I meant to post this back when Sandy Crocker, the 34-year-old British Columbia-based dentist set off for Ireland to find a woman he met once, for a mere couple of minutes, in a café in Ennistymon last summer. He didn’t know her name or where she lived, and the only description he could provide of her was that she had reddish hair and freckles.
It would be easy to describe his as a fool’s errand. With the vague description that could easily describe a lot of the young women in Ireland; he’s facing much longer odds that the people trying to connect on Craigslist’s “Missed Connections”, such as this fella:
Oct/19 Friday night about 9:45pm or so…It was fun talking to you girls as you were driving on Queensway from Sobey’s to your strip joint. All of you were really cute I thought. But you had a male driver and he seemed pissed that you girls were talking to me. Like I told you when you asked, I am a single dad. I saw which strip club you went to, but I’d feel really dumb dressing up right now and going to a strip club to talk to you. So if this works, the one who was interested and asking if I was single will get in touch. If not – at least I have a story to tell .
(Do those ads ever work, other than as entertainment for us bystanders?).
He doesn’t know this woman at all. The woman in his head is an idealized, romanticized one that he’s been dreaming up over the past year, based on a brief chance encounter and short conversation.
Some people have said that his mission’s a bit creepy, even stalker-like. I’m not as cynical as they, but what he’s doing does remind me of an old Onion article: Romantic-Comedy Behavior Gets Real-Life Man Arrested.
One commenter in a National Post article suggested that there’s something wrong with him if he’s a dentist and still single at 34. I was under the impression that the “What’s wrong with him?” threshold age for never-married-before men was 40. Perhaps I missed the memo.
Sandy Crocker didn’t find her. After spending a month in Ireland searching for the girl he couldn’t forget, he’s back home. I’m certain that every day, he asks himself: “Okay, what now?”
My heart goes out to this guy; if I ever run across him, I’d be happy to buy him a beer. Most of us, myself included, have had one or two of those times where we wish we’d said “Call me maybe” and didn’t, and would love a chance to fix that mistake. In fact, my current relationship with The Lady Friend is the direct result of trying to fix one of those mistakes.
Sandy may have been on a fool’s errand in the short term, but it might have been a wise move in the long term. He took charge of his own fate, he’s now in a situation where he can move on, and he’s most likely spared himself a lifetime of Maud Muller-style lamenting: “For of all sad words of tongue or pen / The saddest are these: “It might have been!” It was most likely a valuable journey, even if he didn’t “get the girl”.
He said the same thing less poetically, but it’s still worth repeating:
“You know what? You have to hold out hope in life, and it is just a situation where if you didn’t come and do it and see if you could find the girl, fifty years down the road you’d regret it. This is making sure that this isn’t something you didn’t do nothing about.”
He’s a decent-looking guy with a good outlook on life, and now he’s got a story to tell and a bit of a reputation for being a romantic. I can only wish him well.
Good luck, dude.