Somewhere in another part of town, a woman named Leslie is marrying the man of her dreams today. I was the guy Leslie was dating when she met her future husband.
The day was November 29th, 2002, and I had a date with a woman who's name I don't recall. It was a first date in fact. A first date on the busiest shopping day of the year - the day after Thanksgiving.
She was an attractive woman - slender, brown hair, 5'5"-ish. Soft spoken with eyes that looked around you more than they looked through you. Everything about her seemed to hide what lies within.
We went out for a drink - which became two and then three. Hours passed. She was so quiet and reserved, and I remember looking at her, thinking "Who's really in there? What makes this woman tick?" Every now and then I just do that. I find myself with a person I have nothing in common with, and I become determined to get past the superficial and discover the honest to god human being within.
On this occasion, it didn't happen - and frankly, I put too much effort into it before finally giving up.
So we had a few drinks & then went for a walk around town. Portland was so alive with holiday festivities. Shoppers were everywhere. The holiday tree in Pioneer Square was soon to be lit. Music was in the air. It was beautiful.
We found a restaurant for dinner. Chinese. It took them forever to spot us and then forever again to seat us... meanwhile, I'm at a complete loss for what to say to this woman because conversation was definitely not 'her thing'. Every word is a struggle.
After seating us at a table, we were forgotten again. Great. It took an etirnity to get waited on just to get menus... then we were forgotten again for ages before we finally got to order our food. After dinner, it took them another eternity to get our bill - then three more lifetimes to actually take my credit card. Seriously - We'd walked in there as children and walked out geriatrics. Meanwhile, I'm on a deep sea diving expedition as far as the conversation goes. She has nothing to say & answers every question with a "yes" or "no."
The conversation might as well have gone something like this:
Me: "So I hear they found the 'magic bullet' and it turns out that Lee Harvey Oswald didn't do it after all... it was the Swiss who shot JFK - presumably because he was hoarding all of their MISS."
Her: "Yeah I read about that."
Me: "No you didn't BECAUSE I JUST MADE IT UP!!! SWISS MISS?! COME ON!!! THAT'S COCOA FOR CHRISSAKES!!!"
Her: "Yeah, me too."
Oh thank god we're finally out of that restaurant! I walked her to her car after dinner, and I remember the odd look on her face. She didn't go in for the kiss - so there was none - but I had an odd feeling something wasn't happening on this date that was supposed to...? I was just ready to get out of there because hours of trying to find something to say had worn me OUT!
We said goodbye and I walked home to find a message from Leslie on my voicemail. I'd barely missed her call. My mind was mush by this point, but I had to actually 'talk' to somebody - so I called her even though we barely even knew each other.
Me: "Hi it's Rob I just missed your call boy did I just have the longest day of my life let me tell you what a mess I've been dying to actually have a frigging conversation with somebody and blah and blah blah and blah blah" I was so starved for conversation -rambling a mile a minute!
She thought the story of my long exhausting date was funny.
"Well, the night is still young... you interested in doing something?" The night was not still young. It was easily ten o'clock by the time we actually met up.
Unlike my previous date, [two in one day!? Yowza] Leslie was not quiet. She was chipper with a fantastic smile and piercing eyes that dug deep inside of you and then pulled you towards her. She was nearly 6 feet tall - at least an inch taller than myself, if not two. A tall woman with a great body and an even greater personality.
We took a late night stroll through downtown, walking around Meier & Frank, admiring the goofy holiday displays in their windows. They do a '12 Days Of Christmas' theme every year. We walked window to window, figuring out what each display represented & then we contemplated what from each was for sale in the store... what exactly are they peddling? It was great fun.
Everything the first date wasn't, Leslie was. I didn't even kiss her that night, though I had no doubts I'd be seeing her again because there was 'something' there.
The 'something' that was there turned out to be a friendship, not a relationship. We dated for about six weeks, but the 'magic' wasn't there. Still, she was spectacular, so I enjoyed her company very much.
Leslie came over one day in early January 2003 to break up with me. I could see sadness in her eyes, though she wasn't sad to be breaking up with me... She'd met somebody she was really interested in. She was sad because we really had a wonderful bond, a bond of friendship, and she didn't want to hurt my feelings. I knew we weren't right for each other, and I stopped her as soon as I realized what she was saying. I actually laughed a really sweet laugh. "It's ok... I'm thinking the same thing." Then we both laughed & everything felt marvelous. Surely that's not how people are supposed to break up? It didn't matter to me because the friendship remained intact, and that's what matters.
She told me about Patrick & I was honestly happy for her. I had a weird feeling it would be something special.
Today Leslie and Patrick are getting married... and I've got to say that it couldn't have happened to a more spectacular woman. Patrick, you're a lucky man, and Leslie, you deserve all of the love that you've found - I'm thrilled for you!
And now a pair of P.S.es [how does one pluralize a P.S.?]
P.S. The above letter is actually a joke I sent to Leslie via email a few months after we broke up. It's a page from a hilarious book she'd loaned me, called The Worst-Case Scenario: Dating & Sex. A sense of humor is one of her many strong points. Leslie's awesome!
P.P.S. It's worth noting that a week or two after that two-date-day, I spotted a personal ad online written by the woman I'd had the first date with. The ad more-or-less said "What's a girl gotta do to get laid around here?"
I guess that explained the perplexed look on her face when we reached her car. Meeting Leslie was definitely a better way to spend my evening. Leslie's awesome! And did I mention that she's getting married today? Congrats to her! We should all be so lucky.
God dammit, that's a great story Rob but it makes me a little sad too. I've been on dates where I thought we really clicked but I guess he didn't and then I'm the one alone wondering what it takes to get laid in this town!
Congrats to your friend Leslie tho::::: | September 17, 2007 1:06 AM
hmmmm... your name including your situation seems a little similar to my last relationship gone bad. his name was rob, we were just friends but he could never get around to telling me that until 2 years after dating. what a schmuck. at least the two of you aren't left with a bad taste in your mouth. muahahahahahahahaha
your entries are very well, written.::::: | January 7, 2009 10:40 AM