~Monday, May 17, 2010

The Non-Date Recap

For the record, I wore the stone-washed Old Navy's.

I just couldn't wear the jeans with the hole in them. If this had been a second or a third meeting, I probably would have, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it the very first time.

We met in neutral territory, a parking garage not far from my building. 5k Guy had brought his dog and was walking her in a grassy patch behind the place where I get my morning coffee. She was wearing a pink snap-on collar and I kind of melted that he was secure enough to stand among a collar rack and purchase a pink one for her.

He pointed out where his car was parked at the far end of the garage and I drove over to the spot. He had taped to the cement wall a large paper sign that read "Tire changing lessons $5 $1 Free!" I wondered if he just happened to have a printed sign like that because the paper was too large to fit in a personal printer.

We got right to business, mainly because I was nervous and didn't know how to act around this guy I had only met once in a group setting. I busied myself with getting the tire and jack out of my trunk. He walked over with colored instructions printed off the Internet on how to change a tire. I thought Wow, he did some preparation for this and maybe I wasn't imposing on him like I had half-convinced myself. He got under my car and showed me where to place my jack, and then it was up to me.

He unfolded a camping chair and took a seat, "I'm sorry I can't help you, but you really need to know how to do this on your own." He made small talk as I panted while I jacked up the car. Because I was wearing a tank top, I had stupidly decided that hair down was the way to go and cover up the skin on my shoulders. Only it's the South in the beginning of summer, so it's humid and muggy and once again my ironed hair is frizzing and my face is turning maroon cause it's hard to breathe with this much humidity. The summer storms aren't far away.

He taught me the importance of loosening the bolts before jacking up the car, even though it's not really applicable because my car is front-wheel drive. He gave me pointers like standing on the lug-nut wrench to break them free. He applauded my intelligence because I knew enough physics to stand on the very end of the wrench when a few didn't budge.

He handed me latex gloves to handle the tires with to keep my hands clean. "I'm sorry they are so big for you, but they are the only ones I have at home," he explained. I started to think he really did put some forethought into this.

I thought I would be done after I drove around the garage on my spare, but he made me jack up the car again to put the full-size tire back on. "Just because you did it once, doesn't make you an expert," he laughed after I goofed in the order of breaking free the lug nuts and begin taking them off before I jacked the car up again.

I handed him my camera and told him he had to take a picture of me changing the tire so I could document completing my list. A took a few but my batteries died and then he grabbed his own from his car and continued to click away. After I got the full-sized tire back on, he finally came over and did the final tightening of the lug nuts. "Yeah, I have to drive on that," I laughed.

I looked at my phone. It took me 40 minutes, meaning we only had about 20 minutes until he had to dash off to his next destination. He tried helping me put everything back in my car, but by this point I was so used to doing everything by myself that I didn't really let him.

"Do you still have time for lunch?" I asked.

"Hold on, we're not done yet." He went into the back of his car and fumbled through a folder. He pulled out a certificate he made me.

I jumped up and down and clapped at the sight of it. A certificate! It had my name on it and it certified my achievement of learning to change a tire and it had the date on it. He really put a lot of thought into this. He took something so simple and mundane and turned it into something special. He made me a certificate and my name was spelled right on it. I don't think I have ever had someone in my life who put so much thought into something. Then he put his camera on self-timer mode and we stood in front of my car while he shook my hand and handed me my certificate like I was getting the keys to the city.

For lunch, he chose a pizza place that was in the same area. Actually it was a place Christopher always talked about how good it was and how he wanted to go, but we never went because I didn't want to pay for the both of us. So I'm here with another guy. He asked if I had any preferences and I said no. He asked if I like leftovers and I said yes, so he ordered a medium pesto pizza with chicken and I inwardly smiled because I didn't have to do all the work. He took charge.

The conversation was easy for two people who didn't know each other very well. We talked mainly about our dogs and shared stories about them. We talked a bit about college and our respective experiences. Then he brought up my list and asked me what my inspiration was. He said it was such a great idea and he really applauds people for being proactive and doing what they always said they were going to do. I wondered if my list got me this non-date thing. He continued with all the ones he would love to help me out with and expressed disappointment that I didn't meet up with him at the 5k. I had posted on Facebook a link to a discounted zipline tour for the summer and he said he was interested, but never committed if he was going to go or not. "Katie is going," he said. I thought it was weird because first of all, I didn't know he knew Katie and secondly he couldn't go because she was going? Like because it would be a group thing? Or maybe he doesn't like her? Or?

We were the only people in the restaurant and we had blown by his timeline by a half an hour and he was definitely going to be late to meet his friend. He called out to the waitress to split the check and I was disappointed. I'm perfectly okay with carrying my own weight, but I was emotionally disappointed because the non-date thing was officially a non-date thing. We walked out to our cars and he immediately got his dog out of the car. I didn't want to follow him, so I just headed to mine and he waved goodbye as he walked his dog to the grass for one last potty-break before their next adventure. No wink, no hug, no awkward shoulder touching. That was it.

I sat in the car blankly. What the hell was that? Who would put so much effort into something if he just wanted to establish a friendship? My best friends in the world wouldn't do that much. He said during lunch we wanted to do more list things with me. We didn't talk about anything controversial, so if I said anything to turn it sour, it would either have to be revealing that my parents are divorced or that I don't have a thyroid. I can't imagine it really being either one of those.

I guess I will just have to wait a couple of weeks and see if he contacts me again. He has most of the pictures in his camera, so I hope he does so I can at least get copies.

The worst part is now that I spent some time with him and he's made me a sign and a certificate, I like him. I think he's really great for making things so special for me. My heart is kind of torn because I know I'm just going to spend this summer pining for him and it's just going to break when I get drunk and profess my feelings for him and he tells me I'm a nice girl. Ugh, nothing has changed.

18 comments:

Breeza said...

Oh man. Guys are so confusing. He definitely put a lot of effort into it and that in itself usually means something. I don't know. Maybe he just wants to take things slowly? May he has baggage he's dealing with? Just have to wait and see I guess.

Amber said...

Hey girl! That sounds so awesome! What a sweetheart for putting the planning into that.

You know... maybe he's just playing it casual and safe. I don't think he had other plans at all in the first place and the fact that he didn't use that as an excuse to leave sounds promising.

If nothing else, he's an example of the fact that there ARE genuinely nice guys out there, ya know? And that you deserve to be treated like a special princess!

We'll just see what the next couple of weeks bring, yes?

I would try not to get drunk around him for the next little bit though lol.

freckledk said...

Sarah, you have had years of overlapping icky boyfriends. Don't pine over someone who may not be as wonderful as your first impression implies. Don't pine over anyone. Be single. Go out with your friends. Learn to love being in your own company, without the drama of a boyfriend to worry about. And, when you find someone worth worrying about, they won't make you worry (hence the being "worth it" bit).

Bathwater said...

I am impressed with the guy, I can't believe anyone would go to that much effort for just a new friend. Maybe he is shy or lacks a certain confidence when it comes time seal the deal.

Find out, if he is like me and clueless for god sake help him along. I think what he did sounds really sweet.

J said...

Wow, that was sweet of him. I loved the certificate bit. That would totally make me melt.

Like freckledk said, don't pine after him. It will be what it will be. Enjoy life and if he ends up in in it great, if not well then his loss.

Hope said...

In my experience, men (especially one you've met once before) put in that much effort only when they are attracted to a woman. Based on that I think he's into you.

BUT, having said that, I do have to agree with Freckled K. If you can, be single for awhile. Continue down this great road. Find your confidence again (Dude, you changed a tire. You're awesome!)

As for pining? I know it well. If you ever need a partner, shoot me an email. :)

Jaclyn said...

He sounds like a nice guy, which is good.

I need to agree with freckledk. At the end of a relationship (especially a bad one), you need to do a complete examination of the decisions that you made. When I was younger, I dated a lot of selfish jerks. It wasn't until I took breaks from dating and analyzed which red flags I missed from my exes that I was able to learn from my mistakes and start choosing men better.

Lpeg said...

I'd say focus on being single, and if he calls, he calls. Also - do you think he thinks you're still with Christopher?

But seriously - if he sees that you're into doing your own thing, maybe that will give him the incentive to call you.

This guy sounds sweet though - I think he really does like you.

Aritza, Goddess of .. said...

Uhmmm .. well, he's weird.

Very sweet and toughtful for the whole tire changing lesson + certificate but the ending to your non-date was surprising to say the least.

Maybe he's just a really caring guy .. and maybe he'd make a great friend.

Or maybe he'll call and ask you out.

Sorry my advice is so sucky, lol. Anywho, I'm looking forward to hearing what happens next...

Alison said...

I want to add another voice to the chorus of "please stay single for a while"! You've bounced from horrible relationship to horrible relationship. I humbly suggest that you need to learn how to value yourself as your own person and not need a man to give yourself an identity.

He sounds like a really nice guy. Why can't he be a really good friend?

GiggleWorthy said...

Long time reader etc.

He does sound really lovely, but why do you need to know straight away?

Just enjoy it for what it was - a fun afternoon doing something on your list (that turned out to be far more entertaining then you thought it would) followed by a nice meal at a place you had been looking at going to for a while.

Think about how good it was, not what you now think you would have liked it to be.

Chill. :-) Everything happens for a reason, maybe the reason this happened was to teach you that not everything has to lead to *something*, sometimes, it just is.

Dawn said...

It was the beginning of summer... in the South?

I'm so confused...

Confusion aside, I can see why everything he did (signs and certificates and such) were endearing. I'd have eaten that stuff up. Yeah.

Syd said...

I think it's too early to know either way.

Also, I say don't stress too much either way. Summer is a fun time to be single!

preciousandpriceless said...

hmmm tricky. very tricky. First the guy put a lot of effort in to a "non-date" no guy I know does that unless they want to get with you or they are gay.

so here's the thing. if a guy likes you he's going to do something about it. They don't usually sit on the sidelines unless there is a reason to. MAYBE there's someone/something he's not saying? like what's with that other girl, Kate is it? AND maybe he does know you are very recently single and MAYBE he doesn't want to be the rebound guy for you. I'm sure some lowdown has been passed on to him. Guys gossip. How do I know that tidbit? I live with a guy and I over hear [okay...ease drop] on his phone conversations.

Regardless of all of this speculation, keep doing your list. Live the summer to the fullest and ENJOY being single and dating and flirting. Don't pine for this guy, flirt until someone tells you otherwise and smile and laugh and enjoy.

Oh and I'll try and blog more often :)

gekkogirl said...

Hey Sarah! The "non-date thing" sounds just lovely. A really nice memory. As for next, just see what happens; although I can imagine that would be hard.

you have loads more brilliant things on your list, who knows what and who else will come into your life to help you tick them off. Enjoy the ride baby! x

dont eat the token said...

I liked what giggleworthy and preciousprecious wrote...

unfetteredsultana said...

Aaaw, he sounds like a nice guy. Wait and see?

Amy said...

Well, the dude just won ME over, that's for sure! I wouldn't worry too much about the no-hug, dutch ending to the date-that-wasn't-a-date. His other actions spoke loudly enough to override those things. We both know men don't go out of their way if they don't want to or don't like a lady...he likes you. Promise. :o)

 

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