Sunday, June 24, 2012

Entry #61 - Spinster on Sabbatical

 OH there you are, Diary!...right where I left you...fancy that.

My most profuse apologies for neglecting you, Diary, I totally fell off the wagon. Remember last autumn when I took a month off from writing in the old blog and we called it a Spintermission? This most recent break was a little bit longer than an intermission, and technically speaking I took a break from spinsterdom in general and not just blogging, so we will call this most recent discontinuance a Spinster Sabbatical. Yes, that has a nice scholarly ring to it, let's run with that.

A special apology to anyone who wondered briefly if I may have finally died alone and been eaten by my cat; I have envisioned what that would look like often enough to know that it is not a particularly pleasant thought. I can report that both Gus and I are alive and well, with Gus in particular being in fine form thanks to an especially amazing haircut.
How could anyone write with such a jaunty fellow prancing around? I dare you, nay, I challenge you to be produtive with a furry-booted spectacle frolicking about the house.

Spinster Sabbatical

As a general rule, whenever friends have said that they want to set me up on a date, I shut them down faster than you can you can say "wienerschnitzel". I don't know what it is, but the very idea of a blind date makes me want to shout out "NO THANKS, I'M FULL!" at a volume that is slightly louder and more monotone than is socially acceptable; kind of like a robot with Tourettes. Logically, (and taking into consideration the fact that I only hang out with clever bitches) I should be more trusting of my friends' judgement in regard to suitable suitors. Logic, however (along with sportiness and domesticity), is not really a trait that is ever frequently associated with yours truly.

A few months ago my lovely friend Katie B and I were out for lunch together at Pagliacci's. One of the wondrous things about this restaurant, aside from delicious pastas with witty names, is the bread they serve before your pasta even arrives. I would say it's similar to a focaccia, but with a hint of greasy-fried-delicious-rock-salt-crusted goodness. The bread has an opiate-like effect on me, and if given a choice between a bottle of wine and a loaf of this bread I would probably take the bread. So, as I sat with my mouth stuffed to chipmunk proportions with delicious warm white bread, my friend Katie saw her opportunity:

K: "There is someone you maybe might possibly be interested in pressure."
H: lacking the cognitive capability to shout "NO THANKS, I'M FULL" thanks to the opiate bread lull in my brain I instead simply replied "Bwat? Bwo?"
K: "A friend of Anna's, he has the same sense of humour as you and he already knows about the blog."
H: *still shoveling bread into my mouth* "Holy crap, he's read the blog and he still wants to meet me? Unfathomable."
K: "So you'll meet him?"
H: "Let us break convention and say yes!"

And so it came to be that some days later I received a text asking if said gentleman could have my email address. Without the calming effects of the drug-infused bread, I started to panic ever so slightly...oh sweet merciful heavens, I had agreed to a blind date. "Calm down you crazy wench," I told myself, "it's just an email, perhaps it will be riddled with glaring grammatical errors which you can use as a get-out-of-blind-date free card. If you're really lucky he will open with "Deer Hannah""...

No such luck. Not only was it grammatically flawless, it was also funny and the the word soliloquy was used without feeling clunky or pretentious. Touché, sir... touché. Thus, a few more emails went back and forth and eventually a date was set for Let the cold sweats begin. 

I imagine that (for my friends) watching me date must elicit a similar mix of emotions as those felt by spectators watching figure skating at the Olympics; anxious excitement mingled with trepidation, sensations which are further heightened by the knowledge that this shit only happens once every four years. I can picture all my ladies lined up in the stands: some shouting encouragement loudly (Kimmy + Book Club Bitches), some with glittery signs (GB), some peeking through their fingers anxiously whilst chugging Pepto-Bismol (Kitty G), and some (*cough *Ashley H-F) warming up their batons just in case some knees need to be broken in order to ensure my success. It goes without saying that Vanessa is my stern but loving Russian coach who regularly talks me off ledges dispenses an award winning pep talk.

The day for the first date arrives and I am calm, cool and collected. By calm, cool, and collected I mean frazzled, sweaty and ever so slightly nauseated. I yell possible outfit ideas down the hallway to my room mate Heather, who is sitting in her bed perusing Pinterest on her laptop at this time. She may be four years my junior, but Heather has been on far more first dates than I have, and thus we default to her judgement in this arena. Eventually we find an outfit that meets the many criteria (I had no idea existed), and I am ready to go!
Most memorable Heather commentary: (delivered without even looking up from Pinterest) as I checked an outfit in the mirror outside our bedroom doors - "You aren't wearing animal themed earrings...right, sweetheart?". This was an entirely valid concern.

My Gentleman Caller, henceforth referred to as GC, arrived right on time to collect me. Points for punctuality. On our way downtown for drinks he makes mention of how highly our mutual friend spoke of me. Her love for me is true, and I know she wholeheartedly believed all the nice stuff she said about me, yet I couldn't help but worry that I was the human equivalent of a cleverly worded real estate description - The "cozy and quaint handy man's dream". Uh...Oh. Someone's in for a surprise.

There are both pros and cons to going on a date with a man who already knows about your crazy spinster blog:
Pros: He already knows about your crazy spinster blog and thus you don't have to worry about trying desperately to hide its existence.
Cons: He already know about your crazy spinster blog and may have actually read it. 

Before I am finished my first G&T it becomes apparent this man is a grown up, and that he actually has his shit together. He is also calm, cool and collected. This time I actually mean it. I am both intimidated and intrigued, especially when he throws out the term "non-disclosure agreement" in regard to this blog (little does he know, only like 8 people read this blog! HA! joke's on him!). He said it sort of facetiously, but I'm not sure if that matters in a court of law. I did not attend law school, thus, I am not certain as to exactly how binding a verbal non-disclosure agreement is. I mean, are we cool as long as I never mention your name or quote you directly? Oh God, please don't sue me.

By the time I get halfway through my second G&T I have already committed what I believe to be first-date suicide. In response to a question about what I like to do in my free time, I answered thusly:

H: "well, I spend a lot of time out with my ladies, but when I am at home I really like to read...and obviously you have seen my blog so you know I like to toodle about on the internets." At this point I think I actually made the physical gesture of pushing up my invisible glasses and typing on my invisible keyboard, because seduction is my specialty. 
GC: *inquisitive head tilt* "Did you just say...toodle?"
H: Oh fudgsicle "...sure did..."

I quickly excused myself to the ladies room where I gave myself a stern talking to in the mirror about inappropriate word selection and "turning down the suck" in general. At this juncture I had lost almost all hope of ever seeing him again and probably went on to say even more ridiculous things that I have since blocked out.GC drove me home, and as we said goodbye he said that he had enjoyed himself and expressed an interest in seeing me again. I was 92% sure he was a filthy, filthy liar.

Turns out he was not a filthy, filthy liar at all, and that he genuinely did want to see me again. And then again after that. And then a few more times. And so it went for the last couple months, with me feeling sure that whatever I just said or did would finally be enough to scare him away, and with him remaining calm and unflappable in the face of a sassy, ridiculous redhead. It was really nice; so much so that I can hardly bring myself to write about it. It's like a firefly, something bright I'd like to keep in a jar for later.

Okay, so I'm going to be straight with you, things are about to get a little sad. So, I have included a Family Portrait Recreation for you in order to cushion the fall a little. I feel like this is a kindness, but it may in fact be like distracting babies with a toy before jabbing them in the leg with a booster shot. You are welcome?

More recreation family photos, note that my dad is trying to hand my brother some bacon in the bottom one. Somehow I feel that this explains everything you've ever wondered about me. 
As I said, this went on for the last two months. The trouble with a couple of months, as it turns out, is that it is enough time to find numerous things that are endearing about a person, enough time to become accustomed to seeing them and hearing from them, enough time to become reacquainted with the long-buried feeling of what it means to not be alone...enough time to lay your reluctance to rest. It is not, however, enough time to build a foundation of sorts; so when GC was given a promotion in a city that is not this one, it became apparent that our expiry date was imminent. So, in a conversation that seemed very grown up, he said po-tay-to, I said po-tah-to, then we called the whole thing off.

And so, Spinster Sabbatical 2012 is over. In the interest of self preservation, I preformed a spinsterectomy and removed myself from his life; not because he did anything wrong, if anything it is because he did almost everything right. I am told a full spinsterectomy will be beneficial in the long run, a sentiment which would provide more comfort were I practiced in the art of delayed gratification. Right now it's like I am looking at the world through film negatives; it's hard to focus on all the good things he brought into my life when all I can see is everywhere he isn't.

There are some good things about being a spinster once again, I have made a list to prove it. So far all I have is "no longer need to shave legs all the time". Okay, so technically speaking it's not a list yet. Give me some time, there must be at lest a couple more things...

"In your absence, I'm finding value, 
because what starves you carves you,
and I'm chipping away rough edges"

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