Dear readers,

In case you were losing faith in mankind, I have a happy story for you.

I met the Cook two and a half weeks ago at my bar, reading. We struck up a conversation, and he was super sweet and easy to talk to. He asked for my number before he left.

“Hey,” he said, after he got up, “listen. I work a lot. So if I don’t call you right away, I’m just busy. It doesn’t mean I’m not interested.”

Thoughtful. Sweet. Right.

A few days later, we went out to dinner. I hadn’t told him about my gluten allergy, so he picked a pizza place. I really could eat nothing there. I got two salads. Luckily, I had had a late lunch of delicious tuna fish. With lots of fresh dill and lemon.

Despite the food situation, though, we had a lovely time. We had a lot to talk about, ultimately bonding the most about being food snobs. We talked, we laughed – overall, it was definitely the best date I’ve ever been on. Afterwards, he texted me to say that he had a great time. “You are beautiful and bright in every way,” he said.

But I couldn’t trust it. After all, you all have read my blog, and some of you know what my past relationships have been like. I spent the next several days worrying myself into a tizzy that this seemingly lovely guy would turn out to be, well, a rectangle.

Over the next couple of weeks, we went out some more and ran into each other several times at the bar. Every time, he was unbelievably sweet and thoughtful. He didn’t play games. He was straightforward about liking me. And he kept saying nice things to me that I actually couldn’t believe were coming out of his mouth. Every time I got worried that he didn’t like me or wasn’t interested, he came out with something else incredibly reassuring, without my prompting.

Last night, we made plans to get together. He said he would call me after he got off work. Five o’clock passed. Then six. Then seven. At nine pm, I was super hurt and cranky, so I went to sleep.

When I woke up this morning, I still had no calls or texts. I was hurt and irritated. I had left my night open and sat around all evening waiting for him. I was sure that he was saying goodbye by way of ignoring me. So much for the elusive good guy, I thought.

I sent him one text, saying that I wouldn’t bother him again, but I was hurt that he stood me up. I told him that if he wasn’t interested in getting together again, he could have just said so. I said that he had been incredibly lovely to me, and I was sorry that this was how he chose to end things, but I wished him all the best.

And then, almost immediately, my phone rang.

He apologized for standing me up. He had had to work until 11, and then just stumbled into bed. He said he totally understood that it hurt my feelings, and he wanted me to know that he spent the majority of his free time with me, and happily. He said that if he didn’t want to do so, he wouldn’t, and he would tell me that. Then he told me that he had to go to work, he was sorry again, but he’d see me later.

So, so sweet. I almost cried.

Apparently there really are good men out there. I was starting to be convinced it was an exclusive club consisting only of Brian Gonynor. And maybe I have to suspend disbelief for a little while, and trust that this guy isn’t going to be a shithead to me. And maybe, eventually, that can be comforting and happy and good instead of scary as fuck.