What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Part the Third: She has a ‘crush’ on you

We set up a date at a medium speed food establishment across the street from school. It wasn’t anything high brow, just a short meal over which we could introduce ourselves and get all the relationship pleasantries resolved. No drama, no flowers, no European greetings.

When I chatted with Luce on the phone, I heard a fairly nondescript all-American voice. She laughed a lot, but that might be more nerves than personality. Her accent was Southern Californian; more cultured than Tahoe but less snotty than San Francisco. Her “Ss” were solid, but not lisped or whistled. She didn’t have a drawl and her verbal pauses were more “like” and “you know” than “um” and “uh.” I had her pegged for blond, like Lindsay who took my picture, but wasn’t completely confident in my assessment.

As I sat parked outside the bistro (if “bistro” is a suitable name for a “sit down, but hurry up” eatery), the last few lines of Hannah Montana’s If We Were a Movie echoing in my head, I wondered once again if this might be a trap. I looked around at the restaurant’s entrances, but didn’t notice anything suspicious. I glanced in my rear view mirrors the way the Government Agents do in the movies, but was disappointed to find that no MAC-10 carrying villain was drawing a bead on me.

Sorry, this is beginning to sound more like Desperate Student than the “crush” series. But you get my point; I was still suffering from a deep seated suspicion that some of my guy friends, maybe some of the guys from the track team, were playing a mean trick on me.

Before the questions could become too nagging, I left the comfort of my car behind and went to meat Luce.

The cool restaurant air was a welcome break to the early spring warmth and it took a moment for my eyes to adjust after the brightness outside. A few seconds after becoming acclimated to my surroundings, I found the store's only solo female customer and she had her back turned. Her hair was blond, as I had deduced from the auditory analysis and she seemed to be waiting for someone.

That's when it hit me like a two by four at a construction site: How should I go about introducing myself? Saying "hi" on a phone is a radically different undertaking than meeting someone for the first time in person. The tête à tête is so much more personal than speedial and it was the one part of our date that I hadn't prepared through and devoted significant mental energy to analyzing. Maybe this whole thing was beyond me; the pervasive feeling that I was out of my league was coming unmuzzled.

Before my thoughts could become paralyzing, I tapped the solo customer on her shoulder and introduced myself.

She turned around and smiled. Her eyes were bright and young and her teeth had the Colgate glint.

"Yes?" She looked expectant.

No immediate recognition? No "it's so good to finally meet you?" No "have a seat?" Just a simple "yes?" I was more than a little flummoxed.

That's when it hit me. Maybe she was trying to play hard to get. Maybe she felt her seeking me out had given her a vulnerable position in our relationship and wanted to remedy that by making me uncomfortable on our first date.

You see folks? I was foolish to think that I understood women.

"Do you mind if I join you?" I kept my face confident and did not let my features betray my earlier deliberations.

"Actually I am waiting for someone..." Her voice trailed off as she shrugged toward the door.

After a couple more awkward exchanges I found out her name was Ashley and she wasn't waiting for me. Actually her boyfriend would be getting off work any minute now and she "kinda wanted to be seated alone" when he entered the restaurant. I walked away from the table and returned to my car flushed with embarrassment.

Did Luce and I mix up the restaurants or lose track of times?

I opened my cellular and dialed Luce's number. I got her voicemail and left a message explaining what I could of the mix up, although I left out the part about Ashley having young eyes. By the time I hung up, a seeping suspicion had tickled its way up my spine and I once again wondered whether Luce was real or an invention fabricated by my male friends to have some chuckles. The fact that she didn't show up was certainly evidence for that argument.

My head was tied up in a pretzel and thinking about Luce was becoming painful. I looked at the clock radio and noticed I had a few minutes to get back to class. I sped across the intersection and pushed Luce out of my mind long enough to focus on a Soil Science lecture.


Ryan said...

what the?

Ryan said...

i am mollified

The Guthmiller Chick said...

I heard somewhere that women are like toasters. Maybe that enlightenment will help you understand women better. :D

Lady A said...

What does that mean, chickie...That we can never get the toast done right?

Vevy said...

No! NO! I have to find out what happens!! Where is she???

the guthmiller chick said...

Lady a,
You misunderstood me. I heard that comment somewhere; I did not make the statement myself. Women make toast very well.

Smurph said...

So.... what, that's the end of the story?

Anonymous said...

then what happened?????