At the end of February, Heidi posted the following on her blog:
"While Charlotte and I were waiting for our Princes Phillip and Eric to come along we dated many frogs. Ok, we also dated many wonderful Princes intended for others. Many times we commented about how we should write a book when "all this was over." Well, this is not a book but I thought it might be fun to do an occasional blog entry about those fabulous (and not-so-fabulous) dating days. "
Now, I've already written in this blog about Couch Mark, and the marriage proposal I received during a game of hangman, so this isn't exactly my first time writing about this topic. But, it's the first time I will have done an official "dating diary" entry. It's a little long, but there are a lot of details, and details tend to add length, you know? Anyway, here goes:
One evening, as Heidi and I were having one of our pre-bedtime chats, she informed me that she had been talking to one of our friends. This particular friend had been doing a little bit of investigating on behalf of one of his friends, whom we will call The Illustrious Mr. A. Anyway, as the friend told it, apparently The Illustrious Mr. A. had at least some interest in dating me, and he (the friend) was wanting to know if I would be amenable to going out with The Illustrious Mr. A. Heidi had informed him that she was reasonably sure that I would, which turned out to be exactly right.
It's always fun to know that you have an admirer, and in this case, I was particularly pleased. I had been in the company of The Illustrious Mr. A. several times at that point, and I thought quite highly of him. By that time I had been on the dating scene long enough to have had just a little bit of experience with "the sometimes fragile male ego", and so for the next few weeks, I tried to give The Illustrious Mr. A. a little bit of extra encouragement by being a little more friendly or smiley towards him than perhaps I normally would have been.
My efforts had very little effect. Several weeks went by, and The Illustrious Mr. A continued to treat me with relative indifference (albeit friendly indifference). I puzzled over it for a while, and then determined that Heidi must have misunderstood the conversation she had had with the friend of The Illustrious Mr. A that evening. I was a little discouraged, but I soon recovered.
Then, about two months after the original conversation, I was talking with the Illustrious Mr. A. and some other friends. We got talking about music, and I mentioned a CD that I had purchased that day. The Illustrious Mr. A. was a fan of this particular singer as well, and mentioned that he had been wanting to buy the CD. I offered to lend him my copy, and he eagerly agreed. We determined that I would bring it to him the next week.
The next week came, and I brought my CD to the class that we were both attending. We had a brief conversation as I made the hand-off, and then that was pretty much that. The Illustrious Mr. A was headed out of town for a holiday-weekend-road trip, and was looking forward to listening to the CD while on the road.
Imagine my dismay when, that evening I turned on my CD player to find that very CD NOT in his car, but in MY BEDROOM! Horrors! As I scanned my brain, looking for the reason, I remembered taking the CD out of the case the previous weekend. I had determined that if I was going to lend it out, I had better get my fill of listening to it before then. Apparently, I'd forgotten to replace it in the CD case, and at that very moment, The Illustrious Mr. A. was headed down a freeway, with an empty CD case in hand.
I quickly called the only phone number I had for him, and learned from his roommate that he was, in fact, gone for several days. I told the roommate of my blunder, and asked him to make my apologies to The Illustrious Mr. A for me. I'm reasonably certain that that message was never passed on.
A week or so went buy. At that point, The Illustrious Mr. A had been home from his trip for a few days, but I didn't hear from him. I worried that he was frustrated with me, but even more, I worried that his friend (who tended to be very prone to tease) would see my blunder as one of those tricks that conniving women will often use to ensnare innocent young men, and that he would tease me about it. As it turns out, I was wrong in my first worry, and dead right in my second.
And now we come to the exciting climax of our little story. One day, I was home alone, doing whatever it is that I was into at the time and the phone rang. I answered it and heard The Illustrious Mr. A. on the other line. Our conversation went something like this:
TIMA: Hi, Charlotte?
TIMA: This is The Illustrious Mr. A.
Me (a little self consciously): Oh, hi.
TIMA: Hi. Hey, that CD you gave me didn't actually have a CD in the case.
Me: Yeah, sorry about that. That was kind of an accident. I have the CD here, and I'll be happy to get it to you.
TIMA: Oh, that would be great. What if we met for lunch on Saturday? I could pick it up from you then.
Me (obviously completely missing the point of this whole conversation, still thinking that we are trying to exchange a CD, feeling bad about my earlier mistake, and wanting to make it up to The Illustrious Mr. A.): Yeah, that would be fine . . . or, actually, I could just get it to you at [one of our mutual friend's] birthday party Saturday night, if that would be easier.
TIMA (slowly, with confusion and crestfallen-ness): Oh . . . well, that would be fine too.
Me (realizing in a flash the GIGANTIC tactical error that I have just made): Or, actually, I think lunch might be a better idea, you know?
TIMA (relieved): Yes, that would be great. Shall we say one o'clock?
Me: Sure. I'll see you then.
TIMA: Okay, see you then.
And that's more or less the end of the story. The Illustrious Mr. A came and picked me up that Saturday, and we had a really nice lunch. It was the first time I'd been able to talk with him for more than 10 minutes at a time, and I found him to be interesting, witty, humorous, and an all-around good date. He must have enjoyed my company at least somewhat as well, because we ended up going out several more times after that, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent together.
So, what did I learn from all this? Many many things. But, the most important one, the one that I will probably pass on to my nieces and daughters and granddaughters (when I am fortunate enough to have daughters and granddaughters, that is) is this:
Never never never underestimate the power of an empty CD case.