I received a phone call from a guy from eHarmony last week. He was a guy that I apparently went to middle school and high school with, but I have no recollection of him. Neither did the three classmates I e-mailed. Our graduating class was over 600 people, so this may have seemed forgivable, but even people in the same clubs as him couldn't remember him. And about 5 minutes into our conversation, I could see why.
I always thought I liked nerds, but I'm beginning to think I don't. I like TV nerds: Seth Cohen from O.C. and Noel from Felicity. But they were also cute and socially adept, so I think TV has tricked me with his whole nerd thing. I love the brainy aspect, I even find the nerd look endearing, but I cannot, cannot get past the social deficits.
We're approaching 30 in the coming months and everyone should have, by now, learned to carry a conversation and acknowledge social cues.
He spent the majority of the conversation telling me about his recent foray into absinthe. And I never thought I would say this, and I still feel a little hypocritical for saying it, but aren't we a little old for absinthe? It was only mildly interesting in college when we were poor and liked the idea of getting drunk without drinking much. The U.S. version is only a cheap knockoff the European kind anyway. And he said he bought the cheapest bottle they had, so who knows what was in that. I swore off drinking any liquor that is packaged in a plastic bottle about 5 years ago. And is absinthe stories really the gateway to a meaningful relationship?
Then he made a sweeping, generalized and unintelligent remark about my alma mater's football coach. That was the moment I quickly got off the phone with him.
A wind has shifted with Government Mule. Not sure what happened but he stopped returning my e-mails Thursday and didn't return my phone calls trying to plan next weekend at his parent's house. At the party Saturday night, he didn't say two words to me. I must have unknowingly crossed some boundary with him.
Now I feel really awkward about spending next weekend sleeping in his childhood bed with the other girls for our weekend in Jacksonville, FL. I even tried to get out of going, but everyone else in the group assures me it's going to be the same dynamic as all of our other weekends away. But I haven't mentioned the whole Government Mule and me not talking thing. Then again, no one else seemed to notice, so maybe I'm blowing things out of proportion. I'm just going to back off and not e-mail him anymore and maybe that will help things next weekend. And even if it is awkward, a lot of people will be there so we don't have to talk to each other if he doesn't want to.
Saturday afternoon I put down my blow dryer and impulsively picked up my phone and called Schmoozer. I was heading to Harvey's in about 10 minutes to watch college football. If he wanted in with my group of friends, he could have in. We've traded a handful of text messages before, but this was the first phone call.
Schmoozer already had plans that night, but I was surprised at the intensity in which he was upset that he couldn't make it. Then he told me all about his day and told me I had to see some video he took. "I'll e-mail it to you," he said.
And once again, talking with Schmoozer is easy. It feels like we're comfortable friends and not people who have only played kickball together 3 times. Especially with on-line dating, it feels good to have one relationship with a new male that isn't awkward.
Too many people from our team showed up to the kickball game on Sunday. Schmoozer sat next to me on the grass for a few innings while other people took the outfield. He asked how my night was and told me about his. Easy. So easy. I stretched my legs out before me. I realized he wasn't making the same effort with Harvey or Katie or Jenna or even Harvey's husband. Of the members of my group of friends, his attention was on me.
Another girl on my team hollered at the pitcher of the opposing team for incorrectly rolling the ball to the kicker. It's not supposed to bounce above a certain height. "You wouldn't know 6 inches if you saw it," he shouted back to her.
"Yeah, she only knows 12!" I shouted back. My team erupted in laughter and booed the pitcher. He didn't have a come back for that.
After the game, Schmoozer was waiting for me to walk off the field with him. I jogged to catch up with him. "Feeling feisty today?" he asked.
"Yeah, I must be in a mood."
He said he couldn't meet us for beers this week. He wanted to go home and relax and watch what was left of the Browns game. He didn't wait for anyone else in the group, nor tell them. "I'll see you later, Sarah" he called over his shoulder as he headed back to his car.
Maybe I was too quick to assume he just wanted my friends. But my plan is the same as it is with Government Mule: lay low, not worry about it and see what the outcome will be.