11 May 2012

on a treasure hunt {part 3}

And now we get to the actual date with Treasure House Man.

For the back story, you can read part 1 and hear how he asked me out.

Or you can read part 2 and hear how I reacted.

Or you can just read this.


Tuesday came, and I fielded the typical pre-date questions from friends who knew what was going on:
  1. Are you excited? Nervous? Both? Kind of an exci-vous, which is an odd combo of those words and probably never going to take off as other combo words, such as brunch, have?
  2. What are you wearing?

And I gave the typical answers:
  1. I'm trying to remember that it's just coffee. Just a chance to get to know someone else and see if I might like to get to know him better. Because at this point, most of what I learned about him, I learned through Google stalking.

    Oh, of course I Google stalked him. This is the back-in-the-day equivalent of asking if your friends knew anything about a guy who seemed interesting, only in this 21st century scenario, your friend is Google and you can ask anonymously.

    You can also start with only three pieces of information and end up finding someone's resume, by the way. I googled just his first name {since I didn't know his last name, too}, University of New Mexico, and metal working, and there it was, his employment history.

    That's still not a lot to go on. Even when you're interviewing someone for a job, you have more information than that—not that I think of dates as job interviews, nor do I think dating me would be a job.
  2. What to wear? I could've pulled out one of my fleece vests, just to show him that I own more clothes than a puffy vest.

    Or I could've gone straight from work: in a heels, pencil skirt, button down with a cardigan and pearls ensemble. But then it might look like I was coming to interview him—or maybe fire him—and we've already established that a date is not the same as an employment opportunity. Right.

    As it often goes with these things, I'd picked out one outfit but the weather turned and the outfit was suddenly impractical: a heavy downpour is not the moment for heels and a sleeveless top, no matter how well the top accentuates your eyes.

    Note to self: always own tops in all sleeve lengths that accentuate your eyes so that you can go into back-up wardrobe planning mode more efficiently.

    On the night of my date with Treasure House Man, back-up wardrobe planning mode looked like this:
    staring blankly at my closet
    staring frantically at my watch
    asking Little Pug what she thought I should wear
    having her stare blankly at me
    and then throwing on jeans, a button down, a cardigan, but leaving off the pearls
    and running out the door, into the rain, and on to the date.


Treasure House Man was already there, waiting at the cafe, unaware of all my Google stalking and blank staring at my closet.

Yes, still good looking, I thought. Strong jaw, dark hair, a fiery soccer player build.

It must be a leftover of my cheerleading days that I classify guys by what sport they might’ve played, and you can tell me I’m pulling some sort of mean girl classification, this trying to make everyone into jocks, but it works for me.

As did Treasure House Man’s blazer. He had on a very professorial blazer—so academic that I immediately checked his elbows to see if there were leather patches.

There weren't, but I stretched out my hand anyway to meet his, my mind jumping ahead {as it often does} to imagining the kind of library an art professor and his British literature-loving wife would have. Wood paneled, by the way, but I’ve learned to control my jumping ahead imagination by 1) telling my brain to shut up, and 2) focusing very intently on the moment.

And at the moment, Treasure House man was asking, "How are you doing tonight?"

Little did I know that that would be one of only five questions he'd ask me over the next 90 minutes.


I have been on several bad first dates.

I once had a man end a date by giving me a Victoria’s Secret coupon—saying, “Don’t be freaked out by this, but I’m sure you of all people could find something enjoyable there.”

On another date, the man told me flat out that his career had incredible earning potential so he could offer a luxurious life—telling me, “You seem very classy, so I’m sure that’s the kind of life you’re accustomed to.”

And once, the man let slip all the Google and Facebook stalking he had done of me. {Cardinal rule of Internet stalking: It’s a secret.} In one sentence, he let me know that my Facebook privacy settings were way too lax and that he had spent too much time looking: “I really enjoy the renovation your parents did of their living room, especially the orange color they chose for the accent wall.”

So yes, I have had bad first dates, but even on those, the worst parts were just small moments to laugh at later.

With Treasure House Man, it was an onslaught of moments.

It was as if I were watching a performance or being lectured to. Both the performance and the lecture would’ve been titled: “How to Overwhelm Your Date and Not Let Her Get a Word in, Edge or Other-wise.”

Turns out the Treasure House Man is a treasure trove of:
tangential stories
historical facts
movie quotes
and just your run-of-the-mill information.

And he attempted, in 90 minutes, to share it all with me.

There were moments, I will admit, when I was genuinely having a good time. When I was laughing and smiling without thinking to myself, 'Now laugh. Now smile.'

But there were other moments when I thought, 'How do I casually look at my watch? And wouldn’t it be awesome if my watch were one of those spy watches—one that records a conversation without the other person knowing? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that in Sky Mall, which seems, in part, to have a target audience of People Who Are Suspicious of Others and Want Evidence.

‘But if I could only capture some of the off-the-wall things he’s saying, then later when other people tell me I’m too quick to judge or that I need have less demanding standards, I’ll put my watch up to their ear and hit play. Sky Mall and me: we’ll show those other people why my standards are just where they need to be.’

As a general rule, when you’re on a date but thinking about Sky Mall and recording watches and proving to others that you’re right, the date is not going well.


What could he have said that was so worthy of recording? Or of trying to get him to keep talking {not a hard thing to do}, just to seem what other gems would fall from his mouth?

For a sampling of what Treasure House Man said—his treasure trove of quotables—read part 4.

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