To illustrate how badly this guy failed, here is just one example of the things they talked about. This particular example came in the beginning of the Phillies game, while he was still at his lowest point of drunkenness.
She mentioned that she was reading the series A Song of Ice and Fire, upon which the (amazing) show Game of Thrones is based.
She expressed how much she loved the books.
He said, “Isn’t that the shit with elves and shit?”
She then gave him a basic education of the series, doing so in such an accommodating and easy-to-understand language that made it easy for any second grader or drunken 28-year old to comprehend. And she described it in such an adoring and tender tone that made it clear that it was something near and dear to her heart.
I, myself, happen to love the show, and when she had finished her eloquent description of the books, I wanted to immediately pull out my iPhone, purchase it on iTunes, and begin reading it, right there in my expensive seats at the Phillies game.
“You really should check out the books,” she said to her date. “They are great.”
“Nah,” he replied. “I’m not into that shit.”
In the row in front of him, a father turned around and gave him the eye. It was apparent that he didn’t appreciate his loud and frequent use of expletives so close to his children.
After completely disregarding her taste in literature, he proceeded to attempt to quantify his competency in the written word.
This is a quote from him, verbatim. I actually typed it into my iPhone, because it was the worst thing I have ever heard:
“I don’t mean to sound like I am bragging… or that I am an intellect or some shit, but I try to read at least two books a month. Like I said, I’m not trying to brag, but I just eat. That. Shit. Up.”
“So what have you read recently?”
She asked this in such a way that was both skeptical and uncaring. If this date was a hotel, she had just checked out.
“I don’t know, tons of shit. Like, I’ll read anything you put in front of me. I like all the classics and the new stuff too.”
“Like what, though?”
This was a question to which he was bizarrely unable to respond, but she didn’t press it further, clearly aware that he was full of the “shit” that he frequently referenced.
From that point forward, their sporadic conversations consisted of him drunkenly saying something, and her responding in an indifferent tone.
And that is when I found myself joining their conversations. Or to be more accurate, hijacking them. And when the dude went to take one of his many bathroom breaks, she began complaining about the heat.
“Why did I wear black on such a hot day?” she asked.
“I know,” I said. “I hate when I wear my black dress on a hot summer day.”
She laughed and nudged my leg with hers. “Seriously, make the sun go away.”
“I can’t do that, but hopefully winter is coming soon enough,” I said, offering her a knowing smile. You see, one of the frequent phrases in Game of Thrones is “Winter is coming.”
Her eyes grew wide as she smiled from ear to ear and grabbed my arm. “How great are those books?”
“I have only watched the show,” I explained, “but I overheard your description of the books and you really got me wanting to read them.”
We then discussed, at length, the books and show. Even after the date had come back to reclaim his throne as the King of Beers.
And this is kinda how the rest of the day went. I split my attention between the girl and my mother. And she split her attention between me and her date. And nobody seemed to mind. My mom was so transfixed with the game, and her date was so transfixed with his precious beer, much like Gollum to the ring.
“Look at the Phanatic!” she would say, hitting me and pointing to the field, where the Phillies mascot was giving flowers to another Phanatic in a dress, presumably his mother.
The sun would occasionally go behind a teeny-tiny cloud, and we would receive ten seconds of reprieve from the heat. “Thank you, glorious cloud!” we would say and high-five each other.
In the seventh inning, they handed out All-Star ballots. She asked me, begged me, to vote for Dustin Pedroia from the Red Sox, since that was where she was originally from and the only guy she cared about. I agreed, so long as she promised to vote for Carlos Ruiz. My mom provided us with a pencil out of her purse so that we could fill out our cards.
The dude went to go pee (again) and I realized that I needed to summon the courage to at least express my interest in her, despite my brain screaming for me to do anything else.
“So, Cole Hamels threw five strikeouts today, but how many times did your date strike out?” I asked, pointing at the empty seat to her right.
“Ohmygosh,” she said, “Was I really that mean?”
“No,” I said, “You weren’t mean at all. It just seemed like the two of you weren’t hitting it off.”
“Yea, I got these seats from work and I was looking for someone to go with. My friend thought that we would hit it off, but apparently not. I’ll try not to be as mean.”
I filled out my name and e-mail address on one of the All-Star ballots and handed it to her, saying, “Here’s mine. You can either hand it in or keep it for yourself. It has my e-mail address on there, should you decide you want it.”
And then, with as handsome of a smile as I could produce, I said, “Do you see what I did there?”
And then she smiled and said, “Yes, I did. Very smooth!”
After the eighth inning, they decided to leave. She rubbed my arm and said that it was nice to meet me. She then said farewell to my mother.
And that was the last time I saw her.
She never e-mailed me.
I waited an entire month before posting this story, giving her plenty of time to contact me. I didn’t want to jump the gun and write about her on my blog, of which she certainly would have become aware by the time we got married and had kids and stuff.
On the ride home from the game, my mother said, “You and that girl seemed to really be talking a lot.” I then told her what I had done, and she seemed proud, saying, “She was a very nice girl.”
After she didn’t contact me, my mom’s explanation was that “she probably just accidentally handed in your ballot and lost your contact information.”
Thanks, mom. You always give me the benefit of the doubt.
But it probably just comes down to the fact that she wasn’t that interested in me, even though all signs pointed to the contrary. Perhaps she was just looking for an escape from her terrible date and I was the closest one, only a few inches away. But when she got home and wondered whether or not she should contact me, she worried that I was too much of a momma’s boy. Or maybe she saw me as a scumbag for hitting on her while she was on a date, albeit a noticeably bad one.
Maybe I could have done something different. I don’t know.
But either way, I am totally fine with it. If I can hit on a girl while she is on a date and while I am, for all intents and purposes, on a date with my mother, then I can hit on a girl anywhere.
It might not have led to anything, but it did give me practice. I will never look back at that day with regret, as I have looked back upon so many other days, when I was unable to summon the courage to take the final step of showing interest and vulnerability to a girl.
So yea. It didn’t work out, necessarily. But it was still a happy ending.
Oh, and on top of that, the Phillies won. My mom’s excitement and appreciation of the seats and the game made any kind of rejection completely worth it.
She really is a good date.
Unless, of course, you’re a Mets fan.