Friday night I was carrying a few packages and my dry cleaning waiting for me at my building's front desk and tugging my dog's leash behind me as I tried to navigate my way into the elevator. My phone chimed. The doors of the elevator closed and I balanced a box on my knee as I fished my phone out. It was Schmoozer.
"Are you going to the kickball league party tomorrow night?" he asked.
"Sure am." I texted back.
"Excellent! Do you have any plans tonight?"
My plans were to sit in my jammies and knit while I attempted to clear some shows off of the TiVo. I've been so busy the past couple of months that my TiVo is near capacity.
Then my phone rang. It was Schmoozer. So he did know better than to ask a girl out via text message.
"What do you have in mind?" I asked.
"Beer and darts."
I was nowhere near a mirror, but I knew I looked confused. "Sorry, I don't know of a single place that has darts. It's just not on my radar."
"You've never played darts?" he exclaimed.
"Okay, how about an Irish pub?"
"That, I know." Since he doesn't know the city very well, I chose the most popular Irish pub that's frequented by socialites and wannabes alike.
We set a time. The outfit I had designated for him to see me in at the league party just got bumped up to tonight. I'd have time to shop in the morning for a new dress to wear on Saturday. Thank god my dry cleaning was ready. It was important for me to look good, not only because of where we were going, but Schmoozer has only previously seen me in knee-high soccer socks and a bright yellow team t-shirt and a pony tail. By the end of the games, I'm bright red and a little sweaty with my cowlicks falling out of remission. I can look better than he's seen me.
Schmoozer then picked me up at my apartment door. I grabbed a couple of beers out of the fridge and took him to the rooftop terrace for a view of the city. He was impressed. He told me he owns a home in the suburbs that has too many rooms. He rents one of those out. He said his mother pushed him into that house because it was a foreclosure and the house was big enough for a family.
We climbed in his car and I gave him directions to the pub. I looked to shove my apartment card and keys in his door, but it was filled with stuff. I looked around helplessly. My keys don't fit in my wristlet. Finally, I opened his glove box.
"What are you doing?" he asked, surprised.
"Hiding my keys. I don't want to take them with me; it'll create an unsightly bulge. Can't have that."
"Whoa. I know we play kickball, but it's too soon for 'unsightly bulges.'"
"I know. That's why the keys are in your glove box," I smiled.
At the pub, Schmoozer was again impressed. "Have you seen this place? Wow!" he said as he looked around at the wrought iron and the display cases.
"Can you believe we got free parking?" I asked back. "On the street in front of the pub no less!"
"I can't believe you're impressed with the free parking as much as I'm impressed with the place," he retorted. "City girl."
I told him about the history of the pub as the Buckhead Betties filed in. "Buckhead Betty" is a term used to describe a vapid uptown girl dressed in designer couture. We talked about stocks, local breweries and travelling. He told me next time he went to San Fransisco, he'd take me. He also was planning a road trip on Thanksgiving and asked my plans. He seemed forward. We found out that our office buildings are next to each other, and he passed me his business card. "E-mail me and we'll have lunch."
Our second beers arrived. "So how often do you hang out with the people from kickball?" he asked me.
"Couple of times a week."
"Oh, so you are close."
"Harvey seems fun."
"She is. But her husband got drunk two weeks ago and that was the funniest thing I had seen in awhile."
"And then there's the single mom..."
"Yeah, that's Katie's roommate." He looked confused. "Katie is the one in the cast," I added, holding up my wrist.
"The gimp!" He laughed. "Yeah, she's the pretty one."
You know the sound of a needle scratching off the record? That just happened. I smiled. I smiled big to compensate for my What the fuck? that was screaming through my head like a freight train. I didn't know what to do, so I just kept smiling like a clown.
"Oh, no! Don't set us up!" he said in response to my frozen ultra smile. "I just broke up with someone today."
"Yeah, it wasn't anything special. We had been dating about a month and I called her and told her I didn't want to see her anymore."
"Was she upset?"
"No, she seemed just as fine with it as I was."
I pieced the details together and figured out that the night I called Schmoozer to invite him to Harvey's, he was going out with her for her 30th birthday. Only he was very specific and had described her to me as a friend.
Let me just take a time out in the story here. It was Friday night and a guy calls me up to get together. He didn't ask what my friends were doing; he didn't even bring them up until about halfway through the conversation. A guy does not call a girl he doesn't know well on a Friday night unless there is some interest. Despite everything that just happened, I am going to maintain that. If he was looking for friends, or my friends, he would have waited for a group invite or invited me on a Saturday afternoon or Tuesday evening. Besides, we still had two more get togethers through kickball.
The conversation kept flowing, but he circled it back around. "So where's your guy," he asked.
Why would he be asking me about my guy when he just said my friend was pretty? "There is no guy," I shrugged.
"But you do date, right?"
"Yeah, I date." I took a sip of my beer. "I had a date on Monday."
He did a double take. I told him it was a bad date. "Well, tell me why so I know not to do that."
I described the date to him.
"How did you meet?" he asked.
I took another sip of my beer and decided just how honest I should be. "eHarmony."
"You know, I tried that site once and it came back that there were no matches for me. It said I was undateable," he laughed.
I couldn't decide if my disclosure was a good or a bad thing. We got back in his car. On the ride home, I realized I was drunk. I kept rubbing my hands up and down my tights for warmth.
"Are you not drunk?" I asked.
"Nope. We only had three beers."
"I know, but ompf." I had completely forgotten about the two glasses of wine I had before he came over, and then our beer on the roof. Six drinks. That's enough to mess me up pretty good.
He pulled in front of my building. "I'm going to let you out here."
"Okay!" I exclaimed, once again overcompensating. What is it about Katie? Christopher flirted with her, 5k Guy had a thing for her, and now Schmoozer told me she was pretty.
He unclasped his seat belt, presumably to get out of the car.
"OkaywellIhadagoodtimegoodnight!" I said hurriedly as I dashed out of the car before he had time to respond. I pushed the elevator button and didn't look back. I heard his car wait until the doors opened and I was safely inside before he pulled away.
Saturday evening I got a text message from Schmoozer. He took a run through the woods and fell and sprained his ankle. He wouldn't make the league party or the game on Sunday. I believe him; I don't think he was lying. We won the game.