As I rule I do not blog about dates I go on. It is just dangerous territory. As most dates go poorly either day of or in break up months later- it just has seemed wise to leave it alone. BUT! This one was too good to be lost with countless other faded and forgotten memories. I've waited a month or two for decency sake and now the time has come to share. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.
John Doe- arrived on time to pick me up for an evening of fine dining and entertainment. I was to later learn that he did a bit of homework before our first date. He talked with several mutual friends to get the "dirt" on me. As far as I know all he got was that I am a physical therapist, dancer, Sunday school teacher, and that I am loud. Not sure how keen I am on being labelled as loud as my descriptor- But, I have to admit I can get excited about things and lose track of my volume. I on the other hand knew as little as I knew when we met at the Iron and Wine concert. Forward, confident (perhaps too confident), and obviously different passions in life as physical appearance revealed. I highly doubted any sparks would fly but, I was willing to go and give it a whirl. ( And I am ever so glad I did because the story is a new favorite of mine.) I was laughing inside the whole night because it was classic for Heather- even my roommates thought it was a true "What are the Odds" night- somewhat- to be expected rather than surprising.
John stands close to 6 feet with more of a broader rather than slender frame. So I thought it perhaps an odder choice of vehicles when we walked up to his Mini. Sure enough the mild contortions he did to get in to the car and the knees he ate while driving made me tilt my head to the side and think "huh". Apparently he hadn't had the car very long and that explained the less than smooth ride that honestly made me a little nervous. To cap off my nervousness we cut off a 12 person van sliding just ahead and slipped neatly into a parking spot right in front of them. Mini verses 12 person van- outcome not in our favor. Just as we stopped the 12 person van pulled right up along side us in a driveway and stopped. I had a momentary fear of road rage at its finest as 8-10 30-40 year old men with their serious tattoos, sun glasses and walk like you mean it attitude came pouring out of the van. (Not your usual crowd for a van and I couldn't help but wonder what conference I missed.) This is when John realizes that we are in a 10 minute parking spot and we have to find somewhere else to park. He takes his foot off the clutch we roll forward a titch and thud- front right tire fell into a massive pothole. This would have been child's play for a truck- but we are not in a truck- we are in a Mini. It as good as swallowed us whole. Stuck! (as Jody my niece appropriately would say when see was first talking and getting into binds.) He let out a sigh of frustration- I laughed. Then we experienced the greatest thing possible. I can honestly say I've lived a Mentos commercial! (Minus the Mentos). Remember all those tough guys that had just piled out of the van? Yep you guessed it. They saw our predicament and just surrounded the front end of the car, picked us up and pushed us back and on our way. We just sat in the car and watched as they picked us up and saved the day. It was GREAT!
We manage to find a real parking spot without much more excitement (except my heart rate elevating with his driving style). Dinner was a short jaunt away and I was happy to be using my feet the rest of the way. Sitabello is a favorite spot- true Italian pizza that I'm sure I never would have appreciated if I had not been to Italy to know authentic first hand. He being a self proclaimed "foodie" agreed in its quality adding more validity to its goodness. Please may I never eat another meal with a foodie. How you eat seems as important as what you eat. I didn't even finish the salad (which is not like me) because how he approached eating. This requires actions to describe and well- this is a blog so it just can't be described. He wasn't condescending about it per se- just particular? Anyway...
I decided some fresh ground pepper sounded like an excellent addition to my pizza ( note- this is my first pizza in months! - but that is another story). One twist of the pepper and AHH! The whole top popped off and 3/4 of the bottle of whole pepper corns ended up on my pizza. REALLY? The next 5 minutes I spent picking out the pepper corns so my pizza is eatable. Finally it is rescued and I am enjoying its deliciousness.
The next hour is relatively unremarkable. I let him talk all he wanted, content to mostly keep my peace. (Not a good sign for how a date is going if I don't feel like talking.) We went for a little walk where he pointed out all his favorite restaurants in the near vicinity including the chiefs, owners, and the date of when the stew is coming back onto the menu. But lets get back to the real story line!
Now it is time for dessert! Gelato- really a most fabulous addition to the world. A little dab will do ya. Content to eat my chocolate hazelnut gelato with bits of nuts to chew I sit down and begin to thoroughly enjoy the rich flavors when... CRUNCH. Crunch? That can't be right. So I start to spit out something hard into my napkin. (Unless your eating watermelon spitting food out on a date is an awkward business.) Black plastic bits? Now we have to talk to management and they pull the gelato from the shelf and there is talk about refunds, free pints, etc... In the end we just let it be and left.
By now- I'll be honest -I'm ready to go home. I'm not feeling any magic and my desire and ability to be fun and entertaining on dates that aren't going anywhere is nil these days. We make our way back to the Mini. At which point I think I had been exaggerating to myself how ridiculous he seemed to fit into it, only to have a little moment of glee when he gets back in and think "nope, I wasn't exaggerating". During this little conversation with myself I was distracted enough to miss the cause of his frustrated mutter under his breath. I look over and see him turn the key, foot on the clutch, with no resulting purr of engine. A big frustrated sigh from him and a short explanation revealed he left the lights on and the battery is dead. At this point I honestly laughed out loud. Of Course the Battery is Dead! This is a Heather date and really- at this point- WHAT ARE THE ODDS? About this time he seemed to hang his head down in defeat. I pipe in that it isn't that big of a deal. We are walking distance- 5 blocks or so- from my house. I have jumper cables in my car and all will be fine in no time. We get out from the car and start walking and I just feel a dark cloud hanging over him. I laugh and said "I am just glad I'm not the one with the pit in my stomach." He didn't respond well to that- to which I relied "Oh come on! How many perfectly smooth and unmemorable dates have you been on? This is fantastic- an adventure- Sure to be quite memorable for days on end." I got an acknowledgement for that one- but I still don't think he bought into it.
Somehow we managed to get to my car without further incident but by the time we arrived at where the Mini sat all the parking spots next to it where taken (we are parked diagonally on the street). The battery was at the end next to the sidewalk. Again dark stormy cloud begins to reappear... "No problem" I say, "I've got it covered." At which point I pull into a nearby driveway and use it to get to the sidewalk and just drive in downtown Salt Lake up the sidewalk until I can park half on park strip and half sidewalk with the hood of my car kissing the parking meter, just close enough for the cables to reach. (I loved watching people's faces as they walked by.)
In no time the Mini was purring again and I'm ready to back down the sidewalk and return home to end a most memorable date. But he wanted to see me home... The rest of the story is filled with an awkward what do you think of me conversation, a great ex story that trumps any dating story I have in my repertoire, and a final retreat home to end one of the greatest Classic dates I can remember. Before I went to bed I sent him a text which read- Thanks for night out with great stories to go home and tell my roommates about. I'm not sure how that went over...
And there you have it! Hope it put a smile on your face!