A few months after moving to the bay area when I was a bit lonely living on my own for the first time and spending all of my time either at my job programming graphics for slot machines in an office where no one turned on the lights or visiting the all women hippy dippy gym where I attended water aerobics at least three times a week. One of my few friends in the area was Monica, the evening receptionist at the gym who had occasionally invited me out with a few of her friends. It was on one of these outings (I believe at Halloween when I was dressed as Raggedy Anne and so, obviously looking super hot) that I met The Boy With Awful Taste. He seemed like a nice enough guy, not really my type but fun to hang out with. We hadn’t flirted or even talked much so I was surprised when a few days later Monica asked if I’d consider going out on a date with TBWAT. Having very few friends or plans I figured what the hell and told her to have him call me.
In my memory of the date that followed I do not recall knowing exactly what show I was being taken to see but I admit that this is likely due to some postdate self esteem survival instinct. I certainly knew the show’s venue and date and time and I knew how to use the internet so I must have known that at 22 on my first post-college date I was being taken to Disney on Ice. Now maybe lots of young girls are wooed by the dewy reflection beaming off of Micky’s skates, maybe the magic of fog machines and pirouettes has sparked many a romance but my feelings about ice dancing caricatures of cartoon characters were more gag-y than swoon-y. Selective amnesia aside it is obvious that my gag reflex has been so tamed that when faced with the decision between another Saturday night curled up with the internet and an actual date I was fully convinced that I could keep my lunch down through a 2 hour skating spectacular.
The date started its skydive into a ravine filled with barbed wire when we arrived at the San Jose HP Pavilion and TBWAT had to stop at the ticket booth, not to pick up our tickets to ice skating cartoonary, but to grab his tickets for a future event…. WWF wrestling. He was super excited about seeing some live action man on man sparring and I have to applaud anyone with a strong enough sense of self to resist backpedaling when his date is so clearly unable to hide her general disgust whiling thinking, “Who knew that there was a Disney/WWF combo demographic?”
The show finally began and the hordes of tots that surrounded me were lulled into silence by the jazz hands and figure eights of Woody and Buzz Light Year (note #1 to single guys: if you wanna get laid avoid date venues where the child to adult ratio is greater than 1:2). At intermission TBWAT offered to procure us some Disney themed snakage and beverages (note #2 to single guys: dates, like all things, are always better with booze so do not take your date to a place that refuses to serve cocktails). He returned with all he promised and more… while foraging for sustenance TBWAT had bought me a gift: a pink wand that when shaken lit up and played twinkling sound. Despite my now ample experience with Toy Story (is this a sign?) I cannot identify which character was likely to carry the wand. I also cannot provide a picture because I regifted the thing to an 8 year old neighbor girl within 1 month of receiving it, but for that night I had to put on my best 22 year old princess face and ohh and aww over this very generous gift, thank god for my secret BA in Theatre Arts. And so, wand in hand, I spent act two trying in vein to cast spell after spell, “Bippity! Toy Story On Ice, become a Ryan Adams concert!” “Boppity! Diet Coke become a margarita!”, “Boo! TBWAT, turn into Jack White!”
Post kiddie ice capades TBWAT proposed we grab some real food and, because it is impossible to say no to a guy who bought you a wand, I agreed. On our way to his second venue of choice (a diner with some sort of dimly lit lounge/strip club hiding behind a curtain near the bathrooms) his phone rang and at the end of his 10 minute conversation he invited the caller to join us for diner (note #3 for single guys: do not invite your friends to join you on your date). I was mostly ok with this plan (not that I was asked) since the addition of a third party seemed a sure sign that he was not planning on romancing up the evening. I figured the drive from the ice spectacular to the diner would serve as the necessary transition between “possible couple” and “just friends.” When we arrived at the diner I was doubly glad to be a single woman because our dinner companion was hot! That’s right folks – Winner Parade Four is a twofer!
Hot Friend(HF) and I spent most of dinner inappropriately making eyes at one another and (for my part at least) wondering if there was any way to finagle going home together without making both of us horrible people. Unable to reconcile that or come up with a way to surreptitiously jump his bones in the diner I was forced to get a ride home from TBWAT but not before HF asked for my number. I’ll admit to a small amount of shame at picking up a Guy #2 before my date with Guy #1 was officially over but I mostly figure that this is the kind of disaster #1 should expect when he invites another guy along on his date. I told TBWAT as much a couple of weeks later when he implied that my behavior made me a huge bitch.
HF called me a few days later and, since we worked within a few miles of one another he picked me up from the casino gaming empire for a quick lunch which lead to another date and another until we were sitting on the edge of relationshipdom staring into the abyss. Once I get past date three I’m usually a jumper and HF was no exception, he was cute, lived near by, worked at a tech company and… did I mention cute? Did I mention that I was 22? Unfortunately, HF was stuck on the edge of the cliff paralyzed with fear. He hemmed and hawed and sited being much much too busy for girlfriend but stopped short of actually breaking up with me until one day when he called to tell me that he had signed up to coach volleyball to high school girls. I am a lot of things: witty, cute, gifted with the internet, an expert on trashy tv, a great chef, a decent writer. None of these attributes can compete with 15 year old girls in short shorts jumping up and down and encouraging you to get behind them and show them exactly how to serve ("But I'm not very good and it might take a few tries! I Hope you’re patient!"). Needless to say I was broken up with over the phone just before the second night of practice.
While I’m sure many of my readers are dreaming of the chance to hook up with TBWAT or HF I cannot tell you the whereabouts of either. I honestly cannot remember the name of TBWAT so he is ungoogle-able but I suspect that he has yet to discover the internet anyway (and thus he is seriously missing out on the chance to relive our date but all of you lucky people can do so here – feel the ROMANCE.) . I do remember the name of HF (typical, right?) but unfortunately he shares a name with a famous race car driver so I can't properly stalk him -- it probably doesn’t matter, I don’t think they let pedophiles access the internet.