Monday, October 23, 2006

The 37-minute date

If I am slow to blog these days, blame it on continued ennui. I am considering your suggestions about how to break through the boredom--I am trying, really--and will pick a winner shortly. Meanwhile, I watch marathons of Dexter and Heroes and try to amuse myself with other writers' fixations on serial killers.

Also, I promise to post the Angelina "It's Not Easy Being Beautiful" Jolie anecdote soon. I've had requests. It's a doozy, one that I shared with every class I ever taught and it never fails to amuse. Send a good thought to Brad Pitt. He probably needs it.

There are media items everywhere today about how the "Freshman 15" has dropped to only 8. Big whoop. When I went to college and stopped eating my mom's cream gravy, white rice and pork chops, I lost about 30 pounds. For the first time in my life, I had unlimited access to salad and fresh fruit. And I walked everywhere (no car allowed undergrads until sophomore year, as I recall, and I never had one anyway).

On the Trinity University campus, where I matriculated back in the pre-computer, pre-VCR, pre-iPod, prehistoric era, we were on foot a lot. We had to climb so many stairs up and down the limestone bluffs from the lower dorms to the main buildings for classes, we all had killer legs by the second month of school. It was like enforced Stairmaster five or 10 times a day. You could bounce a quarter off my butt by Christmas break.

But that was then. This is now. Now you could lose a pocketful of change in the rolls of cellulite I'm smuggling between my thighs and glutes. It's a horror show down there. Middle age is a bitch, kiddies. I last saw my navel during the Reagan administration.

Such indignities are everyday annoyances. I swim to keep things as high up as possible, but no amount of laps will lift up my lap.

Then something like the 37-minute date really gets my snark motor revved up anew.

Here's what happened. Had plans with a nice man the other evening. I thought we were attending an early evening event, then going out for dinner. So I pick him up, we drive to the event, for which I have press passes and a free parking thing--a total savings of about $34. We get good seats at said event, watch it for 30 minutes and then he's ready to leave. I say OK, somewhat reluctantly, and as we're walking out, I suggest strolling around the lovely grounds of the place where the event is. It's a nice night, just before sunset. Talk and stroll. Very relaxing.

"I'm not much for strolling," he says curtly.

OK, now what? I ask. He shrugs. To the car? He shrugs.

We get in the car. I'm starting to feel the steam rising to my temples. The evening is not going as planned. It's all zooming off the rails. Where now? I ask. Dinner somewhere?

"I had a late lunch," he says. "Not hungry."

OK, fella, this is too much. All I wanted was some time, a little tenderness and maybe some tacos. Now I can hardly see the road because my rising blood pressure is threatening to pop my eyeballs right out of my skull. I don't say another word. I just drive him home. He falls asleep in the passenger seat. Asleep!

Seven minutes later I drop him off. "We'll talk soon," he says as he bolts from the car.

If I were him, I wouldn't count on that.

Have no idea what went awry. Was he sick? Jet-lagged? Having a mild stroke? I was happy and excited to see the guy. The event was fun and fascinating--the little bit of it we saw. But somewhere during our 37-minute "date," I felt a heavy metal gate slam down between us. He was done. It was over.

On the way home from the non-date I have to stop at Central Market and buy myself some dinner, I still can't believe that kuh-razy shit went down and left me without anything to do at 6:15 on a Friday night. I get some chicken soup and a bag of BBQ-flavored gluten-free organic rice chips that are so freakin' good they're almost a worthy substitute for the male companionship I crave.

Just once, I'd like a normal one.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you try meeting someone online? Everyone is doing it. You're a great writer. It may help you connect with a more guys. I hate to say this, but dating is numbers game.

How did I meet guys? I usually met them through my work.(I was an advertising copywriter.) Although this was not good for my career, it was a perfect way to really get to know someone. How one relates to others speaks volumes. I found my husband that way. We've been together for over 30 years!

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After 20+ years of marriage, I'll go for the rice chips any day. The bonus is you can talk to the chips, they don't get snarky or depressed, and the bone-cracking crunch is soooo satisfying. It's cathartic. As for male companionship, get a dog. Guys like dogs. Guys walk dogs. Guys talk to other dog owners, which could be you. If you get a male dog, the leg humping could be a good substitute for the chips. Hey, advantages to everything!

9:37 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Clearly, he's an idiot jerk who can't recognize when he's got the the most amazing female on the planet at the end of his fishing line.

Too bad for him!

Although ... it does kind of sound like something horrible happened to him within the 37 minutes, inside his mind.

Where did you meet this guy, anyway?

And what's up with the females always driving these days?

We have two single daughters, 18 and 21, and they invariably are the ones behind the wheel, going to pick up the loser-guys (who never become boyfriends, by the way) for dates. What's up with that?

By the way ... here's my favorite line ... "I swim to keep things as high up as possible, but no amount of laps will lift up my lap."

I can SO relate!

10:36 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

I'm sure it is different for women, and it changes according to age.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. Betty Bowers said...

Wow, maybe you had a booger! Why bother with "dates" anyway? Just go all-out Bette Davis and date a succession of young studs while dispensing advice and witty bons mots.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Kevin. Why are you driving? My grandmother used to say, "Honey, men are like hunters. They love the chase." At the time, I scoffed at her wisdom. Looking back, though, she may have been right. At the beginning of a relationship, men (and women) don't like to be too sure of someone. Keep them guessing!

On the other hand, where are you meeting these guys? Maybe your radar is messed up. Sometimes, mysterious, hard-to-read people have hidden problems. Or, maybe you're just too accommodating. Try being a little more high-maintenance. Demand more from your suitors!

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe he's attached to someone else and his conscience kicked in at minute 17. Maybe he ate something strange for lunch and suddenly had a case of really bad gas. Maybe he's chronically ill and forgot his meds, so had to get home to take them. Maybe he panicked because he realized he was in love with you and he couldn't believe the powerful psychological reaction you produced.

Who knows? Don't worry, enjoy the chips and the next once will be better.

5:32 AM  
Anonymous Hillary said...

It's always refreshing to hear about the woman making the move. I do so as well... choosing the events, driving, starting the conversation. Every once in a while you'll run into a dud. I wouldn't take it as an insult if some effhead doesn't appreciate it. After all, what regrets do you have? You really shouldn't have any. What should you get yourself down on except regrets... it's all outside of your control. People are idiots and it's a shame that so many of them are the men that wonderful women attempt to date. Lord KNOWS I would never call a guy back if he acted as such... even if he transformed the next day.
Ohhh, courting. It's a strange game.

12:34 PM  
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