The Squirm

January 10, 2010 at 1:01 pm (Sweet sticky things, That's not funny...)

I’ve always loved the rush of dating. Nerves on edge, my insides spinning like a gyroscope. The problem with having hopes so high is the hard landing when things don’t go right.

While last night’s adventure didn’t make for epic FAIL, it was a bucket of cold water…

I’ve been pursuing a certain girl for several months, with mixed results. We see each other at work, been on a few outings, etc… I began to wonder; we’d make plans, then she’d suddenly drop off the radar. I was crushed when I showed up to meet her after work one night. She came out of work, saw me and smiled, then immediately turned and started walking the other way when a guy approached her. I heard her yell “Getting a ride!” as she marched off with him. Okay…

I heard through the grapevine that she’d gotten back with her ex. Guess I’d missed the memo.

After the grapevine revealed she’d parted with the ex again, I began making contact. When she suggested that I meet her after work for a drink last night, I was adither with excitement. I got so nervous I thought I was going to explode. I took two showers, made sure all my clothing was spankin’ clean and without holes, etc… While I don’t do swanky, I didn’t want to look like a bum. I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high, yet I was ready to shoot for the moon.

As I rolled into downtown, the nerves evaporated. I love how with age comes confidence. (Or is it the ‘I don’t give a shit anymore’ attitude?) I announced my arrival via text message, awaiting a rendezvous point.

The reply was almost immediate. “Just got off. At our spot.”

I wandered into the bar, grabbed a booth by the window and waited. Soon she arrived, a vision of loveliness. She offered a fist-bump instead of a hug. I couldn’t help noticing the gold band on her ring finger.

As we chatted, she kept checking her phone and texting. I have nothing against keeping in contact via gizmo during a date, but hopefully it will be an occasional distraction, not like you are finishing the week’s paperwork.

Her phone rang. “Hey! Yeah, I’m downtown. It’s boring as fuck.” She glanced at me. “All the clubs I want to go to are closed down. I got all dressed up, got my hair done, and nothing!”

Between calls, I suggested we walk around and find a different bar, but she didn’t want to walk in heels. I couldn’t win for losing.

As dinner ended and she had a couple more drinks, she confided, “I’ve been broke up with my ex for a couple months now, but it’s hard. I asked him to come home last week, but he’d rather live with his mom. I bought his whole family Christmas presents, and they ignored me.” She held up her phone. “So I bought this for me for Christmas. It’s the only thing I got.”

I understood. Love dies hard sometimes. I would like to have been her knight in slightly dingy armor, but as much as we get along, there are too many differences. The final straw came when I realized that she’d invited a whole bunch of people, and I was the only one who showed up.

At that point I started planning a retreat. After announcing into her phone that she was going to catch the bus home after one more drink, she grabbed her purse and left for the bar.

I waited. Waited some more.

After twenty minutes, I texted “Thinking of heading for home. Can I walk you somewhere?” I waited another ten minutes without a reply, or a visual sighting. I walked through the bar once, thanked my waitress and left.

I still haven’t heard back from her.

The long ride home wasn’t as soul-crushing as I expected it to be. If anything, it was a relief that the pressure was off. I try to be ‘good enough’ for these objects of my affection and it just seems to backfire on me. So, as Cartman would say, “Screw you guys, I’m going home!” I’ll see her around, we’ll be happy to see each other, but I’m calling off the pursuit on this one. Gotta know when to hold ’em, and know when to fold ’em.

Sad as it sounds, I’m looking forward to getting back to work.

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