...and clearly, the man is drunk.
I'm not talking one-or-two-beers drunk.
I'm talking 3-martinis-and-the-whole-damned-bottle-of-olives drunk.
In the interests of full disclosure: This is not the first time I've talked to the man, but it is the first time he's called me. I've met him already, seen him in person several times over the past few months at work. We met (actually flirted a bit) in November or December, at a "Thank You" party for the volunteer piano players (of which he is one). I've stopped by a few times since then, on my way out of the hospital, to say "Hi" and listen.
And despite everything that I'm about to relay here, I've gotta give credit where it's due, Kittens. The guy has a lovely smile and gives good eye contact. Otherwise I'd have never shot him my digits when he requested them.
When he turned up in my Match.com "Daily 5" 'round about a month ago, I thought, what the hell. May as well nod and say "hey," even though it turns out he's 15 years older than I am and I had my search parameters firmly parked on No More Than 6 Years' Difference Either Way.
I'd had no idea how old he was during our workplace acquaintance--I'd have initially placed him well inside that window. Which he did himself, by listing his age as much younger for database-search purposes, but he did 'fess right up in the first line of the profile. "I'm really 57, but I'm saying 48 because I don't want to be weeded out." Hm. OK. Fair enough. Anyway, I'd have probably said he's "well preserved," but after the conversation we had, I'm switching to "pickled."
Douchebag*: "Hey, Denise. It's Douchebag." [drunken giggle]
(*Not his real name. Hereafter shortening to DB to save keystrokes.)
Denise: [Triple-checking time] "..."
Douchebag, when I gave you my phone number, numbskull, I figured you'd use it a) within four or five days, b) not at 10 pm, and c) sober. "Uhm. Hi."
DB: "So, what are you doing?"
Denise: "I'm, uhm. Getting ready to go to sleep. Have an early day tomorrow."
Denise: "... Yeah. Uhm."
DB: "So, wow. I can't believe you're on Match."
As of this very moment, Douchebag, I can't believe I am either. Yeah, well, I haven't been for very long. Just a couple of weeks, really."
DB: "Oh. Because I wouldn't have recognized you."
[Here I shall abridge the next few awkward halting minutes of small talk that ran the gamut from his gym schedule to his lament that so few women on Match look as good as their pictures, with a quick side trip into how difficult it is to meet quality women online.]
DB: "So, uh, what are you doing this weekend?"
Oh, thank Dog I have a solid answer for this one.
DB: "For coffee?"
Denise: "No, on a date."
DB: "Have you met him for coffee already?"
Denise: "Er, no. But we've talked on the phone..."
DB: "You're going out on a date and you haven't even met for coffee?" [drunken flabbergast-ish laughter]
DB: "I can't believe you're doing that. I mean, how can you tell if there's any chemistry? What if there's no chemistry? You're going on a date without having coffee first?" [more flabbergastish laughter]
Denise: "Well...uhm. Yeah. We've also communicated a lot in email too
which is more than I can say about you, considering your terse 15-word initial email asking for my phone number."
DB: "Email and phone don't tell you anything. You've gotta have chemistry. "
DB: "I've got a coffee date tomorrow right before I come to the hospital."
Denise: "That's cool. Uhm, good luck."
DB: "Thanks. I hope this one looks like her profile picture. Most of them don't, though."
Hoo boy. Yeah. You said that. Uhm, hey, Douchebag*, I've gotta go. Early meeting."
Denise: "If I, uhm. If I'm in the building when you're playing I'll stop down and say 'hi.'"
DB: "You do that!"
Denise: "OK. G'night, Douchebag."
[Checking clock: It's 10:12. This conversation has been, hands down, one of the most awkward 12 minutes of my entire adult life.]
Here's the thing.
I'm actually incredibly grateful to Douchebag.
For one thing, finding out his real age got me the hell over myself.
The guy I was meeting that weekend for the first time was another guy who fell outside my arbitrary age parameters. But he'd written a really, really good introductory email, with lots and lots of words arranged in lots and lots of interesting ways that made me smile in lots and lots of places. And...all the punctuation was in all the right places. HOT.
Chemistry or no chemistry, it was clear that this guy and I were going to have a lot to talk about and laugh about, and I really didn't feel the need for an "out."
Long story short, I didn't take Drunken Douchebag's advice.
We didn't meet for coffee first. We didn't afford ourselves the option of a quick escape.
Fools that we are, we dove right in.
I suppose it could have been excruciatingly awkward, but it wasn't.
Quite the opposite, in fact. It was, in fact, very much like meeting an old friend for the first time.
Postscript: Yesterday, I changed my profile on Facebook to "In a Relationship."
It certainly isn't with Douchebag.
Beakersful of chemistry.
Yes. I know they're flasks, not beakers.