How I Met My Husband: Part I in a Series
One of my co-workers had a pin that read, "I've been on so many blind dates, I deserve a free dog." I should have stolen that pin. I deserved a free dog, too.
After my divorce, I almost immediately entered into an ill-fated relationship. That happens, I guess. He was a really, really nice guy. He was 6'7" without shoes. I am 5'4". One of the best things about dating him was that I could always find him in crowded places. He lived nearly an hour away, was way too close to his parents (if you ask me, a man over 25 who has never bought his own toilet paper, soap, paper towels, trash bags, razors, shaving cream, shampoo or PANTS - because his parents showed up with monthly deliveries of aforementioned crap jammed into their Ford Windstar, is, well, not exactly yet a "man"), and was (sigh) a staunch Republican. But I can't 100% slam the guy because he was very nice to me in a lot of ways and helped me rebuild my crushed sense of self I was toting around in a Ziploc bag post-divorce. Boyfriend material? More or less. Husband material? Not so much.
We broke up after two years of dating and then the blind-date vultures descended upon me. Let us begin the How I Met My Husband Series with Blind Date #1:
"FBI Guy." My friend Marjorie set me up with her boyfriend's (the original FBI Guy) friend and co-worker, Stewart. The four of us were to meet at a restaurant downtown on a Saturday night. Minimal parking, maximum fun, went the theory. I showed up early - a bad sign, I think. I am never early. Then Marjorie and her boyfriend showed up. They were still in that fuckingly annoying "schmoopy stage," where they whisper and giggle and pretty much fail to realize anyone else is in the room. And yet, it got worse. Stewart is now 20 minutes late. Then 30. Then 40. I am starting to feel really depressed and also I am slightly drunk. No dinner + 2 beers? Drunk and paranoid. I've been rejected by someone I've never even met. Finally, FORTY FIVE minutes late, Stewart shows up SOPPING wet. Like a toilet flushed right over him. Yes, it's pouring rain outside, but Stewart? Stewart refuses to pay for parking so he drove around looking for an empty parking space or meter on the street. Hence, the 45 minutes late. Also? The meter he found happened to be eight blocks away and he had no umbrella. I guess if I were a different kind of person - a nicer, less shallow one - I might have been impressed with his commitment to being thrifty and his persistence in what might appear to others to be a hopeless situation. Instead, I was turned off by the prospect of a potential cheap-ass who looked (and smelled) like a drowned rat. He sat down next to me, made small talk with the other FBI Guy and then attempted conversation. Just when I thought the evening couldn't get any worse, what with Schmoopy-Schmoopertons and the whole 45-minute-late/drowned rat thing going on.
But first: I have been told that I could have a conversation with a piece of cheese. Or a wet paper towel. I am an extreme extravert. Apparently, according to hard-core Myers-Briggs types, all traits exist on a continuum. So, you might score 18 on introversion, which means you tend toward that type, but you still are somewhat extraverted in certain situations. Not me! ZERO on introversion. Off the charts. My point? I think it's fairly easy for me to have a conversation with anyone and (I think) vice versa.
I've had gum scrapings that went better than this conversation. Stewart was the original one word answer guy and then, when I had finally given up hope of finding anything to talk about, he got two beers in him and kept asking me where I lived.
Stewart: So, um, where do you live?
Me: (For the fifth time) Remember? I live in Hidden Valley.
Stewart: Yeah, but, um, where, exactly?
Me: By the railroad tracks.
Stewart: But which street?
Me: Um, uh, um, Pleasant Lane.
Stewart: Oh yeah? Which house?
Me: I live in those apartments. I don't have a house yet.
Stewart: Which building?
Me: Um, why, exactly, do you need to know this?
Stewart: Just curious. So I can kill you later and feed your eyeballs to my dog. (Okay, he didn't say that second part.)
Stewart: You might as well tell me. Since I'm in the FBI I can look it up and find out anyway.
Wow. Did he know the way to a girl's heart or what? That night I went home, burst into tears before I even walked in the door and contemplated getting back together with the Republican farmboy because it just seemed a hell of a lot easier than this.
And also? I wanted to call Marjorie and say, "Do you hate me? Because that's the only reason I can think of for you setting me up with Stewart."
Labels: How I Met My Husband Series