1) He's an electrician (like my dad)
2) His name is Doug (like my dad AND my brother)
3) He's from Georgia, possibly my favorite state in the Union (just behind New York, of course.)
I've always wanted to be "from" Georgia. Which is not possible, I know, as I was born and raised a New Yorker. I am now and will always be a Big Apple girl. But there's something about the Peachy state of Georgia that feels like home. Perhaps it's the Southern air, the Southern attitude, the Southern sweet tea. Maybe cause it's the home of Paula Deen, my idol and reigning queen of all things butter. Or it could simply be that I long for the peaceful serenity of a Southern life. Long, lazy days spent on a rocking chair, sipping something cool and refreshing while reading a good book. Chomping down delicious biscuits and gravy or a fruity cobbler, watching the sunset from the comfort of my wraparound porch. This is what I yearn for and will never find "up North" as it just isn't part of Long Island culture. I have gone so far as to consider moving down there to a town called Peach Bottom (cutest name EVER) in search of a tall boy with denim jeans and a drawl who shares my appreciation for country music and treats a lady with respect. (Lord knows I haven't found him on this rock! Maybe better luck below the Mason-Dixon line???)
So you can imagine my exultation when a good looking, 6'4 boy writes to me with a "Hey miss, how y'all doin?" and tells me he's been living amongst the Yankees for 11 years but is a Georgia boy at heart. He loves Clint Black and sweet tea and Cracker Barrel and it's a match made in heaven! He wants to exchange recipes for banana pudding and monkey bread and some other Southern shit even I've never heard of. (Google "divinity". You'll thank me later.)
We swap several emails and talk on the phone over the weekend. His momma (yes'm) is visiting for the holiday and she sees my picture on his computer. She says I'm beautiful. He tells her at this point beautiful is an insult. I am stunning. (Swoon.)
He tells me that I'm a breath of fresh air like mint sweet tea on a hot Georgia day. (Double swoon.)
He tells me that his best friend back home just built his new bride a single story house with a wraparound porch as tall and as wide as the house itself. He can't wait to do that for his wife someday. (What time is City Hall open until? I'm marrying this one!!!)
Well hold your horse and carriage right there buddy. It ain't over til the redneck sings.
First of all, 6'4 is tall. Really tall. I know I said I didn't wanna date any more short men but damn...this is overkill. He goes to hug me hello and ... I'm sorry ... is that an erection??? In the first 30 seconds??? Seriously???
Wow, ok, so that was awkward, let's move on, shall we?!?!
Hmmm, it's kind of easy to forget about the spontaneous erection when I focus on his face. I guess I didn't notice that he's not smiling in any of his photos. Perhaps it's because his teeth make the British look like they've got full dental coverage in their health plans. His teeth are yellow, crooked, sideways, stacked behind one another and somehow, several are missing on at least one side. You know those creepy jack-o-lanterns? He makes me wanna kiss one of those. It'd be less creepy.
You can do this, Kimberly. Just smile and keep walking. Keep walking. Keep walking.
As you've all heard by now, my motto is "Welcome to New York. Keep up or get out of the way." I'm not saying I'm going to shove slow tourists off the sidewalk, but that doesn't mean I don't want to! Yet this boy moved slower than he talked and I instantly regretted the 19 block walk we were now facing. What should have been a 10 - 15 minute walk took over half an hour. In 90 degree heat. U-g-h... H-e... w-a-s... s-o... s-l-o-w...
I will not pull my own hair out. I will not pull my own hair out. I will not pull my own hair out.
To keep me in pace with him (instead of trying to keep up with me) he held my hand. Dude, first date. Back off.
To make things more entertaining, there are obstacles on every corner. People taking pictures. People selling $5 pocketbooks. People preaching about Jesus or the homeless or women's rights. People wanting to draw a caricature of you in Times Square. Something. But the people we encountered today were handing out flyers on every corner. Flyers for who knows what and who really cares but flyers just the same. Any self-respecting New Yorker can spot these annoyances a block in advance and will go out of their way to avoid them. Politely decline. Shake their head no. Cross the street just to get away. You get the idea. Georgia boy took anything and everything people handed him.
I joked that while he'd been a Yankee for 11 years, he sure acted like a tourist. Did he really need 3 copies of a flyer for Psychic Readings by Sara??? "No, baby, I'm looking at my future right here." Looks at me. (No swoon.)
I saw on his profile that he loves animals and the zoo. Seeing as the Central Park Zoo is a little known treasure, I decided to take him there. (Yes, I know, I planned another date, but it's MY city and he was SO clueless.) He had told me over the phone that he's a member of the Conservation Society which means he gets free passes to this CPZ. Double bonus points for a free date, right? Wrong. He left the membership card at home on the counter. Crap.
Oh well, by the time he'd navigated the subway system and we'd walked for what felt like f-o-r-e-v-e-r, it was 4:30 anyway (not 3:00 like we'd planned to meet) and they were done selling tickets for the day. On to Plan B...
We'd also talked about how we both love board games, card games, etc. He told me that his father taught him how to play chess many years ago and how to this day, he's never beaten his dad. My mom taught me how to play checkers and I've yet to win a match. So what more perfect way to spend an afternoon than at the Chess & Checkers house, conveniently located a 3 minute walk away from the now-closed zoo. I do plan ahead! I even brought us a checkers set and he "let" me win 3 out of 4 matches. That last game, he played really hard and it was a close one. I lost, but still, it was close. I promise. (Mom!)
Things that went horribly wrong during the game of checkers:
He described (in vivid detail) a blister he once had. I'll spare you the traumatizing details. I wish someone had done that for me.
He was in the army many years ago and proceeded to regale me with stories of people who died during basic training. Died.
He bet that he was paler than me and lifted his shirt up to prove it. (Note, unless you do abs, please don't take your shirt off in public. We don't need to afflict the masses with your flabby pastiness.)
He talked about how hard it was for him to live in NY with all the turd-burglars and poopy pirates. Those are slang terms for gay men, just so you don't have to look it up on Urban Dictionary like I did. Yes, I know I'm naive. That's why "there's an app for that."
Last but certainly not least, he picked his nose. Full on, pointer finger, digging for gold, picked it. Then he proceeded to roll the booger between his thumb and forefinger into a perfectly shaped ball, all the better to flick you with, my dear.
And then he tried to hold my hand...again. Back off Booger Fingers!!!
I offered him my Sweet Pea hand sanitizer and texted 2 friends for an immediate rescue call.
We parted at the subway and I ran (literally) to meet up with another writer friend who is interviewing me for exactly this purpose. He wants to type up an article on how my project is going. Well, I have so far survived 57 of these "cups" and I'm pretty sure I will soon be sending the results to the Department of Homeland Security. They're always looking for creative new ways to torture people, right? Erections, boogers and turd burglars. Pretty sure the Army would have a field day with that one!
But at least I won at checkers.