Yes, boys and girls. This one is closed.
I went into it with an open mind. At best, it would have been the gateway to a fresh start, a new beginning with someone from my past.
At worst, it would be a face to face apology, a catching-up dinner, and nothing more.
It was like watching a short clip of my life, on fast-forward. Let's start at the beginning, shall we?
The first "date" was when McCain and I were going to get together, face to face, so I could reiterate my texted apology in person. I was as nervous as one of Charlie Sheen's attorneys that night. It had been AGES since I'd had to dress like a grown up, and not wear my usual lumberjack get up of fleece and Keen boots. I picked out a shirt from my eBay inventory, a "stately" crisp white blouse with ruffly things at the neckline. Here is where I remembered that a smart girl always has a backup outfit: when I put it on, I looked exactly like Jerry Seinfeld in the puffy shirt. Don't remember what that looked like? Let me refresh your memory:
That was my first bad omen. I had no other clothing options aside from too-tight long sleeved t-shirts from the Gap or big blocky sweatshirts. So Puffy Shirt, it was.
He picked me up, and I have to say that it was nice to see him. But I was a bit dismayed that my reaction to seeing him elicited only warm fuzzies, like the kind you get when you see a favorite old teacher, or one of your friend's dads. Not the ooh la la sparks that set the stage for a night of flirty banter with an underlying note of sexual tension. I found myself wondering whatever happened to Mr. Johnson, the kind of cuckoo Civics teacher from high school.
Anyhoo. So we went to a darling and delicious restaurant that we'd been to before. And the man does like to eat, which I always admired about him. We had two appetizers and each had two giant main courses. We also had three, yes, THREE bottles of very good wine. One thing that bugged me a bit during dinner was the fact that he kept bringing up instances when I had been less than nice. Sadly, there were plenty of those instances, but still...I apologized. That was the whole reason we were sitting there, no? But he kept at it, very subtly. "You weren't happy that night" or "That was another time you were acting cold." He kept saying, too, "You're so hard to read." Don't read me, man. I'm not a book. And I'm about as deep as a baby bathtub, so stop trying to figure me out. But did I mention there were three bottles of wine that night? There were.
So by the time the check comes, I'm no longer feeling self conscious about the Puffy Shirt, I'm letting the references to my prior bitchy behavior slide and I'm starting to think that yeah....yeah, maybe that is something ooh la la I'm feeling now. And off we went to McCain's house.
By this time it was pretty much a given that I was sleeping over, regardless of what happened. He showed me his newly remodeled basement, which was gorgeous. I am really proud of him, and happy for him, that he had this done. He had always been kind of reluctant to show any of his house, and we'd always ended up in his bed after prior dates simply because that was the only place to sit. That used to be kind of a sore spot for me. I mean, I know I'm not exactly Virgin Mary but still, it's nice to sit on a couch and be social for a while before I lose my pants.
So we decide to watch a movie. He opened another delicious bottle of wine, I got comfortable on the couch and waited for him to figure out the t.v. It was a new t.v., a lovely giant flat screen. He fiddled with it and what should flicker to life on the screen but the opening menu for Disney's "The Princess and the Frog". Now, to clarify, McCain does have a young niece that he dotes on, he even has a bedroom for her in his newly remodeled basement. So the fact that a single guy in his 50's had recently been watching The Frog Princess movie wasn't as creepy as it sounds. But....
He said, "Let's watch this."
Ahem. Perhaps it was the two bottles of wine sloshing around in me, maybe it was the impending snooze that I felt coming on, but I didn't fight it. In fact, at first I thought he was kidding. But he hit play and settled down on the couch next to me.
I spent the next hour or so playing the game that got me through most animated movies I've seen over the past 16 years: "Name The Celebrity Voices". I got all of them wrong in this one, besides Oprah and John Goodman. I can't believe they didn't have Morgan Freeman at least do a cameo.
This movie choice was troubling to me, even in my tired and inebriated state. I'm 44 years old, I have four kids and exactly 4 nights a month without kids. Nothing even remotely Disney-related should show itself during those 4 precious nights (unless one of my lovahs ever finds out about my sick and wrong feelings towards Gaston from Beauty and the Beast and decides to surprise me. But that's not relevant to this story). The fact that McCain not only considered it, but actually followed through and played the thing in it's entirety? Red flag.
I would have watched pretty much anything else. Seriously. Even the news would have been better.
So, skipping over the Peaches and Herb part of the story (Reunited, get it?? I guess only the old farts like me will remember that song, but the bad joke stays). Ok, I'll dish a little. We did end up in bed. And it was fine. When I've been drinking I'm not exactly 100% present for the romance, but according to my crazy hair the next morning, it was fine.
The drive of shame was no less awkward than it was the other dozen or so times. We said goodbye, talk to you soon, etc.
The next (and last) date was the following Tuesday. And again, we ended up watching something on that same t.v.
It was after this date that I did some real soul-searching, and came to a conclusion: It's not that the timing isn't right, it's that we are in way different time zones.