​​​​Because humor is funnier when you know it's true.

Shame on you, not me

I recently started a blog about my disastrous dating life and now that I feel a tad more secure about it, I am sharing it with more friends, and even past dates. “Do not worry,” I tell an ex-suitor over the phone. “We went out way before the blog’s timeline, your story will not show up.” He responds all smooth and what not, “We must fix that immediately and date again.”  I pee a little. Have I mentioned that I am a sucker for words? He continues, “There is nothing to hide, mi amor. I have always been a gentleman; you can write anything you want about me.”

It is wonderful that we are not having this conversation in person so he cannot see my jaw drop. I am thankful to my dentist and his fabulous skills considering my new implant is on full display. “You stood me up, asshole!” I want to scream. I do not.

Never Showed Up Guy goes on reciting his attributes and why it is ok for me to include him in the blog. To be fair, I have not seen him (except for Facebook) since he was a boy. I do not know the man he is today. We had one date, back when I was starting college in Massachusetts, and often traveling back home to Puerto Rico. Mami was in a brand-new soap opera (she is an actress) and he was playing her son (he is an actor). I met him at the television studio, he asked me out, and with giddy enthusiasm I accepted what would be my first “real” date.

Never Showed Up Guy picked me up in a fancy car (probably his dad’s but who cares?), complimented my outfit, opened the car door for me, took me to a trendy place to eat and dance; the whole nine yards of seduction. I got my first public kiss on that dance floor. I was embarrassed about the public display of affection, so when the kiss ended, I rapidly looked down. He gently lifted my chin with his hand and whispered, “never be embarrassed of anything you do.” There is still a Marta-shaped puddle in that ballroom at the Cerromar. At the end of the night, when asked for a second date, I softly said yes with whatever I had left of my voice.

I am still waiting for him to pick me up for that second date.

I remember sitting on the bed in my childhood room, wearing a bright orange parachute long shirt (it was the 80’s; be kind), black leggings, and orange flats. My sisters and Mami kept coming in and out of my room while I waited. They looked so sad. After the time of his expected arrival passed, and passed, and passed, Mami sat next to me. Caressing my hair in that way she does which makes everything right again. She said with kindness, “Hija mia, he is not going to show up. It is his loss. One day he will look back on this day and realize what a fool he is.” I held on to Mami and sobbed; the pain of my young, inexperienced heart so deep I thought I would cry forever. I was full of shame. And it hurt.

That was the only time I have ever been stood up. Ever.

Never Showed Up Guy’s conversation is still happening on the other end of the phone. I interrupt and exclaim with joy, “Yes! What a fantastic idea! Let’s go out again! I will pick you up tonight at 7pm. What is your address? Wait for me; I will be there. I promise.”

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

- Marta A Oppenheimer 

Marta A Oppenheimer is a twice divorced woman searching for love in Miami, the land of palm trees, hurricane warnings, and Kim Kardashian lookalikes. In between dates, Marta is a published writer, graphic artist, spoken word performer, and a non-profit animal rescue group volunteer.

Marta’s stories have appeared on Chicken Soup for the Soul, Miami Living Magazine, TrueHumor.com, Ariel Chart International Literary Journal, and performed on The Moth Miami StorySlam, Miami Book Fair, Lip Service Stories: True Stories Told Out Loud, Raw Storytelling: Live True Storytelling Show, and The Only in Miami Show on Jolt Radio. The short story, “Love in a Pumpkin”, became a short film and an Official Selection 2022 for the Havana Film Festival in New York City. You can read more about her romance perils at: thedatingdaysofmartao.com and on Facebook: facebook.com/thedatingdaysofmartao but keep in mind that dating after 40 is for the brave.