Tuesday, August 07, 2007

More Scylla than Charybdis, or how to not get asked on a second date

A couple weeks ago I went on a first date. I know at this point you're like, oh, for Pete's sake, Lis, how many effing posts can you start this way? And do you ever have second dates?

That, my friends, is the question, isn't it?

I had a perfectly nice time with him. He was cute, and big and tall. His only drawback was that he was just slightly delicate - not prancy, just delicate - which is what prompted the conversation with Jen about delicate vs. oafish, and to what degree you might prefer one over the other.

We had easy conversation, except when I said that one of my versions of hell would be to have to do something like hike the Appalachian Trail. Because if I am going to be that uncomfortable and have to camp, it has to be somewhere fascinating, like Nepal. Not somewhere like Appalachia.

This I said to a man who, it turns out, is from West Virginia. And annually camps on the Appalachian Trail.

Ugh. Prying Foot! Out! Of! Mouth! Very difficult with platform shoes on!

But overall, I did have a nice time. He seemed to as well.

This is what I said the next day when Bob asked. And then Bob laughed at my response and said, "So you never want to see him again, huh?"

"What? I said I had a nice time!"

"No. You said, 'I had a nice TIIIMME with him.' Time should not be the most strongly emphasized word in the sentence."


So, anyway. I wondered if The Slightly Delicate was one of those things, like someone's voice, or their teeth, that I ought to learn to look past, to see if I could adore the person within. So in the spirit of "accept another date unless you're repulsed" I would have gone out with him second time. Just to see if he might grow on me.

And then he didn't ask me out again.

And so, as I was catching up with Jen, she asked if I thought it was the fact that I denigrated the camping experience of the Appalachian Trail that made him not ask me out again.

And I said that in retrospect, it probably had more to do with the book.

Because, you see, I had said that I love to write, that it's something I do for pleasure, and something I spend a good deal of my free time on. And when he asked what I write, I said that I'm working on a book. Which is true.

He asked, "What's it about? What kind of book?"

"Oh, well, me. A memoir of sorts."

"You're writing a memoir?"

"It's just one of those people telling their slightly odd story kind of memoir. More sort of funny, kind of nutty, vignettes."

"I hope it's more David Sedaris than Running With Scissors."

It turns out he meant this jokingly. I realize this is not exactly tantamount to saying "Gee, I hope it's more Scylla than Charybdis" - but still, I could've said it was far from both. Except that I in all honestly, couldn't.

And so, when I said, "Welllll, it's probably somewhere in between. . ."

Slightly delicate man was a little alarmed.

Note to self: Have on hand the titles of a couple of fairly innocuous memoirs. Or learn to lie and say you're writing fiction.


  1. You had me laughing at "slightly delicate". I swear, between your first dates and my ex gf's, there's a sitcom just waiting to happen.

  2. There you go, quoting Sting again.

    Innocuous memoirs:
    Maureen O'Hara
    Bill Clinton (do not drop on foot)
    Frank McCourt
    Carol Burnett
    Karen Blixen ("I hod a faaaahm een AaaaahfreekaaaH"

    Non-innocuous memoirs:

  3. "Slightly delicate man was a little alarmed."

    that is pretty funny.

  4. Just tell whoever you're talking to that it's something like a cross between "The Devil Wears Prada" and "The Satanic Verses," and let them figure it out.

    Was Slightly Delicate slightly alarmed, then?

  5. I would buy your book the instant it was available, I swear...

    Nonetheless: the A/T is nice, but in its own way, I promise. Nepal, though... wow.

    Oh, and Uganda is beautiful. Can't wait to write about it. Well, 'cept for the Marburg Disease and all.

  6. INPY - Ha ha! You are totally right - what a sitcom that would be!

    Jordaan - I have the hardest time with lyrics. I just Googled and found Wrapped Around Your Finger! So that's what he was saying! And thanks for the memoirs!

    Anon - Thanks!

    WiB - Ohh, that is EXACTLY how I am going to describe it! Perfect! And yes, alarmed.

    Justin - Thank you! It's going to take me quite a while. And would absolutely love to see Uganda. Photos and everything I've heard, so very beautiful.

  7. Aaaaagh! I went back home to Austin for the weekend to surprise my Grandma and I just knew that we'd miss each other at Proof. I'm glad you like the place though and I promise I'll be there Wednesday and Friday nights for the rest of the month if you stop by again!
    Also I can't wait to read that memoir of yours... ETA?

  8. And you wonder why I didn't ask you out again...jeesh.

  9. hmm... "Slightly delicate"... that's a term that I doubt will ever be applied to me. I wonder what it would feel like.

  10. haha, I love the appalachian trail comment. The guy I'm currently seeing hike the whole thing. The whole thing. I don't know how he did it, but that was part of what attracted me to him...not that I'm a big hiker or anything.

  11. Kristin - I know! I was bummed! I think we're getting drinks there Monday for my birthday, but that's a Monday. And then I leave for the UK that Thurs...So maybe late August. I'll definitely make an effort to go on a Weds or Fri!

    Anon - Sigh, sigh.

    VVK - That term will never, ever be applied to you. Be happy - that's a good thing.

  12. Someone who drops Homer references when describing her memoirs would be worthy of a second date.

  13. Actually I'm working this Monday night so I'll get to wish you a Happy Bday too! See you then insha'allah...

  14. ES - Haha! It was perfect for the horror of the choices. And as far as being worth a second date - thank you!

    Kristin - What a fun coincidence! I'm delighted! I hated my b-day last year and didn't want to do anything this year until a friend suggested a tiny group for drinks, and that sounded perfect.

  15. If you really wanted to shock him, you could have compared it to a non-fiction version of Middlesex. But, if he's indeed slightly delicate, he may relate to that more than you would care for.

  16. FK - Middlesex! Fantastic book but wow. You know, I wasn't intending to shock him. I really didn't give it any thought until I realized I'd startled him.

  17. yeah, I'm preordering any book you write.

  18. I'll take smart and damaged over dumb and perfect any day.


Tell me about it.