Where do they get these things??

18 Nov

Sorry about the "clipart" - this pic really just does him justice.

Happy Friday!  This is a story from my early days in San Diego.   My first year out there was full of meeting new friends, settling into school, and getting used to wearing flip-flops year-round (not too difficult to do).  That year in romance included a bunch of time being single, a short stint of dating someone for a couple of months, and then focusing on training for and running the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon where I went back to crushing on skinny runners like I had in my early college days on the track and cross country teams (somehow those crushes were always just that – crushes.  I think I need someone with more body fat than I have).  Suddenly, it was the fall of 2005, and I had just come back from a summer of fun lifeguarding back on Long Island and enjoying all the things that went along with it (sand, sun, fit & tan boys, and every night being a weekend night).  It seemed like a good time to try out match.com again, so on I went.  Once again, I joined with a friend.  She met a guy who liked to go on picnics and fly kites (I know – what?  But she liked that for a week or so).  I met this guy:

It was the second time I tried out match.com – the first being when I was living in DC and just a couple of years out of college.  This time, I told myself, I was ready to meet someone.  I sat with my friends and analyzed and re-analyzed my profile:  Does that sentence sound stupid?  Will he be intimidated if I’m honest and say I’m in graduate school?  Wait, are thunderstorms supposed to be a turn-on?  Does the picture of me with that stupid hat on make me look like fun, or like a dumbass?  I finally approved and submitted some form of myself, and the “winking” began. 

After a week or so, I got an email from “an older man.”  Not the creepy self-named “silver foxes” from whom I was accustomed to getting the occassional email, but rather a 31 year-old teacher.  I was 25 at the time, and I hadn’t dated anyone more than 2 years older than me.  He only had one picture (red flag!  Who knows what he really looks like!?) but his email seemed okay.  It basically was some version of saying hello, commenting on something I wrote in my profile, and asking a question about something I mentioned.  In the world of online dating, that kind of email is a diamond in the rough, a gem among emails like SUBJECT:  Just had to let you know…  BODY:  …you are absolutely stunning.  Or better yet – SUBJECT:  (none)  BODY:  DAMN girl!  Maybe at 22, the 31 year-old teacher with one photo and a simple email wouldn’t have caught my attention.  But at 25, this wasn’t my first rodeo…I knew I should run with it.

A couple of emails were exchanged and he asked me if I’d like to meet up.  He said he’d come to my neighborhood, so I suggested a casual bar/restaurant where you could sit and grab a beer, order food from the counter, and play shuffle board if you wanted.  Upon first meeting him, I decided that his sole picture must’ve been taken when he was 25 – he looked much older in person.  At the age of 25, this scared me a little bit because I didn’t really even have friends over the age of 30 at that point (yes, I now realize this was totally naive and stupid of me).  But, I put that thought behind me and we went inside. 

We made small talk for a while at the bar.  We were ready to order some food, but he had never been there before so he asked me what was good on the menu.  I told him that the teriyaki steak sandwich was incredible.  I mentioned that I get it almost every time I come in because it’s so good.  He asked me to describe more about it, so I was raving about how it has this really good sauce on it, is perfectly cooked, etc.  After giving him a chef’s description of the sandwich, he got up to go over to the window to order and said to me in a goofy voice, “Okay…that’ll be one chicken salad for you, and a flounder sandwich for me.”  He laughed as if he was telling a joke – and I was left thinking, “Wait, was that supposed to be funny?”  I figured out after a minute that he must’ve thought it was funny to pretend he’d order something other than the steak sandwich for me when I had just raved about it.  “Okay,” I thought, “not exactly funny, but whatever.”

He returned to the bar after ordering and we continued talking.  Since we were on the apparently hilarious topic of food, he asked me if I’d ever tried the chicken tacos at a particular restaurant.  I hadn’t, and he began telling me how amazing they were.  With excitement in his voice he said, “They are the best chicken tacos in the world!”  “Wow”, I replied, “I’ll definitely have to try them sometime.”  I barely finished getting that sentence out of my mouth when he interrupted me and said in that goofy voice again,”Okay, okay, wait – not the best chicken tacos in the world…the best chicken tacos in the galaxy!”  Oh jeez, another “joke” that is apparently supposed to be funny, but isn’t.  I laughed politely and, thankfully, our food arrived shortly after that.  He did order me the teriyaki steak sandwich, and I enjoyed every moment of it.

Needless to say, the date wasn’t a thrilling success, so I conveniently decided I had to leave earlier than expected to pick up a friend at the airport.  He went to the bathroom as I got ready to leave, and we met at the front door of the bar.  As he came out of the bathroom, he approached me with a big, goofy smile.  In that same goofy voice he asked, “Ready Freddy?”  I forced a small chuckle in response to that and said, “Yes, I’m ready.” 

His reply?  “Wait a minute…YOU’RE not Freddy!”

I can’t even comment on this story.  What could I possibly say to follow the true ending of that date?


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