Wednesday, September 9, 2009
One down, nine to go
I went on my first of ten dates tonight. But I didn't go alone. In this day and age where books are being written about the wonder of the serial killer, I took some back up in the person of my best (guy) friend, Chris. As punishment for him being related to that woman who came up with the idea in the first place and encouraged my mother to such an extent that she even seems very excited about it.
My mother was told in no uncertain terms what MY terms of engagement would entail: no giving out my phone number to any man, no mention of my home address (why make it easier for stalkers and peeping toms) and she had to give me money in case the date "forgot" his wallet.
What? Don't give me that look! I'm not going to waste my hard earned cash on my mother's version of an arranged marriage.
Chris had strict orders: no leaving without me in the car sitting right next to him, no funny faces during the whole episode (he had to sit at a table close by so he could keep an eye out for any funny business from the person of interest) and the only break of any kind would be that of an arm or leg when the guy starts thinking he's Deuce Bigalo.
Mom wanted me to pin a red rose to my dress, but I told her that the 1950's were over. Done. Gone. Just like many girl's dream about becoming a princess like Diana. She sure opened a few eyes to the royal side of life. Besides, the red would clash with my pink dress and if the date were to remember anything about this night, I would at least like him to remember me in style.
As soon as I walked into the restaurant, I saw a tallish man with a jacket get up from his table. He walked over to where I was standing and immediately won some brownie points. I hate it when people wave. If you want to throw your hands in the air like an idiot who doesn't care, go to a rugby game for crying out loud and join the Mexican wave. By not acting like a drunk manic the date was now only at negative 20. Good start.
He introduced himself as Andre and I confirmed my not so hidden identity. I actually wanted to go as Ladytruth, but my mom looked at me funny and asked what stupid pseudonym that was. Go figure.
Andre was average. And that was okay as it exceeded all my expectations. Anyone not resembling Ben Stiller with piercings in all kinds of awkward places was a bonus in my book. He was not as tall as Shaquille O'Neal or as short as a hobbit. At this point I was thinking maybe my mother has been hiding her friends' sons from me for no good reason.
Andre put his hand under my elbow to steer me to our table. Pretty old school, but at least he wasn't grabbing my ass. Another sigh of relief; probably from Chris's side of the room too as I don't think he has much experience in the bouncer department.
We started talking and it seemed as though things were going pretty well. He didn't spray saliva all over me when he spoke and he even laughed at some of my remarks. I might just keep him around for my self esteem, this considerate and kind fellow.
I should've known it was too good to be true when the waiter came over and I ordered a cocktail. Andre asked for a glass of water. What a person drink says a lot about him. Also what a person does for a living.
Andre: "So how do you keep busy?"
LadyTruth: "Apart from conquering the world one man at a time these days? Nothing too strenuous. How about you?"
Andre: "I just got back from Zambia doing missionary work. I'm now busy applying to churches here in becoming a full time preacher."
At first mentioning the word missionary made me smile (he seemed like the type) until my slow, cocktailed brain cells put the word in context. The boring, first idea that popped to mind seemed not so repulsive after thinking about it for a while.
Could you imagine me as a preacher's wife? You can? Congratulations on your amazing imagination. Organising Bible study for people who are so pretentious they have season tickets to heaven already? Pass, thank you. I grew up in a strict, Christian home and I still go to church on Sundays. I just don't attend the extra gatherings any more because there's more life in a crematorium. Poor, kind Andre would be criticised all day and night about his wife and her worldly ways.
I even felt guilty sipping my cocktail after that. I kept censoring my language to try and not be my usual obscene self. But it was as good as putting a giraffe in a crocodile suit: it just felt uncomfortable. To make things worse, I kept hearing Bette Midler's From a distance in my mind and got stuck on the part that goes: "God is watching us." In this case it was from not such a great distance.
Before I ruined the whole evening, I lied and told Andre I had to go because I needed to do some laundry at home.
Chris kept singing Joy to the world all the way back to my place. He was just begging for a kick in the knee. Then my mother phoned. When I thanked her for not telling me Andre's occupation, she said I was the one who told her I wasn't interested in what the men did for a living.
"Besides, it's a minor detail. What a man earns can't be compared to how much love he can hold in his heart and a man of God will give you a whole lot of loving."
I'm now doing laundry because I felt bad lying to a preacher. I guess Mom's dream of sitting in the front row of church is disappearing like wrinkles after botox as I'm typing. Can't help but wonder who person of interest number 2 will be, but just the mere thought makes me weary.