Edited by Rebecca Lomax
The Three Gs
The science of relationships is often as confusing as calculus — a lot of calculations and a bit of mystery. I never gave up on calculus in college since it was required for my degree, and I persevere in relationships because I have basic needs.
When my cell phone rang Monday night around 8, I didn't recognize the number of the caller. The voice was familiar, however, as was the question, "Where are you?"
I happened to be finishing up a swimsuit hunt in Tri-County and planned to head downtown to catch the National Freedom Center celebration on the riverfront. I wanted to see Laura Bush and Muhammad Ali plus support the Underground Railroad. It's a memory that confirms our city is on the right track and will long stay with me.
Sometimes it's easy to get on the wrong track or should I say dip to the wrong side of the track, as the phone call in the car was trying to subtly hint. Matt suggested I come over for a drink when I was finished downtown.
Now I'm not saying that Matt is particularly bad news or dipping over to the wild side, but I know the combination of his world and mine is not all that successful. But he does make a great martini with big olives and is all too eager to give me as many as I like — olives, that is, among other things.
I declined the drink offer since it was Monday and instead agreed to dinner on Tuesday. To be honest, I told him he'd have to take me to dinner if he wanted to have a drink with me, as that's how civilized couples interact. He said he'd lost his manual but would take my word for it.
I met him at Kingfish Grill, where he waited patiently at an outside table with my vodka tonic already ordered. God, I love a guy who's trying to please me and is all too willing to kiss my ass. I just had to decide if I was at all interested in kissing his.
The drink was perfect and so was the parmesan-encrusted sea bass with a light caper sauce. Our server was friendly, and we kept the conversation fairly light. Matt has a way of getting me to entertain him with anecdotes of my life, and I figured it would do no harm. I wasn't very invested in this whole gig to be honest. It felt kind of like being in a lukewarm pool when you're really in the mood for a refreshingly chilly dip.
It was still early when we finished our entrees and a beautiful evening, so when Matt suggested dessert and coffee at his place up the street I accepted. I had my own wheels so I could leave whenever I decided I'd been entertaining enough.
Matt has a definite sweet tooth, so dessert wasn't disappointing. He served chocolate almond ice cream with fresh strawberries drizzled in brandy. The coffee was fresh ground, and fireflies were abundant on the patio. He didn't remember how I liked my coffee, which is no surprise, as I really couldn't remember much about how he was in the hay. This wasn't a good sign.
As he edged his chair closer to mine, I debated whether I wanted to go there tonight or not. Of course, I did this silently, having the debate with myself. Was it worth taking off my shoes? Was I in the mood? Would it be a case of "I just want to take a shower to wash it off?"
See, it's easy if you're at your own place in a way because you can give it the "three Gs" — get up, get dressed and get out! But when it's late and you're tired, it's hard to pull yourself out of a slight slumber, find your clothes all over the floor and put them on. Then you have to drive home, which is like torture.
Possibly the worst part of this whole affair is coming up with an excuse no matter whose place you're at. There's the whole issue of hurt feelings, blatant "I'm out of here" and who thanks whom. Surely one has to be civilized, but sometimes all I want is my own space — and the quicker the better.
When Matt said, "A penny for your thoughts?" I was startled back to the present and shrugged it off. He didn't need to go there, and suddenly I realized the chemistry wasn't there even though dinner, dessert and coffee were terrific. Let's just say even calculus seems less daunting than how I got out of that one.
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