Archive | February, 2012

Three’s a Crowd

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day, daters! Here’s a little v-day treat for all of you out there who are going it alone tonight…a reminder that, sometimes, staying home with a glass of wine, pj’s, and a Netflix marathon featuring Tim Riggins/Vampire Eric/insert-your-fave-here is the best way to spend good old February 14th.

Late last summer, an old co-worker/friend, Morgan, was kind enough to think of me and set me up with her friend Mark. Mark was an old high school friend of hers, and their group of high school friends hung out on a regular basis. Morgan said that Mark had recently been talking about wanting to meet a girl, and she knew I was always game for a set-up. She described him as a really sweet guy who also liked to have a lot of fun. He also got good reviews by others – Morgan’s friend Tina, also from their high school, really encouraged the set-up when she heard about it over drinks with Morgan, me, and some other friends. I was glad to hear that this guy sounded pretty cool and, after a few texts (of course) back and forth with him, we set up a date. We went to a local bar and had a couple of casual drinks – it went well, as far as first dates are concerned. The conversation flowed, we laughed, and we had more than one drink (no escape attempt evident on either side). The night ended well – he walked me back to my building and we actually had a not-too-awkward hug goodbye. He was heading out of town that weekend on an annual Labor Day Weekend getaway with his high school crew, but said he’d be in touch when he got back. The following day, before he headed out of town, we exchanged texts about enjoying the night and, again, he said he’d talk to me when he returned. I got an email from Morgan that day, too – she let me know that Mark spoke to her and gave her a rave review of our date, saying that she did a great job setting us up and I was “totally his type.” Of course, I had only met him once at this point, so I wasn’t invested or super excited about him – but I was glad to have had a good date with someone who seemed interested in going out again.

The following week passed by without any word from Mark. Morgan actually had to skip the Labor Day Weekend away with Mark and the rest of the high school crew, so she didn’t have any updates for me on the situation. I was a bit confused, as Mark had independently given good reviews to Morgan without being asked the day after our date, but I figured that he must have just lost interest or gotten lazy – I’d seen this happen with other guys before. Little did I know, everything would become crystal clear the very next weekend.

Morgan’s husband was celebrating his birthday that next Friday night, and a large group (really large – 25 people) gathered for dinner at a downtown restaurant. I hadn’t spoken to Morgan that week, so I wasn’t sure if Mark was coming to dinner. He did end up coming – we exchanged a casual hello and hug during pre-dinner drinks at the bar in the midst of the rest of the crowd. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t wondering if we’d have any further conversation, but I wasn’t freaking out about it. I left for 10 minutes or so while we were waiting for our table – I had to go to the ATM to get out some cash. When I returned, most of the group had been seated and there were a few empty seats at the end. I didn’t know many people in the group (most were Morgan’s and her husband’s high school friends), so I was glad when Morgan’s friend Tina sat down on one side of me. A few chairs on the other side of me were empty, and I was pretty surprised when Mark came over at sat directly next to me. “Okay,” I thought “I guess we’ll be talking.”

Mark and I talked casually at the table – he told me the Labor Day Weekend had been pretty crazy and that he came back exhausted. He said that he was sorry he hadn’t gotten in touch that week – that he ended up crashing early every night. At one point, I went to the bathroom and Tina came with me. Since she had been in on the set-up, I was excited to fill her in and let her know about the “awkwardness” of the night – that I had gone out with Mark the week before and that this was the first time I was seeing him again, without having heard from him. I was surprised by her lackluster reaction – she said something like, “Oh, well we were all away this past weekend.” It was unlike the fun/girly enthusiasm she showed when she originally heard about the set-up, but I just dropped it and went back to the table. That’s when everything changed.

I sat back down and everyone was mingling around the table during a break in between appetizers and entrees. Another friend from the company at which Morgan and I used to work had been sitting next to Morgan during dinner at the other end of the table. She came over to me, biting her bottom lip and looking at me with hesitant dread and pity. She told me that Morgan had just found out some information I needed to know: Tina and Mark hooked up during the big Labor Day Weekend. My friend let me know that Morgan spoke with Mark that day – he reported that this was the result of a very drunken night. Mark knew that Tina was interested in pursuing things further, but he said that he wasn’t interested. Furthermore, he told Morgan that he really liked me and had a great time on our date – it was just a fluke that this drunken weekend followed. I must have looked like a deer in headlights. Tina and Mark hooked up. Tina and Mark, who had known each other for years and had been nothing but friends until 2 days after my date with Mark. Mark, who chose the seat next to me at dinner when others were available. Tina, who had encouraged me to go out with Mark when Morgan wanted to set us up. Tina, who I just attempted to have a girl-talk session with in the bathroom about my date with Mark and how I hadn’t heard from him since. Tina and Mark, who were sitting on either side of me at dinner, which was about to be served as everyone took their respective seats again.

All I could do was laugh at myself and the situation. We finished dinner and, of course, I didn’t mention anything. Based on Morgan’s report, it sounded like Mark may actually really be interested in going out with me again. Although I wasn’t chomping at the bit to go out again in the first place, never mind after hearing about the big weekend, I wouldn’t have ruled it out. He wasn’t the only one who has ever had a drunken weekend. I was fine with taking things as they came, maybe going out again if he asked – I would see what happened.

Mark left dinner early to meet some other friends. Everyone was finishing their drinks, and Tina went outside for a smoke break with a few others. About 45 minutes later, the rest of us left the restaurant. There was Mark (45 minutes after he had “left”), close-talking with Tina on the sidewalk and kissing her goodbye as they parted ways. After a brief one-minute foot stomp, I shook my head and laughed. Clearly, I wasn’t mad or hurt – I hardly knew these people and neither of them owed me anything. To be honest, I was rooting for them in a way – who doesn’t like a good “we’ve been friends for years, but now we realize there’s more to it!” love story. At the very least, I had recently started this blog, and smiled at the thought of yet another story.