Not once, mind you, but twice, in the hopes that something magically strange or awkward would happen, and I could report back with a great second date story that you could share around the water cooler, with your grandparents over breakfast, or work into your wedding vows right in that tricky spot where you're not quite sure what story to put between the day you met and the day you proposed.
Unfortunately, both dates were more or less unremarkable, so I must resort, as usual, to some salty language in an attempt to liven things up.
Obviously, the first order of business was to meet up with the smoking cute studlett that is, let's face it, too young for me, but who is very pretty and who I enjoyed speaking with.
And I enjoyed speaking with him again, though I started noticing things I had missed on the first date.
For example--because what's one of my posts without bitching about the check?--the first date was just coffee, and he was sitting and visually absent when I arrived, so I ordered my own coffee and went off to find him.
In retrospect, it was a bit odd that he had already ordered his, and was maybe more legitimately trying to hide around the corner of the cashier than simply out of sight.
I say this because he invited me out for round two at a time when I had a mere few precious dollars to my name (pretty much like every other day), which I mentioned.
He offered, via text, to pick up the tab... but with a winky promise that I'd get the next one. Well sure, that's adorable, and isn't that how kids these days flirt?
Except without the charming addition of a winky face emoticon, he got kind of intense about it. I had to do a pinky swear that I would pick up the tab next time around. He was beaded with sweat and shaking until I broke down and agreed, because I was starting to foresee that third date not being an issue.
I bought black coffee, mind you. It was less than two dollars.
Well, I reminded myself that he was recently out of work. And a handful of years younger than me (props). I could vaguely relate to his concern, and tried to brush it off.
We talked for two hours again. He is really fascinating to talk with, kind of like a cute little white Morgan Freeman on some PBS special. Philosophy, odd science, fun facts... he is obviously very intelligent, and I felt my brain waking up a little, pleased to finally have an opportunity to impress, and give the fake smiles and on-cue laughs a break.
Although, then there were those moments where he told the story of an older homosexual man confessing his love, or underwear cuddle time with his male roommate, that made me wonder why I like my men so gay.
Afterward, despite the stimulating conversation accompanying my sudden fear that I'll end up married to a really clean-cut man who spends an inordinate amount of time with his best friend Julian, I left noticing that I had lost some of that spark from the first date.
I think the stimulating conversation may have overlooked the fact that the two of us need to get to know one another to build anything. I learned about sensory deprivation, Indigo Children, and how a recognizable gay celebrity wanted to more or less adopt him, but I didn't leave with any sort of picture of who he was as a person.
The only really clear picture I came away with was the worrying image of him and his roommate sitting in sticky repression on their sofa together, clad only in tight white briefs and denial.
I was not adverse to meeting again... and purchasing him a round, or a coffee (though nothing much fancier than that on principle). After all, he was shelling out for gas and coming to see me, and with local gas prices figuratively dropping the soap and telling us in a husky voice to "bend on over an' pick it 'urp," that's nothing to be overlooked.
Until he told me he was going to Puerto Rico this weekend, just for "fun." Okay. You may not have a job at the moment, but if you can fly off to a tropical land on a whim, you can fucking pick up the tab for Panera coffee, and even a muffin should I feel so inclined. Sympathy and understanding REVOKED.
So, I set up a second date with Gerard Butler, who had tried a few times to arrange one via text but never found me in a particularly interested mood. He had promised, this time, that it would be "on him," since I made a point of noting I was brizzoke as shit after our last date had ended with me reluctantly taking my half of the sushi dinner he had so helpfully suggested.
I honestly did not even shower for this date. I have started a new job that I am still trying to navigate and thus in a perpetual state of stress and nerves, and my body isn't quite ready to return to a diurnal schedule after half a year of sleeping through the day and scurrying around at night with my eyes reflecting car headlights. Showering and the subsequent beautifying routine just sounded exhausting, especially for a late-night date. I wore my glasses, a little mascara, and the clothes I had worn the night before for getting drinks with a friend. It definitely took him a minute to recognize me.
We met at a neighboring town, at a really fun bar with a great vibe. People in dreadlocks were beating Bob Marley out of bongo drums, and there were stuffed jackalopes all over the room. I was more excited to see that people really do congregate and have a good time on the weekends than to see Gerard, because I live in a city based on that town in "Footloose," but I will admit that, upon second perusal, he is very attractive. I think upon initial meeting I was too busy noting ways that he is NOT Gerard Butler to realize that he's a pretty handsome lad.
The bar, while I loved it, was way too loud for conversation. That was probably all right. Neither of us really had much to say.
In between sets I launched into my nervous "say anything oh God just talk" habit, again, like a hysterical little monkey in red pants. I don't even know what came out of my mouth. He probably couldn't hear me anyway.
I know, however, I made a few attempts at jokes--at least one of them had to have been clever--to no response. Barely a smile cracked.
I laugh so hard I cry at my own jokes, but nothing from this guy? Hard audience. The more I noticed this, the more desperately I tried to become funny, and the more stoic he seemed to become, and the monkey just chattered harder.
Could I resign myself to a life of just not being funny?
He is, I will say, sweet, and definitely kind of shy and awkward, which comes off as strange on a guy over six feet tall who is build like Gerard Butler (Yeah, I looked).
But when he walked me back to my car and hesitantly tried to feel out a third date, I couldn't feel it. I like men who are goofy and know when to be ridiculous and make me look like the stoic one.
I don't think it would work. I watched my dad ignore my mom's jokes (and vice versa, though his, to be fair, were terrible) for their marriage right up to the end, and I know that I need someone who yes, thinks I'm clever and intelligent, but also uproariously funny (and hot)... and doesn't mind picking up the first few checks.
THE ONLY FUNNY JOKE MY DAD EVER TOLD (WHEN I WAS LIKE NINE, AND MILK CAME OUT OF MY NOSE):
A rabbi was called to a small village in Africa called Trid, to deal with the issue of a giant who had invaded and was going around kicking the tar out of the villagers.
The rabbi went, and found the giant roaming around, happily kicking the poor people of Trid halfway to China.
"Giant!" The rabbi called bravely, hoping reason would end the horror. "This is wrong! You must stop kicking these poor people!"
And then the rabbi cowered, bracing himself for a foot to the rear.
The giant only laughed, however.
"Silly Rabbi," he boomed. "Kicks are for Trids."