For our second date, Date #3 shows up in a suit. He knows how much I liked the picture of him in the suit. He’s cute in a suit, and far less nerdy looking in one too.
We drive into Seattle. His driving scares the crap out of me. His car is a hybrid American-made SUV, but it feels like the kind of car they’d be driving around Moscow if Brezhnev was still running the place. Or maybe Krushchev. He takes the turns really hard and there’s nothing for me to grip when me does.
We get to the restaurant and chat for a bit and then I decide to just tell him. He’s all talk and intensity and future plans and I think, maybe he should know exactly what he’s dealing with.
Over dinner, I tell him. I describe how I got into my second marriage and why, and what the marriage was like and how I was treated, and he’s all, is that all? That’s not so bad.
Over and over, he interjects with comments like this. Oh, is that all?
I’m not done yet, I say. I describe the last year, and he keeps saying, is that all?
And then I get to the end and he flinches and doesn’t know what to say.
He fumbles and avoids eye contact. Then he deflects with a comment that isn’t a joke, and he knows isn’t a joke, but he tried to make it seem funny with a half-hearted laugh.
And then he continues on like nothing happened.
I’m oddly relieved, because what I want, I mean more than anything, is to just erase those things. I want them to have never happened so that I can get on with my life and be happy and never have to see anyone flinch at me again.
We have a nice dinner and we head to the car, where he awkwardly makes moves on me me. I’ve never understood the whole kissing in the car thing – there’s a hand brake and a gear shift in the middle, it’s clumsy. Also, it’s December and it’s cold, and in 1960’s in the USSR, when this particular car was built, they hadn’t yet invented heated seats*.
He’s a little miffed. I tell him, kiss me somewhere else. I don’t like being kissed in cars.
I like kissing in cars, he says.
We get to the front door and I say, kiss me here, it’s much better here.
He gives me a peck and is on his way.
It is nothing like before.
*Which is why they lost the Cold War.