A Handshake Instead of a Kiss

GH's reprimanding comment on my last post has reminded me of a series of stories that should be told. To escape reprimand once more, I'll be sure to promise you that all of the details of the following historical accounts are completely historically accurate in so far as the histographer was able to recollect the events. None of the following is an embellishment.

Scenes from My Doorstep
By Cicada

February, 1998

I had liked a friend of Brother 2's for years. We'll call him Jean-Louis because that was his name and because there is no need to really keep him anonymous here. He was French Canadian and had everything going for him. He was smart, he wanted to be a doctor, he was anabsolutelyfantastic dresser (no pleats). He was very good looking, too. Sometimes he had a little goatee, sometimes he didn't. He had the best freckles on a man that I have ever seen. He was a dream, an absolute dream. At this time, he was off at university in Southern Ontario, but one day, I received a phone call from him, letting me know that he was in town. We always understood that we shared... let's call them "feelings" for each other. So we went to the movie (I think it was The Wedding Singer). By a strange set of boring circumstances that I won't relate here, we had to meet at the movies, therefore we had to take separate vehicles. After the movie, though there was no hand-holding during the movie, I started to panic. He was walking me back to my car, and I knew that "goodbye" was coming very soon, and I didn't know if we were on a date or if we were just friends. Was it a date or just friends? Was it a date or just friends? Wasitadateorjustfriends?? We were getting nearer and nearer to my car.

When we finally got to the car, I quickly pulled the keys out of my purse and unlocked the door, thus readying myself for whatever---and I really had no clue what---was to come. I turned around to look at him and as I turned around, I saw his hands coming out of the pockets of his jacket and instinctively---this wasn't even remotely on purpose---instincively---and I blame the Church---instinctively, I put out my hand so as to give him a handshake.

We stood there, awkward for a moment, my outstretched hand filling the gap between our heaving hearts.

He slowly reached his hand forward to take it, and shook it. You know. With meaning. Then he said, "Well... can I at least have a hug?"

At least a hug! At least! That means that at most it was going to be a kiss! At most, I could have kissed the best dressed man I've ever gone to the movies with! My life is crap.

January, 2002

A guy from my ward called me up and asked me on a date. I accepted before even looking him up in the ward directory because, let's face it, when you're as hard up for love as I am, you take it wherever you can get it. "No" isn't a part of my vocabulary. Imagine my surprise and delight, then, when I got home, looked up his picture and found out that he was handsome! Imagine my further surprise and delight when I asked other people about him and they told me he was 6'5. Hmm. That's a whole foot taller than me.

Well, before I even met the man, before I even started to worry about what to wear, I started to worry about the doorstep scene. It was coming. I knew that sometime within the next 72 hours, I'd be at a doorstep with this man and I'd be expected to do something. What, I really had no clue. I talked to my coworkers about it. I explained that I'm not a very touchy person, and I don't like hugging people---especially those who I don't know. So the thought of thinking that maybe I had to hug a man who I didn't even know within the next 72 hours was driving me crazy. I think that I even demonstrated to poor Nemesis how awkward it would be by rushing at her on my knees and hugging her around her midsection. "A whole foot taller than me!" I shouted from her belly button. "A whole foot! I can't just press my head up against this stranger's chest!"

During the next 72 hours, I figured out what to wear, and I even calmed down a little about the doorstep scene. A single, male coworker assured me that hugging after the date was not obligatory at all. So I planned just not to hug the man.

What followed was the best date of my life. It honestly was. Everything was perfect and wonderful and the man was dreamy, just absolutely dreamy. Half way through the date, I started panicking about what if maybe he'd never ask me out again, and so I'd never have a date that wonderful again. I started panicking that maybe I send the wrong signals, and maybe although I was enjoying myself immensely, maybe he was getting "I'm Just Not That Into You" signals.

He drove me to my house and walked me to my door. As we were walking there, I figured out what I could say. I would simply say, "I had a wonderful time tonight." That way, he would know that I had a wonderful time, and I could get away with not giving him a hug but still sending him the right signal.

I unlocked my door and I turned around and as I was opening my mouth to say my brilliant line, he said, "I had a wonderful time tonight."

In my head: No no no no no no no no no! He just stole my line! That's what I was going to say! Quick, think of something to say, faster faster fasterfasterfasterfaster!

Before I realized what was happening, I said, "Ask me out again then." It wasn't even flirtateous. It wasn't even said with a smile. It was a command. An order. Ask me out again then.

He hesitated and then said a missionary's favorite words: "I will."

April, 2005

This, though not as dramatic as the other events, happened this past year, and is the story that GH's comment on my last post reminded me of. See, GH asked if the South American lady came by my place selling tamales. She didn't this week, but she certainly did last April.

I was on a date with a friend with whom I'd go on dates. It was a funny sort of relationship we had where sometimes we were out and it felt like just friends and sometimes we were out and I'd get that little giddy sensation in my stomach. It was all strange because we were (and are) very good friends. It was funny to me that sometimes I could actually get nervous around him when we were on a date. So, all of that explanation simply to say that it was at the end of one of those giddy-stomach/nervous dates, and we were getting to my doorstep, and I was wondering, "What's going to happen here?"

We got to my door, I unlocked it, and turned to face him. And the two South Americans who were standing right in behind him. South Americans? Not exactly who you expect to be standing on your doorstep with your date at 11:00 at night.

They asked if we wanted to buy tamales. We had no cash. They accepted checks. How much were they? Ten dollars. Oh, sorry, I just don't think that I could right now. Did my roommates want any? Let me check. No, no, none of them had any cash either. Did I want their address in case I ever changed my mind and had a hankering for tamales? Oh, of course.

And somehow at the end of all this, the nervousness, was gone, the butterflies were gone, and I calmly and eventlessly said goodnight to my date.

**It is to be stated here very clearly that since watching Hitch, I now know that I'm supposed to play with my keys at the doorstep instead of unlocking the door right away. I'll be prepared for my next doorstep scene, which should be coming in about another two to five years.


ambrosia ananas said...

Hahahahaha. You know, these sound like the things I do. For instance, the time I was on a rollercoaster with this boy I really liked. Who seemed to really like me, too. All of a sudden, he gave a great big phony yawn, stretched his arms really wide, and then conspicously dropped one around my shoulders. I panicked.

What do I do? What do I say? What if he's just making fun of me?

(Now might be a good time to note that 1, I have always be paranoid about letting people see how they are affecting my emotions. People are supposed to think that I am in perfect control, impervious to their every whatever. And 2, my friend was extremely sarcastic and liked to make fun of me. We basically maintained a continual barrage of sarcastic banter. So I was even more afraid that he was just toying with me.)

Now, after all that background explanation, I'm still sitting there wondering how on Earth I should respond. Well, obviously, I can't let him think I'm going to be hurt by his little joke. So I looked at him and said "That was subtle."

I'll tell you what, I've never seen anyone's arm move back where it belonged so quickly. I never got more than a hug out of him again, and I'm lucky to have gotten that much physical contact.

daltongirl said...

Date #4: Daltonboy was NOT making ANY moves. We were at "Fiddler on the Roof" up at Sundance, and suddenly I was (ahem!) unconsciously running my hand up his leg. He claims he didn't notice, but holy cow!

Oh, and on Date #1 he said at the door, "Well. I have your email." Classic line of rejection, right? So then I went inside and cried because no one ever wanted to take me out twice. Nemesis was there, she can vouch.

Of course it all ended happily (if not nerdily) with him asking, "Will you do me a favor?" when he proposed. I wish the same for you someday, Cicada. And Brozy. And Nem. And Sakhmet. sigh.

Miss Hass said...

I totally gave a hearty handshake instead of a hug to The Cutest Boy I Have Ever Gone Out With. What was I THINKING? I could totally be the mother to his sandy-blonde-haired, blue-eyed babies by now! Blast that newly returned missionary fear of physical contact with the opposite sex.

Okay, and Cicada, you get to go on a date every 2-5 years!? I'm so jealous! How does one go about securing dates on such a regular basis?

Snarky MorMom said...

Found your blog...made me laugh...and remember.

I've known DH since I was 8! We didn't ever date but had epic banter bashes & did "stuff" together. Sometime in our mid twenties after I had recently broken off an engagement and he had just been dumped for the other guy, we were on my porch bantering about something highly important. He backed up folded his arms and looked at me real funny. I was sure he going to sarcasticaly zing me. Instead he grabbed my face and laid one on. I gasped then hyperventilated. He threw back his head and laughed, then trotted off the steps to his car, saying over his shoulder, "First time I've ever left you speechless."

Nemesis said...

Wow. I don't think I even have any good stories like these ones. It's been a dry, dry well for years now, apart from that one time when you talked into my navel. How could I have forgotten about that?

Daltongirl, there was this one time when a guy used the, "Well, I have your email" line on me. Only he actually meant it in the rejection way. This did not make me sad, though, since he was a freak. Stancliff, if you're reading this, I blame you.

daltongirl said...

Wait, is Stanclax here?!? I was just thinking that she should be. I miss her so.

And Cicada, you're never going to be as popular as Nemesis, now that she's abroad, so you may as well go ahead and post the milk story.

I'm not saying you're not as well loved, or anything like that. You know you're my BFF. But I want that milk story.

Tolkien Boy said...

I think you should write your own romantic comedies. And star in them. You'll have your pick of Hugh Grant or Colin Firth or Brad Pitt or...

DP said...

Handshakes actually transfer disease much more than a kiss. I'm trying to spread the word. You can help me.

Savvymom said...

"he was French-Canadian and had everything going for him"

except for the fact that he was french. AND canadian.

Cicada said...

You're not posting racist comments to my blog, are you, SM? Because I wouldn't think that you would be the kind of insensitive person who would do something like that. Right? I must have misunderstood what it is you were saying.

Coop said...

Anythign I will say here will come out as a Smug Married thing to say I'm afriad. So instead, I'll just say how glad I am to not have to be dating anymore.

Cicada said...

Because that's not smug-married, Coop. You know, maybe I would love to say that I'm glod I'm no longer in the dating scene, either. But I can't say that, can I? No. No, I can't because unlike you and your matrimonial bliss, I haven't found reciprocity. I'm just a bitter old single hag. Say it! I'm a hag! I'm a hag!

JB said...

hehehe, Cicada, you're far from a hag. I thought I had read all your recent posts and was pleasantly surprised with this one!

I have a few fun stories, none of which I remember of course. And I'm not married, but I have to say that I like not having to "date" anymore in the "still trying to find someone I like" way. I heard Orlando Bloom, in a really stupid interview on MTV, say that in England they date someone and if there's interest then they keep dating and, as of the second date it's exclusive.

My experience with my boyfriend in England was like that, so I have no reason to believe it isn't. Except that it came from a super-star, of course.

Wow. Rambling. Sorry. I'm done now.


Okay, now I'm done. Really