Saturday, November 29, 2008

Flattery will get you everwhere (except, apparently, on a date with me)

Good news, friends. My parents have been in town for 62 full hours, and no one has gotten into a fight yet. We have foolishly broached the subjects of both politics and religion, and nobody raised their voice or stormed off in a huff. It's a Thanksgiving miracle! I'm beyond shocked to give this report. Of course, the weekend is not over yet. I still have one dinner, one brunch, and an hour of church to get through. Wish me luck.

I do think it helps that my parents are hotel people. Having the freedom to retreat to our separate quarters at the end of the day to refresh is an important element in keeping the peace. Also, they did their own thing today while I did mine and my sister did hers, so we all got a few hours to ourselves. My parents spent theirs learning about gangsters in St. Paul; my sister went to a children's theater production with her new boyfriend and his kids; and I slept in, read for a bit, took a nap, watched a couple episodes of Joan of Arcadia on DVD, and napped again. Did I mention I've picked up my first cold of the year and feel like I've been hit by a truck? Not that I've ever actually been hit by a truck, mind you, but I'm sure you're familiar with the sentiment. So. Time with the family? (Time with anyone, actually?) Not feeling like my first priority at the moment. Bonding with my couch, a box of Kleenix, and a bottle of Tylenol feels far more important right now. Unfortunately, I do need to rally, get myself in the shower, and remain upright for the duration of the evening, through another dinner and perhaps another movie with all of them. How about I end every paragraph in this post with the sentence "Wish me luck"? Does that work for you? Great. Wish me luck, OK?

Since I've been talking about boomerang guys on the Internet, for today's date story I thought I'd tell you about a guy my friends know as The Traffic Engineer. The problem is, The Traffic Engineer doesn't really make for a very good story. There was nothing inherently wrong with him and nothing particularly absurd about either of our two dates. He was a perfectly nice man who I'm sure would make a perfectly nice husband for some perfectly nice woman out there. I mean, he did confess to dancing around in his living room when he's alone and to seeing the Artist Formerly Known as Prince no fewer than 50 times, but neither of those are deal-breakers, by any means. They were just two cooler-than-lukewarm dates, filled with safe, small-talky conversation, and I simply couldn't muster the energy to see it through to a third tepid date.

The Traffic Engineer must like tepid, though, because he has contacted me at least four times periodically in the two years since those uneventful dates. He emailed me to warn me about a construction project that was about to affect my commute to work. He emailed me to ask how my drive was going in the midst of that project. He emailed me after the 35W bridge went down, to ask me how the detours were working for me. And he emailed me again after the new bridge was built, to find out how happy I was to have it back. I'd presume that he was just using me as a hand-picked test sample, rather than polling a random populace, except that I doubt official and work-related traffic surveys end with "If you want to get together sometime, just let me know!"

Within the first week after I signed up for Catch dot Mom, I noticed The Traffic Engineer in my "Who's Viewed Me" list. He showed up in my "Who's Favorited Me" list as well, and a week or two later, he emailed me. He was as gracious and flattering as ever. After I sent a cordial response to his first "just saying hello" message, he ended his next reply with "Good to hear from you, and hopefully you are being overwhelmed right now with tons of e-mails from intelligent and handsome guys." I am not, of course, but I thought it best not to bother sending him another reply telling him so.

As I mentioned recently, Catch dot Mom is now doing some strange and confusing "Daily Five" thing, where they will send you five profiles you might not have seen yet, accompanied by a set of "Yes," "No," and "Maybe" buttons to give you one more way to passively say you do or do not like the look of someone, without actually stepping up and initiating any communication yourself. The Traffic Engineer must have seen me in his list of five recently, because I got an email telling me that he'd clicked that "Yes" button, indicating I'd caught his eye and he's interested in me. Really, Traffic Engineer? Really? You had to click the "Yes" button on that?

I give the man points for persistence, of course, but his dedication feels so misplaced that I can't help but find it a little sad. I want to believe he's followed up with the same fervor with other long-gone meMarmony matches as well. Any other explanation is too strange to wrap my head around. If I honestly were that captivating, surely I could have harnessed that by now to use at will. Wish me luck with that. Someday.


Sarah B. said...

Hope you feel better soon and make it through dinner!

Sara said...

I think it always makes things easier when you aren't sharing a space with people. I'm a hotel person myself, It is just so much easier for me to be nice when I can actually get away from people for a while!

nancypearlwannabe said...

Aww, the TE sounds nice; even if you have no interest whatsoever, it's always good to know there are people out there who are totally into you regardless.

Anyway, happy post-turkey days, and congrats on surviving the family weekend!

Courtney said...

It's still nice to be admired, though, right?

Poppy said...

I am impressed with the 62 hours. I think my mom misinterprets my debating/discussing style as fighting and thought I was fighting with Dawg at the dinner table. We don't really fight...