Saturday, April 28, 2012

IT IS AN OMAHA NPR SATURDAY!


WHY I WOULD NOT WANT ARGENTINA CRYING FOR ME

I have picked up a lot of “pings” from women on my radar even with it set on “passive”.  It was evident almost from the moment I set foot in Omaha that there was a different vibe emanating from women here in town.  Coupled with the ambiguity that exists between Nebraska and I, I did make a small adjustment, deciding to make myself available for possible companionship.

At first it was looking like more of the same kind of thing.  I still have not adjusted to the social dynamic between men and women here in town.  When it comes to that, I feel more like a high-priced free agent, maybe even LeBron James-like, with his emotional parting from Cleveland to go off into the unknown but hopeful situation in Miami.  But unlike LBJ, I held no expectation of immediate success in Omaha, whereas the pressure of winning a championship and fate (because I think that the player strike is going to take away from Miami this season) in his first season in Miami was apparently too much for LeBron and his two other much-ballyhooed teammates.

Since I have been here and as I said, been “passively pinging”, I feel like I am between somewhat of a tease and that of an aging ingénue.  The former because I do sense the attention of women and when one of them stops me and the banter hits the pregnant pause near the tipping point from idle conversation to something a bit more, and the latter because I still get the feeling that my enthusiasm and joie-de-vivre still makes some see me as someone who doesn’t “get it” (though as for that, it is FAR less here than any place I have been) and that I may still be a doe-in-the-woods.  The woman who I “missed the bus” to speak with a few weeks ago and I have spoken and acknowledged each other in passing.  Thursday we ran into each other at the end of our classes and we spoke.  Since I liked her (small “L”… thinking about this friend thing and seeing what develops) I suggested that with the both of us being free, that we go to a movie.  She had one stop to make but nothing after that.  I found that agreeable and off we went!

Her vehicle was a small F-10 pick-up so I loaded Madison in the truck’s flatbed.  Now it wasn’t the best of vehicle’s, in need of a starter which meant she had to park it on an incline (and there are no shortage of them here in the big O!) and pop the clutch.  I was not unfamiliar to the process, having had to get a stick to start like it was butter (because I had to get it going on a roll!), and I am not judgmental about material things.  But the area where I do get judgmental on is…

THE CONUNDRUM OF CONFUSION WHEN STRUGGLE IS TAKEN AS CONFIRMATION OF THE INHERENT BLESSINGS OF FAITH

As we spoke, one of the first tripwires that my companion had stumbled over on the way to her truck in the school parking lot was the one connected to faith.  She is a Mormon, and she was a little evasive about that.  But before she hemmed around claiming her theological preference, she had forgotten that I was agnostic.  Even as she may have thought I looked nice to her, I was clear in our initial discussion where I stood with regards to religion. I mean, I was able to remember that she was a Mormon.  That is a foundation block in a person’s character and there is no two ways about it. 

I keep talking about “points” and though I don’t actually assign a number or keep a tally, I do believe that a person should keep a mental running total of points when they are getting to know someone.  There are other times in a relationship where it may be necessary to keep such a tally, but those occasions are usually when things are taking on water.  Anywho, this faith thing was “triple point score” in the negative for this woman.  And just like a seven game series doesn’t really start until someone loses on their home court, the discovery on a date usually doesn’t begin until the first discrepancy is made.  This was that moment.

Though Omaha is not a particularly large town in area, the streets tend to have a steady flow of traffic thanks to how the town’s systems of lights work.  There is no such thing as “timing” the lights as I remember doing traveling down 8 Mile Road back in the Motor here in the big O, so that is what makes a half-hour trip of a few miles take so long.  As to the freeways, I have no idea where they go or where they lead… to other empty, hilly places, I guess.

Anywho, with the travel time and her errand, we missed the movie (which would have been “Think Like A Man…” which I will see on my own either Sunday or Monday afternoon) and I suggested we do a dinner, and actually sit down and get to know one another.  We went to an actual Applebee’s (I say ‘actual’ because ‘Applebee’s’ is a term I use for all of the similarly-themed restaurant chains) and we ordered some Asian shrimp dish for her and a forgettable burger for me. 

BUT IN THE MEANTIME…

Between leaving school and the middle of our dinner, with a break as she ran her errand, the conversation was a litany of woes.  I have to say that I asked her questions that pertained to what she was talking about, so I did not tune her out.  But it would have been very easy to do.

There were three things that stood out to me that I can share comfortably about her.  Other than the alert she caused over faith, she talked about being lonely, not having been out on a date in nearly a decade. Finally, it was her overall dreariness that got to me.


I had about as much as I could when I asked her if she was purposely sabotaging the date.  She looked slightly puzzled, not having realized we were on a “date” (WTF..? I mean, really now women… WTF!) And at that, I became engaged in our conversation.

While I was participating in talking to her, the dreariness of what she was droning on was taxing.  I did not have any real chance to shift the conversation as each time she would have the choice of going to a new topic she kept coming back to her “impeccable blahs”. But when I asked her if she was talking like she wanted someone to be turned off, she was doing a great job at it.

I told her that while I am agnostic, it doesn’t mean I am ignorant to the tenants of religion and what it is supposed to do for a person.  I could not believe that she could be anything she claimed in her faith, because she would not have talk about her life in such unflattering and depressing terms.  After dinner, we walked over to a nearby mall and I continued my monologue.

First, there was the ‘date’ thing.  Whether or not we were on one was immaterial to whether or not she was putting on her best face.  I explained that I do believe that how you look at things often determines how you deal with them and frankly I thought that she was working against herself.  She was back in school, hopefully to improve herself and her life.  Why was she dwelling on and bringing all this past stuff to her NEW conversation with her new life?  I did not get that.

Walking around she got to see me put what I believe in philosophically in action.  You would have had to have been there, but as we returned to her truck, she agreed with me about “seeing” the talk that I walked WAS the walk that I was talking about.  Her spirits were trending up and I could tell they were because…

…IT WAS ME, NOT YOU

A weird thing happens when I am walking with someone.  I tend to bump into people that I am walking WITH, and I could see where because I had been brushing into her, that kind of incidental contact would be one of either two things: annoying, because I am in a person’s space, or it would becoming a way that intimacy was being established.  And though I am a touchy-feely cat, my being touchy-feely is NOT why if we are walking together that I am bumping into you.

Since my injury I find that my balance has been impaired.  I notice it definitely when walking with someone, as if my gravity is being affected somehow.  I figure that whoever is with me is either being annoyed by my bumping or, if they are attracted to me, then it would intensify their attraction.  Me?  I am trying NOT to fall to the floor while the world is spinning around me!!

I could pick up from her energy when I would bump into her that she was in a better state of mind than she was when we left school.  Then as we walked through a book store, we looked at books and began to have a “date conversation”, where you talk about interests and more importantly, our hopes and our futures.

We’d walk back to her little truck and she popped the clutch and away we went.  She took me back to my building, as she is a resident in another tower, so we had that in common.  But I felt that was all, for when she asked if I wanted to take her number I told her that I didn’t, that I had meant what I said at the restaurant about her and her purposefulness in sabotaging the date.  She had been effective in that, and while she is a nice person, I don’t think I would be interested any anything more than a friendship.  And yes, I was able to go, briefly, into my stance on “friendship”, so I won’t have a problem in re-affirming that position when we eventually cross paths again in school

3 comments:

Thomas Alice said...

One of my first cars was an '83 Ford Escort, and I remember my friends all pitching in to get it rolling so I could pop the clutch and start off.

Ken Riches said...

Darn, maybe she is just rusty. Perhaps asking her out on an official date would help?

Beth said...

Yeah...not sure I would dig the whole blah blah blah thing, either. :/