Calling It a Night

Posted on Sunday 17 August 2008

If we have just started dating, and I am insisting we take it so very, very slow, and you agree to that, and I have told you that I am getting my hair cut by the girl and friend who used to style my hair in D.C., and how cool and coincidental it is that she is living here, and how wonderful it is to have her here in this South Florida realm that is at once becoming familiar as much as it still remains a mystery, at least have the common courtesy to say my hair looks nice. Because then I will think you noticed something nice about me before the evening went so horribly wrong when everything I said provoked an argument. Which I guess boils down to my wanting to take it slow. Or maybe not. Maybe I am just annoying as hell.

If you are the valet and I have just walked away from my untouched dinner at a restaurant overlooking the ocean on a night when the moon is full and the view is outstanding and that alone makes it so sad that I walked away from my untouched meal, and I mention to you, in an effort to keep from crying by laughing a little, that I am having a pretty horrible moment on a pretty tough date, and I ask if maybe one of you has a cigarette I could bum, don’t look at me with a stupid stare and say, “I don’t smoke. And it’s a smoke-free place so you can’t buy any here, either.” Because then I will think you are either clueless, humorless, or void of any feeling whatsoever. Which I guess boils down to your thinking ill of girls who smoke cigarettes when in crisis. Or maybe not. Maybe I am just annoying as hell while you wait to park someone else’s car.

If you are my good friend and former neighbor, and I call you at 9 p.m. on a night when I am supposed to be out with a nice guy on a nice date, and you don’t answer when I call twice in a row because you have left your phone inside your apartment while you are outside chatting with our former mutual neighbors, please know that it is never a good sign to receive such calls at 9 p.m., and please try to call me back as soon as possible. Because then I will feel like I have the kind of friends I used to have in D.C., and I will feel so much better about the horrible moments on the tough date because I will now know this far more important thing about having a real friend in the midst of so many who are not. Or maybe not. Or maybe so. Because you called the second you saw the “missed call” messages on your phone, without even listening to my voicemail, which is why I immediately felt less in crisis and more in control of my spinning feelings. I will never underestimate the power of a great girlfriend.

If you are a weather forecaster, and you are broadcasting to me early Sunday morning that I should start making preparations for the possibility of being in the direct line of tropical-storm-could-be-a-hurricane-but-depends-on-the-track Faye, thank you for not making me feel so stupid that I was out early yesterday morning before any watches were posted, buying 10 gallons of water, 6 bottles of wine (um, for the 10% discount, of course), and 1 big bag of dog food. Because after years of watching my D.C. brethren react to a week-out forecast of one flake of snow by clearing the grocery shelves of milk, bread, eggs and toilet paper, I despise being part of a panic-buy crowd. Which is why I felt a little silly doing all that yesterday. Or maybe not. Maybe that just means I am prepared and that instead of having to stand in long checkout lines today, I can go to the beach before I have to go to work.

If you are me, you are beginning to think that you are just beginning to get a little of your act together down here in South Florida. Which you hope means you aren’t as scared of Faye as you feel you are. Or maybe not. Maybe fear of Faye is healthy, just as healthy as it was to call it a night in the middle of a tough date, and to end the night by reaching out to a girlfriend instead of drinking multiple glasses of wine, smoking half a pack of cigarettes, or texting a boy with whom you should never communicate again. Because I didn’t even consider doing any of the latter. Finally.

10 Comments for 'Calling It a Night'

  1.  
    María José
    August 17, 2008 | 2:05 pm
     

    first!
    Anyway..dates. I’m dating for the first time in my life (i’m just 20, but still!), after a 2 and a half years relationship. It didn’t involve dating because we were friends and then we were a couple. And now we are not.
    Now my date hasn’t called since thursday. I don’t even like him that much, but i hate the dating game so bad..
    I wish us both luck in this crazy dating world. Because i know we deserve better, and will GET better. 🙂

  2.  
    August 17, 2008 | 6:30 pm
     

    Empathy. How rare. How appreciated when found. How disappointing when not.

  3.  
    mikepete
    August 18, 2008 | 5:02 am
     

    I don’t think that the night sounds all that bad…in the end!!!
    It’s tough. Sometimes I’m just not sure that the dating thing is worth it! But you didn’t sit there-and act the polite girl, you left!!! You called your girlfriend. life is too short to spend on people that don’t matter! You called your girlfriend..someone who will tell you it’s not you! (’cause it’s not!) And most importantly..you DIDN’T do the things you would have done in the past!!!

  4.  
    August 18, 2008 | 11:02 am
     

    good girlfriends call when they find a sale, great girlfriends always have a shovel in the trunk! 😉 xoxox (but seriously, sugar, don’t mess around with hurricanes…if they say leave…please do it! as i told upset waitress…savannah is always available, unless of course, we have to flee, too! )

  5.  
    Jennifer
    August 18, 2008 | 11:12 am
     

    Sounds like a FUN night! You know, like how root canals are fun… Good girlfriends are the best. Good preparations for hurricanes are even better. Take care of yourself and be sure to post and let us know you’re okay!!!

  6.  
    August 18, 2008 | 1:17 pm
     

    RG, I’ve been reading your blog for a long time (when you were still up here -DC- and I truly empathize with what you’re going through. It’s rough out there for us. It’s tough realizing that we’re midway through our lives and boys are essentially still 25. It sucks, but it’s how they’re made – manufacturer defaults.

    Good girlfriends and wine will get you through the toughest times, as will your RG Daughter. I have 2 and if you’d told me when they were 10 & 15 that they’d be giving me dating advice in my 40’s, Id’ve said you’re cerifiable. But they do, all the time, and they’re right 90% of the time!

    Check out my blog – I blog exclusively about the frogs and meatballs. But well after the fact, when I can look back and laugh instead of cry.

    Datergirl

  7.  
    nancy
    August 18, 2008 | 7:35 pm
     

    RG,

    Perhaps you should look within. You just may be expecting a little too much from others including your date(s). What on earth did he disagree with you about to warrant believing you should ex-communicate him from the rest of your life; never mind walking out on an expensive, uneaten dinner. I mean really!! Valets who don’t smoke while working for a restaurant where smoking is prohibited aren’t stupid, clueless and void of any human feelings when they share with you those essential facts in response to your request for a cigarette. I mean what were you expecting from the valet/your date.

    You may have been annoying as hell, but I’m thinking the truth is you are much more scared of genuine involvement with another man than you are of a storm named Fay.

  8.  
    L
    August 18, 2008 | 9:52 pm
     

    Hello RG:

    Very reflective and real. That’s one of the reasons why I like your writing style – it just kind of shimmers until I can “see” and feel the experience.

    Best,

    L. in California

  9.  
    retired restuarant manager
    August 18, 2008 | 11:34 pm
     

    now thats what I am talking about RG…you are finding that path to liberation. its always more fun to be in control, walking out on a date, perfect-take care of yourself first…reaching out to those who really care-awesome, they can help better than a bottle of wine and cigs…and thinking ahead, unlike a tourist, you have the local mentality….your finding your home. as for fay….hold on to that pup of yours, shes gonna be more scared than you…dont drink too much of that wine until after the storm and dont forget to watch the lightning…it can be a great show

  10.  
    August 19, 2008 | 12:09 pm
     

    Oh, RG, so sorry about this night.

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