Awkward Seeing You Here . . .

Rectangles of HEAVEN, yo!
Sooooooo, if I'm being totally honest with you - I've been out on a handful of dates with a handful of women since my marriage was officially absolved.

They have all been lovely times with lovely dames (I call them dames because it is the stupidest thing you could ever call a female). I can't complain. I won't complain. I will not kiss and tell. I WILL be an idiot and tell.

Why? Because the Internet. While I don't exactly talk about my (healthy, positive, endearing) relationships here on the ol' blogophone, I have a CLEAR track record of talking about my (unbecoming, awkward, self-deprecating) relationships here in cyberspace.

You got a minute? Because if you do - I have an awkward moment to share.

I figured you might stick around . . .

Let me set the scene . . . I'm nestled deep in to the bosom of the happiest place on earth (that is not an actual bosom) ZIGGY'S PIZZA on Monday night, minding my own business, sharing a rectangular pizza named in honor of WSU great Cheese Johnson and enjoying some casual conversation when - out of the corner of my eye - I see a woman I might have a "dating history" with.

If candor is appropriate - a woman that I think very highly of, find warm, funny, bright, well read, and sweet. I very much enjoy her but, for many reasons, she is not someone I can really spend time with at this point in my life. More on that if I ever start drinking again . . . I digress.

So I see her and she sees me at about the same time and I do the CLASSIEST thing I could do . . . I immediately JERK my hand up to cover the side of my face closest to her (she's 20 feet away at this point) and mouth to my dinner mate "You will NOT believe who just walked in!"

Now. If you have never been to Ziggy's you won't understand why this would be panic inducing . . . the place is SMALL. Seven-tables-and-maybe-ten-stools-at-the-bar-type small. There is a large patio but it was packed on Monday because the weather was, dare I say, STUNNING (most abused adjective of the years 2012 and 2013). They are opening a larger dining room at some point, I've been told . . . but clearly not soon enough for this angsty fat man.

The table I was at was in a tight space separating the bar from the seating area so there was no way this woman and for all I knew she was with a date or a friend or her boxing instructor or her life coach (she doesn't have one of those - I would never get messed up with a woman that had a life coach). There was literally (used correctly, here) she/they could come in and have a seat and eat and NOT have to at least shoot daggers at me (which she was doing from the door as it was) as they smelled my fantastic blend of essential oils as they walked by, practically brushing my back.

I finished my stupid, awkward hand gesture and did the only thing my brain would let me do - physically slid under the table. I'm kidding. I ran to the bathroom. I'm kidding. I jumped out the window. I'm kidding. I had an actual stroke. I'm kidding.

I jumped up and walked over to greet her. No. I'm not kidding. (Please remember my romantic life is not exactly long, deep, or storied so I have no idea how anyone but fictional characters handle these situations (and my blinking three times didn't make her disappear sooooooo . . . )).

Well - needless to say - this did NOT go over well. There was physical awkwardness (for future and advisory reference you should never just lick the face of a person that makes you uncomfortable in public - NO, I didn't actually do that) including an elbow grab, a tossed elbow to break said grab, and a 180 degree turn that was executed with such speed and grace that it would make an NBA forward blush.

It turns out, as the rest of you already know, it is NOT okay to just approach someone you have an awkward "romantic" history with and had an awkward cleave from in public and make a joke to them about them not being allowed in your part of town (even when they started mumbling "Don't worry, I'm leaving" first). It is also, for the good of those of you who've never been on any dates before (ahem), not okay to try to make chit chat with that person in general - stick with the daggers and shout "CHECK PLEASE!" to the waitress, instead.

Finally, and most important, it is not okay to follow them out the door and on to the crowded patio (sensing you have upset them) because that is where the raised voices and actual fits of discomfort set in. And then (and only then) will you look to see you know two sets of people on said patio and they seem confused now, too.

Long story long . . . this is why I don't pretend to be good at those stupid things the rest of you call "relationships" and - while I am more than honest about me deciding my own personal threshold for comfortable, funny, safe, normal, and okay are the UNIVERSAL thresholds for all of those things - I am realizing this decision on my part is stupid. It ain't so.

This is also why I will never again try to chat this woman up if I bump in to her in public (I sense she will be just fine with this decision - she probably owns pepper spray and/or a muzzle by now) and it is why I will go back to my normal M.O. which is to get my Ziggy's pizza to go so that the ONLY discomfort the greatest pizza this side of the Hudson river might cause me will be when I eat too much of it.