I know you all have heard the phrase “opposites attract.” My parents are a perfect example of this. My dad is originally from New York, is super tall, Sicilian, tells stories using his hands, and has an opinion about everything. He can’t stand stupid people (me neither Daddy), is never late for ANYTHING and in fact, is usually 15-30 minutes early. He is a constant fixer, doer, always has at least 3 different projects going and likes his phone conversations to last all of 2 minutes. Once, when my parents were in town for Thanksgiving, I swear I only turned my back on him for a second before he was taking my sink apart to fix the faucet. That was his way of telling me he loved me and missed me. I can tell he still gets embarassed when I tell him how much I love him on the phone.
My mom, on the other hand, is very petite, has a hard time reaching things on high shelves, is from Texas and is late for EVERYTHING whether it is 1 minute or 30 minutes. My dad always used to joke that if they needed to be somewhere at 7:30, he should tell her they needed to be there at 7, that way they might actually get somewhere on time. She is the sweetest, most gentle person I have ever met. She has a soft heart and a sharp brain and can easily keep me on the phone for two hours.
They have been married for 32 years and alternately drive each other crazy and can’t stand to be without one another.
My next date was a spur of the moment thing. A guy named…hmm..Kyle, asked if I would like to go to dinner. “Sure,” I told him. “How about tonight?” He asked. I had just gotten home from my coffee date and it was Sunday evening. I was just planning on having a quiet night in before the start of the week, but lately I’ve been doing the “why not?” thing so I agreed to meet him at a nice Japanese restaurant downtown at 7:30. It didn’t give me much time to get ready, but I didn’t really have many expectations for this date. I was already looking fairly cute (if I do say so myself) since I had that coffee date, and it’s pretty easy for me to get ready. When I showed up to the restaurant, the hostess walked me back through an almost empty room to a booth toward the back. When I poked my head around the corner I spied a dark-haired guy in a DC t-shirt, (DC is an American-based company specializing in shoes and clothing for the snowboarding/skater types) he had tattoos peaking out from under his sleeves that were covering some seriously big muscles..Allow me a girly moment here when I say that I never thought I was into all that..you know..muscles..I consider myself to be a very un-shallow (if that’s even a word) person. I am finding though, that I like them..I like them a lot. Ok..moment over. I also am into more clean-cut guys, but lately it seems like my tastes are expanding and I think that is a definitely a good thing. Isn’t that what this whole dating thing is about? Figuring out what it is that you like and don’t like? Maybe all of these crazy dates have been good for something after all.
I sat down in the booth with Kyle and didn’t get up again until our server reminded us for the third time that the restaurant was closing and could we please pay our tab? To say that this date went much better than the one earlier in the day, would be the understatement of the year. I don’t think Kyle and I stopped talking for more than 5 min..just enough time to grab a bite of sushi and continue the conversation. We quickly realized that he and I were polar opposites. Oil and water if you will. He told me about being in the Navy, about growing up in a family that never said “I love you,” or used a casual touch to puctuate a sentence. He hated spicy food, couldn’t stand parmesan cheese (WHAT?! WHO ARE YOU?)was slightly cynical, jaded about life…about people..about relationships and yet even though these things kept stacking up as we talked, there was something about him that intrigued me. He was extremely intelligent, driven, confident and the way his eyes lit up when I told him about wanting to get a tattoo/have an adventure/finish writing my books made my stomach flip.
At the end of the night, he walked me out to my car and I joked with him about his distaste for touching. He told me earlier in the night about a previous date he had been on, where the girl hugged him and wouldn’t let go until he forcibly had to remove her arms from around his waist. Haha..what is wrong with people these days?! I stood there awkwardly at my car door, wondering what move to make. As a side note: I am an extremely affectionate person. I communicate by touching and while I respect people’s boundaries, it’s who I am. I finally just stuck my hand out. “Thanks for dinner.” I said. “I had a wonderful time.” “You’re welcome. You know, I can give you a hug goodbye.” He laughed at me. And so he did..he gave me a sweet, slightly awkward hug..with two little pats on my back. We said goodbye and I headed home.
As I turned out the light that night, I thought about the date and while I wasn’t sure if there was chemistry, I knew that I felt a pull toward Kyle that I couldn’t really define. Maybe it was because he was so different from me. In any case, I wasn’t sure that I would ever hear from him again. He seemed like a nice guy, but he seemed destined to be added to the list of somewhat normal guys that wanted nothing to do with me..I’m like that damn zapping bug-light to crazy men..
And then I heard the little noise from my phone that signaled that I had a new text message.
Kyle: Thanks again for the company tonight. I was hoping you would be stupid, but you aren’t. It would have make it a whole lot easier and I could have just chalked you up to another lousy date with another boring girl. But you aren’t boring. You are actually kind of awesome. If you’d ever like to go out again, I will gladly make time. Goodnight Julia.
I lay there in the dark..smiling at that text until the screen went black.