June 2008


He told his dad about me. And looked me up on Facebook.

He blurted this info at our third meeting; after hearing it, I stayed for over an hour to talk to him. The hour went well. He made me smile – more than anyone else has been able to in a long time.

There’s a thing, of course. There’s always a thing.

He’s … kind of from Boston. (I know, right? Another one. Just what I need.)

We met during my house hunt; he’s a realtor in the development where I may buy. While touring one of the properties, he mentioned his hometown and I perked up – a result of the preceding six years – and I expressed surprise that he was able to leave Manny (one of my favorite Red Sox players) “even though he likes to fight too much.” Like any Boston boy, the Manny reference automatically initiated a response, prompting him to ask about my fight allusion. I was surprised he didn’t hear about it; The Kid, who only told me because it happened between two of my favorite players, breathes Red Sox baseball, even long distance, so I had assumed most fans do the same. Apparently, not necessarily. Which is why he told his dad.

“Didn’t your dad think that was weird I knew something about your team?”

“No, he thought it was awesome.”

The hour in his office was enlightening – I learned about his past (thirteen years of Catholic education, including a pseudo boarding school; Me, exasperated: “Oh, how very coastie!” and Him, with an answering wink: “You like that one, huh?”), his family (He’s “the prodigal only child”) and his interests (movies, music, PS3). He also plays guitar –and I think he plays it well. And yes, I did confess that I only knew about his team because I used to date someone from the area – best not to set any sports-loving precedents.

The hour in his office passed quickly and went better than most first dates. When he finally admitted to Facebooking me, I asked, “Did you friend me?”

“No, I thought I would tell you first – otherwise, it’s a little creepy.”

And so now we’re friends, on Facebook at least. Odd that I can’t decipher any sparks or butterflies, as of yet, but I can see myself dating this one.

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My mom’s friends are scheming to create magical romances between me and their so! wonderful! and CUTE! nephews. Their plotting involves obscure meeting locales and less-than-subtle excuses: babysitting a guinea pig, dropping off brownies at a family reunion, flying to California, signing up for a teeth cleaning (that one’s a dentist), and my favorite, a informational interview with the guy currently living off his trust fund because he really should get a job at some point in his life. Apparently, giving one my phone number and having him arrange a time/place for drinks is not a first-meeting story in which dreams are made.

Although potentially really awkward, I almost hope some of their schemes happen — at the very least, for the amusement of my mom and her friends. What else do they have to talk about at book club? The book? That won’t even carry them through the first glass of wine.

I buy colorful pens for my paper day-planner, an artistic composition of important events and nonsensical doodles, and today, as I sat in my meeting, I wondered if my co-workers were thinking that taking notes with a purple ballpoint was perhaps just a tinge unprofessional.

This morning my boss was writing me a letter of recommendation and taking long enough to warrant some grief.

“Are you writing a novel?”

“It’s your life story … or my version of it.”

“Oh good, make me an orphan, might as well get some sympathy points.”

“The part about being kidnapped by modern-day suburban Gypsies is really moving.”

“The more tear-provoking, the better.”

“There are some cheers too… like when you, Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum flew that Alien Spaceship that you captured into the mothership and uploaded the computer virus enabling Earth to fight back and save the planet … I’m still choked up about that part.”

“It’s ironic that happened on our nation’s Independence Day … because then it turned out to be everyone’s Independence Day.”

“Wow, not only are you a hero but your sense of timing is both ironic and made for Hollywood… And that’s how you met Will and joined the MIB, right? Or should I not mention that part of your biography?”

“Ok, seriously, is the flippin’ letter written yet?”

The dream featured two exes whom were both visiting at my parent’s house but unaware of the other’s presence. I was torn between two but determined to give them equal share, all without letting one know about the other. Elaborate escape plans and lies ensued. Sometimes the fit was right, other times the grass was greener. Even as a dream, it was conflicting.

In real life, they never met. One was superficial and fun; he’d pants me when I would pour water over his head and drag me on rollercoaster rides to hear my sailor curses. He lacked depth. The other used to listen to me, and listen so well that to this day, he knows me better than ninety-percent of my friends. He lacked common goals. Both relationships were one-faceted which is why they ended.

When I woke up, I retained the conflicting feelings of delight at their appearance and anxiety from the secrets and hidden agendas. But something else, too. Maybe embarrassment that my thoughts had drifted toward them, that maybe they would know that my subconscious requested a cameo.

It’s been months since I thought about either during daylight hours. But there they were, in my head, when I was asleep and vulnerable. My dreams are usually forgotten or nonexistent; I wonder why I chose to remember this one.

I had thought that the last thing I needed in life was another tall, dark-haired, blue-eyed, cocky asshole … but it turns out, his eyes are purple.

Our business meeting was casual but I was still surprised when he took the call.

“Hey there.” And a pause. “What’s up?” His voice had a smile. His wife of less than a year needed directions. “West. No, that’s south. Go away from our house. Toward the lake.” Once she was headed the right way, they talked few more minutes, not with mushy sentiment but not like she was one of his dudes either. Somewhere of a balance. It was clear how happy she made him. I was interested to see how he would end the conversation; endearments or love proclamations didn’t fit his style. He quietly and simply said, “See you later.”

He didn’t apologize or make excuses for the call. Not that I wanted them. She was his priority, which was evident.

For some reason, this five minute exchange stuck with me. Maybe I am starting to believe in love again. At least in the quiet kind. The kind that has nothing to prove to the public eye. Maybe some people do find it.

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