Your Father Isn’t… Sam

29 Jul

When I first saw Sam’s profile, I pictured him as one of those cool academics: cute and athletic, but also laid back. The kind of guy who manages to not look like a pretentious ass gently swirling a glass of wine while an eager crowd listens to him elucidate on… stuff.

Our first date is off on the wrong foot, with each of us wandering in confused circles around Rosslyn station. When we finally find each other, I immediately realize why I had trouble.

I fib about my height as often as the next person (read: always). According to the chart my 5’11 doctor keeps, I’m not 5’3. I’m 5’2 and 3/4. Sam on the other hand has unfairly claimed a solid six inches of open airspace that his body does not occupy. I’m a bit miffed at this blatant lie but he has these huge, glassy dark brown eyes…and a distinctly squirrel-like look to him that makes him seem more like a Disney character than a date.

Sam looks up  at me (ok straight ahead, but it felt like up) and sort of squeaks, “So what’s the news?”

I don’t know how I’m supposed to answer that question, so I pretend he asked me something normal and the standard small talk commences. Throughout the awkward pauses that occur so naturally on first dates, he fixes me with a blank but intent stare, like my golden retreiver does when I stop petting her.

All in all, the date doesn’t go horribly, and he likes chocolate and peanut butter (yes I asked), so I agree to see a Matt Damon movie with him next weekend. I really want to see the movie and as you’ll see, Matt Damon has a tendency to pop up unexpectedly in my dating life. I don’t think he’s marriage materials, or even third date material in all likelihood, but I’m not about to write off a perfectly precious Reese’s lover.

As I arrive at the Courthouse movie theater, it’s raining so everyone is huddled quietly together with their heads down outside. Sam slips up beside me and asks, “What’s the news?” Having forgotten about this little idiosyncrasy, I respond literally, and we spend the entirety of the previews discussing current events. Not a great start.

As often happens, the floor below my seat was sticky, so I kept my purse in my lap. Perhaps subconsciously I didn’t want to seem too… open… so I sat with my hands folded on my purse, legs crossed, like a little old lady waiting for the bus.

I should also mention that I had been running for a train as we left the last date, so there had been no good night hug, kiss or handshake… no breaking the touch barrier of any sort. So imagine my surprise when during the movie has arm drops onto my thigh, palm up, waiting like a giant cartoon question mark.

I do what any nice, but not too nice, girl would do. I freeze. I sit with my hands clutching my purse, eyes glued to Matt Damon, especially when I feel Sam looking over at me. I can’t decide whether to shake him off or say something, so I just pretend I hadn’t noticed anything. My dog similarly places her paw on my leg when I’m not paying enough attention, so I wonder if he wants me to scratch behind his ear. Thankfully the rational side of me stays put.

Sam finally moves his arm back to his side of the divider, although he left that question out there way longer than I ever expected. Since it’s still raining when we leave the theater and he starts to walk me to my car, I make some fuss about my hair, give him a quick hug and run for the car.


Unsurprisingly, I never heard from Sam again perhaps because I left him walk home in the rain, or because I didn’t offer him a treat for being good. I may never know exactly why, but kids, Sam is certainly not your father.


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