June 12, 2003
An Emergency Case
Even hot chicks get sick. So I'm sitting at the M.D.'s filling out my paperwork when the question glares up at me:
In case of emergency call:
I'm totally stumped. For the first time ever, this yenta has nothing to say. Who should they notify in case of an emergency? It's a natural question. I just don't have an answer. And even if I did, I wouldn't be able to define our relationship. For most women, it's easy. Call my fiance, Brad. Call my husband, Matt. But who does a single girl call? Her boyfriend, Elijah? I could call that actor, Dave, who I picked up at The Brig in Venice on Saturday night. He was a smooth operator. He slipped his digits in my back pocket, brought his mouth close to my ear and whispered, "Call me, babe." I'm just not sure that this is the call he was hoping to get.
Who am I gonna call? (Don't say Ghostbusters.) The question is taunting me, mocking me, like those overly affectionate couples in line at Disneyland. Can't I go anywhere without being reminded that I'm unattached? It's not enough that my mom noodges me about my dating life, now Blue Cross has to hak a chainik, too. Wait, that's it. I can call my mom and dad. When I was a kid, my parents were my automatic "in case of." Scraped knee, high fever, broken finger -- they'd pick me up at school, feed me chicken soup and show me the love. Unfortunately, the Davis mishpacha lives 2,000 miles and two time zones away. And not that my Jewish mother isn't a maven when it comes to worrying, but I just thought by this point in my life, there'd be someone else to save the day. A guy who'd play Superman to my Lois Lane -- no tights required.
Who would come to my rescue? I could list good old, reliable Steve, my date from Friday night. He took me for sushi at Koi, kissed me good night, said he'd call and never did. But I'm sure he had a good reason -- he was busy with his job, his house or his other girl. But hey, that's no reason why I shouldn't list him. I'm sure I could call him in case of an emergency. Or maybe I should just say I'll call, then won't. Quid pro quo.
What about my bootie call, Justin? He phones me at all hours. Of course if I list him, he'll think I'm more serious about him than he is about me. And he already gave me his "I'm not looking for a relationship" speech. I mean, he freaked out when I remembered his birthday. He'd lose it if I made him my "in case of." But hey, if he can call me in his time of need, then I can call him in mine.
I could list my old roommate, Elizabeth. There's no doubt in my mind she'd want to get that call. And so would any one of my girlfriends. They're amazing, and they'd come through for me any day, any time. But the sad truth is, while I would call my girlfriends, my girlfriends would call their men. Elizabeth would call her husband; Lindsey would phone her boyfriend. So the issue is not just that I don't have anyone to list. It's that no one is going to list me. I want my "in case of" to be mutual. As a single girl, I'm not just looking for a man to depend on, I'm looking for a man who'll depend on me. I want to be someone's emergency call. I want to be his emergency call. But as proven by the second blank on the questionnaire, that's not going to happen until I'm in a relationship.
There must be one guy I dated in the past year whom I can rely on, who wants to rely on me. Not just lie on me. My list of men is long, but no one's standing out. It's not that I don't have anyone to call; I have some people to call, I just don't have that one person to call. What if I never meet "the One?" What if I end up old and alone, writing the senior singles column in the Sunshine Mitzvah Home newsletter?
What if I -- wow. What if I meet him? Who was that masked man? OK, so he doesn't have a mask, but he does have a white coat, a stethoscope and a great smile. Can I read his name tag from here? Dr. Rosen. Maybe he's Jewish. Maybe he's single. He's definitely tall. I don't see a ring. Hmmm, this paperwork could work to my advantage. Perhaps I should just sew a scarlet "S" to my tank top and wear my single status proudly on my chest. That should grab a guy's attention. Crisis solved:
In case of emergency call: Dr. Rosen
Carin Davis, a freelance writer, can be reached at email@example.com.