Monday, January 12, 2015

Pippi Found Mr. Right

I curse my father for making me a horrible liar. I truly wish I was a better liar but unfortunately since I could get away with absolutely nothing as a child(/teenager/last week) my mind has molded itself into a mass incapable of effectively lying. My stories become surreal to the point where my alibis are more like a day with Pippi Longstocking than anything plausible. So because I couldn’t be Pippi with tall tales I was lucky enough to meet… drumroll please… “Mr. Right.”

That wasn’t a typo kids. I have met “Mr. Right” and I am still in awe at the experience. I’m not sure how to come to terms with what happened or even how the events transpired all together. What I do know is the night began and ended with my failed attempts at lying weighing heavily on the situation. “Mr. Right” asked me to dinner a week ago. Given my normal day-to-day happenings I’m a very busy person. I don’t always have time for a dinner date. There are the two jobs that I work; the time spent putting my yoga pants on to work out but never actually making further than checking my mail in them; the minutes consumed with my head laying on the paper towel roll watching coffee brew as I desperately try to wake up; there’s the hour or so added to each day where I walk in and out of rooms trying to remember why I entered or exited them to begin with; there’s the dance breaks that accompany long periods of sitting; and there’s watching my cat try relentlessly to get my attention as a reminder his food bowl is in dire need of sustenance. So basically, from sunup to sundown my schedule is booked and there is little wiggle room, if any, to meet up with someone to have dinner. But when you are an awful liar it becomes increasingly difficult to keep your coherent string of excuses together. Pretty soon you’re saying you can’t get meet up because you pulled a hammy holding a horse above your head with one hand. (Thanks, Pippi)

So with my bag of excuses exhausted I took the couple of hours I did have to spare to meet for dinner.  We met at a neutral location with much lighting and ample people. That way if my skin was particularly soft there would be more than enough witnesses to prevent my abduction. Now I will say that I have been told I am a picky person- I’m a picky eater. I’m a picky dresser. I’m a picky dater. And frankly, I have tried to work with this as a way to make me a better person. Compromise but don’t settle. That’s what I tell myself. So when “Mr. Right” parked his car next to me and locked the Lexus I knew I was already playing my compromise card. A man in a Lexus is about as foreign to me as someone expecting to see me in a full face of make-up and a manicure. It’s just not a fit. But I took a deep breath and reminded myself that not every man on this planet believes that the suitable vehicle to transport them in is a pickup truck.

We weren’t very far into the evening (i.e. we had just sat down with coats still on) when “Mr. Right” started to earn his nickname. He asked one question after another: “Why did you move to Texas?” “Where did you go to college?” “What did you study?” “How big is your family?” But the problem was this: every time I opened my mouth to answer a question I was able to speak about 5 words before I heard the interjection “Right. Right. So…”  This is not an exaggeration. It was like a Twilight Zone episode.

“So Kristen, where did you go to college?”…. “Well I went to Belmont----“ … “Right, Right. So… And what did you study?” … “I studied Political Sci----“ “Right. Right. So.”

There was no stopping it. I would try to talk over the interjection but it became futile after just a handful of questions. He liked his answers better. So I was going to just let him have at it. And he loved to answer the questions I asked. The only problem was… I wasn’t too keen on the answers I was hearing.

“Mr. Right” thinks that old country music sound is awful particularly the steel guitar sound. He said he enjoyed “pop music.” Now I’m not down with what the kids listen to these days so when I heard “pop music” I asked if he meant “like NSYNC and BeyoncĂ©.” He agreed to the BeyoncĂ© portion of that duo. Compromise but don’t settle Kristen. I asked him the universal question that everyone answers correctly because I actually believe it’s illegal in Texas to disagree but when asked the Golden Question he told me George Strait was “eh.” I should have ran then. I should have grabbed my bag, my coat, some really good chips with a finger swipe of queso and got the hell out of there. But I stayed. It would be at that moment, in my life’s movie, that the audience is chanting in true horror movie fashion for me to turn around and run away. But like Jamie Lee Curtis and Mike, I stayed in the epicenter of a disaster. I just needed my own scary theme song.

We proceeded to look at the photo shoot he had on his phone of over 200 shots taken of just him with trees… leaves… a railroad sign… a railroad track… some more leaves… and a staircase. As I looked at the staircase I thought about all the times I have fallen down one. And I thought about how that would be so much more enjoyable that my current task at hand. I heard about his political philosophy which is to make every single state an individual country under a Kingdom of America. Each state would have their own militia and trading policies. When I tried to insert a joke about troop deployment during Yankee/Red Sox games my humor was lost entirely. Actually, achingly and uncomfortably. I didn’t get the joke out to the full extent though because I’m pretty sure I was cut off at “Yank---“ with “Right. Right. So.”

When he went to the bathroom I obviously did what any sane, mature, 30 year old would do who was staring at the exit signs. I frantically texted my friends and told them I was in the middle of a horrible date and I was eating my weight in food to try to ease the pain. Each of them told me to make up an excuse quickly and then run for it. But he was a guy. He would be back in a matter of seconds. I didn’t have time to formalize a rational exit strategy. I would wait until the check was placed on the table, look down at my wrist (sans watch) and say, “Oh wow, yeah, I should be going too.” And then I would make it to the parking lot, lose my phone and wallet, switch cars, change my name to Diane and move to Sheboygan. It was foolproof. The three of them made it sound so easy: “Say there’s an emergency!” Or “I just got a text from the Red Cross and I have to go.” Technically the latter could have worked but I’m on the Disaster Action Team. And the disaster was that date which I absolutely did not want to respond to. So I waited it out. I didn’t speak much (which is painful for me and it hurt the alignment of the planets). The night finally ended and I could go home. Sadly, I think he had a good time (but technically since I couldn’t talk he was on a date with himself).

Right now, in my life, ex-boyfriends are getting married or they’re having babies while I’m still having first dates. I know some will be good. And I expect many will be bad. Some will even end with me finding “Mr. Right”. But I can’t use the huge milestones in their lives as a litmus test for the lack of milestones in my own. There may be weddings and lullabies on their agendas these days but today mine was a date with “Mr. Right” and I learned something.

I learned that they can celebrate their nuptials, and babies and technically “grow up.” They can become different and new people. And I will do the same… just differently. Miss Longstocking was really good at telling tall tales and all the while being true to herself. She was independent and proud. So now I’m the daughter of a sea Captain with my own horse, monkey and house. Being like Pippi is the only way I am ever going to successfully lie. And if having an adventure or two provides me with good alibis to skip dinner with another "Mr. Right" who am I to turn one down?  

Pippi wasn’t ready to grow up and settle down… And I think she was on to something. Diddle. Diddle. Dee.



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