This online dating journey has placed many interesting guys in my path. Last spring, I got a Like from “Ted” who had a nice profile with recent pictures that showed him with various friends and family members. He listed the activities he enjoyed that included playing and listening to music and my personal favorite, dancing. We messaged back and forth over a period of a couple of weeks– that inefficient pattern that seems so common with online dating; a paragraph from him one day, I’d answer within the day, and then three or four days later–his next response. What would take ten minutes to say in person can drag out over a week with a lot of guys on the sites. At least Ted’s messages showed personality, style, and were filled with interesting points about music. I soon learned he’d been a professional musician for over twenty years.
What he loved were the Blues. I’d only recently come to understand that the songs that I felt the most connected to when dancing were often Blues numbers. Once Ted knew this, he told me artists that I “must hear,” those he’d heard in concert and followed for years. The main ones included Joe Bonamassa, Joss Stone, and Keb Mo.
Early on in our messaging, he suggested since we both lived in Durham, we’d have to hear music in a local club. That sounded good to me; it had been so long since I’d done anything like that–especially since we’d been in lock down with the pandemic.
After we’d been messaging for a couple of weeks, we agreed to have a phone conversation; that felt like a forward progress.
We talked easily for two hours–that guy who was from Queens, NY and this Southern woman. Besides our mutual love of music, he had a strong relationship with his children and had been a mental health/crisis-line volunteer. He ended the conversation with,”We’ll have to go out soon, Connie. I’ll text you in the next week and we’ll make plans.”
That sounded good to me.
I listened to all the artists he’d recommended and one of the songs by Joe Bonamassa, “Drive” had become my favorite. The beginning of the song goes like this:
“Babe, you’ve been feeling poorly
I’ve been dealing with stress
Why don’t we go out tonight
Put on your favorite dress
And let’s drive
Into the night into the light
Put on an old blues song
Let all our troubles be gone
I imagined driving myself to meet Ted for our first date– always a safer option when you didn’t know someone. But after that, if everything went well, as I suspected it would, Ted could pick me up at my place.
I waited for that text, or maybe he’d actually phone me– which seemed to be an oddity for most of the online guys.
Ted didn’t text or call the next week or the next; soon afterwards, his pictures and profile were off the site.
You were never given an explanation with online dating; the guys were just gone and you filled in the blanks.
Slowly the dream of riding in his car at night and listening to Joe Bonamassa’s “Drive” faded away. I did continue to listen to the song when I was in the mood for the Blues. I added songs by Joss Stone and Keb Mo. Eventually, I felt the gift Ted gave me was getting to know the music of these artists that brought me joy and sometimes expressed my emotions better than I could.
While I didn’t get to ride in Ted’s car on a spring night with the windows down, singing into the cool fragrant air, he gave me the music that I would carry forward.
Now, hopeful romantic that I am, I believe that one day, I will ride into the night with the right one and “Drive” will be playing. The Blues can transport you from a place of seeing your troubles to a place where your soul connects and that lifts you to a higher place of hope; music is an incredible gift.