Monthly Archives: May 2014

But Wait. You’re Hot!

Red Zone

I agreed to meet for sushi after work. Whatever was I thinking?

BigTallDad looked like his photos. I am always pleased when that occurs; not everyone is honest about their looks. After the initial thumbs up from the first glimpse, the date didn’t go as well as it could have.

“You’re tiny,” he blurted as he stood to greet me with a hug. I ducked and sat in the waiting chair.

“Uh… thanks?” was my response. How awkward. I wasn’t sure if he had even meant it as a compliment.

The waitress came to take our orders. BigTallDad explained that sushi wasn’t always cooked. Well! Imagine that! He suggested I read the menu. I had the feeling he thought I had never eaten sushi before. I was going to ask when his phone buzzed.

“Give me a second,” he said.

I ordered my sushi favorites: spicy tuna and octopus shashimi, and a small pot of green tea.

BigTallDad placed his phone on the table and ordered a couple of the specialty rolls and a second Sapporo.

“So…you’re a busy lady.”

“Yes.”

“You look pretty fit too.”

The waitress intervened with the tea.

“They give me specials here because I come here all the time. I even bring my own chopsticks.”

“Why?” I wondered aloud.

“Oh these cheap bamboo…..” Buzz Buzz.  “Just a second,” he grabbed the phone, read the next test and then tapped out a response.

“Where was I?” he returned from the phone.

I shrugged. I figured he could unravel our conversation trail on his own.

“You’re a teacher, right?”

“Yes,” I provided a simple answer.

“What’s that like? I bet the kids are not what they used to be.”

“Some students are…”

BUZZ BUZZ. “Oh hang on.” Read, tap, send.

“Where were we?”

I shrugged.

THIS is why I HATE meeting guys for dinner as a first date. Surely at a meet and greet, this guy would have done the same. I get it; I am a bit of a telephone addict… but come on!!! Surely he knew the type of impression he was making!

“I think we were talking about my job.” I nodded. “I’m an engineer for the shipyard. The big one. I’ve been there since I graduated from college.” He leaned across the table, both hands prayer position flat on the table.

“Good for you.”

“I’m a great catch.” A big toothy grin accompanied his statement.

I nodded, and bit the inside of my cheek to keep from laughing.

BUZZZ! BUZZZZ!

Oooooooooooooh boy! WHEREVER was the food? I looked around as he repeated the read, tap, send process. I didn’t bother mentioning that I had a career, house, and car too, and when he placed the phone on the table, he started up on a different topic. Once again, BigTallDad didn’t require any participation in his monologue.

BUZZ! BUZZ!

Read, tap…. Oh oh interruption: the waitress arrived with our rolls. Reread, tap some more….send.

I had inhaled 3 of the six sushi pieces.

“Oh I like a woman who likes her food!”

I pointed at my mouth and smiled. Yep… I was going to eat and get the hell out of dodge… or Sakura in this case.

He picked up his chopsticks and spent a while stirring what he assured me was the perfect mix of wasabi and soy sauce.

Buzzz! Buzz!

I was on the octopus by then, so while his head was bent toward his phone as he completed the read, tap, send ritual, I signaled the passing waitress for my check.

“That’s my son,” he offered as the first words of explanation. “He’s 15 and he’s trying to decide whether to make frozen pizza or order one.”

I nodded, and watched the waitress approach with my bill.

“I’m telling him how to order a pizza.”

Uh… really? I saved my incredulous response, took the offered check, insured it was for my meal alone, signed, and returned it.

I stood. “It’s been interesting,” I said.

I turned to leave.

“That’s it?” he asked. “Why? What’s wrong? I’m really interested in you!”

Seriously: SMH or maybe I should smack his!

“You texted the entire time I have been here. Good night.”

I walked to the door.

“It was my son!”

I kept walking.

“But wait! You’re hot!”

I didn’t run, but I picked up the pace.

YIKES!

 

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Big Brother Watches

Red Zone

Our meet and greet at Starbucks went well, so we agreed to a meal the following week. Ben is tall, a bit slim, has dark hair, cut in typical Navy dude fashion, and at the meet and great sported a nicely trimmed moustache that he’d grown on his recent deployment. At 41, he’s younger than I am, but he didn’t care, nor did I.

The first thing I noticed when we met at the entry to Yardhouse was the absent moustache…the second was the baby face. I guessed the moustache was an effort to make him look more mature. Slim plus babyfaced  means this shallow woman was already thinking last date.  I know! I know! He’s nice; I didn’t run. I politely walked behind the hostess to a tall table near the back booths, and as Ben pulled my chair out like the officer and gentleman that he seemed to be, I heard, “Hi Red Zone.”

In the booth directly in front of us were three upper administrators from my job, one male and two females…. Three people that I have known for aver 15 years. Matt, Sue, and Beth greeted me loudly. Matt, and his former boss, Sue who had recently retired rowdily waved me over. I knew Matt liked beer; we had chatted about homebrewing and different stouts and pale ales we had enjoyed. Apparently Sue liked them too. Matt is tall, slim, a runner, who wears a full beard and moustache. Maybe he has a baby face too. Sue is my height, and perhaps 20 years older than I am. Beth is the quieter of the three, and she remained quieter; however, in Yardhouse, to communicate, one has to be LOUD. I was half-way in my chair when they again called for us to join them.

“Why not?” said Ben.   Realllly????

A chorus of “Yes, Yes! There’s plenty of room!” encouraged Ben to stand once again and guide me to the booth, which could have easily seated 10 people. Matt scooted in, and ushered by Ben, I sat next to him. Ben sat next to me.

Wheeeee! This first date was going to be fun. NOT.

Introductions were made all around, and then Beth and Sue started talking shop. Matt turned to us.

“How did you two meet?”

GAH!!!!

“At Starbucks,” I said, while at the same time, Ben answered, “Online.”

There it went…. Everyone stopped talking at once and turned to Ben.

“Like on Facebook?” asked Beth.

Biting the bullet, and turning bright red, I said, “No. As in a dating website.”

Sue is single; Beth is not, but both peppered me with questions. Sue, ordered her next drink and asked Ben, “So how long have you two been dating?”

I choked out, “First date.”

Matt leaned in, “This is your first date? Haaa  haaa haaa ”  He punched me lightly on the arm. “You’re doing it wrong.”

Hahahaaaa haha Indeed!

Bait and Switch

Red Zone

Last week I agreed to meet a banker at the fountain in front at Town Center. From there, the goal was to select one of the many available happy hours and chat for a bit.

The banker and I had been chatting for a few weeks. He’s tall, blue-eyed, gainfully employed, and emanates sanity in every message, text, and call. I’ve already mentioned my penchant for tall, blue-eyed men… a gainfully employed, sane one is even better. I learned that he was former Navy, and an academy grad; although he’d been out for more than 20 years. He has two grown children, and like my son, his youngest was graduating from college last week. Our phone chats revealed a gentle humor, but he laughed at my more sarcastic comments, so I knew he was unlikely to find my humor off-putting.

Just as I was pulling into a parking space, he texted: “Meet me at Keagan’s for a beer? My business meeting ran a bit longer, and we’re still here.”

It was about 4:00 p.m., and I’m no longer a shy person, so I thought, “Why not? I’ll get this over with.”  Despite all the potential, I’ve learned to temper my expectations.

I walked into Keegans, told the hostess  I was meeting someone, and headed for the bar. He has profile photos both bearded and unbearded, I recognized the bearded and mustached, or is it mustachioed? version immediately; he looked like his pictures… always a plus. So far, this guy had thrown down NO red flags!

I was surprised to see him in khaki cargo shorts, white polo, and Merrel sandals. His buddy wore similar khaki shorts, but the shirt was Hawaiian, and he wore boat shoes sans socks. He was asking for a refill for his beer when I arrived. One look and listen indicated the empty hadn’t been his first. The guy’s demeanor, and full-blown, Tip O’Neil nose let me know he knew his way around a drink or ten. They made space and confiscated a stool between them for me.

The banker was talking investment strategy to a youngish Navy dude to his right. He at least seemed sober. His pal, Mike, used the time to chat me up.

“How did you meet Banker?” he slurred.

“Online.” I stared him down.

With two hands he grabbed my forearm leaned heavily into me and laughed. “You got a live one here, Banker.”

The banker smiled at me somewhat apologetically while the Navy dude watched.

One of the plaid, mini-skirted bartenders walked up to take my order. I asked about the stouts. She snorted and banged the bar. “We have snort, snicker, hahahaha.”

“Excuse me?”

“It’s just too funny,” she laughed and put her head in her hands. “Flying Dog… new ….snort, HAHA… It’s too funny!”

I guessed the stout by this point. She was playing to her audience: Mike.

“Pearl necklace?” I asked. “I’ll have one.”

“How did you guess?” Duh!

Mike resettled on his stool and angled his body to face me more fully. The banker, meanwhile was drawing on a napkin to discuss exponential growth. I understood the concept, and I understood the use of the infinity sign. His next drawing was of the diameter of a circle. While the Navy dude, who was a nuke, correctly identified it, I didn’t hear how that fit in with exponential growth because Mike returned to his interview.

His next question: ”Where did you go to college?” Clearly the banker had mentioned I had a degree.

My lack of pedigree was met with, “I went to Villa Nova; you’ve heard of Villa Nova right?”

Several thoughts rushed toward my mouth … “No, why? “ or “They have a basketball team, right?” or “Do they have a football team?” “Tell me someone famous that attended.”

My pause allowed Mike to follow up. “It’s in Pennsylvania. It’s one of the best schools in the United States.”

Bam… “Hmmmm… Virginia holds the honor of having several of the world’s best schools. Both William and Mary and UVA outrank Villa Nova, and wouldn’t you say University of Pennsylvania and even Penn State are not only better known, but ranked higher?” These facts I know. Mike didn’t. He argued that Villa Nova outranked both Virginia schools and Penn State… He’d “give me” UPenn. There are times I love my smart phone.  One for me….zero for the drunk.

The banker was drawing columns of numbers and doing math equations with the Navy dude by this time. Buried in his work, he didn’t notice as Mike again grabbed my arm and pulled me toward him. “Oh! You’re a feisty one.” The Navy dude noticed and met my eye. I extricated myself and moved my stool a little toward the banker; engrossed with the beauty of financial planning, he was certainly not about to maul me.

“How do you like my friend Banker?” Mike changed the subject. Hearing his name the banker lifted his head.

“I have no idea; this is our first meeting.”  And last, I finished in my head. Navy Dude gaped. Even gaping, he was cute. Tall, lean, dark-haired and oh so clean cut. Blue eyes too.

Undeterred, Mike, proceeded to tell me all about he and the banker’s long term work relationship. Banker was honest, kind, a good friend… much like a good dog, I guess. Mike finished his beer in the middle of his descriptions and ordered another. Sensing a big tip, the bartender flirted with him and ignored the rest of us. I took this as an opening to leave.  I stood.  I turned to the banker and said, “It was interesting meeting you.” His turn to gape. Then I walked out. As I headed to my car, “Hey! Wait!” It wasn’t the banker. It was the Navy Dude.  😉  That’s a story for another day.

 

 

Field Guide

Red Zone

Last week, was another busy one!  I had too many family and friend obligations for more than one date.  I’ll have to write about it later though.

For those of you using online dating in the area, do I have a spot for you to try!  Field Guide.

Here’s how they describe themselves: ” Friendly. Rowdy. Craveable. Flavors you know, in dishes that stray from the beaten path. Long communal tables that bring about new friendships. Enjoy Field Guide’s scratch cooking for lunch, dinner, or a drink at the bar. An exciting downtown space with a garage door we bust open when the weather’s nice; open air dining at its best.” I pulled this directly from their website. They left out hipster… but hey… they don’t have to include everything when doing self-promotion, do they?

On Friday night, Field Guide was the second stop of a friend’s birthday celebration.   The garage door was “bust open,” and the place was packed. Two hipster dudes leaned out to offer me food before I even entered the place.  🙂 Nice.  From the exterior, Field Guide reminded me of the open to the street pubs and bars of Boston.

On entering, I saw a small bar, and several long tables (3 rows I think).  Once I found my friends sitting in the back corner, I had to maneuver past several people to reach them. Everyone was friendly as I squeezed past. Sitting next to and across from me were strangers.  Communal seating!  Just think, if you go to Field Guide to meet someone from OKCupid, Match, Plenty of Fish, Christian Mingle, or any other site… and your date is not all he advertised in his own self-promotion… you have ample opportunity to flirt with others. Despite the use of the male pronoun, this would work for both genders and any sexual orientation.  🙂 Furthermore, the food was yummy, so Field Guide is a double win!  Give it a shot.  🙂