So since my last post people have asked me about the date I mentioned at the end. “Was that a real date?” Unfortunately, the answer is yes, and unfortunately for me (but fortunately for you!) there’s more…
When I was in graduate school working on my doctorate I had to take several courses in statistics. In fact, I earned about eighteen hours in stats. My major professor urged me to take one more class in statistics so I could have a minor in it. I am clearly not that much of an overachiever and felt that eighteen was more than enough. It’s amazing to think that at one time in my life I could not only run and ANOVA, but I actually knew what the results meant and could discuss them in a meaningful way. Today, I’m not so sure I even know what ANOVA stands for.
Anyway, I was single and spent most of my time reading and writing. I had this sign hanging on my refrigerator that read: “God, please help me get through this difficult and totally unnecessary endeavor.” Referring, of course to graduate school. Not much excitement in my life until my first day of statistics class. That semester the class was being taught by an adjunct instructor who just so happened to be very tall and very good-looking. He had a great voice, too. Certainly got all of our attention. There was one problem though. The guy couldn’t dress. I don’t just mean bad taste, I mean ill-fitting, poor choice of fabrics, and really, really bad combinations. Don’t even get me started on his shoes. I literally couldn’t look at them. All I could think about was how I would explain these outfits to my mother. She would be horrified. Clothes are easy to change…and I moved ahead with my subtle flirtations.
I wouldn’t ever date an instructor/professor while I was taking their class. That is a boundary that I wouldn’t cross. It doesn’t mean, though that I can’t do some harmless flirting and see where it lands me. I mean I don’t think giving the guy two free tickets to Jazz Fest was inappropriate. I may have boundaries but I’m not totally stupid.
Apparently it worked because as soon as the semester was over he called me and asked me out. I also made an A. The first date was dinner at my house. I bought the beer and he brought the food. His plan was to cook shrimp pasta which I think is terrific except that he brought packaged shrimp. Like the kind you would find all wrapped up in the “seafood” section at a Winn Dixie. I should have asked him to leave right then but I was willing to give him a chance. Did I mention he was really tall? Anyway, he cooked the “shrimp” and then started carving a cantaloupe. I figured he wanted to serve fruit with dinner. I really shouldn’t make any assumptions! No, he decided we would eat the cantaloupe together standing in the kitchen. Did I mention he fed me the cantaloupe? Oh, ok right into my mouth. Got it. Yeah, it was a little weird. I mean I hardly know you and you want to feed me that piece of fruit? At the time I thought I was just being a little too uptight and I need to relax and have fun! You know how they tell you a person tells you exactly who they are within the first few minutes of meeting them? Well, clearly this guy was telling me plainly that he is a weirdo but I refused to listen.
Luckily I was able to feed myself at dinner and after a few beers we called it a night. Before he left he made it clear that he wanted to see me again. As I said, my life had been filled with journal articles and research briefs so I was happy to have a little excitement in my life. I agreed to see him again.
The next date we actually went out. He picked me up and we went to a restaurant out by the lake. Just to give you some background, if you don’t know me I have always, for the most part worn my hair fairly short. At this time in my life I was wearing it really, really short. Think pixie, micro short. I was also wearing stacked, layered jewelry. Lots of sliver bracelets and multi strand necklaces. Whatever. It was 2001.
I specifically remember exactly what I was wearing the night of this date. Weird that I remember that, I know. Anyway, I had on a taupe colored pencil skirt with a white tank under a fitted jacket. Black sandal type heels. I had on several silver bracelets and three chain necklaces that each had a charm on it. One was a round silver ball, one was shaped like a gear, and one had points going around it. For those of you who want a real reference, these are a series of chains and charms from Mignon Faget. You would know them if you saw them.
So we sit for dinner and each order a beverage. The conversation is going fine when he suddenly asks me about my jewelry. “So tell me the story about your chains… They are kind of butch don’t you think?” I’m not even sure what I’m supposed to say to this. I have no frame of reference to even digest his weird question/statement. Before I could even respond he asks, “So do people often think you are gay?” What the f@ck did you just say? I didn’t really say that but it is clearly what I was thinking. I responded with a poor attempt to get clarification, I asked what exactly did he mean. “I mean do people think you are a lesbian? With your hair and jewelry, I just thought…” Ok so what am I supposed to say to that? It’s such a weirdo-rama place to be! I’m certainly not angry, it makes no difference to me if people do think I’m gay. I’m happy to be mistaken for a lesbian! But I’m on a date with this guy! Is he hoping that I am gay? Is this some sort of role play that I’m missing out on? I mean don’t you usually try to NOT to weird-out your date? Aren’t we all just hoping to make a connection and maybe, just maybe get a little action at the end of the night? I’m not exactly sure that calling your date gay is the way to go about that. Dude, you can forget any chance to so much as rub against me!
Somehow I made it through dinner and it was about the time for the bill. I was not interested in dessert of any kind. God knows I’m sure he’d want to feed it to me! My friends and I had differing theories about paying for a date. I have always felt like I should at least offer to go in on the bill. After all, I am a working woman and can at least offer to pay my way. My friends think I’m completely nuts. If he asks you out then he pays. Simple as that. Let me just clarify that while yes, I will offer, or at least make the suggestion to offer to pay, I don’t actually think I should have to pay at all. On the surface I want to appear as being a modern-day woman but the reality is that my friends are right. If he asks me out then he should pay. If the opportunity comes up one day when I ask a girl out I will do the proper thing and pay. Otherwise, he should pay.
The waitress hands him the bill and I begin my well-practiced reach for my wallet. My hand is in my purse and I’m waiting for the traditional waving of then hand and for him to say something like “absolutely not” or “thanks, but I’ve got this.” At least that’s what everyone else does. Not this time! Yes, that is correct. He insulted my clothing, told me he thought I was gay and is now making me pay for half of the bill. Really? Seriously? This guy clearly has no intention of ever getting laid again.
I left town for work for a few days only to come home to his call. My friend urged me to just dodge the whole situation but I was sure that he would never take the hint and I would end up seeing him on my front lawn while I was walking my dog. It would be then that he would suggest my dog was gay, too. I was not interested in leaving any door, window, or phone line open to a future with this guy. I took the call. Break ups are never easy and this one went something like this:
“So I was thinking maybe we could go out to dinner again this weekend.”
“Um, yeah, about that. I don’t think I am interested in pursuing this any further.”
“What do you mean? Do you just need some time?”
“No, I don’t need time. I’m just not interested in going out with you again.”
“So, it’s me?”
“Well, it’s not me. So…have a good evening. Goodbye.”
I gave up on the dating scene and devoted myself, again to my studies. A few weeks later my mother had an idea to set up a friend with someone she met. That again, is a long story that I may post later. The short of it is that I went with my friend to Lafayette Square to meet this guy. That night Kim Carson and the Casualties were playing. The guy, sadly for my friend, turned out to be a total nerd. Sorry, mom, but this was a miss. The evening was in fact totally great for me because I ended up meeting this really great guy. Just like in a movie we spotted each other across the crowd. Very good-looking and to my delight, a great dresser. It was as if he wore those monk buckles just for me! At some point we met, talked, and even relocated to a second place. He took my number. After a few drinks, while I was in the restroom, he told my friend, “One kiss from me. That’s all it will take and the rest will be history.” He was right. It was. The rest is history. Eleven years later, eight years of marriage, two kids, a new business…what’s next? I’m excited to see…
Happy Mothering (and dating),