Chapter 13: Don’t Mind if I Do…

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Ed Helms? The Office? The Hangover? Well…I went out with a guy who could have been the dentist’s twin brother.  He was pretty cute. He was funny and could talk with about anyone for about 10 minutes. But that’s about all he could handle before I felt like his brain was literally empty of all thoughts. It was a kinda odd thing to witness…I think if I could have read his mind it would have been something like, “Well…that’s all I’ve got. Let’s make out.”

We went from dinner (during which The Dentist authoritatively instructed the server to split the check, even after I had ordered at $4 side salad and a $5 glass of wine) to a neighborhood bar. He went to the restroom while I ordered drinks and left my debit card at the bar. We talked about nothing for the first round. I had downed my glass while I listened to The Dentist tell me about this ‘totally hot’ Asian girl that he had been dating last month. He went to the bar and returned with 2 more drinks. Luckily it was getting pretty loud there, so I was having a hard time hearing him talk about nothing important or interesting at all. I sipped my cocktail while looking around at the other patrons having way more fun than I was.

The Dentist eventually got up and brought back round three of drinks…and I managed to immediately spill almost all of it when I got bumped from behind. He got me another while I was still cleaning up the mess. For seeming so cheap at dinner, I was admittedly surprised by his generosity at the bar. “Oh my gosh…you didn’t have to do that! Thanks so much for all the drinks!” His response, “Thank YOU…I’ve been putting them all on your tab!”

Got back to my house and The Dentist needed the restroom.  He walks out, stretches, and says, “Well, so do I get to see your bedroom?” I laughed. No. “Ok. Maybe later…after we do this…” and he leans in to kiss me. Aaaand, it’s time for you to go home, Romeo. What a surprise that I declined when he asked me out the following weekend. He was perhaps looking for some free alcohol and a bedroom tour and I was looking for someone who could hold up his end of a 15 minute conversation about anything besides hot ex-girlfriends.

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Chapter 12: The Wedding Date

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Yup. Just like the movie.  I technically haven’t ever seen this flick from 2005, (in which Debra Messing decides to have a stranger pose as her date for a wedding) but essentially I did the same thing last summer.

I was attending a wedding out of town with a “Plus 1” without a plus one to invite. Hmmm. What’s a girl to do? Craigslist, of course. So I posted an ad:

“So…a friend of mine is getting married in Cincinnati in August. I am driving in from out of state to attend. Would love to have a smart, funny and overall wonderful man to join me, as most all of my friends will be there with significant others. You: conversational, able to hold your own with a group of strangers, likeable, drama and drug-free, attractive and fun (enjoying dancing is a huge plus). Not expecting a serious anything…I would just like to have a date for the event! I am 30 years old, into health and nutrition, non-smoker, and love meeting new people and being spontaneous. Shoot me an email if you think you may be up for an adventure… ”

And my inbox started to fill up… I had 20 inquiring young gents within just a few hours. My favorite said that he would attend “for $500 but no sex.” Needless to say I didn’t respond to that one.

Mr. Wedding Date ended up to be quite an experience. He approached me after the ceremony (as I was a bridesmaid) by giving me a wink and a head nod along with something that looked like a cross between a salute and a caress of his frizzy head of hair. Apparently that was the universal we-met-on-craigslist greeting. The rest of the night only got better.  While the rest of the guys were at the bar, my companion was on the dance floor in the center of the circle of the bride and her bridal party. I quickly came to realize that my ad could have been worded more specifically. The Wedding Date wasn’t lying when he responded to my post. “Enjoyed dancing”: yes. Good at dancing: no.

In the end, one of my guy friends apparently spoke with him in the men’s room and Wedding Date revealed that I just “wasn’t his type.” And…I was very ok with that.

Chapter 11: It’s All in the Family

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Sometimes I forget that I’m getting older. Unfortunately along with that fact comes the need to ‘up the age’ of boys that I think are attractive. Case in point when I recently encountered a very cute guy and his father who were in town for the weekend from Louisiana. The son, Kevin, was considering attending grad school here, which logically made him a few years younger than me. In hindsight, it was too bad that I never really totaled up the exact span of 365 day increments that divided his birthday from my own.

I, of course, was happy to accept their offer to meet them out for drinks later that evening. I exchanged phone numbers with the father at his request (which could have been my first clue that this would get very interesting later on). That night, I arrive at the set location and am greeted by the dad saying, “Oh….you didn’t bring anyone for Kevin!?”  My initial reaction was to laugh, but I quickly saw by the expression on his face that the question was completely serious.

I wish now that I would have had a video of the entire evening’s events. From what I felt, it mainly consisted of me trying to woo Kevin from across the table while his father was playing the offensive trying to woo me from where he sat to my right. I inched away from the dad several times as I unbelievably felt his leg pressing against mine as he tried to steal my attention that was directed at his gorgeous offspring.

The dad told of his beautiful home (complete with show-and-tell photos on his iphone of tropical plants and an indoor waterfall), his love of travel (after I mentioned to the son I studied abroad), his 500 bottle wine cellar (after I ordered a glass of wine) and his knowledge of French culture (after I stated that I had been there a few years back). All of the dad’s comments didn’t phase me much and certainly didn’t stray me from the idea that I might one day be dating his son. My eyes gazed into Kevin’s as I hoped he was feeling the same way.

But then….Shock and Awe. Daddy excuses himself to go to the restroom…and I am in no way prepared for what is about to happen. Cutie Kevin wastes no time and begins his soliloquy singing the praises of his father and highlighting ways in which his dad would make such a “great catch” for someone like me. My mouth must have been gaping open. Kevin tells me what a wonderful family man he is, how I wouldn’t ever have to worry about money, how humble he is, how attractive he is and ending by pointing out that we have so much in common already. This boy, who just 30 seconds before I had been picturing hiking with our dog on a camping trip in Yosemite, was now more excited than he had been all night as he was pimping out his DAD!?

I am silent and utterly speechless as the father returns to our table. He turns to me and says, “You know…I’m taking Kevin on a trip to Belize this winter and I was thinking it would be so wonderful if you would join us. Kevin, what do you think?” “Dad! What a great idea! Yeah, you should come with us!! You and Dad can hit up the museums while I hit up the ladies at the bars! Don’t worry about the money…you would pay her way, right Dad?” This was a point when I was actually looking around for a hidden camera to pop out from behind a plant or something and everyone would laugh and then I would be on reality tv. But that didn’t happen. And I was suddenly sad that this actually was my own reality show that I was staring in tonight.

In then end, I figured out that I was 9 years older than the son (which is, admittedly, bordering on creepy) and 22 years younger than the dad and 2 years younger than his oldest daughter. I think I’ll pass on the family trip to Belize this time. And I’ll also pass on attempting to date a guy whose match-making attempts will inevitably end up with a result like this:

Chapter 10: Sweaty Boy

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Winter. Friday night at an Irish Pub with a group of friends. What would your attire be? I chose jeans, heels and a gray angora turtleneck short sleeved sweater. After what I thought was going to be a few beers around a table, I quickly saw that this party had somehow turned into tequila shots and grinding on the dance floor.

After a few shots and a few grinds I suddenly found myself sweating like an alpaca wearing a scarf, mittens and a hat in July. And I also suddenly found myself in the arms of a stranger who couldn’t keep his hands off my perspiration-soaked attire. Another little secret about me: I’m a sweater. Generally speaking, I am usually the first one pitting out my shirts when the thermometer floats above 74 degrees.Pretty certain that I looked a lot like this (minus the tie and headphones, of course).

I remember being quite embarrassed when the boy spoke breathily into my ear, “You’re sooo sweaty.” I stepped back in shame but he pulled me closer with a grin. Gradually I came to realize that the sentence he kept repeating in my ear was pretty synonymous with “You’re so hot,” or “You’re so sexy,” or even “You’re an amazing dancer.” For Sweaty Boy, the highest compliment he could pay me was, “You’re sooooo sweaty.” And then he would proceed to rub my stinky and soaking wet angora sweater with reckless abandon as my friends looked on with laughter. I don’t even know how he got to my ear to relay his message of truth, as I’m sure he had to lift dripping wet locks that were stuck to the side of my face. It was love at first sight.

Sweaty Boy and I never did meet up again after that fateful night. He tried many a time to invite me out again. I never went, fearing his disappointment (unless the event was perhaps something like running a marathon in snowpants). Looking back, it makes me smile to think that somewhere out there, there are indeed boys who are deliciously turned on by profuse perspiration. I’m curious though…how exactly would that question be phrased on match.com??

Chapter 9: Fast Food Nation

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Out at a bar one night, my roommate points out her friend and says, “We think he’s gay but we’re not sure.” I, with a few mojitos under my belt, took the statement as a challenge to find out. He was charming, from what I remember. The end of the evening came and the mojitos made me tell my roommates that I was going to see them tomorrow as I walked away from their car and towards his. My target was most likely as surprised as my friends were. I was unphased, quite focused upon the task at hand.

The task at hand quickly fell by the wayside halfway to his house as I realized how unbelievably mad I was at those mojitos for convincing me this was a good idea. As I finally stumbled into the house, my target became very excited to show me a new tv show called The Office. He watched for what seemed like hours and laughed hilariously as I tried to keep from falling off the couch (and tried to keep the mojitos from reappearing in his living room).

I’ll spare you the details of the rest of the evening…the majority of it was spent sprawled on a fuzzy green rug in front of the commode. I’m sure I impressed the heck out of my companion. I’m also sure I had forgotten about my original goal of investigation sexuality. Mission: Not Accomplished.

The next morning I was unhappily roused from ‘passed out’ to hear him asking me about breakfast. Now, if you know anything about me at all, you know that food is something that I’m quite particular about. Not taste-wise, but nutrition-wise. Obviously my rommmates had not shared that little tidbit with this poor soul.

He leads me to his fridge and proudly opens the door to an ENTIRE stockpile of McDonalds takeout bags. The contents of each were scratched in black ink on the white greasy paper. The stench that rolled out of the open door made me want to retreat to the fuzzy green rug.

He explained the logistics of this brilliant feat.”My roommates and I go every Monday and stock for the week. We have anything you could want! Just grab a bag and stick it in the microwave. You can have more than one if you want. I’m nuking a sausage biscuit and hash browns now. We got Big Macs, McNuggets, fries, double quarter pounder with cheese, Fillet-o-Fish sandwich…” his voice went on and on as I excused myself to go the the bathroom. As I escaped down the hall I heard him yell, “You like ice cream? We have McFlurries in the freezer!!!!”

Chapter 8: The Architect (cont.)

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After three dates all centering around dark venues, I was left with this gnawing feeling that I HAD to find out how old The Architect was. I insisted on meeting him in the daylight. He eventually gave in and invited me to his house for lunch.

I was more cautious than ever this time and covered all my bases just in case I was never-to-be-heard from again. My self-defense instructor would have been proud of the precautions that were in place. I truly couldn’t wait to see The Architect with the sun on his face. I hoped that his house had a lot of windows.

It did. As soon as I walked in, my expression must have given me away. The gray hairs amongst the black ones gleamed in the sunlight, the wrinkles shifted around his eyes as he tried to guess my thoughts. The quote that kept coming to mind was from Red Riding Hood, “Ah…better to see you with, my dear.” Luckily I didn’t say it out loud. The other thought I had was my friend saying that I was going to be pushing a stroller with one hand and his wheelchair with the other. I don’t remember much about the lunch because I knew that it would be the last time I would ever see him.

As he walked me to my car, I turned quickly and finally said, “So. How old are you? Really.” He paused for a deep breath and a long drawn out exhale. “I feared you might ask me someday,” he confessed. I waited for him to continue. “Darling, if it doesn’t matter to us, then who cares what other people think? It’s not their life anyway, right?”I continued to wait silently. He looked at me and finally answered, “I just turned 40 last month.”

As I drove away from his beautiful home on the river, I wondered how old he REALLY was…

Chapter 7: The Architect (cont.)

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Date Number Two with The Architect. I let him choose the restaurant. He chose Sunny Italy. He arrived early and was half-a-glass into the evening already by the time I got there. He was at the dark table again. I said maybe we could sit by the window. He noted that it will be dark soon anyway. And it’s more quiet here. (And I can’t see your wrinkles, I thought to myself.)

This evening went much the same as the first, aside from a different entree selection for me. I became keenly aware of The Architect’s over-used compliment, “You’re funny.” But he never laughed. He just quietly smiled and told me I was funny, alluding to the fact that if he was a laughing type, he’d be rolling on the floor due to my hilarity.

The awkward part of that was that I was never sure if I should say ‘thank you’ to his observation. It’s not like you thank someone for laughing at your joke. (Unless you are a stand-up comedian.) But I do say ‘thank you’ for compliments in the form of a sentence. Then I began to wonder if at a comedy club if he would laugh, or if he would just say, “They’re funny.” Then I returned to wondering how old he was.

On the dark street, Mr. Architect said we should do this again. I invited him to come to a musical at my university. Mostly so that I wouldn’t have to sit at that dark table again. He came. Some girls from my dorm saw us there together. They came up to say hello, which turned into quite a cumbersome conversation. The highlight was when they commented on his hat. I was hoping no one would notice.