Friday, May 15, 2009

... And He Was Arrested

It was my first few months in college and someone from back home knew a "nice guy" who went to the same school. He was a few years older, but he'd accomplished some pretty big things prior to attending college. I will not mention what those accomplishments were; they are pretty identifying and I'd like to protect the guilty, er innocent.

So, I went over to his place to meet him for the first time. I felt pretty safe seeing as he was a friend of a family friend and all. We decided to have dinner one night later in the week. It was all super awkward. I couldn't put my finger on it at the time, but something wasn't right. The questions he asked were completely inappropriate; things like, "How much money do you get each month?" "You live in the expensive dorm, you must be rich." "I bought this car from a dying man." Things like that.

The date ended and as I expected, I didn't get a request for a second date. I did see him around campus a few times over the next year or so. We would sit and eat on "the green" (so cliche, I know) and became friends. There was still a big question mark.

Then, one day I was back home shopping with my mom and I saw him walking through the parking lot. I bolted out the door to go say hello and introduce my mom. He explained that he was living in the city and using his talents to educate others.

"He's gay," my mom said as soon as we were in the privacy of our car. "No he's not!" I responded with a tone of uncertainty. There was a brief moment of ponderous silence and with that, the subject was changed.

Two years later my mom called me and told me that he'd had improper conduct with a teenager and he was arrested. Oh yeah, that teenager was a boy.

It was a bad day - His life was ruined, a kid's life was ruined, and I had to admit to my mother that she was right. Damn, I hate doing that.

The alternate title of this post was "The Felony Frog" but I can't seem to find any record of him being found guilty of the charges. I know that he fled the country and was extradited back to the US two years later. I know how to pick 'em. Except, I didn't "pick 'im".

And THAT'S why I don't like to be set up.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

... And I Fell in the Lake

September 2001 the world experienced an American tragedy. It made us exam our own mortality and each response was extremely personal.

I responded by accepting a date I'd turned down multiple times. In my mind I had turned him down, but in reality, I had just given him excuses like, "I have a class," "I have family in town," "I'll be out of town," "There is some growing grass that needs close observation," that sort of thing. It left the door open for me to one day say yes.

We had never met but thanks to modern creepfest that is internet dating, we had e-mailed a few times, and even engaged in the "chat" which in the online dating world is similar to primitive phone conversation, but for people who are afraid of commitment; also known as Generation X.

So, I'd made the decision that I wanted to meet him. Not wanting to look easy, I logged in and hung around online waiting. Five hours later, his screen name appeared and approximately six seconds after that, he invited me to chat. I said "Hi," and like a response like Pavlov's dog, he asked what I was doing that weekend. I'm sure to his surprise, I told him that I was free Sunday for lunch. We exchanged digits (as they were still called in 2001) and signed off. Mission accomplished.

Sunday rolls around and he gave me a call about two hours before our date. We picked a place to meet - the park not too far from my house - for a picnic. He said that he would pick up some sandwiches and meet me in the gazebo on the lake at 12:00. He never told me what kind of sandwich, just that he was picking them up.

This park happened to be the same place where I'd be attending a 9/11 vigil later that evening, but I didn't share that with him - I needed an out in case of emergency.

I arrived to find him standing inside the gazebo holding a backpack cooler, slung over one shoulder looking longingly out at the lake and I wondered how fast I could run back to my car. Instead, I swallowed my nerves and opened my mind and forged ahead.

Introductions. Proverbial handshake. He'd already picked out a beautiful spot for our picnic... clear on the other side of the lake 1/2 mile away. I have no problem with walking, however, I'd recently torn a ligament in my ankle and picked fashion over comfort in my shoe choice. My fault. But when I shared the information about said injury he responded with, "Well, it's not that far."

We made it. I'm blinded by pain. He whipped out the blanked wine, food (turkey, mayo, lettuce, tomato), and chatter. At cleanup time, the garbage can was down by the lake maybe 10 yards. He grabbed garbage and took off. Being the nice girl I am, I, too, grabbed garbage and hobbled down to the lake.

Somewhere between tossing the garbage and turning, I lost my footing and I fell in the lake. It wasn't quite as dramatic as it sounds, it was my hands and knees - all fours - directly IN the lake. THUD!

I gingerly got up, hysterically laughing, brushed the muck off my knees, shook the wet off my hands and half-expected to see Mr. date man running over to me either laughing or concerned, but a least checking to see if I was OK - people 50 feet in every direction were looking. But no. I turned around and there he was, obliviously folding the blanket.

We hobbled back to the main part of the park, I excused myself to the restroom to wash my now mystery-bacteria covered hands and knees, activated the bat-phone and bailed out as soon as possible.

Since I was meeting my friends at that park just a few hours after splash down, when we said our awkward goodbye, I got in my car, drove around the block, waited five minutes, drove back, grabbed my book, and read in the park until the masses arrived.

I gave the guy an A for effort and even an A execution, but he also earned a great big A for self-absorption. I did see him one more time - on a date with another girl.

After that, my post-9/11 responses included a short-lived belly-button ring, reading the Harry Potter series, and impromptu vacations. Yes, I know, living life on the edge.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Frog Kisser

At the seven month anniversary of my relationship, my family had a vacation planned to meet in Mickey-world. This vacation was exciting not only because my 2-year-old would have her first face-to-face meeting with her beloved "Pwincesses," but also because my boyfriend would have his first face-to-face meeting with my family.

I sat my niece down on while visiting her a month prior to the Meeting of the Family, and told her that my friend Fred* would be at "Cinnawellee's House." Her beautiful blue eyes popped wide with wonder and she asked, "Is he a pwince?"

I answered with a smile, "Maybe."

Two months later we broke up.

I'm back in the pond with the frogs and ready to start kissing them one by one. Of course, by "kissing" I mean allowing them to take me to dinner. Hey, a girl's gotta eat.

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