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Your Father Isn’t… Any of these guys

5 May

Good news! I found an old journal full of dates I wrote about but never posted! The bad news is that I’m not totally sure when I wrote them, so they’re all completely randomly spaced throughout time. It’ll be like a sci-fi anachronistic dating adventure… or my dating life doesn’t progress all that much, so the order doesn’t really matter. Let’s go with time-travel adventure.

~~~

I’m on my second hand’s worth of mediocre dates, which for me are the worst kind. I’d much rather suffer through a couple hours of cringe-inducing awkwardness than these forgettable ones, because I know there is at least some payoff in the end of the bad ones (this blog!). Yes, I realize that I’m complaining that my dates aren’t bad enough.

I went out with an accountant who finished my food. I agreed to a second date with a psychology Ph. D. student (sorry Mom) but he can’t think of anything fun to do downtown. One guy told me all about how he keeps his beard long ‘because the ladies love it’ then got food stuck in it. Ok, I might have to write about that one.

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I even went out with a very nice LA (legislative assistant for you “outside the beltway” types). We had a lot in common and the date showed promise until I learned that he someday hopes to run for office. I’m too much fun to be a political wife. Can you imagine when the press finds this blog?

Maybe this means that my filter is improving, or maybe I’ve just been through so many dates that nothing phases me, like how my nurse friend handles vomit like it’s just spilled ice cream. The fact that, as I sit here, I can think of blog-worthy stories from more and more of these dates is making me think it’s the latter.

Crap.

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday, How I Didn’t Meet Your Father!

25 Jul

Someone pointed out to me that tomorrow is my one year blogiversary! What better encouragement to post? Here’s the next installment in the story of Ethan and then I’m going to get myself a birthday cupcake to celebrate one year of deliciously bad dating stories!

~~~

I hear from Ethan the day after our date and proceed to float around with a stupid grin for at least a week. We chat each day and eventually make plans for the following week since he needs to play tour guide for a visiting friend that weekend. Our plans set, we chat remotely while he waits in the obligatory lines for museum security, overpriced cupcakes, and paper Metro passes.

It becomes clear when my phone dies from checking it every twenty seconds that Ethan has already become a highly distracting figure in my life, so I vow to back off and just wait patiently for our next date. This lasts approximately three hours, until Ethan texts me:

“Mmm Georgetown cupcakes and wine.”

To which I reply, without thinking about the possible interpretations or unintended consequences:

“That better be an offer or you’re just being mean.”

Within ten minutes, Ethan is on his way to my apartment, which I realize is a mess, as am I, and my roommate Jane is cooking dinner in pajamas. I stick my head around the door to the kitchen, tell her sheepishly that a boy is coming over, and then run to my room to clean and avoid her commentary as she frantically attempts to clean the kitchen and gather the remains of her dinner before running to her room. I’m going to need to apologize to her later.

I change outfits three times, trying too hard for a cute/casual look, while simultaneously throwing anything not nailed down into my closet. I have time to put on mascara and a pair of earrings before my phone buzzes that he’s downstairs, so I take a deep breath, avoid looking at myself in the mirror and run for the elevator.

The date itself is the most wonderfully awkward date I’ve ever been on, since it’s barely a real date, more of an impromptu meeting, but more intimate and casual than any restaurant could manage. Ethan brings with him a dark, sweet dessert wine and that famous pink box with four perfect looking cupcakes, just like he promised;  he even offers one to Jane, making her like him more than me at the moment. 

But once Jane leaves, we don’t really know what to do with ourselves. We stand facing each other, leaning against opposite counters, which in my Polly-Pocket kitchen are actually fairly close, and chat casually but haltingly.

This is what I hate about second dates: they are 40% interview (unlike a first date, which is all interview) and 60% pop quiz.  My mind is scattered, trying to remember what I asked him already, or if I’m thinking of him or another guy. Then I start wondering when I became the kind of woman who can’t keep all the men in her life straight.

I’m simultaneously sizing him up: he is one of those tall, sturdy guys that I have such a weakness for, has the palest blue eyes I’ve ever seen, and has a diamond earring I can’t decide if I should judge him for. Oh, and I’m listening to what he’s saying. Totally listening.

Eventually, we settle in to opposite ends of my couch, not touching, as we nibble our cupcakes and sip the wine. Slowly, I relax.

After talking, laughing and trading YouTube videos for a while, I’m surprised to realize that we’re sitting shoulder to shoulder, thigh to thigh, and I’m leaning slightly into him; I steal a glance at Ethan, who catches me. Embarrassed, I immediately begin to move away, trying to hide my face as I blush. In a move that I swear only works in movies, Ethan boldly slips his hand against my cheek and brings my face back towards his so he can kiss me. I swear, Clark Gable would be impressed by Ethan’s calm, suave move; I sure as hell am.

The rest of the date breezes easily by, now that the ice has been broken by the kiss, and before I know it, we’re kissing good night at my door. Something has been tickling the back of my mind all evening, and I finally realize what it was.

“Didn’t you have friends over tonight?” I ask.

“I did, but I wanted to see you.”

~~~

Kids, I’m 25 years old. What do I know about the future? Not a lot. I do know, however, that everyone deserves at least one kiss like that in their lifetime.

Your Father Isn’t… Kevin

17 Nov

When Kevin and I finally make plans for our third date, I’m excited but wary since I can’t handle another crazed cycle of waiting, moving on, waiting, and moving on. I’m not good at either of those things at the best of times.  Even so, I can’t help getting all giggly.

We’ve made plans for dinner and a movie on Friday, but on Thursday disaster strikes. Its name is Comcast. The cable in my apartment decides it’s about sick of us and calls it quits, but of course Comcast has nothing open for three weeks… except one cancellation for Friday afternoon between 3pm and 8pm. Surprisingly, the operator doesn’t give a damn that I’ve waited three weeks for this date. Sophie’s choice: Kevin or cable. Whatever I choose, it’ll be three weeks until I see the other.

Anyone who knows me should know how I’d handle a situation like this. Whenever anyone tries to force me to do one thing, I’ll do the opposite. Try to force me to choose between two options, I’ll find a third. Just on principle.

I beat the devil at his game by inviting Kevin to watch a movie at my place (the DVD player still likes us) before going out to dinner once one of my roommates get home. Evil incarnate Comcast admits defeat and shows up promptly at five, but Kevin and I opt to stay in anyway. After four hours, two movies (one good, one not so much), one medium pizza and a bottle of wine, Kevin finally kisses me. I’m so over the moon about the entire evening that I muster the courage to tell him that three weeks between dates is way too long.

As soon as the words are out of my mouth, I panic. That sounds so needy, so demanding! He’s a slow and steady kind of guy and there’s a very good chance I just blew it.

Kevin looks at me in the dark of my living room and says slowly, “What are you doing tomorrow?”

Well that pretty much convinces me that everything is solved and we’re ready to move forward. We’re past the three dates and into the realm of dating.

Within a few weeks, we go on a handful more dates, including a baseball game with my friends. I even meet his mom, although informally as we stop by to pick up a few things from her house.

Even so, each date still feels like one of the first dates and Kevin’s schedule isn’t getting any easier. I find myself secretly hoping his lacrosse team will get knocked from the playoffs so he’ll actually have some free time. Then I feel incredibly guilty and unsupportive for thinking such awful thoughts. And I wonder why I’m single?

His team does lose in the second round of the playoffs, which doesn’t make me happy at all since I figure I’m karmically responsible. And even then, our schedules don’t quite match up.

After an early dinner and movie one Friday (7pm movie… 5pm dinner), Kevin drops me off at home. As I get in bed at 9pm on a Friday, too ashamed to call the friends I turned down because I had a “hot date,” I start to realize the perils of the all-American good guy with his life together: there isn’t much room for a girlfriend.

I text Kevin that night, indulging in a little melodrama, to ask if he thinks this is actually going anywhere. In true Kevin fashion, he doesn’t answer until around noon the next day, at which point I’ve already punched out my frustrations in boxing and eaten my feelings at brunch.

Kevin agrees that things aren’t really taking off, but that he does enjoy spending time together. It takes all my willpower to reply, “Since we’re on the same page, let’s just leave it at that.” I’m still proud of myself for that one.

~~~~

Kids, perfect on paper is so rarely perfect. Exhibit A: Kevin is not your father (although I’d be open to revisiting the matter if it ever came up again).