Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Where to begin

The moral of this story is: it's good to leave the house.

What is the story? Short version: I got three pick ups on Sunday.

The long version follows:

As you may recall, if you read my last post (did you read it? The silence was deafening!), a fellow driving a white Caddy (or Lincoln) asked for my phone number while I was biking to a bar to watch football.

That was pick up number one. Perhaps it doesn't count because I would never give my number to anyone under those circumstances but it turned out to be the beginning of a trend.

I went home after the first half of the football game and lazed around, as was my plan for Sunday afternoon. My plan for Sunday evening was to go swing dancing. I'd committed myself to 45 minutes of volunteering at the door (taking money, handing out wristbands) in exchange for free admission. I wondered why I'd agreed, since 45 minutes is a big chuck of a two-hour dance. Turns out it was a darn good thing I'd volunteered because there is no way I would have gotten my ass out the door at 8pm on a Sunday otherwise.

I got to the dance, chatted with the guy working at the door (a co-volunteer), and drank a diet coke while I watched the end of the lesson. When the band started, I was asked to dance immediately and had a good time. My attempt to keep a smile on my face at all times wasn't as successful as last weekend, but I did my best.

While I sat out one dance, I noticed the bass player and thought he was kinda cute. As it happened, my volunteer shift coincided with the band's break. The guys from the band milled around at the bar right in front of where I was stationed at a table covered with flyers advertising future dances. I thought, "I wonder if he'll come talk to me since we're both 'working'." Sure enough, the bass player saw me, smiled at me and came over and talked to me.

We had a friendly chat in the course of which he mentioned that he's from Mexico and I mentioned that I sort of speak Spanish. He said, "I can help you practice your Spanish!" He repeated himself in Spanish and I responded awkwardly. He told me my accent was good and said, "I'll give you my number and we can practice!" He was then called back to play and I remained at my station.

When my shift ended and I went back to dance, I found myself awkwardly smiling and distractedly watching my new friend, the bass player.

One of the fellows I danced with over the course of the evening was a young guy who, when he asked me to dance said, "I'm just a beginner." His timing was off but he knew how to lead a turn and I said, "Do you do any other dancing?"

He said, "Salsa!"

I said, "I thought so! Your leads are good but the footwork is off—the footwork is different."

Towards the end of the evening, he asked me to dance again—the last dance, in fact. After the song ended and the band started to pack up (I had my eye on the bass player, wondering if he would, in fact, give me his number), the salsa guy chatted with me while I changed my shoes.

"You have the serious shoes! You must really like to dance. You must dance a lot."

I said, "Well, that was the plan when I bought them but I haven't been dancing so much recently. But they weren't very expensive."

"Why haven't you been dancing?"

"I dunno. Life?"

"Are you going dancing again this week?"

"Hmm. Probably not. I'm busy…well, I'm leaving town on Saturday…"

"So, you should go dancing…one night!"

"Well, I have to pack and get ready…"

"How long does it take to pack? Where are you going?"

"I'm going to Seattle for a week then I'm driving across the country."

"You don't need a week to pack!"

"No, no, but I like to be home the week before I go on a long trip. I miss it."

"You miss it? Why? Do you have a boyfriend or a husband? What do you miss?"

"No, I don't have a boyfriend or a husband. I have a cat. But I just miss being at home, that's all."

"Are you saying you don't even have time for coffee this week? You can't meet me for coffee?" He smiled.

Honestly, it wasn't until then that I realized what was going on. I was half watching the bass player during our exchange and I wasn't getting a vibe from the salsa guy. I started laughing.

"Why are you laughing? Is there a place to have coffee near where you live?"

"There is." I named a place and we agreed to meet there on Wednesday. I kept laughing. I said, "Don't you want my number?"

He said, "Sure!" and handed me his phone and I put in my number.

We said goodnight and he left. I immediately walked over to the bass player. "Hi!"

He said, "Hi! Jamy! Oh, so, let me give you my number…" He pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket, seemingly pre-written, that had his name, number and email. Underneath his name was written "(Spanish lessons)".

I was puzzled. I said, "Spanish lessons?"

He said, "They're free! Yes, yes, call me and we can practice."

I said, "Um, ok! Goodnight! Good set! Bye!" I got out of there as fast as I could.

The upshot is, I have a date on Wednesday, presuming he shows. He better because I'm not going to stand him up, even though I see no future there. On the upside, he is a cutie. I guess I should call the Spanish lessons/bass player because I actually liked him and it would be good to make contact before I leave town forever. But the Spanish lessons thing? It threw me. I once had an experience that left me asking, "When is a date not a date?" And answering, "When it's a Spanish lesson." (That's a story for another time.) Could it be another case where I'm mistaking a desire to help me learn Spanish? I have no idea. I guess I should call and find out.

Last, I hate to post with no recognition of the meaning of today, September 11. Like last year, I couldn't bring myself to write anything somber, so I'll just link to the post from 2005 and if you want to read something about 9/11, you can. I also found an old movie review I wrote for 25th Hour (link), which actually has a 9/11 theme. It was my first attempt at writing a review, so it's a little rough, but on theme for the day. That's the best I can do.

Grateful for: sudden popularity.

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