A Random Image
 

Jett Superior laid this on you on || December 30, 2007 || 1:12 am

“IT’S LIKE HE DOESN’T EVEN REALIZE. NO, NONO…IT’S LIKE HE’S ON FIRE, HE KNOWS HE’S ON FIRE AND THE MOTHERFUCKER IS RUNNING AROUND HOLLERING, ‘GET ME A GAS PUMP TO HUUUUUG!’ AT THE TOP OF HIS FOOL LUNGS.”

So it’s awhile back, right? I’m living in Alaska and my sister comes to visit. Good Christ, what was my mother thinking? I was nineteen, living with a twenty-six-year-old woman Of Questionable Employ and mother sent my sixteen-year-old sister across the damn country and out of the Lower 48 altogether. To visit me. Fred looked in on my father for a minute, but then she hightailed it off the peninsula and into my apartment out close to Jewel Lake.

This story is not so much about my sister’s visit and more about one thing that spun off from it.

One night, we were out and started a friendly little wager: If a guy asked either of us for a phone number, we were to charge him a quarter. We’d count up the coin at the end of the night and the person with the least total would have to spring for an early (earrrrly) morning breakfast at the local House of Huddlehop (insert pancake franchise of your choice there; you get the drift).

I might have mentioned this quarter competition here before. It was the impetus behind the meeting of Scout and Sam’s father….I’ll tell the whole yarn later, but know that had I encouraged the boy toward my sister, maybe they would be happily mired in codependence even to this day. Oh Fate, you goofy drunken bitch!

So, I won by a bare hair and my sister planned to good-naturedly pony up; she was saved by our running into some friends of mine who were buying rounds of eggs and hashbrowns for a minimum of two tables. Ahhhh, youthful prosperity. We all have mortgages now and it’s all we can do sometimes to keep the eggs going around the family table.

One of the recipients of my phone number was Andy, a very personable part-time Jarhead of the Mormon persuasion. Andy, I would come to find out, still lived at home with his parents and eleventy-seven siblings and maybe some cats, too. Andy had a lot of nicks on him going into the skirmish, you know?

Everyone has at least one Date From Hell story, and thankfully I can’t say I’ve had much more than that. Just in case you weren’t glomming on to the whole foreshadowing bit I was throwing out in that last paragraph, indulge me while I point out the obvious: This here is my Date From Hell story.

We talked a few times via telephone and Andy asked me out (cripes, I’ve always hated dating, it is For To Suck). We planned on the low-stress and very basic meal-and-a-movie. So far, so spiffy.

It started when Andy got to the door. He was carrying a smallish bundle of flowers, my roommate invited him across the threshold (VAMPIRES! NEVER INVITE VAMPIRES INTO YOUR HOME, FOOL!) and called to me. I grabbed my purse, came out of my room and noticed immediately that Andy was wearing a sportcoat, slacks and a tie. His shoes were magnificent: They were of the the thick, crepe-soled variety that old men purchase from Sears once every two years.

Because they have to. The corns wouldn’t have it any other way.

Upon seeing me, Andy’s look of pleased expectancy hardened a little. It was like, shoom a quick fall of ice came across it, freezing uncontrollably the expression he’d had seated there. There was a slight cracking sound and the twinkle of eensy ice slivers hitting his jacket as his jaw moved just enough to let a bit of cold pleasantry fall from his graceless mouth.

“You’re wearing that?”

It was then that I realized: Oh God, he’s courting me. This goofy Mormon bastard is feeling me out as Breeder, Position The First. I tried to remember all the rigorous Baptist anti-cult training. How do you shake a Mormon off, again? Shit, shitshitshit. My mother always used to offer to hear their spiel if she could reel out hers. I recall that not many (if any at all) ever took her up on it. She could lay out some scripture; that woman knew her Bible bakkards and frontards and probably could tell you exactly how many stitches held together the daggone binding.

I looked down at my outfit, a little taken aback. I was dressed in white jeans, a long-sleeved rugby shirt with wide pink-and-green striping and pristine Keds. My ponytailed hair had a white grosgrain ribbon punctuating it. Every now and then I let the Delta-groomed preppy out from under the heel of my Doc Martens to play.

I looked at my roommate and she held the same look of taken-aback politeness on her face that I was sure sat perched on my own. My eyes then swung to Andy, and I asked him mildly, “What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?” I don’t remember his response, but I do remember the matter being abandoned in fairly quick fashion.

Opened car door for me. Check. Small talk. Check. Asked input on restaurant. Check. Gently overrode any input I might hazard to give him. Whaaa? It was subtle, though. That coupled with the fact that I really was not feeling the need for any food or locale in particular allowed me to not pick up on this so much.

Pizza parlor: Mazzio’s, Godfather’s, I don’t recall. Generally good pizza at this place, though…I do remember that.

I hate Mexican pizza, i.e. a pizza made like a big taco salad, only with marinara and a thickish crust. I know for a fact, a cold hard solid fact that I told Andy this when he suggested it. I know this for a fact because it was etched in my mind long about the fourth time I repeated this to the guy. That Andy, he was hell-bent on having that fucking Mexican pizza and that’s what he’d ended up ordering. He was so polite and so bullish all at the same time. I should have just ended the date right then

“No Andy, I believe you’ll be taking me home straight away.”

but I was a tiny bit shellshocked and also firmly locked into Automatic Southern Manners. Ohhh, cut me some slack. First bad date ever, remember?

We went on to the movies and I thought it best to tell him, while on the drive, that I believed it might be best if we just kept things on a friendship level. “I can maybe see us as platonic friends, Andy. Nothing more, though.” When we got to the theater, I said that we could make it dutch from there on out, but Andy graciously paid for my ticket anyway. This was probably less from a proper upbringing (based on the rudeness he displayed throughout the evening thus far) and more from the standpoint of This Is What The Man’s Supposed To Do.

We saw Exorcist III. Scary as hell. At least the movie was good.

At one point, during a lull in the onscreen action, Andy leaned in to me and said, “I know we are just friends and all, but can we hold hands? Just…just as friends. Friends hold hands, don’t they?” Unfuckingbelievable.

“That would make me very uncomfortable. So, no.” And we sat through the rest of the movie. I wanted to clobber the silly bastard.

It didn’t end there. He actually asked if we could aim toward some coffee and conversation before the date ended. I looked at him levelly, “No, Andy.” so he was obliged to point the car toward my home.

And back at my place, once we established I’d be going in alone: “Any chance I’ll be getting a kiss?” I just looked at him quizzically. The hell?

“I’ll call you!” Oh, we look forward to that. My true self, who wanted me to knee you in the nuts all night and my Baptist-raised self, who clutched her bag and smiled politely. “That’ll be fine.”

So Andy kept calling. Sometimes he’d come around, but only with a friend in tow. That part was good. I got to meet some nice people that way. Normal people, as compared to Andy.

One day, though, he stopped by alone. I’d been seeing Biff (Sam and Scout’s father) for a couple of months at that point. I think it’s safe to say that he and I were well in love by then. Anyway, Biff had left about ten that morning to go back to the base for an inspection. He planned to be back sometime between one and two so that we could meet some friends for some rollerblading and a picnic in a park downtown. Andy showed up at one.

I’d not seen Andy in about three weeks, and he had never stopped by unannounced before. He was alone. I was too, my roommate having not come home the night previous, so when there was a knock at the door I assumed it to be her, hands too full to manage digging out keys. That wasn’t uncommon.

I looked through the peephole and was surprised to see Andy there. I opened the door and he made a bit of small talk before bluntly asking me if he was going to be invited in. “I’m real busy, Andy. My boyfriend left earlier and is coming back here soon. I’m trying to get some stuff taken care of before he gets back.”

And I swear, as God is my witness, that he began interrogating me while I stood there in the doorway. The questions started out basic enough, “Who’s your boyfriend??” tinged with disbelief. They got more and more ridiculous and invasive, though, and I called a halt to the nonsense.

“Look, I really have to go.”

And he took one last desperate shot, “So I can’t come in?”

“No, Andy, I’m busy. I told you that.”

“Are you sure I can’t come in? I have a present for you out in the car and everything. If I can’t come in, you don’t get the present.”

Well, shithead, some risks you just gotta take.

“NO. ANN. DEEE.”

He looked defeated, but indignant. I swear he was channeling a three-year-old.

“Well, that’s just too bad. It’s a really nice present.”

….and I shut the door.

He was terrifically annoying, and terrifically pathetic, but from Andy I learned two things: I learned that you sometimes have to be more firm than polite and I learned that I never want to be the Andy in any given relationship I am part of.

Nobody worked it out »

Don´t be shy. Lay it on me.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

(you know you want to)