In the early days of The Hungarian, when he had me pinned against his black leather couch with his roaming octopus hands, I would giggle at his advances.
He sat back against the couch and huffed, "You laugh too much."
I thought about this for a minute. "Laughing is a mechanism," I quietly answered.
Memphis (Date#6) stood beside me as I tried to fit my key in the lock of my front door.
"Live well, love much, laugh often." He read off of my front door mat.
"Yeah," I bought that back in 2003 before I knew it was this huge cliche. And now I'm too cheap to replace it."
"Sure, Whatever," he teased.
I rolled my eyes.
Valdosta stood beside me as I tried to fit my key my front door lock.
"Live well, love much, laugh often." He read. He put his toe under the laugh often part. "That you definitely do," he grinned.
And this time it didn't feel like an insult.
On My Lack of Dodgeball Prowess:
"I'm sorry, but I jacked up my hip playing dodgeball this week. I was a half hour late this morning because I couldn't put my pants on and I'm currently sitting on a heating pad. Can we reschedule walking through the art gallery and do something else instead?" I asked Memphis.
"Sure. Pick you up at 7 at your place. Wear some running shoes. We will get a practice 5k in too. Sound like fun?"
The guy can't be serious about anything. So I tried to give him a taste of his own medicine. "Cool. And if I'm not there, it's not because I'm standing you up, so you just wait there as long as you need to."
"Serious? Because I don't play that waiting business."
"Are you limping again?" asked Valdosta.
"New week. New game. Now it's my hip instead of my ankle. There was a loud pop followed by stabbing pain. I don't know what that's all about."
"Here, use me as your crutch." He grabbed my side as I hobbled in the Chinese restaurant. "It sounds like you aren't stretching properly before these games."
"No, I don't think I stretched my hip, I remember doing my shoulders and legs though. Wait! Curb! This is the worst part." I gasped as I took a step upwards.
"Does it hurt when you move up and down or side to side?"
"Side to side. Definitely."
"It sounds like you hurt your [whatever he said] tendon. I'll show you some good stretches for that."
On Grandma's Death:
"Hello, [The Hungarian] calling."
"I was checking up on you to make sure you are okay. When are you leaving?"
"About a half hour ago."
"And how long will the trip take?"
"Almost 7 hours because I had to drop my dog off at my father's house. I'm set to get there at 2:30 a.m."
"I checked the weather and it's snowing up there, so take care, okay? Safe travels."
I got an identical phone call after I returned home from my trip.
Valdosta and I were standing on a curb while the Femme Fatale relieved herself in a bush.
"How was your day today?" he asked.
"Miserable," I answered. "I was tired from the trip, hurt from dodgeball and then got some shitty news at work. I almost canceled on you because I had such a bad day."
"No, never cancel," he said. "Just tell me what I can do to help."
I winced from climbing in Memphis' enormous truck. My hip was still bugging me. At my request, we were now going to eat sushi instead of walking around marble flooring.
"You don't seem like you're in a good mood," he asked.
"It's been a long, tough week," I sighed.
"Well you should be happy now because you are here with me."
Yes, because you totally trump dead Grandma, I thought.
After a few minutes of silence. "You know, I can just turn around and drop you back home and I can have a good time eating sushi by myself," he teased.
I cringed. "I'm sorry. I'll try and do better. I just have a lot of things of my mind."
"Well I was only halfway joking."