This one is from the vault...and while it doesn't exactly fall into the bucket of a bad date, I think the story fits well in this category.
I didn't really "date" in high school. I managed to bring dates or get taken as a date to prom and such. You know, events where you were required to have a date. But actual dates? Yeah, not so much. I had painful unrequited crushes on people, crushes that sometimes only my journal new about. But my interaction with boys was pretty minimal. And while I was no raving beauty, I didn't think I was a complete disaster. Just shy and quiet maybe. And completely and utterly uncomfortable being around boys outside of the classroom for the most part.
But I will always remember the day I realized that dating, boys and all of that was never going to get easy for me. I was walking from the soccer fields up to my high school after practice one day, I guess this must have been my junior year. I happened to be doing so at the same time that a whole bunch of football players were leaving practice to head up to the locker rooms.
Now being shy, quiet, and uncomfortable, I tried to just hurry by them (hopefully) unnoticed. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. One of the football players, DFI, saw me walking alone and attacked like a lion would on a gazelle that strayed from their group.
"Hey, dog!" DFI shouted at me. "Where's your Alpo?"
I froze for a second, horrified. I should have kept moving, because clearly he saw that he had rattled me and went further with the taunting.
"That's right, I think you're a DOG!"
And that is when DFI started barking at me.
Now, I have enough perspective in my older age and wisdom to be thankful that it was not as bad as it could have been. I mean, it wasn't like the other football players joined in with him. But at the time, OUCH that hurt. I mean, someone just told me I was a dog and barked at me. It wasn't a real "high point" in my high school career.
But at the same time, I also felt really bad for DFI. I don't know if he didn't know me very well, or just didn't care. But I knew who he was. Well, knew enough that he hoped to play on my Dad's Varsity baseball team come that Spring. Clearly only a Dumb F*cking Idiot would call the coach's daughter a dog and then bark at her, right?
Pretty sure DFI rode the bench that spring, poor guy.
Since I am still new to this whole big beautiful blogging world, I was completely unaware of Christmas Swaps (or any sort of "swap" arrangement, really.) This sounded like it was tailor made for me -- one of my most favorite things to do, is give presents. I love the challenge of gift-giving and enjoy the hunt for finding the elusive "perfect gift." I like sending folks cards for no reason. I love making care packages for friends. Christmas swap sound like the best thing ever!
I was excited as I left comments on various blogs, "signing up" to be included in the swap. My mind raced with thoughts of what cute gifts and packages I could put together. I kept checking my email, waiting for word of who I was matched with and when I could start my gifting.
...and waited some more.
Nothing. No emails, not a one. I guess for some reason I can't understand, I didn't make the cut to participate in these swaps. I would be totally lying if I said it didn't make me feel like a total loser. The little scrawny kid no one picked for dodge ball. The odd scrap of fabric in the remnants bin that no one can find a use for. That lonely last chocolate in the Whitman's sampler box that no one wanted.
Sad, so very sad.
So if anyone is reading this and knows of any Christmas swaps that are still going on, would you please hook a girl up and let me know?
I don't want to take a true "pass" like a did a few weeks ago, so I am pressing pause on this instead and will hopefully get to a TFTTT posting in the next day or so. I just had one of the most mind-numbing days of back-to-back meetings that I can remember in recent weeks. I feel mentally fatigued beyond belief. I really am just hoping my brain is functioning well enough that I can make it home without any major disasters.
You know those fun Haunted Walking Tours they do in certain cities? You’re led around by a tour guide at dusk to various spooky and haunted points of interest? Well, this wasn’t one of them.
No, this was my own personal version of a haunted walking tour – filled with ghosts of boyfriends and dates from the past. I had to make a quick stop off in Georgetown on the way home from work a couple weeks ago to pick up something I needed for that evening’s Halloween costume. As the cab got further down M St., the pace started to slow with the usual early evening clog of traffic. Brushing it off, I told the driver he could pull over and let me out, I was close enough to where I needed to go. It was a nice Friday early evening – finally starting to feel like Fall. And I really wish I could have enjoyed it a bit but every couple paces, there was another ghost lurking around the corner. Turning onto the next street sent a whole mess of skeletons tumbling out of my closet.
I feel like that in lots of places in DC, but none more so than Georgetown. I had vivid memories of first dates, last dates, and everything in between. Saw faces and could almost hear the voices of people I probably have not thought about in years. It was a little overwhelming to be honest, and even made me a bit...melancholy. I wasn't necessarily sad, really melancholy is the best word to use there. I feel like that a lot in places all over DC, even more so in Georgetown. This sort of astute sense memory kind of makes me NOT want to go with someone I may be dating someplace I may actually like. I don't want it to then get turned into a haunt once the relationship ends.
Does anyone else out there have this same thing happen? Or have I gotten to the point where I really need to stop talking about is as a "what if" I moved..and make it more a matter of WHEN I move.
I am here in Chicago for work today, but trying to sneak in a teen-tiny break to post a quick Tales from the Trenches story. It may be a little on the short side or not-my-usual-level-of-hilarity, but I definitely think I should get an A for effort here.
I realized that I was a bit misleading in my last posting about never having dated a Phillies fan. I guess I go on first dates or meetings with them and then never want to go on a second for one reason or another. FB was someone I had met through match.com. It was one of those where I wasn’t dying to have a meeting with him, but when he said he had Phillies tickets for the game where Oswalt was making his Phillies debut….well I wasn’t going to say no to that. I ignored the part of my brain that was reminding me that my first meetings at sporting events almost never turn out well. I told that little voice to STFU because I wanted to go and that even if the meeting sucked…at least I was going to get to see the game.
We made plans to meet up at the gates near the ticket window. I was held up by work a little bit, but wasn’t running terribly behind schedule. But apparently a little bit was too much for him, and he had headed inside to the Red Porch (a bar in the outfield of the park here in DC.)
“That’s fine,” I texted. “Did you leave my ticket at will call or something?”
“No,” he said. "Just text me when you get here and I will come down and pass it to you through the gate.”
This seemed pretty illogical to me – who doesn’t leave a ticket at will call? But what could I do other then text him when I got there.
And then wait.
And wait some more…to the point where I wondered if he really was there or if this was all some sort of elaborate prank.
Then he finally showed up and passed me my ticket through the gate. After getting my bag checked and ticket scanned, I was greeted by him with a hearty Fist Bump. I remember thinking in my head “Did that just happen??” Trying not to kill the meeting before it even started, I told myself that maybe he was just trying to be funny. I convinced myself that it could have been worse…he could have hugged me. Which has happened to me before and is never appropriate. Partly because hugging someone you don’t know and have never met just seems weird. Mostly because I hate hugs.
So up to the Red Porch we went. Would I like a beer? Sure, thanks very much. Beer is handed to me and then….FIST BUMP. Fist bumps came steadily over the course of the entire evening. So much so that I went home with sore knuckles (and no intention of ever seeing him again, in case you hadn't already figured that out.)
When the Obamas do a little fist bump for photo ops, kind of cute. When you are forced to fist bump against your will for an entire evening by someone who uses a fist bump to punctuate their sentences the way normal people use periods? Not cute.
And on a brighter non-fist-bumping note, this afternoon I fly back to DC for an actual date this evening. Yes a date and not a meeting. I am always super private about this kind of stuff and usually don’t ever talk openly about these things…but I figured what the heck, maybe I should try something different and throw it out here on this little blog. If it goes well, I know you all will be rooting from the sidelines. And if it goes badly, well I am sure you will be reading about it next Tuesday :)
Work and life have been kicking my @ss lately...and winning. Big time. One of the things that stinks about that, is that when I feel like I am running around and then just run down, I am always thinking of things I want to write about. Even crafting the posts in my head. And here's where I also sheepishly admit I carry around a tiny notebook where I jot down notes and thoughts for writing up later. Dork.
It shows no signs of slowing down or getting better anytime soon...ugh. But hopefully I can turn a couple of these notes, thoughts and ideas into honest-to-goodness well-thought and semi-well-written posts pretty soon!
Until then, I thought you all would really love to see what I have been looking at for most of my waking hours the past couple weeks!
While not a total disaster, this is really messy for my desk. And I shudder to think at how many trees I have killed recently printing out so much STUFF. Maybe the firm should participate in a tree-planting event in the Spring to make up for all the ones we kill by printing out everything under the sun. While the ipod helps sometimes, there are not enough volumes of NOW! That's What I Call Music to get me through my days. Also, how depressing are my bare white walls? Maybe I should bring in my Blush-n-Brush creation to hang up there?
After giving up drinking it at work recently...I caved today and got a Diet Dr. Pepper (in my re-usable Sbux tumbler.) That stuff is like crack to me, hence the need to get myself off of it. The crackberry plugged in next to it, well I am thinking I might throw him on the Metro tracks later this evening.
I keep looking at this on my desk and realizing it would be more helpful if I could drink champagne AT my desk. I think all this work would be a helluva lot less stressful. And yes, the light is on over on my phone meaning I have new voicemail messages. I won't tell you all how many because I am so embarrassed. See? I really do hate the phone.
Other items not included in this photo: • gum - and lots of it • slipper socks - I wear them when I am just sitting at my desk because if I am going to have a miserable day at work, I might as well be comfortable • nail polish - best time for a DIY manicure? A too-long and boring conference call.
Let me start by saying thanks again for letting me take a pass on posting TFTTT last week. I wish I could say I am coming back 'atcha with another side-splitting, hilarious post, but…well, all the same things going on from last week are still going on, so my thoughts and focus are sort of elsewhere. But I had started this draft the other day and wanted to finish and post it today. And in reading it back today, well...let's just say it takes a little roundabout path to get to the story. Sort of like one of those old Family Circus cartoons. So hopefully you will bear with me on this one :) One thing Coach was big on when I was younger was telling lots of stories that started with, “You know, when I was growing up….” Most of those were to put my brother and me in check whenever we griped or complained about something that we probably shouldn’t have been griping or complaining about. I heard the same story maaaaannnnyyyy times over the years about Coach and his brothers having Rice Krispies for dinner because that was all the family could afford. I heard this story so very many times over the years, that there was no way I missed Coach’s lesson on understanding the value of a dollar. I also never took a shine to Rice Krispies either…coincidence?
In addition to Coach’s stories, I had that added benefit of having two teachers for parents, so we weren’t exactly living in the lap of luxury ourselves. I am not trying to claim I grew up barefoot in the Appalachian mountains or anything…but trust me I know what it is like to have money (or more accurately, the lack of it)be a real worry and concern. To not to have the newest and coolest “it” thing that all my friends had because we couldn’t afford it. To work three jobs the summer before my sophomore year in college to save up the money to be able to afford sorority dues. I learned from an early age what it is like to work hard for a paycheck and to try hard to not to be too wasteful.
So when I got an email that my paid-for-but-not-being-used match.com subscription was getting ready to expire, I thought I should suck it up, log into the account, and try to get something out of the stupid subscription I had forked over my hard-earned dollars for. I could probably write many, many posts on my experiences with match.com. Actually, if you read TFTTT regularly, you may know that some of these stories are born out of my dabblings in online dating. But if you get nothing else out of the online dating experience, these websites are a seemingly endless supply of entertainment. I could probably freelance my services as a “Dating Profile Consultant” after seeing so very many horrible ones. I can also say that after seeing so many bad ones, or seeing good ones and then having a first meeting with them and realizing they pulled a bait and switch on you, you learn to just set your expectations waaaaaayyyyyy low, and hope to come out of each meeting unscathed (and for my writing purposes, with at least one funny story to share.)
And as a side note - yes, I refer to those preliminary “Let’s meet for coffee/drinks” as just that - a meeting and not a date. A date to me implies some excitement or maybe the possibility for romance. I have had some job interviews that were more alluring and exciting that some of the first meetings I have been on, so I never ever refer to them as dates.
So that brings us to ICF. I can’t really say there was anything funny or particularly memorable about him. And I don't mean that to be harsh. It was probably the combo of trying to make use of that match.com membership and that I likely didn’t have anything better to do, so I agreed to meet him for drinks. The meeting was set for a Friday after work. This is always a first meeting time slot I am particularly fond of because if you hit it off, great! You can stay out a little later, maybe get dinner too, and no one has to worry about getting home early on a school night. If the meeting (more often than not) doesn’t go well, you can claim you have evening plans with friends. Or have to be up early on Saturday to head out of town for the weekend. Or maybe you are really devoted to your sunrise yoga class, it doesn’t really matter. You can at least get the hell out of there and try and salvage your evening.
While ICF was pleasant enough and didn’t have any huge glaring red flags about him….I just didn’t feel a “click.” For me, the click is actually the precursor to a “spark.” I don’t think sparks happen right away all too often, so I need to at least feel that click. ICF was nice and yes, we had some fun talking about the Phillies*…but there was absolutely no click.
We had stayed long enough to have a couple drinks each and share an appetizer. But it was getting later into the evening (and I wanted out) so I announced my plans with friends/early morning drive/sunrise yoga and we went about getting the check.
The waiter dropped it off and I of course get out my wallet. I always do. I know there is so much debate about this and different schools of thought. It’s just another reason why having a low key meeting over drinks or coffee is a better way to go...is anyone really going to get bent out of shape over buying me two happy-hour priced drinks? Hopefully not. An no one should then feel bad if there isn’t a click and the most that was spent on me was $10. Recently I heard something interesting that I thought summed it up nicely “As a woman always offer to pay on a first date. If he lets you, don’t make plans for a second.”
So anyway, ICF was squinting hard at the bill. I could almost hear the wheels turning in his head. I mean, math isn’t necessarily my strong suit either, but if you really aren’t planning to take care of the bill yourself, we’ll just tell them to split it down the middle and be done with it.
“Okay, so you had 2 of the chicken fingers, and I had the other 4 so….”
My jaw nearly hit the table, he was actually Itemizing the Chicken Fingers.
There is a huge difference between understanding the value of a dollar and just being ridiculous with your dollars and cents. I paid my part of the bill, left the server a better than 20% tip (cause who knows what kind of a tip ICF left) and just got the heck out of there.
* I have also recently realized that I don’t think I have ever dated a Phillies fan. Mets fan, Yankees fan...even two different Braves fans. But no Phillies fan yet. This might be reason number 1,653 that I need to just cut ties with DC and move up to Philly. So if you are reading this and either (a) have a job opportunity for me in Philly or (b) know a cute & single Phillies fan living down in DC, please get in touch with me ;)
I am also participating in a Follow Me Back Tuesday, so if you've read something I've written and laughed at all, I hope you will consider following me. Doesn't even have to be a laugh...I will take a smirk. Hell, I'll even consider a condescending eye roll at this point! Follow Me Back Tuesday is hosted by Survey Junkie, Little Yaya's, Review Retreat & Boobies,BabiesAndABlog..
Because I screwed it up by wishing my bus driver a good morning when I got on the bus today (damn it!) so I thought maybe I could do "Rabbit, Rabbit" as a blog posting and it would still count? It's a stretch, but I need all the luck I can get lately!