The peeper frogs are making a racket in the pond across the street and the wild turkeys are spreading their plumage every chance they get. It's spring and mating season is in full swing. Mating season for frogs and turkeys? Quite apropos, I guess as two days late I venture back into Tuesday's bad dates.
When we left off, Ian was pestering me at a seminar that I was attending with some college friends. At the end of day one, we all reconvened and decided to go to dinner at a nearby restaurant. In addition to the 3 friends I was with, we had accumulated 2 more college buddies, and -- of course --Ian. We hemmed and hawed for a while about the driving accommodations and finally, I ended up in the rental car with Ian, en route to the restaurant.
"So" he said, "Do you like Vince Gill?"
"No," I said, "I'm not really into country music."
"I just got his new CD. Have you heard it?"
"It's fantastic. You'll love it. Do you want to hear it?"
"Um, yeah, I guess so." I said. I wasn't sure why he believed I would love it.
So Ian popped in the CD and proceeded to glance over at me like a salivating puppy all the way to the restaurant. "What d'ya think?"
"It's ... good, I guess, if you like Vince Gill. It's really Vince Gill-ish"
"I could burn you a copy if you want."
"No, that's ok. I'm good."
"It's no problem, really. Just give me your address and I'll sent you a CD."
"No," I said. "Thanks, but I really don't want a copy of the Vince Gill CD."
"Let me know if you change your mind. And give me your home address."
Once inside the restaurant, we had a little wait. So the 7 of us were hanging around by the door and Ian demonstrated another of his non-talents: dancing.
The restaurant was a family owned Italian place. Reasonably priced, fantastic food, and kind of a kitchy interior -- like a brave attempt at an Italian village. And on the speakers, they had folksy Italian music playing at all times. To which, Ian proceeded to dance some kind of freakish, bouncy, undulating step. With his fanny pack bouncing in time right along with it. For 15 minutes he danced away, smiling his goofy smile and embarrassing the crap out the other 6.
Let me say that dancing like a moron is not necessarily a deal breaker for me. If the right person were dancing like an idiot in a nice restaurant, I may actually think it was funny or charming. But imperative to my enchantment with idiot-dancing is the dancer knowing it's a joke. Ian was completely serious. He even offered to teach me how to dance. We were all pretty relieved when the hostess seated us.
During dinner, Ian went from annoying into inappropriate.
"Oh, I bet you had some really crazy, drunken nights here, picking up all the guys" he said.
"Ian, this is a nice restaurant, not a dive. This is where we'd go when somebody's parents came to town and took us out to eat. Or people went for an anniversary date or something. We ate here after graduation."
"Oh, right" he said, pantomiming an exaggerated wink. "I'm sure you NEVER got drunk and had one night stands with all the guys"
Our two guy friends rode back in the rental care with Ian.
Day two of the conference Ian apologized for his behavior at dinner. He wasn't inappropriate on day two. He just talked like Yoda all day.
Again, let me point out that Yoda talk isn't necessarily a deal breaker. I'll bet Kevin Smith talks like Yoda all the time and I'd LOVE hanging out with Kevin Smith all day. But here's the difference: I'm pretty sure Kevin Smith would stop the Yoda talk after it was no longer funny.
Day three I remember as the day of inane questions.
"Are you a fan of fish?" he asked.
"Fish? Do you mean as a food? Or a pet? Or the band?"
"There's a band called Fish? You're joking." he said.
"Phish, with a P-H. They don't tour anymore" I said.
"Well, I'll be."
Then...."Have you heard of Guinness?"
"Yeah, the beer. Have you ever had one?"
"Yeah. I love Guinness" I said.
"I had my first one last night. I don't believe that you drink Guinness."
He told me about a race track near his house where for $500, you could drive race cars around the track. Like in Nascar. "Wouldn't you just love to do that?" he asked.
"You know," I said, "I can think of a lot of other things I'd rather spend $500 on."
"Oh, you know you'd love it." he said "Just admit it."
And finally..."Do you like fresh water fishing?"
"I've only been salt water fishing" I said. "I could take it or leave it. I just like being on the ocean."
"You should come down to Texas. We could go out on my boat and go fishing. You'd love it."
He had a really long list of things that he knew I'd just love.
Finally came day four. The classes only lasted half the day and then there was a luau themed pool party at the outdoor pool. (and might I add that things had certainly changed since I went to school there, where any alcohol on pool grounds was like a sign of the apocalypse or something)
The pool party was where Ian went from annoying to inappropriate and then all the way to creepy.
"Oh," he said "You look so good in that bathing suit. You know what you need? A belly button ring."
Sure. I was 37 years old. Prime time to start on my body piercings.
Later, I found out that when I was swimming, he was perched on the side of the pool, taking pictures of me with his zoom lens.
I hadn't gotten that tidbit when he asked me if I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
Which somehow segued into him asking me to spend the night in his hotel with him.
"I would be honored if you'd spend the night with me."
"Oh, no, no, no.....no, no.....no. No. Absolutely not."
If you would all excuse me, I have to go take a shower now and scrub myself with wire brush and sandpaper.