Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Things I managed to tell to a complete stranger upon first acquaintance:
  • My last boyfriend was separated-but-not-divorced and we broke up when he decided to reconcile with his wife.
  • I didn't go to high school (or, as I think I'll start saying, I skipped the minors and went straight to the show).
  • I can't remember the rest, but I'm sure I said other equally inappropriate things.
I was going to write more about my rowing career, but why do that when I can relate an amusing dating-related story? I think I could write a book about my rowing years at UNC. Maybe I will. Would anyone read it? It's so hard to tell what folks would find interesting. Any thoughts?

Last night, I went to another City Paper singles thing, this time with Pele in tow. The event was held at a semi-upscale pool place in Arlington. We decided to go a couple of weeks ago, so it took priority over rowing.

We had a heck of a time finding the place since the entrance did not front on the street for which the address was given. Once inside, we were surrounded by very unhappy looking people who seemed to be thinking, "I think I should be here, but I don't really want to be here. But, look, here I am."

Before we got in I told Pele, "I'm going to ignore you when we get there, so don't be offended. You find a place to sit at the bar and I'll walk around."

That's exactly what we did. I claimed a bar stool and Pele got some free snacks. I ordered a beer. She came to the bar, took the seat and I circulated. We both spotted two cute guys sitting at the end of the bar—one reading every single word of the City Paper (we never spoke to him); the other relentlessly text messaging. (They did not appear to be friends.) Pele tried to make eye contact with them and I got up and roamed around. Eventually, I was invited by a CP staffer to join a pool game.

When Pele tired of sitting alone at the bar, she came to the pool table where I was playing. Our group of pool players was most objectionable. There was an eager not unattractive guy with the name of a popular video game system. What the? Another guy was all together too tucked in for my taste—and apparently balding, though I didn't notice.

I noticed a spot had opened up at the bar next to the text-messaging guy. I wanted another beer, so I went and sat right next to him. No luck. In fact, as soon as I got my beer, he left. I thought, "I drove him away. Damn." I went back to the extremely unsatisfactory pool game.

Then Pele needed another glass of wine. (You girls and your wine.) Text message guy was back at the bar, in a different spot. I said, "Go over there and sit next to him."

And guess what? She did! And they actually talked to each other. Ten minutes later, she brought him back to the pool table. In a classic aside moment, she said, "He's all yours. I can't do anything with him."

See, the guy, Kevin, was very shy. VERY shy. And Pele is shy about meeting new people. It was hard work for her to get him talking. But once he came over to the pool table, he loosened up a bit. We played together; Pele was paired with a crazy old guy, who knew very well that he was not an appropriate match for her (so he wasn't that crazy). Kevin and I won. I made the eight-ball shot. I am terrible at pool, but after two beers I am slightly better than after none.

After the free pool ended, the three of us hung around and chatted for another half an hour. I liked Kevin, though I wouldn't say I was interested. In an aside to Pele, I said, "There is one small problem in this scenario [pairing me up with Kevin]..." She said, "That he's barely 22?" I said, "Yes, that would be the problem. But what do I care? I'm not prejudiced."

It turned out he was 28ish. Still young for me, but certainly acceptable for Pele. Though she's not sure if she likes him either. Why not? He was tall, dark and handsome. Funny, a little glib (by his own admission) and sweet (underneath it all).

Kevin and I walked Pele to her car and she drove us back to the metro. He asked for Pele's number and I programmed it into his phone. That was highly amusing. (It seemed that he was interested in Pele, but he flirted a little with each of us.)

Kevin and I took the metro together and he offered to drive me home. He lives in Bethesda. I said, "Um, no. I live near Union Station. You are not driving me home. It would cost you more than an hour."

"But, I don't want you to have to walk…at night…"

I said, "No, I won't walk. I'll take a cab or the bus. The bus goes right by my house."

"But I..."

"I really appreciate the thought. It's not that I don't want a ride home. It just doesn't make any sense."

We got off at metro center and went our separate ways. I called Pele and we decided that our plan to separate worked well. We were mighty impressed that we managed, between the two of us, to pick up one guy—we have never done this before. When we go for a drink, we never, ever talk to other people. I told Pele that there was no reason the three of us couldn't hang out if she winds up not being interested in him.

Hey, if she turns him down, maybe I'll take my shot. You never know.

Grateful for: courage.

Drop me a line.

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