Before I met Mike, the excellent-cooking, marathon-running, fine-dining, non-cussing, quite-possibly gay man, I had a date with David.  This date was soon followed by what is quite possibly the most awkward conversation I have ever had in a parking lot.

I decided to meet David because he wooed me with goats. He noticed from my profile that I lived in Edmonds and, news to me, there was a big piece of property that was being ‘sustainably maintained’ by a herd of goats. After he mentioned it to me I went and took a look and, sure enough, he was right. I was not sure how I had missed a large pack of farm animals in my neighborhood but I was impressed that he could point out something new. I asked David why he happened to be in my neck of the woods since his profile stated that he lived and worked in Seattle. He was pretty vague in his answer which should have maybe been a clue but I decided to meet him anyway. David suggested his favorite coffee shop so I agreed for a caffeinated first meeting.

My first impression of David was that he was pretty cute although he was a tad pasty, slight and wearing a Mr. Rogers sweater vest. He bore a strong resemblance to Michael Ian Black which was probably what redeemed him. We got our coffee, started to chat and it quickly became clear that I was not going to want to see David again. The guy didn’t smile during our whole conversation and he was a big pile of gloom and sadness. We started talking about work and he revealed he was employed at a hospital in the IT department which he hated. I asked if he was looking for something else and he replied that he worked at the hospital still because that is where he was ‘treated’ and it was convenient since he had appointments almost every day. I wasn’t sure what to ask since he hadn’t revealed anything previously about a horrible ailment. Luckily I was spared having to ask an awkward question because David jumped right in with the whole story. He had been on a vacation with his ex-wife, gone diving and managed to break his neck on the bottom of the ocean. Hmmm. Pretty shitty. But there was more. He had broken his spine in three places, had ten surgeries, still had trouble walking and, for some reason he didn’t explain, had suffered horribly from depression since it happened. He was still trying to get his medication calibrated and had at least two more surgeries to go. I did not know what to say. It was obviously an awful story and I felt for the guy. This, too, was the first time I had heard about an ex-wife so I asked him about that. What the hell. They had only been separated (not even divorced!) for two months and she was still living in the house they owned which happened to be located in the town I lived in, i.e. why he was driving by the goat field. He wanted to sell the house but he couldn’t because his soon-to-be-ex-wife still lived there and couldn’t leave because her manic depression had rendered her unable to work or leave the house. Oh…my…god. I felt for this guy but what the hell was he doing out dating? He hadn’t asked one question about me but I didn’t blame him. Talk about a lot going on. It sounded like getting out of bed in the morning was a struggle for him and, as sorry as I felt for him, I didn’t want to date him.

Luckily our coffee cups were about empty and I could make a graceful exit. As we were walking to our cars David turned to me and asked if I liked chocolate. Kind of a weird thing to ask as his first and only question but I answered that, yes, I was fond of the cocoa bean. So, good, then, David, said, our second date could be at a specialty dessert restaurant near his house. Sorry? Had I agreed to a date and didn’t remember? Here I had been thinking that you were supposed to *ask* someone if they wanted to go out with you again not *tell* them. I wanted out of there. Fast. I shook David’s hand, told him to email me and ran for it. I got an email from him within an hour saying how much he enjoyed meeting me and when were we going to get our sugar fix? I answered that I was afraid there wasn’t that ‘connection’ between us but I wished him luck with all of the things he had going on. He never replied back and I just thanked my lucky stars that I had averted that disaster.

Apparently I didn’t thank my stars hard enough. About two months after our coffee date, I went to China for 9 days. I had been up for about 30 hours by the time I made it home on the return trip and I realized I had nothing resembling food in my house. Even though I was totally travel-weary and looked like death warmed over, I stopped at the store near my house. I was walking through the aisles when I saw a guy out of the corner of my eye and did a double-take. It was David. Oh, NO. It was pretty late and there were only a handful of people in the store. I had to escape him! I took my time shopping and hung back until I saw that he had paid and left. He hadn’t seen me as far as I could tell so I paid and walked out to the parking lot and there was David, standing by my car. I didn’t know whether to feel scared or just socially awkward. He said, “Hey, Kate, how are you? Long time, no see.” I told him I was just getting back from China and was totally out of it but, other than that, doing well. “So, Kate, are you dating anyone yet? I see you are still on Match? Are you sure you don’t want a second date with me?” Holy f*ck. What was I supposed to say to that? Was he serious? This was an awful situation even when my mind wasn’t totally foggy and I was wondering if I needed to start getting frightened, being in a dark parking lot with stalker boy and all. Luckily I was with it enough to tell him that, yes, I was still on Match but I was taking a big, big break for the time being. I didn’t even give him a chance to respond, told him it was good to see him, take care, and hopped in my car. I felt a bit rude but fear of personal harm trumped being polite. Seeing David in my rearview mirror as I peeled away was the last I ever saw of him but I quit going to that grocery store and started thanking my lucky stars a little bit harder.

Published in: on December 14, 2009 at 2:13 am  Comments (1)