"You want to know why things won't work out with Date #8?" I said to Mel, "It's because he's an overachiever. I don't need any of that ambition driving me down."
Date #8 is a marathon runner. Only 1% of the population have completed a marathon. I'm on Week 2 of my Couch to 5k program. Again. Because I quit the first time.
I had already cancelled on him once. After an uneventful phone call (During which, he said, "Tell me about you." I was overloaded with so many facts and figures about myself that I was so overwhelmed that I just stammered.), I accepted a Saturday day date with him. A look of my calendar confirmed that it was the weekend I was going out of town for the birthday party, so we rescheduled for this week.
It hadn't snowed since last Sunday night, and almost a week later there was still snow on the ground. I've never seen that before. The water pipes in my building had frozen and burst on three separate occasions, leaving me without water for 24 hours each time, and the newest occasion happened to be Saturday. I had to go out on a date using no water.
Luckily I had showered the night before when I got back from the gym. I pulled out a box of baby wipes and my flat iron and went to work. I brushed my teeth and washed my face with iced tea. Used double mouthwash. I had kinks and cowlicks that even the flat iron couldn't straighten, so I convinced myself that bed head was still in.
My mother called, wailing. She had been dating her doctor for the last year, but there has been no communication for the past 2 months. Her prescription ran out and when she went to fill it, the pharmacist told her it would be $300.00. She needed a generic prescription written and she didn't want to call her gentleman caller who hadn't, um, called.
I looked at my watch. I needed to leave the house in 20 minutes to meet my date and I'm in the midst of my own crisis of sorts. But I sat there and listened to her. It's tough sometimes being the strong one. I went through therapy to get my act together, and instead of other people getting their acts together, they lean on me. My mom should have ended things with the doctor a long time ago (last May in my opinion when he didn't acknowledge her birthday) but she's still hanging on. Moreover, she hasn't found a new doctor, which is kind of illegal in the medical world. He could face disciplinary action for dating his patients.
I hurriedly walked into the wine store. I was late and the water still hadn't been turned back on in my building. Date #8 was shorter than me. I knew that going into meeting him, but it's another thing to be face to face with it. Or face to nose.
There are two kinds of short. Adam, Christopher and Valdosta fit into the first kind of short. They are the same height as me barefoot, but then I'm taller in heels. That kind of short is acceptable, because they still have broader shoulders, bigger hands, larger heads; I still feel smaller. The second kind of short, such as Date #8, is when they are littler than me. I was in boots so I was taller than him, the same way I would have been with any of the boys from the first category, but my head was bigger. I'm weird about the size of my head; I can't date anyone with a smaller head than me. It just makes me feel so beastly.
Our date was a wine tasting, which hit the spot considering the drama of the morning. But we walk up to the table and the owner of the wine shop stops my date. "Hey [Date #8]," she said. "It's good to see you back here today."
I was unimpressed. That must be his first-date thing, to take them all to the free wine tasting by his house.
I didn't even have time to take off my coat. We went straight the to table and got our first glasses. There was empty seating all around, but we stood right by the pourer. I took off my coat and held it. The was a coat rack behind him and a simple food spread behind me, but we stood at the front of the table in the way of everyone.
Unlike me, Date #8 is quiet. Not just shy, but quiet. There were awkward silences, but I didn't feel like performing, so I would just ride them out with him.
He asked me how I was doing with my running. He told me the entire story of how he got into running (to recover from a kickball injury of all things) and that he was training for the Ironman for his 35th birthday.
"Did you play kickball last year?" I asked.
"No, they didn't have it last year," he said.
"Yes they did; I played," I countered.
"I meant the Clemson alumni didn't have a team last year. I only play kickball with people with whom I have something in common," he answered.
I took a swallow of my wine. The people who play kickball are typically middle class college graduates in their mid-twenties to thirties. That's a lot in common. "So you only have things in common with people who went to Clemson?" I charged. Because he's living in the wrong state for that to happen.
"It's just nice to have a common ground."
I thought of Schmoozer. "You know, we had a few free agents who signed up on our team—guys who didn't know anybody and just took a chance. One of them became our really good friend and now he's a member of our group. I'm glad he took that risk," I prodded.
Date #8 shrugged.
"Do you have any pets?" I tried again.
Date #8 went off on a 20-minute diatribe about how he lives in an apartment and how he thinks people who live in apartments and own pets are cruel. Dogs are for houses. Crate training is unethical. I smiled through the whole speech because I knew exactly how this conversation was going to play out.
"So do you have any pets?" He returned.
My profile picture is me hugging my dog.
"Yes, I have a dog. She loves her one-bedroom apartment," I quipped.
He gulped. "What kind of dog?"
His eyes got wide. "That's a big dog." The wheels in his brain were turning: such a big dog for such a little apartment.
"She takes up three feet of space, usually under the tables and bed," I remarked. I felt myself become agitated over his diatribe. My dog loves me and wants to be with me. It explains why she's happy to leave my parents' houses and yards and go home with me. She's 10 years old and can only nap in so many places.
After the wine was gone, he asked if I'd like to walk around the store with him. Sure, I'd love to look at picnic baskets in the dead of winter. Only the store owner struck up a conversation with him, so I was left alone to stare at the picnic baskets. I debated just walking out of the store and making a run for it, but my dodgeball league plays about 10 steps from the store and I couldn't risk running into him again.
He walked me to my car and gave me a hug. "It was nice meeting you. I'll call you," he said.
"It was nice meeting you," I said back. I got in my car. 45 minutes. Huh, that's a new record.
I called Mel and asked how long I had to wait before I closed out the match.