Thursday, August 19, 2010

In which I meet a doctah on and become slightly, no, really stalkerish

In my days of desperate dating, I went to the man mall on the internet, as anyone who has access to the internet at work while she has long, boring conference calls does. (This only worked when I had my own office. Once my spineless boss let another department kick all eight of us out of our offices and into cubicles in the converted warehouse 13 miles away where people were carjacked occasionally and we were warned not to walk to our cars alone after dark, I could no longer indulge in all the internet foolishness that I wanted to.)

I eventually met a long-term boyfriend on (and know a few friends who have married internet matchups - Hi Kim!), but my first foray into the online personals was not the greatest of successes.

I found a guy - Gus - a couple of years older than I. Never married. Employed. A doctor! That's high on the scale. Owned his house. Cute. Not Catholic, but you can't have everything.

We emailed. Liked each other as much as you can like someone you've never met. He suggested we meet for lunch.

I had to make sure he wasn't an ax murderer first.

My real estate fair godmother/landlady is married to a physician. This was a smallish town as far as that sort of thing went. I asked Mary Linda if she had heard of this guy and if he was who he said he was.

Oh yes. She didn't know him, but she knew of his father, also a doctor, who had abandoned Gus and his mother when Gus was a kid for his receptionist or something like that. Not an ax murderer, though.

We met for lunch. I agonized over what to wear and made the bad decision to don my olive-green pantsuit. Bad because 1. I look like crap in olive and I don't even know why I owned that suit and 2. I look way better in a skirt than I do in pants and I say this with all modesty. I am just blessed with nice legs, at least below the knees, the same way I am not blessed with a bosom. There has to be some compensation for getting the short end of the stick in the cup lottery.

I thought we hit it off, even though he was 20 minutes late. I had expected that. (I expect almost everyone to be late, which is why I almost always have a book with me. Just because I expect it, however, does not mean I like it.)

We discussed U.S. energy policy. Isn't that the ideal conversation to have on a semi-blind date? I didn't make any major eating mistakes. Didn't pick my nose. None of that. We walked out to the parking lot and he asked if he could call me again.

I said yes.

I thought he really meant, Could he call me again?

Apparently, that is guy code for, "I wouldn't cross the street to pee on you if you were on fire."

Or maybe just, "You're nice, but I don't want to go to bed with you."

But I didn't figure this out until later because I thought, Could he call me? meant that he was going to Call Me.

I had several other blind dates set up by my fairy godmothers. None of the others asked if they could call me, so I did not expect a call. They just said "Nice to meet you" and that was that. Which was fine. You don't always - indeed, you rarely - have chemistry with someone. Still, they all insisted on paying for lunch, even though I think on a blind date, you should go halfsies. But this was The South and in The South, The Man Pays.

When I returned to my office (not cubicle), I sent Gus what I thought was a witty and charming email reiterating the points I had made about energy policy.

He did not answer.

He did not call.

Hmm. Maybe there was a hint there. I'm not totally deaf.

Then a friend said I shouldn't give up. She had baseball tickets she wasn't able to use. Why didn't I invite him to the ball game with me?

I debated. Should I put myself out there again? It seemed pretty clear (now) that he was not interested, but maybe he had just been too busy to answer my email. Maybe it had gone into his junk folder. Maybe he had laryngitis. Maybe he'd gone out of town. Maybe he'd been hit by a bus!

Besides, what man can resist free tickets to a ball game?

I was too chicken to call him, so I wrote him a little note. On nice stationary (ery?), of course. Taking twice as long to write as I usually do so that my handwriting was not completely illegible.

He never called.

All that humiliation for nothing. But did I learn my lesson?


But that's another story.

PS He is now married with two kids, one at least of which who came with the (slim, bosomy) wife. It is amazing what you can find on facebook when people do not set their security properly.

PPS Even though I am very happy with Primo and he was worth the wait, there is always a bit of the Sally/Harry moment of, It's not that he didn't want to get married, he just didn't want to marry (or date) me.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In which the neighbors prove to be complete losers

My Miami duplex was part of a pair - two duplexes sharing the same yard. My across the yard neighbor, Mousson, was great. We were friends. Her duplex neighbors were two Argentine guys whom we rarely saw. There are more fun things to do in Miami for a young man than hang out with his neighbors.

My duplex neighbors were jerks.

The first neighbor, who moved out after a year, had two big dogs that she let poop in the yard and on the sidewalk. This would not have been a problem except I had to go past her half, on her sidewalk, to get to my half, on my part of the sidewalk.

She did not think it was her responsibility to clean up any dog poop after her half of the yard or the sidewalk. Actually, I don't even think she cleaned the poop out of the yard.

My half of the sidewalk was always poop-laden, which is bad for its own sake but really bad considering I rarely got home before dark. Once I had navigated my way through the land mines that Neighbor's two DOBERMANS had left, I still got to smell the poop as it wafted into my bedroom window.

She finally moved out.

Then Marta and her husband moved in. At first I thought, well cool! She's from Venezuela and her husband is Brazilian, so I can practice both Spanish and Portuguese.

Then I asked Marta to watch my place while I was on vacation for two weeks. (Mousson was in Haiti for the summer.)

"Please take my newspapers," I asked her.

"I don't read the paper," she told me.

"Then please just put it in the trash," I asked her. I hadn't put the paper on vacation hold because there was a rumor that some of the customer service people at The Herald would provide that information to burglars.

"Please move my mail away from the mail slot in the door," I asked her.

"Please water my plants," I asked her. Then I gave her my house key.

Then I went happy to Ireland with my friend Lenore. Tralalalala I don't have to worry about my house in Miami, where I have to chain my washer and dryer to the outside wall next to the back door and guess what? dryers are not meant to be outside in the rain and they will rust on the inside and you cannot get rust out of your clothes for love or money, where late-night revelers from Cocowalk pee on the side of my fence and throw used diapers and condoms into the ditch, where my license plates have been stolen twice and my car has been broken into by thieves who smashed the window and stole everything - my prescription sunglasses, the spare change in the ashtray, four quarts of motor oil - except my music cassettes, which was a real slap in the face. I mean, you guys steal the old shower curtain in the trunk in case I had to change a tire in the mud yet you don't want my music?


I returned from Ireland with a little gift for Marta because she had done me this enormous favor.

My friend Susan, who picked me up from the airport, and I arrived at my house.

My car interior light was on.

What the?

It was on because the door was slightly ajar.

Because it had been broken into. Again.

I opened the gate (the one with the "Perro malo" sign that kept out nobody but the FedEx guy, so when I got my job offer and signing bonus from my post-yellow truck employer, it was delayed for three days as I tried to convince FedEx to deliver it) and saw two weeks' worth of newspapers in the yard.

I tried to open my front door. I had to push hard to get through the mail that had accumulated at the mail slot.

My plants were dead.

I went next door and knocked. Marta opened the door and started to speak fast in Spanish: "They tried to break into your house! They broke into your car and then we heard somebody late one night trying to break into your house so we called the police and yelled at them and they went away!"

"Thank you," I said. "Thanks for preventing them from breaking into my house. But - um - Marta? How do you think they knew I wasn't at home?"

She looked at me wide eyed. "I don't know!" she answered.

"Do you think it could have been that all the newspapers were in the yard?"

She gasped. "No! That's how they figured it out?"

"Yes," I told her. "That's why I asked you to put them in the trash."

"Who would have thought," she mused as she shook her head.

Yeah. Who would have thought.

She never did explain why she hadn't bothered to close my car door.