Jewish Journal

Dating 101: Being Stood Up & the Wisdom of Gabriel Garcia Marquez

by Ilana Angel

April 20, 2014 | 12:55 pm

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I had a relaxing Saturday. I met a girlfriend for lunch, did a little shopping, had a couple of beauty appointments, and went to yoga. I was in a great mood, looked really pretty, and had a date with a man I met online. He wrote me, invited me out, seemed nice, so we made a plan to meet for a drink. We were to meet at 8:00 at a bar in my neighborhood, I was excited.

My hair was behaving, my makeup was light and simple, my nails were freshly painted, I wore jeans, a beautiful shirt, impossibly high and magical shoes, and I headed out to meet a stranger. I sat at the bar, introduced myself to the bartender, Brad, and told him I was meeting a man for a drink and to keep an eye on us. He was great and brought me water as I waited.

I waited alone for 15 minutes when Brad came over to check on me. He said it was probably traffic delaying my date and told me I could go ahead and order a drink since he was late. I ordered a Cosmo, and I waited. After 5 more minutes, Brad clearly took pity on me and came over to chat. I called my date but he did not answer, or return the text I sent him.

Brad bought me my drink, told me the guy was a loser, and came around the bar to give me a hug and assure me there was nothing to be upset about. Brad was lovely, and in the big scheme of things it was not the end of the world to be stood up, but as I drove home I cried. It is exhausting to date and being stood up hurts, even though it says more about him than you.

I didn’t cry because “Michael” stood me up, but rather because it made me examine my dating life and upon reflection, that made me sad. Michael is a rude douchebag, and perhaps struggling with the reality of the size of his penis, so I send him blessings because he clearly needs them. It is a shame however, that someone so insignificant can humiliate you this way.

To be clear, I am fine. I know my value and what I bring to the table. I am smart and beautiful. I have learned things from past relationships, but I can’t help but wonder why it is exactly that I’m still dating. At 48 years old and I would rather wait for the right person than settle for someone just to not be alone, but why is it taking so long to find someone?

I found myself second-guessing past relationships because of a schmuck who bailed on a date. Why am I giving power to this pathetic man? I am tempted to post Michael’s picture to warn others but in the end why give him the attention? In the end I don’t know why he never showed up and it doesn’t matter. I got stood up. It hurt my feelings but I will be brave and try again.

Life goes on and I am inspired today by one of my favorite writers, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This is the farewell letter Mr. Marquez wrote when he retired from public life. He passed away this week and I have read it over and over again. I have found peace and courage in his words.  I hope you will read it, share it, and take what you need from it. Life is grand, love is everything, and I am forever keeping the faith.

Farewell Letter

By Gabriel Garcia Marquez

For reasons of health, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombia’s illustrious Nobel Laureate for literature, has declared his retirement from public life. He has terminal cancer and sends this letter of farewell to friends and lovers of literature.

If God, for a second, forgot what I have become and granted me a little bit more of life, I would use it to the best of my ability.

I wouldn’t, possibly, say everything that is in my mind, but I would be more thoughtful l of all I say.

I would give merit to things not for what they are worth, but for what they mean to express.

I would sleep little, I would dream more, because I know that for every minute that we close our eyes, we waste 60 seconds of light.
I would walk while others stop; I would awake while others sleep.

If God would give me a little bit more of life, I would dress in a simple manner, I would place myself in front of the sun, leaving not only my body, but my soul naked at its mercy.

To all men, I would say how mistaken they are when they think that they stop falling in love when they grow old, without knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love.

I would give wings to children, but I would leave it to them to learn how to fly by themselves.

To old people I would say that death doesn’t arrive when they grow old, but with forgetfulness.

I have learned so much with you all, I have learned that everybody wants to live on top of the mountain, without knowing that true happiness is obtained in the journey taken & the form used to reach the top of the hill.

I have learned that when a newborn baby holds, with its little hand, his father’s finger, it has trapped him for the rest of his life.

I have learned that a man has the right and obligation to look down at another man, only when that man needs help to get up from the ground.

Say always what you feel, not what you think. If I knew that today is the last time that that I am going to see you asleep, I would hug you with all my strength and I would pray to the Lord to let me be the guardian angel of your soul.

If I knew that these are the last moments to see you, I would say “I love you.”

There is always tomorrow, and life gives us another opportunity to do things right, but in case I am wrong, and today is all that is left to me, I would love to tell you how much I love you & that I will never forget you.

Tomorrow is never guaranteed to anyone, young or old. Today could be the last time to see your loved ones, which is why you mustn’t wait; do it today, in case tomorrow never arrives. I am sure you will be sorry you wasted the opportunity today to give a smile, a hug, a kiss, and that you were too busy to grant them their last wish.

Keep your loved ones near you; tell them in their ears and to their faces how much you need them and love them. Love them and treat them well; take your time to tell them “I am sorry,” “forgive me, “please,” “thank you,” and all those loving words you know.

Nobody will know you for your secret thought. Ask the Lord for wisdom and strength to express them.

Show your friends and loved ones how important they are to you.

Send this letter to those you love. If you don’t do it today…tomorrow will be like yesterday, and if you never do it, it doesn’t matter either, the moment to do it is now.

For you, with much love,

Your Friend, 

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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