Tag Archives: traffic

Your Father Is/Isn’t… Ethan

29 Jun

I get excited about big drinks too!

I notice Ethan’s profile picture because he is making a ridiculously excited face and holding up an oversized margarita, which proves that at the very least we can be friends. In our initial messages, he comes across as goofy but sweet and uses the word ridiculous a lot. We bond over our families’ misadventures with shots (his mom decided she wanted to try a buttery nipple. My cousins have been on a creative Jello shot kick) and decide to meet for dinner.

As we plan our date we realize that we only live a mile apart, so Ethan creepily generously offers to give me a ride to the restaurant. An involuntary flashback through all of my past dates proves this: the guys I like most online tend to rate the highest on the not-actually-dateable scale in person, so an escape route is an absolute must. Plus, getting a ride increases the awkwardness quotient significantly (as if it’s not high enough on its own. Case in point, this entire blog).

I’d be lying if said I didn’t consider the fact that this could play out like so many movies…. he’s actually a homicidal maniac and the only real question is whether I’m the dumb blonde killed off in the beginning or the surprisingly scrappy heroine who uses her wits to escape, then inevitably stumbles upon a much broader crime, and finally confronts said maniac later to take him down. I figure that any leading woman would make sure she has a vehicle, so I make up a lie about driving to work that day and tell Ethan I’ll meet him at the restaurant.

We’re meeting on a Wednesday after work and I commute via the ever-pleasant-and-timely public bus system, so I don’t foresee any kind of complications with my plan.  Of course, it just so happens that one of DC’s infamous rainstorms rolls in right at the end of the day and it’s a well known fact that metro DC residents are known to panic at the first sign of precipitation, to the extent that nearly every storm is given a apocalyptic pun name, such as Snowmageddon (it snowed), or Derechosaurus Wrecks (thunderstorm. I wish I was lying).

I try to leave work early, to no avail, and soon find myself standing at the bus stop, drenched despite my umbrella and cute Target raincoat that isn’t really water repellant, waiting for a bus that never comes. Traffic is awful anyway, so I text Ethan with a mostly true white lie about being stuck in traffic (I am, or at least my bus is, wherever that may be) and run for the Metro, which is also a disaster.

Nearly an hour after I was supposed to be at the restaurant, I finally reach my car and break land-speed records for a dysfunctional Audi on wet back roads getting to the restaurant. I weigh the value of trying to fix my makeup, brush my hair or even check myself in the mirror against being even more absurdly late. Instead I step through the door, fumbling with my sopping umbrella, still in flats, and pat down my frizzing hair in a feeble attempt to look less like a wet dog. Ethan is nearly finished with what may or may not be his first beer but hides any annoyance at my unfashionably late arrival… or my unfashion.

Four hours later, the cozy, firelit restaurant is closing and we’re still talking animatedly, flitting from topic to topic with the excitement of finding a surprisingly kindred spirit. We disagree on many things, but the argument is high-level, fast-paced and… exciting. I feel a little breathless by the end. I start to hope that maybe he’ll forget that I was an hour late- and look a hot mess- because of this witty repartee we have going. I never said I was rational.

As we both reluctantly agree that it’s time to go, I fish in my purse for my keys before heading back into the rain. Like many women, my purse is a bottomless pit containing more useless necessities than Mary Poppins’ magic bag, so the process of finding my keys can take an eternity and this time is no exception. In fact, this time is worse: imagine trying to catch a goldfish with your bare hands… and you’re missing two fingers… on each hand. The slippery little suckers get the best of me and I end up dumping my purse onto the table in my frustration.

I get so caught up in my futile battle with my possessions that I completely forget about Ethan for a minute, who is hovering over me with a concerned look on his face, most likely for my sanity more than the fruitless search for my keys. I’m red-faced and yammering excuses and apologies by the time I finally find them, which lends a certain symmetry to the date.


Kids, if Ethan calls me after this disaster of a date, it will be a complete miracle. Or, I could end up a post on HIS blog about how he didn’t meet his kids mother. We’ll just have to wait and see.