Undaunted by dense bars and a curfew, Pam schedules a video date. Together with Carola, she plans a Valentine’s date and Julie suddenly sees the romance of her sweetie around the corner.
“Fifty minutes doesn’t count as fashionably late right? “, I tap in the group app.
“WTF ?!”, Carola responds immediately.
“I am sitting here: make-up, candles and already one wine behind my teeth. Against the nerves. And not a word from Werner. No text, nothing. He seemed so serious yesterday, and now he just lets me down. “
UpDate is based on true stories. The real names of Pam, Carola and Julie are known to the editors.
“Nahhh, what a cowardly bite. Has the match been canceled? It must be a catfish.”
“No it’s still there. And his profile picture on WhatsApp too. I really don’t understand anything about it.”
“Didn’t you call him then?”
“Yes, but he didn’t answer”, I reply sadly. Carola and I throw some more cries of indignation back and forth and at half past nine I decide to go to bed.
“This really affects my faith in love again”, I say to Carola. “How am I ever going to trust men if they do this too? Would he really be with someone else? Just lured me out of the tent?”
“I don’t know either dear”, she comforts. “Go to sleep and forget about this guy. It will feel better tomorrow.”
Lump of grief
But it doesn’t feel any better the next morning. I wake up with a chunk of grief. And for whom? About a 37-year-old Werner I’ve never seen? And who even rejects me unseen. The chance that a date ends in distress is now 8 out of 10 I know. When I was just single, I thought it was one big adventure and I was glad that I was pulled out of that rut. But after a whole series of flings, prelas and fwb’s, the craving takes off the real deal only increases and the playfulness goes away a bit.
Swiping is like Funda. You look at the photos (and again, and again), you do some research about the area and you carefully wonder whether you could live in that house. With a few ticks on ‘yes’, a tiny future dream arises and you open yourself up to something you would like: security in the future. Every contact moment brings you one step closer to that dream. So when Werner texted so nicely, and suggested this video date, I was genuinely hopeful. And it is precisely losing that hope that comes hard. Increasingly louder, it seems.
It is now 11 a.m. and I haven’t heard from him yet. “What went wrong?” I finally send and immediately I get a load of sorry’s and half an explanation about a visit and a forgotten curfew. He wants to call to explain, but for me it’s okay.
Three days later we are making preparations for Valentine’s Day on a video call (at least with them!). We prefer to celebrate love together with the three of us. But yes, we can only visit one person now.
“I think you belong to my household”, Carola jokes. “So we’ll do it to me and Julie can come without any problems.”
Sacrifice for Valentine
“I’m so excited to see you again”, Julie shouts from the bottom of her heart. “But I really don’t want us to get into trouble, Carola. We have to be really careful with corona. So I don’t want to be err…”
“Get the most out of your day? Invite one person to your home? Maximum enjoyment?” I tease.
Julie’s cheeks blush.
“Yes, well, yes, it was just fun last weekend. And good. So um, I want to sacrifice myself for your Valentine.”
We’re screaming. Is that beautiful corporate Julie there suddenly developing feelings?
My letterbox remains empty during the Valentine’s weekend. No flowers are delivered and there is no breakfast at the door. At the end of the morning I join Carola and we drink tea, we eat chocolate and Rummikub, we are very happy. That way Valentine is very nice.
When we’ve just poured our first wine, my phone rings. It is Daniël, a handsome from Amsterdam that I have been app with for a few days.
“Why don’t you come by now?” He asks. Carola hears everything and gives her thumbs up.
“Go on!”, She whispers.
And I do. At 7 p.m. I am in the car to the capital. Apparently that curfew is the end of my principles, because I already know that I will sleep with Daniel. Even though I’ve never seen him.
After years of dating (one of which even turned into a marriage), Pam, Julie and Carola are suddenly single again. Not ideal, but secretly also a wonderful adventure for the over-30s who once had a house-tree-creature and are now trying their freedom together. Between city trips, dancing nights and dinner evenings together, they learn about life, love and each other.
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