Too good to be true. Arenâ€™t we all?
Weâ€™re all messy with scar tissue and various types of stupidity, so Iâ€™m not saying that Iâ€™m perfect or that Iâ€™m not a piece of work myself. Iâ€™m saying that what we are on paperâ€”our professional and social resumes, our accolades and exploitsâ€”counts for less than how we respond to disappointment. The adhesive of our hopes and desires doesnâ€™t stick well to other people, no matter how glamorous, sexy, or accomplished they may be.
I was a victim of my own expectations.
Her hair was a shiny black that it took on a bluish tint in the right light. She was Albert Pujols now and Willie Mays back when. She was way out of my league. (This was before I stopped believing in leagues.)
I met her at Fido where I sat down at a two-top next to her and pretended to read. Of course, I was having trouble comprehending more than a word at a time: an attractive woman sitting close by is a lot like someone holding a hand next to your face without touching it. You can pretend likes itâ€™s not there, but that wonâ€™t do much good. Brothers pull this stunt to annoy their sisters: â€œIâ€™m not touching you. You canâ€™t tell mom because Iâ€™m not touching you.â€
My friend Jim came up and talked to this Rapunzel in her High Tower of Beauty. He introduced me to Samantha. While they were talking, I pretended to go back to pretending to read, but I was really just eavesdropping.
Jim eventually left, and I got up to pour myself a glass of water. I offered to bring one to Samantha. She said yes please and thanked me. As I handed her the glass, I noticed that she was eyeing my Bobâ€™s Candy Sticks that Iâ€™d snuck into the bill when my parents treated me to dinner at the Cracker Barrel. I know desire when I see it.
â€œDo you want some candy?â€ I asked.
â€œSorry, yeah, I love candy. You donâ€™t mind?â€ she said.
â€œOf course not,â€ I said, and thought, â€œGirl, for you I would fight Al Qaeda on a unicorn with only a copy of Bible as a weapon.â€
We started talking.
I was in.
Fast-forward a couple of months. I ran into Samantha several more times at Fido and at a couple of Jump, Little Children shows (latterly know as Jump).
I asked her out, and she gave me her number. This was promising on multiple fronts: 1) she was gorgeous95, which meant that looking at her gave me a stomachache; 2) she was working a full-time job and going to school full-time, which meant she was smart, ambitious, and hard-working; and 3) she taught the five-year-olds at her church, which meant she was spiritual as crap.
This could be it.
This is where the ax would fall.
We found an empty table up on the mezzanine level, and a waitress brought us menus.
â€œAre you hungry?â€ I asked.
â€œNot really. You?â€
â€œIâ€™m not super hungry, but I could eat. What if we split an appetizer?â€
â€œSounds good,â€ she said, and we both read the different options: chips & salsa, loaded potato skins, chicken tenders, quesadillas, 3rd & Lindsley Buffalo Wings.
â€œHey, are buffalo wings really made out of buffalo?â€ Samantha asked.
[Oh no. Seriously? Surely she was being facetious. Surely she saw that episode from Newlyweds with Jessica Simpson or the Pizza Hut commercial. Surely she was testing my own knowledge of pop culture and gullibility.]
â€œOh,â€ I laugh. â€œYouâ€™ve seen that Pizza Hut commercial with Jessica Simpson?â€
â€œNo, what commercial?â€