Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Athletic footware and interviews

A month ago, the final breakup with the Scorpio. A note under my door, followed by weeks of off-and-on snotty nosed crying. I'm puffy-eyed and feel like someone has taken a metal scoop and dug my heart out. The space that's left is sore.

And it's back to internet dating. My old rule is "you have to write me for a while before I'll meet you." Someone points out on their profile that what this method garners is a lot of history that may not be particularly relevant. Someone else says, "You write for ages and then you meet - and hey! You're still meeting a stranger." I have a new rule now. I will talk to you once or twice, briefly via email - and then we meet in a public place.

It's like interviewing. I had three interviews this weekend - one on Saturday, two on Sunday. As my friend D says, "it gets exhausting." Up until the third interview - when I meet HB.

He picks me up, and rather than suggesting a coffee, he spreads out a promotional poster advertising the events at the harbor this weekend. "I have an itinerary," he tells me. We locate the place the bands will be playing and light out for the harbor. He parks and is bewildered, when he comes to open the car door for me, that I'm already on the other side of the van. Good manners, I think. Not me, him.

We stroll, we locate the beer tent where the bands are set up, and we settle in to watch people and listen to the music. He's funny and he gets all my jokes. Never short of an answer. He won't hear of me buying a round. The music is great and we're both belting out songs along with the band before too long. I keep thinking, in total amazement, this is a real date. And I'm actually having fun.

By the end of the evening, we're in The Red Fox Tavern. There's painful local talent on stage and the place is jammed with regulars and it's a little like the bar scene in Starwars. He'd said we were going to another bar. "Bait and Switch" he grins at me.

The next morning, I get an email. "Do you have plans? Shall we go to brunch and for a walk?"
I have plans. My house is in shameful condition. I'm behind on my beadwork. "Brunch would be great" I email back.

Brunch starts at 10:00 and he leaves at 8:00 that night. It turns out that he's a bit of a lunatic. Attention Deficit, I think. He's very bright and his mind is going about 20 times the average human speed. We end up driving and he gives me a tour of auto body shops, indoor cart-racing facilities and remote factories, mostly because that's where the van pointed at a given moment, I believe. For some reason, I just relax and enjoy the pointless meandering. It's a beautiful day. Why not drive anywhere at all?

In the evening, he wants to show me a lake.
Now the interests on his profile were hiking, kayaking and swimming. When I answered his email I agreed to meet with him if he could settle for a woman who might hike, provided no bogs or swamps were involved. I am wearing silly jeweled sandals that consist of a thin sole and two straps over my feet. The path is less gravel than treacherous chunks of rock and root. It's narrow and the trees are closing in. There are boggy patches. We pick our way through what seems like a mile of bad walking and finally I say, "HB!" He continues walking merrily along. "HB!" He stops and turns. "HB, look at me. Have you noticed at all that I'm rather a girly-girl, as opposed to your basic outdoor athletic type?"
He beams at me. "Almost there."

The lake is beautiful when we arrive. He's promised me the sun will set for us and light the water, just wait. It hasn't quite when we arrive and he admits he hasn't come through on that but quickly points out a tree the beavers have almost felled. "Bait and Switch" he says again.

On the way back, it seems there are more paths than we noticed earlier. After tromping, in my ridiculous sandals for about ten minutes, he stops ahead of me and says, "Does this look familiar to you?"
"Does this look familiar to you?" I look around. It looks like forest and bush. All of it.
"Noooo. I don't think so HB. Why?"
"I don't think this is the way we came. See usually I go a different way and come out over there." He points to a jetty of land about four miles away and then perks up. "I'll bet if we took this path over here, we could still get to it - and it's on our way!"
"HB. Get me out of here." He looks surprised. He hands me a blueberry.
"Eat that. These are SO good for you."
And then, I'm not absolutely sure it was anything but blind luck, he got me out of there.
"I'm not forgetting you dragged me through bogs, HB." This does not diminish his cheer level in any way.

But I see the pattern shaping up already. We work different hours through the week and just before he leaves, he says, "I know! I'll come over Wednesday morning at 6:00 and wake you up and drive you to work."
"No you won't."
"I won't? Why?"
"Because I know what waking me up means and I'd be late for work."
"Noooo. I'd get you to work."
"You know you just might start to like that after a while."
"I will kill you if you show up here at 6:00 a.m." He smiles beatifically.

The pattern:
"No HB. I'm not doing that."
And then we do whatever it is he had in mind.

So we'll see. We'll see. You know it might not be half-bad to hang around someone who has announced, in answer to something grumpy and skeptical I've said, "I'll be the cognitive therapist for us." A Leo. Goddess help me.