Saturday, December 12, 2015

Annette/Benjamin: First for-real dates

So I met a girl, asked her out, and she didn't sense that I was really creepy for asking out a woman who looks a lot like I used to before a magic inn messed with my body twice and bail. Awfully kind of her, that.

I still kind of freaked out about it, though - when went the New York crew, Erin / Chris asked if I spent forever combing my hair before going out because it should take more than just a few minutes to get ready, and I kind of did a little - I spent a lot of time trying to find something non-formal but a little nicer than jeans and a t-shirt in my closet without a whole lot of luck; Benny is a pretty informal guy (I gather that Kareena is trying to upgrade "Jordan's" wardrobe and it's an uphill climb), and while Ronan bought a suit for job interviews, he and Sandra sort of spent the year playing at being me and Benny, so didn't spend much on things they weren't going to keep. I wound up going with something solid navy up top, the least faded jeans, and sneakers that are solid black enough not to call attention to themselves.

Oh, and I waited until about four-thirty, just before heading out, to shave. As much as I got used to Ravi's mustache pretty quickly, the change at the Inn sucked that back into my face, and I don't really love growing facial hair out. I also recall not really digging kissing stubble as a girl, so I figured I might as well get as smooth as possible for if/when we kissed.  Thankfully, I avoided the potential downside to that plan where I am bleeding from several small cuts to my face

We met up in Davis Square, which is actually in Somerville rather than Boston or Cambridge, but actually has some pretty good places to eat and drink. A little bit of a hike for me compared to her, but not as far as I would routinely go in New York.

It took me a bit of time to spot her in the Square - even on a chilly night, it fills up (the ice cream joint had a line out the door despite it being the first weekend of November).  Also, Marybeth was wearing contacts instead of glasses.  I feel kind of silly being thrown by that in real life, but it was day in large part because she seems to really enjoy surprising people or otherwise throwing them for a loop. Telling her that I didn't recognize her without her glasses delighted her.

Less delightful: Apparently the guy asking the girl out is supposed to make reservations, which meant that we wound up spending more time than was anticipated at the bar, waiting for a table to open up, although there were pluses to that, such as some decent beers on tap. Marybeth isn't nearly so enthusiastic about that as me, so I dialed talking about beer back and just drank at a reasonable rate, though not enough to say weird stuff. We mostly talked about books, with me mentioning that being unemployed gave me a bit of time to catch up. but that's not recommended. She's working on a PhD in 19th Century American Literature, joking about how the world doesn't necessarily need more experts on Mark Twain, and it's in fact sort of a vicious circle - she can't find a job in her field of study much better than selling books, so she decides to go back to school for another couple of years, only this seems to make her area of expertise narrower, and so on. I'm kind of not certain whether to be jealous or relieved not to be on that track, and say as much. That led her to ask how a guy with my obvious intelligence and interests (thanks!) managed to avoid college, and I haven't really got a cover story worked out for that yet. She buys that I didn't test well in high school and only really discovered that I like bigger books and such after I'd been out of school awhile, more or less.

When we do get a seat, the food is pretty good, and we're having enough fun talking that it's not a big deal that we're not walking to the theater until 9:30pm or so, only to find that not only is the 10pm Spectre sold out, but it would have been on one of the smaller screens anyway. The only other thing starting then is called "Love", causing us to give each other a look and blurt out "no pressure" at the same time. I pulled out a debit card, was mildly surprised when they handed us two pairs of 3D glasses, and then handed one to Marybeth. We took our seats, put the glasses on, and, you guessed it, there was a dick pointing straight out of the screen in the very first scene.

There's a LOT of sex in that movie, folks,

A LOT of sex.

I mean, after about twenty minutes we just turned and looked at each other in a kind of horror, because in addition to not really being much of a turn-on, it was all in this story of really self-destructive relationships. Just a really, really terrible first-date movie.

At least for me. I mean, it was okay, but even living in New York for a year, I hadn't seen many movies like this. I don't know if it even could have opened in my hometown back in Maine - it's rated NC-17 - and hearing Marybeth sort of segue from how this was a funny story even if it was king of embarrassing to how it was edited and shot was kind of tough. It just reminded me of how, despite looting a bit older, I am way behind her in experience and education.  And, maybe, sophistication; I kind of wonder if I've been leaning on "I've been different people" to justify looking more grown-up than I maybe am to myself.

Since it was almost midnight by that point, we split off rather than try and extend the night a bit.



Because our schedules are both nuts and kind of incompatible, it would be another week and a half before we met back up and actually caught the James Bond movie. It was on the theater's big screen, which is actually really nice - not that much smaller than the Imax screen at the downtown multiplex, really - and it finished up just early enough that we could grab a spot in a bar afterward.

"Better than the French 3D sex movie?"

"Yeah, things blew up real good!"

She shot me a look that said "come on, I know you're not really that kind of guy" and I smiled back, saying that there's something nice about knowing what you're in for.  Somehow that led to a bit of innuendo, and then back to her place...

And then I got to meet her roommate, who was very nice and seemed to approve of me, though she and her four friends playing some board game with extra rules involving shots kind of made things awkward. We got to Marybeth's room and started making out, but every time it seemed like things were about to get really exciting, there would be a whoop from outside, and while we would laugh, doing so seemed to move the sexiness indicator back.

Then Janna came in and asked what Marybeth had used to clean puke from the carpet last time, and we were done. I kissed her good-bye, and I'm sure Janna was apologizing like crazy once I was gone, but that part of the night was just not going any further.

The really sucky part is that there haven't been any more nights since. Between going home (in quotation marks for me) for Thanksgiving and the post-holiday crunch at retail & restaurants, we haven't been able to get our schedules synched up. At least I know we'll see each other at the signing next week, and I hope we haven't lost too much momentum.

-Benjamin/Annette

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