Thursday, 13 September 2012

The Date That Wasn't (Part II)

Day 34
331 Days Remaining

It's very difficult to blog honestly when you know that the subject of your post will very likely read what you have to say.  I've struggled with this, but ultimately, I decided that the whole point of a blog (besides humor and the occasional a-ha moment) is honesty, especially with one's self.  So I have decided that I will tell my story, as I experienced it, and not to try to sugarcoat something that the subject of today's post already knows.  So, on with the story:

I felt ridiculous as I hoisted my backpack over my bare shoulder and hobbled into the cafeteria to do up the straps on my shoes.  My goodness, I have gained weight since last summer...that dress felt like a sausage casing, and the thigh-high slits revealed quite a slice of cellulite on either side.  I fastened the shoes and yanked the dress down, trying to cover myself, and in doing so inadvertently brought the top of the dress down so that my strapless black bra peeked over the sides of the halter.  Disgusted, I threw the cardigan on over the dress and wrapped it around myself, securely tying it behind my back.  The bra could show all it wanted if it was covered in soft black cotton.  At least now my legs were (mostly) covered.  Once again, I lifted the backpack and strode (as much as was possible, as striding tends to cause the dress to creep back up my legs, and if you remember the end of my last post, you know I didn't want that dress getting any higher than it needed to be) down the concourse to the parking lot, where I sat down near the fountain and set the backpack on the bench next to me, wedging it against my exposed thigh so that I didn't get pecked by any passing seagulls who might mistake my leg for a cottage cheese sandwich.  Oh yeah, and of course I didn't want to show Aries that much leg, either.  I was really regretting having agreed to this fancy dinner, and feeling very stupid for not having tried the outfit on beforehand.  (And I was also admiring my shoes.  Oh, they are gorgeous, and made my legs look three miles long.)
These are not my shoes, nor are they my legs.  
Aries drove into the parking lot in his rented BMW, and I struggled to stand up without exposing too much skin.  I was grateful that I had thrown the wrap cardigan into my bag at the last moment, because I would have felt extremely uncomfortable if I hadn't had it. He exited the driver's side and placed his hand on his heart when he saw me.  I assumed this was a gesture to show me he liked how I looked.  I just felt overdressed and uncomfortable with his affection. He himself looked very nice, in a nicely pressed and tailored shirt which I assumed was expensive, as he has expensive taste, and nice silver-colored cufflinks (which I happen to think look really cool when I've seen men wear them).  Folding myself into the driver's seat, I smiled back at him, and we took off.

We went to Vista 18.  The restaurant is lovely, and the view was amazing.  Unfortunately, with every passing moment, the more it felt as though we were on a date.  The corner window; the candlelit table; the sun beginning to all would have been lovely and romantic if it really were a date.  With someone who I really wanted to be with.  As it was, although I had moments when I really enjoyed Aries' company (no, not the company he runs, although I am sure he does a good job of that based on how much money he is able to spend and how much he likes to talk about how much money he is able to spend), for the most part I just felt as though this whole thing was wrong.  I tried to relax, but – on my part, at least – conversation didn't come easily.  I was awkward and ill at ease.  This was a man who, despite our past relationship (which, to continue in this vein of honesty, was based mostly on the physical way back then), I didn't really know.  I wasn't really sure that now, during a year when I am on a dating hiatus, was a good time to attempt to get to know him, and the more time we spent together, the less sure I was that I really even wanted to get to know him.  I reached for the drink menu (I really wanted one of my favorite martinis) and was relieved when I saw that all the martinis had names based on classic lines from movies.  Here was a game I could play!  I read the lines aloud (“Here's looking at you, kid”; “I'm not bad; I'm just drawn that way”; “I'll have what she's having”) and Aries would guess the movie and – if possible – the character and/or actor.  The drinks arrived, the movie game was fun, and I began to enjoy myself.  I even completely forgot that I wasn't wearing any underwear, and the tablecloth covered my slit-to-here dress so that I didn't even worry about my cheesy thighs.
That's my kind of time-waster, all right.
I have to give Aries credit for his effort; he did a great job with the setting, the ambiance, the organization...but it felt as though he was trying a little too hard for something that was supposed to be just a casual dinner between friends.  I know the expensive restaurant did merit clothing that was a little on the fancier side, but he didn't need to do the whole wine-swirling-and-sniffing thing (apparently it had “a good nose”.  He held it out for me to sniff.  It smelled like wine) or be quite so obvious in his attempts to charm and impress me.  Out of all of the things from the few occasions that Aries and I spent time together during his visits, a few things did impress me: his willingness to spend time with me even on short notice (I told him when he first got into town that I was headed to WalMart and if he wanted to see me, he could join me. He did); his apology during the night of our first dinner; and his ability to laugh at himself when he didn't get the lines right during our guessing game.  But there were more things that didn't impress me, and, in fact, turned me off.

The longer we sat there, the more I felt like The Bachelorette, forced to go out with a man she wasn't interested in.  The very fact that he seemed to be poking fun of what is, to me, a very serious thing, by continually calling our time together a “non-date” and then carrying that through to “non-wine”, “non-food” and “non-view” made me feel as though he really did think that he was special enough to break my self-imposed rules for.  When we got into slightly serious conversation (about HB, who is still on my mind quite a lot of the time) and I opened up enough to speak of my hope to someday have a husband or a loving partner in life, he would none-too-subtly wave as if to say “I'm right here; it's me!” and then, when he saw my discomfort, laugh and say he was just joking .  He talked continuously about how much money he made, how much he liked to spend it, how he could get pretty much everything that he wanted because he had the balls to ask for it, and how good-looking he was (actually, he said that we were good-looking, and that we would make an excellent couple, but I caught the immodesty there).  It bothered me that he was trying to convince me that he would be good for me, when I don`t want to date anyone.

As much as he thought he was honestly trying to show me that I was important to him, and as honest as he was trying to be with me about his feelings (and I do have to say that there were some very real moments when it appeared he was attempting to communicate that I am somehow important to him and that he would love to have me in his future) , I felt disrespected.  I had told him clearly where I was coming from, that this was not to be a date, and still he persisted in flirting.  When I told him flirting wasn't allowed, he told me that I was flirting with him, which I wasn't in any way.  He used language that I did not appreciate.  He tried to hold my hand.  I pulled away and said, "I need my hand."  The longer the evening went on, the more irritated I got that he was pushing something I had already stated I did not want.  On a couple of instances I actually snapped at him, although I am not sure if he interpreted it as me being frustrated. 

I didn't have a horrible time - in fact, parts of it were very nice, and I am sure Aries enjoyed it - but I left feeling as though there wasn't much left to salvage from whatever relationship we had in the first place.  It felt like a date - and not a very good date, since he was so pushy with things I didn't want or need - and that sort of felt like I had cheated on this 365-day resolution.  He dropped me off at home and did not try to kiss me goodnight.  I was glad that I didn't have to try to fend that off.  The next day, I made sure that he knew that I was not interested in any relationship with him, even in the future, beyond my dating sabbatical.  That ship sailed for me long ago.

Lesson learned: don't try to please other people.  Don't always give them the benefit of the doubt that they understand what you want, don't want, or are trying to accomplish.  Don't worry about hurting someone's feelings a tiny bit in the short run if it means you are saving them from bigger hurt feelings in the long run, and especially if it means you will be stressing out in the interim.  And, of course, the biggest lesson of all:

You can go bare-assed in a fancy restaurant all night long with no one being any the wiser.

1 comment:

  1. OMG, Lisa...... well done!!!!! You were so strong and true to yourself!!!