The New M.E. Generation

It surely was Alex sitting at the window table. “Hi, so glad we finally meet,” said I with sort of a hurried voice due to my fast walking. He looked fine and very similar in person as he does in his profile pictures, which is good to me. No surprises here, which I honestly don’t want at this time.

When he saw me coming in, he had a face of ‘wow,’ but I couldn’t decipher what he was expressing. It was a cross between ‘damn, she’s cute’ and ‘damn, she doesn’t look at all like the person in her profile.’ Hmm, maybe he’s just trying to show that he’s ‘under control,’ like me.

I sat down and quickly apologized for my delay. I don’t think I was that late, but I thought it was the right thing to do. I told him about me walking right by the location and finding myself completely ‘lost in space.’ I had a legitimate reason for what happened, but also thought making fun of my mistakes could ‘break the ice,’ and it did.

Alex totally understood me, as he had a share of unexpected situations in other online dates he previously had, which, according to him, were worse. He didn’t disclose those details at that moment (good move from his part), and I only hoped that I don’t make more and become another one of his dating ‘casualties.’

I slowly, but surely, settled down and started enjoying myself. The conversation continued very easily about our online experiences, followed by more personal subjects, like divorce.

I know this was a topic not to be touched so quickly, but both having experienced so much, the tone did not feel negative or out of place. It actually made us closer together as people.

He and I took advantage of the restaurant promo, which turned out to be great. I was now more concentrated on showing my best table manners and etiquette possible. At moments I thought to myself I was being hard with myself, but I just wanted to get it right, for once.

After dinner, Alex suggested having another drink at a bar about a block away from the restaurant. Good thing to suggest because the night was going well, but bad for my feet as they were still aching.

I think I can walk and sustain the pain for a few minutes. Then, when I get to the bar, find a chair to sit at. If  there’s only one available, he will let me take it. That’s if, he is a true gentleman.

We’ll find out soon enough.

I got into my car and drove to the restaurant with plenty of time. My idea was to drive slowly, park calmly and walk to the restaurant with poise and grace, projecting I’m all under control.

But the closer I got to the location, the more I started getting nervous. I started breathing in and out to release my anxiety, which helped. I parked my car and walked to the restaurant, which was about two blocks down from the garage my vehicle was.

I was sure I knew where the restaurant was, but I was wrong. To top it off, I don’t walk that gracefully (according to myself), and my new shoes had not been broken in, so my feet were hurting right away.

Oh, no, I can’t believe this is happening to me! How could I make such a mistake? I know that the location is on this street, but exactly where? Ok, Emma, think clearly… Now I remember, its way back on the first block, meaning I walked right by it after exiting the garage.

I then started walking back fast, as fast as I could, with my feet aching even more. Damn it! I don’t want to be late!

As I got closer and saw the restaurant sign, I slowed down my pace. Great! I’m sweating and my feet are killing me. And, even worse, is that Alex sitting at the only window table?

All right, I need to take a deep breath, walk in as if nothing has happened, and just enjoy this night.

About a half hour later, Christian finally called back. “Done! Headed your way already. Should be there any minute now.”

I literally grabbed my things, jumped out of the car and ran towards the marina. When I got there, Christian and his buddy were waiting for my arrival.

When I got there I was almost out of breath. “Hello again,” said I to him. He introduced me to his fishing buddy.

And off we went! It was not the first time I’ve been in a boat (this one was about 20-25 feet long, pretty much what I’ve been before), so I knew how to maneuver around it.

The day was perfect for taking a boat ride. There was not a lot of wind, making it easy to sail. Jumping waves may sound like a lot of fun to you. But when a boat this size starts jumping up and down hard, better have a strong stomach ‘cause you’re going to feel it.

We cruised for about 15 minutes until we reached a shallow area in the middle of the open water that it’s a favorite for small boats and people to hang out.

The area was pretty full, so finding where to anchor was no easy task. Because I’ve been in boats before, I tried to help in whatever way possible. I was determined to at least give a good impression of a skilled boater if all else failed (I meant whatever happened after today’s encounter).

When all was under control, Christian and I stepped off the boat and sat on the water. His buddy stayed behind.

Christian and I were sitting face to face looking at each other and (now that the meeting finally occurred), neither one had any idea what to say. We were totally speechless.

Is this crazy or what?

He finally broke the silence. “So, we finally made it.”

“Yeah, I thought it would never happen.”

So what am I now supposed to do? Do I hug him? Kiss him? Ask a trivia question?

Another divine intervention please!

“Madelyn, you would never guess who called me!” said I sort of comically.

And, as always, she gave me a very ‘under control’ response. “Hmm, let me think… Aaah…(about a minute or so later…), no, no one out of the ordinary comes to my mind.”

“Ricky!” (she’s not impressed, not even close.)

“Well, hey, how about that?” answered her still with the same demeanor. “And what was the purpose of his call?”

“Not sure, it got cut off.”

“So what’s all the fuzz about?”

“It was totally unexpected.”

“Oh suck it up! Now, tell me, what exactly did he say??”

“Nothing that he was on the area. That’s when the call suddenly ended. But he sounded very cheery, like when you have a buzz,” said I. “Hmm, he probably called because he wants back the artwork that I’ve been baby-sitting.”

“Well, I think you got your answer. Why did you call me then??”

“I don’t know. Strange, though, that all the guys I’ve met before are all now popping up again one at a time.”

“Because you need to give this one a final closure like you’ve been doing with all the others.” (Do I? Yes, definitely!) “Call me back when you finally speak to him.”

I hanged up the phone and stared at the artwork. Darn, it is a nice piece. Blends well with my décor.

Well, I have two choices. Call him and loose it, or not calling and keeping it. But, I had given my word that I would return it.

A call it is, whatever the result may be.

“So how did you meet Brian?” asked Stephan curiously.

“Well, I was at this event at another restaurant not that very far from this one, and he happened to be on his night off. Long story short, I gave him my number but never heard from him again.

A girlfriend of ours insisted that I tracked him down, which I did, and showed up at fire station. I made a fool of myself, but it was totally hilarious,” said I.

Dina is listening to my story but she’s looking at me with a face of ‘what are you saying?’

“So what happened that the two of you didn’t hook up together?” asked then he.

“The thing is he was dealing with a complicated personal situation at the time, and it totally overwhelmed him.

He didn’t have the mind to be involved with anyone, period. I think it was just bad timing,” I answered.

“I know what you’re referring to and my understanding is that it is under control at this time,” said he.

“I’m really glad to hear that,” I replied.

I felt it was time to shift topic and get Dina back in the conversation when, just as I thought, she dropped the bomb.

She asked a question that, in this day and age, you never, ever ask either a man or woman whom you have just met, unless your goal is to repel them away.

It’s the four-word question that it’s guaranteed to accomplish this and then leave you wondering why there’s no one in your love life.

And that question is…

et cetera