Every Little Thing She Does is Magic: 1st Date with Melissa
A Tuesday night phone conversation set up the Thursday night dinner with Melissa. I arrived first and sat at the bar with a Heineken and made small talk with the bored bartender. Five minutes later, Melissa arrived and gracefully made her way around the tables toward the bar while every married guy in the place watched. Her big sis is a former Miss Hawaiian tropic, and this apple fell right next to the tree and hasn’t moved since. The knee-length black dress was tapered at the waist, and made her a thin, graceful silhouette. The Chanel clutch bag and matching Burberry belt were a classy touch. Her long, wavy brunette locks were tucked neatly behind her ears, except for one thin strand that came down the front of her face, touched the very top of her right cheekbone and rested just below her mouth.
I expected her to give me one of those European-kiss-kiss-on-each-cheek greetings, but she grabbed my hand and smiled “Hey, Kilby. Great to see you again.” The levity of talking on the patio at Jeanine’s party had been replaced by the formality of a first date. But she was the best dressed first date I had ever met, and her fashion sense made me slightly nervous. I’ve known these types of girls before. They have the mastheads of Elle, Vogue and Vanity Fair committed to memory.
The four-person table was set for two, with her plate directly across from mine. When she sat down, she moved her plate so that she would be seated immediately to my left. I liked her, so I mirrored her body language and hoped she would notice. She rested her arm on the table, I did too. She put her hand on her knee, I put my hand on my knee. We both went to Catholic schools, no longer go to church, but desire to be married in a Catholic ceremony. And neither of us thinks that is strange. After a three-hour dinner, I walked her to her car and said I wasn’t going to hug her, because I suck at hugging – even beautiful women. She hugged me anyway and I tensed up like I always do mid-hug. Walking back to my car, the hug made me smell like her perfume, and the aroma was sweeter than Amanda’s perfume ever was.
I’ve been crushing on girls long enough in the electronic age to know that when you email a friend or sister of your crush, that it’s immediately forwarded to the object of your affection. With this in mind, I carefully drafted an email to Jeanine the next morning. It had to be witty, to the point, confident and show just the right amount of interest without sounding over-eager. What kind of email would Steve McQueen send? I wondered. Hah, I got it. I pictured McQueen sitting at the bar with his Power Book – shot of bourbon to the left, cigarette to the right. His ever-present squint focused squarely on the keypad.
Hey Jeanine, had a great time with your sis last night. She’s funny, intelligent, Catholic, and no ex-husband or kids…everything I look for : )
I know. I know. It is quite possibly, no…unequivocally, the single worst piece of communication ever sent by anyone in the history of the entire world. And that includes snail mail, telegraph, fax, sign language, Morse code, carrier pigeon and telepathy. My keyboard should be ashamed of me, and in fact, I’m pretty sure that it is. My pathetic attempt at romance humor came off sounding like an even more pathetic checklist. And what would ever possess me to think that McQueen would end it with a smiley face emoticon?
I sent it to Jeanine’s work address, so I knew her Outlook ping went off immediately after I sent it. And I knew enough about Jeanine’s job to know that she rarely has to attend meetings, eats lunch at her desk and we have a history of responding to each other’s emails within half an hour. Nonetheless, time began to crawl. Even though my Outlook ping hasn’t sounded, I checked the inbox just in case.
What if Outlook chooses today to NOT ping? What if my computer speakers short out and I don’t hear the ping? I checked again. Nothing. I went to lunch with a co-worker and deliberately took my time. I returned one hour and five minutes later, and no envelope icon in the lower right corner. I opened the inbox anyway. Nothing.