Operation ITNOWIT #6
- farmer’s market and independent movie theater
- Sitarday 5/26/12
- chocolate croissant and freshly picked cherries
- $3.00 (movie was $8.00 B paid. Sigh.)
- Met B at market
Saturday I had my second second meeting, this time with B. Wednesday at dinner, he had asked if I had anything planned for the weekend. I answered that I was going to see a free Shakespeare in the park performance and returned the question. He said he was going to see the rerelease of Yellow Submarine. I told him I had never seen it, only clips, and that it looked very odd. It briefly crossed my mind that that may have been his attempt to ask me to the movie.
Indeed, when we were back safely messaging through OKC, on Thursday he wrote, “If you change your mind about the movie, let me know.” So yes, men can be just as shy and awkward as I am. Clearly, he didn’t want to risk outright, in-person rejection, or didn’t want to put me on the spot by simply asking, “Do you want to go to this movie with me?” I’m glad he didn’t ask directly, actually, because I was able to look up the time (noon), and decide it was safe for me to go. After I said I’d go, he didn’t write again for twenty-four hours! From 2pm Thursday to 2pm Friday, I worried that somehow I’d misread something and that I’d accidentally invited myself along. And then I reassured myself that, no, that was his way of asking me. Around and around I went, not sleeping well at all. Clearly, I’m extremely well-versed in anxiety.
Friday he (finally) wrote and asked if I would like him to pick me up (I’d made it clear that for our first meeting, I’d not be getting in a car with him.), if I’d like to meet at the farmer’s market for coffee and scones before the movie. As in, ‘I don’t have to know where you live, and you don’t have to ride with me if you don’t want to.’ He finished, “Of course tell me when and where and I’ll be there.” Gah, once he knew I wanted to go, he was mighty considerate and sweet.
On Saturday, I walked to the market, bought fruits and veggies, walked home and unpacked them, straightened up a bit, showered, dressed (Beatles t-shirt), and walked back to the market again. I do not enjoy walking. The night before, I’d noticed I was getting little red patches of dry skin on my face. (I don’t think I’ve ever really had eczema, but that’s probably what it is.) Great, I thought, I’m allergic to socializing with men. It’s exactly what I hoped my face would look like for my second second meeting.
We sat and ate (delicious!) chocolate croissants, and he’d brought cherries and blackberries with him that he’d picked. We talked about what it had been like attending such a large university as introverts, how neither of us really has any lasting friendships from our college years, and whether we had introverted friends or extroverted ones who forced us to socialize.
After about half an hour we walked to his car. I asked him about his driving record. He’s never been in an accident. He asked about mine. I don’t have a driver’s license. When he started the car, NPR was on the radio. He asked if I listened to it, and I said I don’t really listen to the radio. I know NPR has merit, but I generally find talk radio, and audiobooks for that matter, kind of exhausting. Constant sound, but not music. He left it on, and I wondered if he didn’t want to have to attempt conversation for the twenty minute drive to the theater. “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me” was on. B had to explain to me that they tell three stories, and then you have to guess which one is true. The first story started out, “You know how it is when you meet someone on an online dating site, and you’re on your first or second date…” Not kidding. So I said, “Huh, this is awkward.” The story was that after they meet in person, a guy emails out a multiple choice survey to the women he’s met through an online dating site. It ended up being the true one.
We were barely on time to the theater and there was a long line. I don’t like lines because, once again, there’s nothing for me to hold onto and my calf muscles have to work really hard (every muscle is saying, “stand still, don’t fall. stand still, don’t fall). One of the guys from the ticket booth stepped out and asked if anyone was paying cash to hurry things along, so we were able to get out of line and go pay him. Of course this meant that B paid rather than us each getting our own. I really don’t know how to feel about the whole money thing. I don’t want it to feel like we’re dating, but maybe he thinks we are? How do you have that conversation?
Once we were inside, it was time to pick seats. It was the kind of large theater with stairs up to the higher rows. I would have liked to just sit on the ground level, but it would have been pretty close to the screen. “There aren’t any railings,” I said, “so I’m going to have to hold your arm, okay?” He held out his arm, I took it, and he walked me up to the two nearest aisle seats. We made it. I sat. And now I’ve actually made physical contact. Crap, this is excruciating. Will I ever be comfortable? Can I be? The question runs on a loop in my brain.
The movie was awesome! It was such fun to be in a theater full of Beatles fans, fans who applauded when the title came up, fans who brought their children. The dialogue was often full of wit, and I loved the big musical numbers “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” and “All You Need is Love.” I said,”I’ll need your arm again,” on the way down the stairs and I managed not to fall on my face. Good.
We talked Beatles and the 1960s all the way home (would I like to time travel?) and I directed him to my house. I asked if he’d like to come in, or if he’d had enough of being around people for the day. (I think drawing attention to our introvertedness to account for awkwardness will be a common theme.)
What? Me? Inviting two different men inside on two consecutive days? There’s no way I would have done it if it weren’t the middle of the afternoon. So B came in and we flipped through my binder of CDs. I think it’s a pretty safe guess that our tastes only overlap with the Beatles.
I asked him something along the lines of what he does for fun or how he spends his time. In the course of answering that question (he spends a lot of time working on a website for a non-profit) he revealed, very matter of factly, something huge about his family and, potentially, himself. Something that’s always there but is also unknown. I won’t detail it here, but, holy shit. I think I said something really appropriate and eloquent like, “Wow. Heavy.” I mean, we chatted about it. This inescapable thing in his life. And then we moved on, looking at a local events calendar that he pulled out of his pocket. Soon, he asked if I wanted the rest of the cherries that were in his car and I said sure. He went and got them and brought them to me, saying more than once, “So we’ll do something next week?” I answered that we would, and he left.
As always, I don’t know what to think, even setting aside the enormity of this new information. I enjoy spending time with him. And I want that to be enough right now, without all those other questions (but do I like him?) crowding in.