A Million Stories

I've been joking that as soon as tax season was over, I would spend the ensuing week in a drunken stupor. Turns out, that's a more difficult goal than I'd originally thought.

In lieu of becoming an out and out drunk, I have spent a great deal of time socializing this week. Without the added burden of endless hours of paperwork to file and cross-check with my accountant, I feel like I've just lost a second full-time job.

The outings this week have been an absolutely glorious reward for the hours logged on taxes, and a great diversion from the significant portion of income that is being diverted to the government slush funds.

Last night, a group of us were enjoying an unbelieveable meal at a local restaurant, and conversation shifted to dating. We traded stories about our worst-ever dates, and I was happily surprised that most of the stories were relatively mild.

When my turn came around, I remembered my worst date as a guy who I had immediately clocked as a schmuck. It was my mother's birthday, and I had taken her for a spa day, followed by a concert, then out for drinks. The day was all about her, and I was happy to do it.

So I thought it was really poor form when a strange man kept approaching us, asking me to dance/chat/whatever. I explained that it was my mom's birthday, and I would be spending my time with her, thank you very much. It seemed more polite than the other options running through my head.

He shifted his game plan, focusing on dear old mum. He asked her to dance instead, fawning over her and making a bit of a scene. Mom was charmed. I was apalled. I thought it too tacky for words that he was using my mother to get to me.

After a few songs on the dance floor, his lobbying and my mother's glass of wine had kicked in. Mom was on the guy's bandwagon. "Quit being such a snob! He's a very nice young man, dear. He just wants to get to know you!"

Yes, my mother had given the guy my phone number. He smugly watched from across the bar as she informed me of this, and seemed amused by the laser beams of hate that I shot in his direction. Hell, he was an attorney...what else would I expect?

She had apparantly quizzed him on his vitals as they danced. She knew where he grew up, where he went to school, what his parents did for a living, what his life goals were. Turns out the real gift to my mother was the chance to play out some 19th century courting ritual.

When he called the next day to ask me to dinner, I was cornered. My mother had already threatened me to within an inch of my life to accept. To refuse would have been a greater hassle, a thought that was confirmed when my mother later called to ensure I had accepted the date.

While the two of us ate seared ahi overlooking the Pacific, he proved to be the cocksure guy of my first impression. But there was one moment that I still remember as being truly extraordinary.

It seems that before blowing out a significant joint/tendon/muscle, he had played professional baseball. He told me about the years spent toiling in Triple-A, then finally getting 'called up.' It happened quickly, he said, and within a couple of days, he was playing in his first major league stadium.

More than that, he actually got an at-bat. I guess it's typical for the rookie to choke in such a situation, so when he actually connected with the ball and scored a base hit, he was gobsmacked.

In the interminable period where the next batter knocks the dirt off his cleats and prepares to bat, the guy stood at his base and pondered the scene around him. Next thing he knew, the Hall of Fame baseman for the opposing team sauntered over. The rookie couldn't believe who he was looking at.

The Hall of Famer gave him a wide smile, tapped him on the ass with his glove, and said "Welcome to the majors, kid."

But for this story, the date was a dreadfully dull two hours where each second painfully ticked by at a geologic pace. I guess it's true that there are a million stories in the naked city. Scratch just beneath the surface and you find, not an asshole attorney, but a wide-eyed kid who played major league ball.

It would be a short baseball career, and an even shorter date. We never spoke again (he lived up the coast, thankfully) and mom's reaction was a surprising "Well I never expected you to marry him!"

Every once in a while, like last night, I'll remember that story and think that life is indeed more than tax season and obligations. I'm not at all sure what the 'more' is, but I'm inclined to believe that these kind of moments provide a clue.


Anonymous said...

Mothers have the worst taste in men. The one and only time I went along with my mom's dating whims was a similar experience. She was charmed with the income and Pac Heights home generated by his hedge fund business yet somehow missed the fact that he was boring as hell and overweight. Since he took me to multi-star restaurants and was cordial enough, we went on a couple of dates until I was so bored I drank one to many Ketel One gimlets to the point of borderline insanity. What little I managed to remember the next day still makes me wince. Originally, I thought the behavior was the result of "the most excellent gimlets in the world" combined with boredom and stress at work; yet now it is quite obvious it was my way of driving him away so he would stop calling. When he still called, I didn't know what to do...

Schnapps said...

I can't say mom ever fixed me up with anyone. She preferred to stay out of my love life.

There was one guy. We had a nice meal, etc. Nothing significant. Kiss on the cheek.

The next day, I'm driving to work at about 7:30 in the morning and he calls me to say good morning. A little odd, I thought, but whatever.

Over the next two days he called me 30 times.

Yeah. Buh-bye.

Aspeth said...

Heeheehee....Oh, these stories made me giggle!

Mal, luckily this is the only experience I've had with dear ol' mum and dates. I like to think she learned a lesson ;-)

Schnapps, you story actually reminded me of something I've completely blocked out of my brain for a few years. Wow. Now that I think about that story, it makes obsequious attorney guy seem like a catch!!!!