Quote of the Day, Love: Oscar Wilde

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Rich Guy

Computerland is like a modern day feudal society and within its walls society is just as closed. I often wonder if they have secret handshakes and exactly how low those who make less than 100 K a year must bow to the others. They even have separate and unequal cafeterias for the plebes and the real employees. Tom contacted me and we talked back and forth for about a week before the inevitable coffee date .Despite the fact that he posed next to his car in one photo, I decided to at least give it a try. I met him after class late one fall afternoon at yet another Starbucks.
He looked like a shorter version of a high school athlete and wore a button up shirt with a weird black design on one side that looked like paint splatter. His neck was so big that the collar looked like it was choking him and his face was a bit red. . Though mostly bald, he had a friendly face. We talked about single life after age 30, pets, and growing up in the Seattle suburbs. For once, I met a person more talkative than myself, but he was interesting enough. He talked about his high powered job at Computerland and his love of cooking. His favorite dish to cook? Well it was a tie between salmon with peppermint and cloves or a duck meat omelet with tequila and figs. Maybe my palette isn't evolved as it should be, but that sounded terrible to me. But, at least he was trying. As the sun started to go down and it got cold at our outdoor table, he asked if I would like to go out again sometime. "Sure," I answered.
He asked me out for dinner at a nice restaurant in Edmonds which is near the water but also has some tricky geography. Using mapquest, I set out, wearing a cute sweaterdress with boots. At one point the mapquest directed me to go straight for 11 miles which would have put me in the middle of the Puget Sound and I wasn't dressed for swimming. Tom had picked one of those trendy bar/restaurants that refuse to put a sign above their door. I phoned him to ask if he could give any better identifying details and he said, "Look for the one with the black door." I apologized profusely and started my hunt again. Beginning to get frantic, I went all the way back to the freeway and started over. Half an hour had passed by this point and I phoned to give him permission to bail out if he wanted to.
"No problem," he answered and I was relieved. Maybe he was a good guy.
"Do me a favor," I'm on the right street, could you stand outside the place and I'll look for you?"
"Sure," he answered.
After a few minutes I spotted him and parked the car. I was so relieved to have found the place that I gave him a hug and we laughed. I thought I could smell alcohol on him, but thought maybe it was some kind of cologne. We went inside and sat down.
Either because he had been there so long waiting or because he was a regular, the waiter knew his name.
"Refill of your martini Tom?" he asked.
"Sure, I'll have another, " Tom replied.
We ordered an entree to split and some pasta.
"You look great!" he said, those boots are perfect."
"Thanks," I answered. I'd heard the compliment a few other times and have since found that many men like women who wear boots.
We talked about food,music, friends and the usual genres of a second date.
At the time, I was driving an older Toyota Tercell I had nicknamed the Ladybugmobile.
"For me a car is great as long as it isn't too ugly and works well," I told him.
"I agree, " he commented, "but I really did love my beamer."
"What happened to it?"
"Oh, I  t-boned some guy a few months ago, but I still had my Mercedes."
"Well, thank goodness for that," I said sarcastically and laughed. "A Mercedes will do in a pinch I guess."
The waiter came by to see how we were doing and Tom asked for another martini. By my count, he was up to three since I had been there. As usual, I was stone cold sober with gingerale.
'Geez, you've got bad luck," I said.
"Well, I got a little drunk and bumped into this SUV but everyone was fine. The Mercedes just had a little scratch. My insurance rates went up, but the car looks good."
As desert came, he ordered a glass of wine and asked me if I would like some.
Since I almost never drink and because I was driving, I said no thanks. Tom
settled the bill like a gentleman but he looked a bit buzzed as he walked me back to the car. The street had some cobblestones and my heel got caught and I started to totter so he took my arm and walked me back to the car.
"Thanks," I said, "This was fun, " and I meant it. I wasn't attracted to him, but he seemed like a nice guy.
He gave me a friendly short hug and then, out of the blue,
dove in to try and kiss me with about 100 proof breath. Somehow, I was able to turn my neck into rubber and got out of the way but not before I got a bit of martini tongue on my cheek.
"Ok," I laughed lightly. Take care.
I turned to get in the car and felt something on the back of my coat. It was his hand, going for my backside. Now I knew what all the drinks were for. Liquid courage maybe, or maybe I only looked good after four or more drinks, I didn't know for sure, but I didn't stick around.
I got in the car, locked the door and drove towards home.
Few things are as fascinating to me as watching someone else from the safety of a moving car. He lurched and kind of whistled to himself as he neared the crosswalk. As I started uphill to the freeway, I heard the screech of tires.
"Well, that's it for the Mercedes," I thought.

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