Single Me Out
Once we did get together we were both pretty busy so our dates took the form of passing glances at first and mind if we hang while I do something completely unrelated later. We'd have dinner and I'd hoof home early because I had to be in Washington the next morning at nine a.m. which I incidentally did even with a pitstop in Maryland explaining to the nice officer that yes, I was doing ninety.
That I was trying to avoid her had less to do with her and more to do with the stage show that went up in a different city every couple of weeks that was my classic first date. You meet someone, linger on a glance, tentatively say hi, maybe call them at home and then you'd go out. Out was usually dinner, you got a chance to talk and kind of get a first impression which either led to a second date or more often than not, didn't. Sometimes that was my fault where cheap magic tricks at the table would do embarrassing things with the bread plate. Sometimes it was her fault for ordering two of the most expensive thing on the menu, wrapping one up with most of the silverware and remarking that "my week's set."
Often it was both of us. I had been out of the dating thing for about twenty years. Things had changed. I wasn't ready for it. In my day you went out, talked, maybe pecked on the cheek or better on the front porch and watched the door close. How slow it closed or peeks out the window were indications of whether there was going to be a second date.
Now I was being fitted for the right size latex an hour into ordering drinks. Wasn't really ready for the zero to sixty in six seconds club, thanks all the same.
The stage show had just set up the Saturday night prior in town and while she was a lovely lass, it didn't portend well when she walked in said, "Hi, I'm..." and I responded "No, I don't think so."
So that didn't work. I went home and got on line 'cause, dirty little secret, that's where I was meeting people back then on a site who's tag line was more appropriate to a peep show. There was Thumper, dropped her an email and headed off to bed.
Next morning there was an answer and an invitation and the last damn thing I wanted to do was play a Sunday matinee. Didn't get back to her until Monday by which time the germs I had shared on the flight back from Phoenix had made themselves at home in my upper respiratory tract.
Like I said, when we first started dating we were both busy almost middle aged people. We had a life and part of her life was restoring some of the houses she owned. So I'd tag along, hammer in hand 'cause that was the only date I was getting with this girl. I think that the leitmotif of our early relationship was established at about one in the morning once when I, under a sink, wrench in hand, face full on dripping water proclaimed: "Couldn't I just fucking take you to dinner?"
The cold lasted only so long and she now had my cell phone number which she dialed and dragged me downtown to what would eventually become our favorite hangout on main street. The place we went when we were done running our place just up the street. We had drinks, then drove around town, then toured a rehab property she was working on then wound up at my place looking at some knob and tube palace renovations then realized it was about 3.30 am. Good first date. Peck on the cheek, phone numbers exchanged and I was going to have a hell of a time keeping up with the knitting circle at running intervals the next day.
But I figured, why not? I mean, where could all this possibly go to?