Let’s list the fiascos. “Hot prospects” friends have sent my way:
Technically not a “date,” so she’s off the hook. Felt like I was the worm on it, wriggling away. Okay, he was funny at her family’s traditional July 4th barbecue, hanging with Megan and Joe and me, but those clouds of his men’s cologne enough to choke you. So then he showed up at the house! Didn’t invite him in, figured I’d take him on the yard tour down to the creek in back, show him my native-plant restoration project, then I’d send him on his way.
“You’re so tense,” he said. “Let me give you a shoulder rub.” Therapeutic massage? Is this a sure-fire date tip they learn in the locker room??
I politely declined, edging toward the driveway and an appointment, “Darn,” I just remembered.
Then, cross my heart, he lunged at me, grabbed my shoulders, started digging in. By then I was tense all right. Jumped five feet.
So there I was, leaping away across the lawn like a scared rabbit with Mr. Cologne in hot pursuit.
Is this what it’s come to?
CRYSTAL: RAVEN SKYWALKER
Past-life regression facilitator and repurposed plastics sculptor C. invited to her annual Capricorn-Aquarius Birthday Party. Tall with little silver ponytail (nice) but mostly bald (shiny scalps not my thing but trying to be open-minded, it’s luck of the genes for the poor guys.) Arrived on a Harley in serious black leather.
When Leon introduced us, I trotted out something lame like, “How are you?”
“For the primal how, you might ask my mother. For the rest, I always say, ‘When you play with God, it’s for keeps.’” All the while fixing me with a meaningful look.
“Oh. Well. But…. Is that true?” I fumbled. “Seems like God might have a heart. You know, give us a second shot.”
He laughed and cocked his head to give me another look. So then it appeared I was his designated partner for the evening. I got used to the Koan-flavored quips, even though I didn’t have a clue what he was saying half the time. I figured out that if I just answered something mysteriously illogical, he’d find a hidden meaning in it and nod sagely.
So then Crystal was taking us all on her garden tour—she’d made some new wire sculptures and bird houses—and Raven S. took this as his cue to guide me along, taking my arm, rubbing his hand between my shoulders. I eased away a couple times, figuring he’d get the message.
No. (Is this where Skywalker goes to the Dark Side?) He actually started jabbing me in the ribs!
“What are you doing?” I stared at him.
“You’re so uptight!” And then he shook my arm, gave me a bit of a shove. “Let your body move with it, instead of resisting. It helps you let go of your past-life traumas. I could help you with that, some deep-release work along the spine, and the groin area.”
I think I managed not to shudder. “No, thanks, I’m feeling perfectly adjusted. Now, if you’ll excuse me….” I tried to move past him without stepping on Crystal’s violets.
“That’s only denial talking.” Then he shoved me again!
“Stop it!” Now I was getting pissed off.
“I was just being playful. Loosen up.” He was drilling me with his eyes again. “You know I’m an expert at reading body language, and—”
“Good. Then read this.” I actually flipped him the bird! And then I was hightailing it out of there.
“Lindsey, what—?” Crystal, calling after me. “Where’s she going?”
The last thing I heard was Raven answering her, “Your friend’s holding a lot of latent hostility….”
MEGAN AGAIN: GERALD
From the terrorists to the timid!
Met “Gerry” at the student flute recital Megan tricked me into attending so I could help cheer on her Cathy. “Just happened” to see single-dad Gerry there, who “just happened” to really like hiking. “Isn’t that amazing? Lindsey does, too!”
He was decent-looking in a Clark-Kent sort of way, clean-cut and with a knife-edge nose and jawline, though almost nonexistent lips. But very polite!
We went on a couple of low-key outings, rambles on local trails. Talked books, gardening, and his son’s baseball league. At least he knew how to be quiet on the trails, and someone to share driving with is always a bonus. No chemistry whatsoever between us, so a relief to just relax and be casual friends.
On the third hike, we were sitting on a log with our water bottles, taking a break. Maybe we were talking about the latest logging outrage near the North Cascades forest preserve. Apropos of nothing, he cleared his throat and turned to me.
Another prolonged throat clearing, then he asked, “May I kiss you?”
For an ice-breaker, he announced, “Yeah, what I’m really looking for is a woman in her thirties who wants to make babies.”
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