Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Other Terrible Date

Luckily for me, I met Matt at the end of 1997, so after the Terrible Date you've just read, I didn't have to endure too many more awful dates. The following Terrible Date actually happened just a few weeks earlier, at the end of August.

I don't remember how we were fixed up, I suppose it doesn't matter anymore, but it was definitely a fix up. We agreed to meet at the ice rink and get a bite to eat after his shift, as a Referee for a local hockey team, was over.

I arrived at the ice rink early, the game was still going on, but during a time out or between periods or some other hockey term that I don't know, he mentioned to me that it wouldn't be long, and to just hang out. The game continued, and I sat there freezing and bored (I HATE hockey, so already, our relationship was probably doomed).

Suddenly, there was excitement on the ice. A fight broke out, and all of the refs quickly skated into the middle of it to break it up. I see my date stumble and fall among them, the fight was resolved and everyone went back to their position. Everyone except my date, who hadn't yet gotten up from the ice. The refs sped back over to help him up, and I see him clutching his hand, covered in blood.

He'd been run over. Whoops.

They pulled him off the ice, unlaced his skates and brought out his street clothes from the locker room. He turned to me, pale and bleeding and said "Uh...I don't really have anyone else here who can take me to the ER. Everyone else is still playing and I probably shouldn't wait, with my finger like this..."

So instead of a nice, quiet, get-to-know-you lunch, we ran out to my Neon and sped away for the ER. Unfortunately, I wasn't in my own town, so I had NO idea where I was going, and I hastily followed his directions, speeding through yellow lights, praying I wouldn't get a ticket, wondering if this guy was going to bleed to death or lose his finger in my car. There wasn't really much conversation going on, a little small talk here and there to make sure he hadn't passed out, but mostly, he gave directions and I followed, asking "you OK?" every few moments, between red lights.

We arrived at the hospital and I sat in the waiting room, wondering what the protocol was for waiting in the ER for the person you only met 20 minutes earlier. I certainly wasn't family, and I barely qualified as "friend". After a while, a woman walked in and said "Are you Isabella? Thank you for bringing my son to the ER". While she waited to be taken back, she said I didn't need to wait. I felt bad for leaving, but it seemed strange to stay, so I left and drove home.

Three days later, he called to thank me, and wanted to make up the date that wasn't. Now, I knew I hadn't really given him a fair shake, but I'd already decided that he really wasn't my type. Regardless, it seemed rude to say no, and I agreed to meet him for dinner. I met him at East Side Mario's (his brother dropped him off) so I knew that at the very least, dinner would be fantastic.

I felt terrible - his whole hand and forearm were covered in thick, white bandages, easily 2 inches of gauze and padding. We continued the small talk until our meals came, he told me what happened on the ice, what happened at the hospital, and how his mother was so grateful that I'd driven her darling boy to the ER... Dinner arrived, and he did most of the talking, filling me in on details of his family that went a little too far. It started out simply, telling me about his brothers and growing up, then escalated into details about his abusive father and how they all dealt with his leaving them unexpectedly. It was awkward, to say the least. He took his pain meds during dinner, I can imagine how sore he must have been, and he got a little quiet at the end of the meal, I think his medicine made him drowsy.

We finished dinner and I drove us to the mall, where we sat in a crowded theater to watch "Money Talks" (his choice, I believe). At the end of the night, I drove him home and we sat in his driveway - I was anxious to get home, he was sleepy, but anxious to tell me more about his childhood. We sat for entirely too long, and eventually, I was able to use the "I've really gotta get home before my curfew" excuse (hey, I was only 16 at the time) and really mean it. He was pleasant, and I certainly felt bad for the situation, as uncomfortable as it was for both of us. He called once or twice to chat afterward, but we never went out again...

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Time For Change

So I had surgery about a week ago - my right ovary was removed, and I've been parked at home, still on pelvic rest, recovering from having a whole body part taken out via my belly button...healing well, but still pretty sore from day to day.

My friend Savannah suggested that I update the blog while I'm stuck at home. "But", I told her, "I have absolutely, positively nothing to say." What in the world would I write about, having made only one trip out of my house in the last 10 days, and that was only to the grocery store, and it was probably too soon for that? I'd been considering shutting down the blog entirely, because there are only so many times I can post about how Matt's at school and I'm lonely and so I'm doing whatever to fill the time, and I don't have a lot of readers (but for those of you reading, HI! and Thanks!), and. . .

Today, for some reason, I remembered a terrible date I went on back when I was 17. As I was thinking about said date, the blog came to mind, and I've decided that - for at least the time being, rather than update about the things I'm doing now (which really include a whole lotta nothing lately), I'll tell stories about things I've done before. Who knows. They might just entertain someone during a lunch break.


"The Terrible Date"

In early 1998, I went to a concert at the State Theater in Detroit (Creed, I think. The tickets were free, what can I say?) with my best friend Amanda. While milling about, waiting for one of the bands to start, we met a couple of guys. We started talking, and by the end of the night, I'd hit it off with Jordan, who I thought was really cute, and he asked for my number (!). Jordan and I hung out a couple times over the next couple of months - he came with me to a family function, I went to his graduation party, hung out with a few of his friends, went swimming. Simple, simple stuff, but they were never "dates". I liked him, but there just really wasn't a heck of a lot of chemistry between us, and I think our timing was just off.

One day in the fall - late October or early November, he called me up and asked me to go to the movies with a few friends. Jordan had a date, but his buddy did not. They wanted to go to the new movie theater in Southfield, MI to see "John Carpenter's Vampires". Jordan and his date drove in one car, his friend (I can't even remember the guy's name...Mike? We'll call him "Mike", because I'm just not sure anymore. He obviously made such an impression on me) drove in his truck, and they made the drive, about 30 minutes, from Dearborn to my house in Plymouth. (why we then drove another 40 minutes to a theater in Southfield is beyond me...there were easily 10 other theaters within about half the distance!)

Before everyone arrived at my house on that damp fall evening, I sat getting ready while my older brothers wrapped up another band practice in the garage with their friends. The guys were in the living room, joking around and teasing me mercilessly. I jokingly asked Ben the Drummer if I could borrow his purple Corvette for the evening, they pretended that I had not two, but five older brothers that fully intended to harass my date. I reminded them that I'd recently given them all makeovers for the album cover, but could easily exaggerate the details about their new found love for eyeliner, foundation and jewelry...Sadly, my threats didn't work very well - as the rest of my party arrived, I opened the front door to find three of them sitting on the porch, baseball bats in hand. Groaning, I grabbed my purse and climbed in the pick up truck, hoping it wouldn't rain on my wheelchair, now sitting uncovered in the bed.

I remember that I tried to make small talk with "Mike" on the drive up, but it was awkward; he seemed to only want to discuss his ex-girlfriend. The details now are a little hazy, but he was either mad at one of Jordan's other friends that I'd met - or at Jordan himself - for "stealing" his girlfriend, and he spent pretty much the entire 40 minute drive badmouthing all three of them. This would be a fun night, I could tell already. The theater was new and crowded, but interesting, decorated with lots of old movie artifacts and posters. I seem to remember that the tiles in the floor were glittery, and Jordan's date (whose name has also escaped me...) and I thought they were pretty, and we admired the little details together, laughing nervously and waiting for the guys. Tickets were bought, sodas were filled, and we took our seats in the very front row of the theater.

I don't remember the movie at all. I don't think it was very good, and it really wasn't anything I'd wanted to see, but I'd been invited and I was looking forward to even just HAVING a date - my "love life" at the time mostly centered around chasing and being chased by the bass player in my brother's band, a scruffy-but-cute guy who was easily 10 years older than me, and so any interest on either end had to be carefully hidden. (that's an entirely different story!)

Remember when I said that Jordan and I had no chemistry? Right. If Jordan and I had no chemistry, then "Mike" and I had LESS than none. I don't recall being asked anything besides "did you want a diet coke or what?". When the 4 of us were all together, the conversations pretty much centered around people I didn't know (that's what happens when 3 out of 4 people all grew up together). When it was just "Mike" and I, we simply didn't talk, I was tired of trying to make small talk with him. The movie ended, and it was time to take me back home. It had started raining again, the roads were bad, and the 40 minute drive took an extra 20 minutes or so. During the entire sixty-minute drive back to Plymouth, "Mike" and I didn't breathe a word to each other. Nothing. Complete and utter SILENCE. I don't think he even said "goodbye" when he dropped me off! Who does that? I said "goodnight", he drove away, and I went inside, irritated, and went to bed, hoping to forget the dull, uncomfortable evening I'd just had.

Sadly, for the good times Jordan and I'd had that year, that was the last I ever saw of him. "Mike", however, I was glad to be rid of. NEXT!