Archive | October, 2011

Your Father May or May Not Be…Kevin

13 Oct

See? I knew Kevin was a winner. Yes, it’s taken two weeks, but he’s invited me to a 1920’s themed croquet tournament in Annapolis. It’s just random enough to be really interesting, without being weird, which let’s be honest, is the fine line I spend my life walking. I’m thrilled.

He picks me up at noon and we spend the hour drive to Annapolis discussing our travel experiences. He knows I’ve just gotten back from a two week trip to Europe and dutifully asks all the expected questions but with genuine interest. I’ll be honest: I was worried about being trapped in a car for so long to start off a second date. I always think second dates are the hardest. I can talk to anyone for an hour or two; any subject is fair game because you haven’t talked before. Second dates, on the other hand, have the added pressure of wanting it to go well compounded with the need to remember which stories you’ve both told. Nothing is worse than telling your best party story… again. But I needn’t have worried; Kevin and I chat amiably the entire way and we arrive in Annapolis before I know it.

The day is absolutely glorious; we bask in the warm sun, enjoying our picnic of beer and sandwiches while watching St. John’s College kill the Naval Academy in round after round. We both root for Navy, partly because they are the underdog, but mostly because they seem to be laughing at the situation as much as us. The crowd fills the lawn like a scene out of Great Gatsby, with a small group even swing dancing to the live band set up behind the announcer’s stand. We sunbathe and people watch and plot how to steal some of the fancy cheese groups nearby have set out on elaborate wicker baskets.

After the tournament, Kevin shows me around the Academy’s campus, which he knows well from annual lacrosse camps hosted at the Academy each summer, then he takes me to dinner at a rooftop patio in downtown Annapolis. We laugh as we share our appetizer, and he finished my dinner, in a way that is both exciting and comfortably intimate.

Nine hours after picking me up, Kevin drops me at my door, although a bit reluctantly. We’re both wiped from our day in the sun, so Kevin asks for, and I agree to, a rain check.

For three weeks. This boy is killing me.

~~~~

Kids, again, Kevin STILL isn’t out of the running but we’ll see how far it goes.

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Your Father Might Be…Kevin

6 Oct

For the first time in a while, I’m actually excited about the prospects for this date. I’m meeting Kevin at a sushi restaurant near my apartment that I’ve been meaning to try but never have.

I walk into the restaurant right on time, by which I mean five minutes late, knowing he’s waiting for me at the bar. I’m awkwardly fishing for my phone and reassuring the hostess that yes, my date IS here when Kevin stands up.

Now, I realize that this is just coincidence but the brilliant rays of the setting sun blaze around Kevin’s silhouette, leaving me momentarily blinded with my heart racing.

I’m frozen elbow deep in my purse while the hostess, who still hasn’t decided to let me loose in her restaurant, asks Kevin if he’d like a table now. He’s still glowing.

I order a glass of wine and we settle in to those broad, sweeping questions you hope will steer you towards common ground. I learn that Kevin grew up in the area, has a close group of friends who are starting to settle down, is close to his parents, works for the government, is getting his masters in engineering part time at my alma mater, and coaches a high school lacrosse team. This guy has really his life together.

After sitting together for a while, I realize his looks may not have opened the heavens, but he has that athletic teddy bear build that only Americans can pull off. In fact, that’s exactly what I like about him: he’s all-American. The much-discussed but seldom seen, mythical all-American good guy. Who’s single. And on a date. With me. I feel like Steve Irwin discovering a species previously thought extinct.

Our date extends well into the night as we talk, even mocking the nearby couple feeding each other with chopsticks. When the hostess comes to tell us the restaurant will be closing soon, Kevin glances at his watch and asks, “What time do you close?”

“Ten minutes,” she replies, stepping back expecting us to stand up. Kevin turns back to me and says, “We’ll be out in eight. Finish your story.”

I melt.

Over the next two weeks, as I wait to hear from Kevin, I move from that annoying floaty, glowy stage that makes your friends hate you, to doubt, annoyance and finally mourning of the relationship that could have been. After all that, I must have imagined the sparks I felt that night, or at least that Kevin reciprocated.

I begin to analyze every aspect of my being for what went wrong. I’m in the middle of vowing to never eat sushi on a date again [Author’s note: sushi is not sexy food. Ever], when my phone buzzes.

It’s Kevin. Two weeks after our first date, he’s ready for a second one. He has no idea that in my mind I’ve worked my way through our entire relationship, ending in a crash back to reality in the form of his rejection by omission. Kevin is entirely unaware that for the four days since I had given up on hearing from him, I had fully planned on starting an all-raw-vegetable diet and getting into marathon shape… tomorrow. But of course, if I liked him enough to suffer so much in the aftermath, even if it was entirely self-inflicted, I liked him enough for a second date, right?

~~~~

Kids, Kevin isn’t out of the running but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Your Father Isn’t… Ed

3 Oct

I’m not sure what to think about Ed as I walk to my favorite bar near my office for our date; we barely talked online before he asked me out. I’m not even entirely sure what he looks like, but as I scan the bar, I see the back of someone talking on the phone that I figure must be him. How do I approach a blind date who is sitting at the bar with his back to the room, talking on the phone though? I’m in a bit of a pickle, but I go for a side approach, hoping he’ll see me.

He doesn’t.

I hesitantly tap him on the shoulder, prepared to not speak English if it’s not him, but thankfully it is. He ends his call as I slip into the bar stool next to him, expecting him to turn and face me to begin our date.

He doesn’t.

He continues to sit facing the bar, elbows next to his beer, only turning his head slightly towards me. We make pleasant small talk and find we have a lot in common, but I’m still so thrown off by his body language that I can barely concentrate. I briefly got into that show Lie to Me, so I consider myself an amateur body language expert. I’m now convinced he’s hiding something, perhaps a dark secret, or perhaps his shirt is caught on something below the bar.
I try to lean back and peek below the bar to see what he could be stuck on, of course without him knowing of my rescue efforts. I’m positive he’s just stuck and once we get him unhooked from whatever is restricting his movement, he’ll finally turn and face me like a normal date.

He doesn’t.

After three beers and nearly four hours, I decide, ok, he’s not stuck and if he is, he can just stay here overnight because I’m going home. Regardless of the literally crooked conversation, we had a good time and Ed invites me to a baseball game next weekend. I’m thrilled by this idea and spend all week looking forward to this date. When we arrive we grab beers and head to seats that are better than any I’ve ever sat in at Nationals Park. Ed really went all out and I’m touched. Within an inning, he hops up to use the restroom. I think nothing of it, until two short innings later, he leaves again. Huh, I think. That’s a little odd. But by the fourth inning, I need to use the bathroom, so I stand for him to let me out, thinking he would stay at the seats.

He doesn’t.

He needs to go again. Honestly, I hadn’t really thought much about it, but his next comment changed everything,
“When I drink, I have the bladder of a chipmunk.”

Now, just like Ed, I’m blessed with a round face and full cheeks, so I’m not one to make fun of people for that reason alone.  Of course he’s also a couple inches shorter than he had promised online, but again, nothing wrong with being short. But Ed also has a gray stripe running along the side of his head. These features COMBINED with his comment, well, I’ll be honest, somewhere in my mind I hear: “Ch…ch…ch…chip and dale… rescue rangers…. ch…ch…ch…chip and dale, rescue rangers…” I hope that good chuckle in the bathroom will get this silliness out of my system, so that when I come out he won’t immediately strike me as one of my childhood favorite animated chipmunks and will again look like my date.

He doesn’t.

Back at my seat with Dale, as I’ve now renamed him in my head, we chat until the announcer welcomes the service men and women behind home plate and invites everyone to show their appreciation. I admit I take this a little more seriously now that my best friend is a Marine, but I’ve always cheered and applauded enthusiastically for our troops. It’s quite literally the least I can do. As the entire stadium stands in a warm ovation, I  jump up and look over at Ed/Dale, expecting him to stand up next to me.

He doesn’t.

The man who had gotten up once an inning to relieve himself the whole game couldn’t stand up to clap for the troops for ten seconds? He could have combined it with a bathroom trip, but he didn’t. He stayed seated, unwilling to expend even that much effort. Suddenly the imaginary Dale in my head has a French accent a la Pepe LePew; I feel duped and ready to get the hell out of dodge.

~~~~

I’m going to guess that I don’t end up marrying an unpatriotic cartoon chipmunk, so kids, Ed is not your father.