.

He finds ways of grabbing her hand again, so she repeats the trick.

He doesn’t take her hand in his again and she feels better.

 

Anna has been fasting today and is feeling quite weak. The fair is over and Luukas invites her to have a hamburger at Sävel in Kallio. They’re on the tram and she’s feeling so weak that she just goes there with him.

Just being friendly. And ravenous!

Besides, she’s told him he’s nice, “But sorry, I realized I’m not ready for a relationship or dating yet.”

 

They have a chat about work while they dig into their burgers. He’s OK. And he gulps his beers.

 

Then, after eating he brings his chair that has been safely opposite hers to her side of the table. What?

He hugs her and starts kissing her cheeks.

At a burger restaurant?? People are watching!

She shows him with her body language that she’s not interested, but he kisses her ear and whispers, “I’m a very passionate man! Must be my half-Russian blood!”

“Sorry! Stop! I’m not ready.”

“Oh, Anna, you’re simply wonderful.”

“Thanks, but no. Not ready yet. Thank you for your company. I’m feeling tired, so I’ll have to go now.”

 

They bump into other once more, when Anna is with Kristiina at Stadium in Kamppi. Anna introduces the two, and the three of them chat for a minute.

“Mom, he’s so handsome and nice!”

“Yes, he is. But he’s not for me.”

I’ll really have to do that research on how to politely let a man know I’m not interested.

Urgently!

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. He is nice, but there’s just no chemistry.