Monday, July 18, 2011

The writer

There is one thing -- and one thing only -- that is responsible for the evening I spent with the gentleman who heretofore shall be known as "the writer":

Alcohol.

Yes, alcohol.

It was July 6, and I'd met up with my girl Allison at Crystal City Sports Pub to celebrate her turning the Big 3-0. We'd had a few beers, a few laughs, and before I knew it, it was very nearly past my bedtime and I was tipsy. By then, her husband had shown up, so I paid my tab, bid them adieu and stumbled home to face-plant in my pillow-top mattress and sateen sheets.

... but not quite. As with any time I tip back a few, I get all... dexterous, or something, and I feel the need to push buttons on every piece of electronic equipment I own. This drunken idiocy ranges from the relatively benign (e.g. buying Lady Gaga's latest on iTunes) to the completely irreparably tragic (e.g. sending embarrassingly maudlin text messages to people I definitely shouldn't).

On that night, the electro-philia was on the higher end of the scale, as I had decided it would be a good idea to Facebook stalk the people who follow me on Twitter whose full names appear in their profiles. 

In doing this, I came across one such stalkee whose profile was moderately unlocked. In his photo banner section, there appeared picture after picture of the gentleman in various stages of cuddling with a charming brunette. The pair appeared at baseball stadiums, at bars, in New York City, at the Georgetown waterfront... 

Basically, they looked like energetic, social people -- people who would be cool to hang out with. 

This revelation, I decided, was far too important to keep to myself. I promptly clicked the "Message" button.

"I want to be friends with you and your girlfriend," I wrote with a sense of urgency. "You guys look happy!!!"

I got his response when I woke up the next morning: "Well... I hate to deny you that, but [she] and I broke up about two months ago. I, however, am tons of fun. I'm even more amusing if I have more than 140 characters to express myself. Want to grab drinks sometime soon?"

Well, that was unexpected, I thought to myself. I genuinely hadn't intended that message to throw down the dating gantlet, but hey, I'm adventuresome gal who's always down to meet someone new. 

We had a few scheduling conflicts -- including me postponing our date one day due to Truckeroo-induced sickness -- which ultimately led us to decide to meet up at Smith Commons on H Street Sunday night.

The writer arrived before me and had already staked out a spot at the bar by the time I got there. He was playing with his cell phone and sipping an IPA.

"So what's good here?" I said as I sidled up next to him.

We introduced ourselves, and he asked me if I'd prefer to sit at the bar for a while or "get a table, like big kids?"

"Why don't we order beer here first, like college kids?" I replied, playing off his quip.

He didn't get my joke at first, and asked me to explain it to him. My cheeks flushed with humiliation as I retraced the steps of my failed attempt at humor.

However, once he understood what I'd been trying to say, he continued the bit: "And then we can order cocktails like adults, and then get an early-bird dinner like old people!"

"We've already missed the early-bird dinner -- we'd have to stay here until tomorrow afternoon!"

"Well, old people always overstay their welcome, so that still works," he finished the joke.

And that exchange kind of set the tone for the whole evening. The writer -- whose technical title is something vaguely social media-y, but I didn't want to use it as his pseudonym because it makes him sound like a total tool box -- is really sharp and witty, and can quickly think of the kind of quips and comebacks it takes me WEEKS to think of (and then weeks later, when the eureka moment hits, I flagellate myself and moan, "Agghh, I should have said THAT!").

 We started off talking a bit about our upbringings -- we'd discovered when exchanging phone numbers that we're both Midwestern kids, with the writer hailing from Kansas City and me from Cincinnati. Though I've dated men from all across this great nation, I always find myself more "at home" with the Midwestern ones -- it's just something in the water there, I guess.

We addressed our families, too, with me telling him about my older sister and significantly younger brother, and him telling me about his older brother.

And then, the date threatened to come to a screeching halt.

"How old are you?" he asked. "I don't even know."

"I'm 28," I replied. "You?"

"24."

I must have looked like I'd just gotten kicked in the stomach (I sure felt like it) because the writer immediately sensed something was off. 

"Are you OK with that? Is that going to be a problem?" the writer asked.

I said I'd try to let it go.

And you know what? I did

Here's why: The writer is HILARIOUS. Seriously, one of the funniest guys I've gone out with! He had me laughing the WHOLE TIME. 

My favorite thing he said all night: (In reference to his red hair) "My parents lost a bet with God for this to happen."

Hehehe, I'm giggling right now as I type that.

But more than the writer being hysterically funny, he just didn't give off a "young" vibe. With the Blink-And-You'll-Miss-Him-BF, him being merely 25 was a problem because he just oozed young. He just had this incredibly naive air about him that made me think, I am going to have to teach you EVERYTHING, aren't I? 

Though he's even a year younger, it's not like that with the writer. He seems to have more of a sense of the world around him. I liked that.

And... dare I say it? The writer is a bit... hipstery. He was wearing square-framed glasses, a black and white plaid shirt and dark jeans. I have written in here before about my love that dare not speak its name for those borne of irony and indie band music. My only regret is that I didn't know the writer on May 28, when a band called Cloud Cult was playing at the Black Cat and I couldn't even pay someone to go with me (and trust me, I tried).

So we finished our beers at the bar and moved over to grab a seat at a table, order dinner and continue our conversation.

The writer kept asking me what I wanted to know about him, insisting that I must have "a checklist of questions" after all the dates I've been on. The truth is I'm happy to just let the conversation go where it may. I don't think he believed me when I said that, but I swear I don't have a list.

We laughed through dinner and decided to head down the street for Dangerously Delicious Pies afterward. However, horror of horrors, they were ALL SOLD OUT OF PIE (WTF, how does that happen?!), so the writer suggested we hop in my car and shoot over to Dupont Circle, where we could get dessert at Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe & Grill.

... I wanted the night to continue, I really did. But at that point, we were nearing the 10 p.m. hour, and I was fading fast. We ordered a piece of chocolate cake and continued to laugh and talk, but the writer could tell I was getting sleepy.

He called me out on it, and told me he'd walk me to my car so I could get home and go to bed. But before we left Kramer's, he asked if I'd like to go to a Nats game with him on Saturday, to which I quickly agreed.

The writer walked me to my car, and when we got there, he asked if he could kiss me goodnight. Of course, I said yes :)

So... honestly, 24 years on this earth, red hair and all -- he kind of won me over! I woke up Monday morning smiling and excited to see him again.

...until I did a little more Facebook stalking. His birthday? June 25.

"FUCK ME RUNNING!" I spluttered. "He literally JUST turned 24!!!"

What's worse, that girlfriend he just broke up with? Time stamps on Facebook pictures would indicate they dated for at least three years, and I am so not in the mood to be told, "I'm just not at a point in my life where I'm ready for an exclusive relationship," which experience would tell me is a phrase that will surely come tumbling from his lips in the very, very near future.

That said... he's funny, which is all I've ever wanted. And I've thrown caution to the wind many, many times before.

So -- fuck it. Let's go see the Nats!