So. Does that change your mind about him at all? No? Still a tool? Yeah, probably.
Hey, know who else was a tool? My ex-maybe-boyfriend Kris. Let's talk about him today, shall we? (Note: I'm doing a "30 Dates in 30 Days" thing for NaBlo. I should probably just put that by the NaBlo logo in my sidebar so I can quit explaining that to possible drop-ins already.)
Kris was an idiot. I'll just get that out of the way from the start. I met him at the Halloween party my roommate and I hosted the first year or two that I lived in the Twin Cities. He came with one of my roommate's grad school friends and that friend's husband, who I later learned had brought Kris solely to try to set him up with me. Because I am clueless, the setup didn't "take" that night. In fact, for some reason, it did not even occur to me that the stranger in the mullet wig and Iron Maiden concert T might be single, much less that anyone had brought him there for me. (Years later, my long-time friend Dale is still fond of telling the story of how at that party, Kris apparently nonchalantly grazed my ass while sliding past me to the recycling bin and how I was too oblivious or drunk to notice.)
Since I didn't catch on (and therefore barely even spoke to Kris) at the Halloween party, my roommate's friends decided to try again. They invited the two of us (as well as Kris) out for drinks at a terrible bar in St. Paul. It was the sort of bar that makes me thankful to be 34, because being 34 means I no longer have to go to bars where drunken frat boys think it is acceptable to grind their pelvis against your hips or rear without even making eye contact first. (Do drunken frat boys still do that? I actually sort of want to know that they do, because if 20-something girls today get to have texting and the Internet AND they don't have to worry about that sort of nonsense anymore, then life really isn't fair for those of us who came a half-generation before.)
Anyway, so we were at a terrible bar, listening to terrible music, watching terrible debauchery transpire mere feet away on the dance floor. Kris made some sort of comment about how he should probably ask me to dance, and I assured him that that was neither necessary nor appealing, and somehow, from there, eventually we started talking. And talking. And talking. I wonder often whether it was easier for me to connect with prospective boyfriends in my 20s because I was inexperienced and possibly a bit desperate and therefore would give nearly anyone who showed any interest in me a chance, or if I was simply less time-worn and jaded then, open to more possibilities. To-may-toe, toe-mah-toe, I suppose.
The following week, Kris called me. Because he was a wuss, he called in the middle of the day (knowing full well that I had a day job and that the number he had was my home number), but he called me nonetheless. And because we were 24, we had our first date at Applebee's. Yes, Applebee's. Clearly I wasn't always the
Kris and I dated for about two months, during which time we saw every movie released in the theaters, because we both lived in the suburbs and lacked creativity and therefore didn't know what on earth else we were supposed to do on dates. Naturally there was something else we were probably supposed to do on dates, but remember, I was clueless. And a late bloomer. (Can I humiliate myself by mentioning that in a few MORE of these NaBlo stories?) And neither one of us lived alone. I had a roommate. He lived with his sister and her family. Hence, we rarely spent any time in each other's homes, and when we did, it was decidedly G-rated (PG-13, perhaps, if my roommate had already gone to bed).
Then one weekend, Kris invited me over to his house. His sister and her family were on vacation in Florida; he had the whole house to himself. Strangely, he invited not just me, but his best friend as well. I remember that we ordered pizza and watched a lousy Adam Sandler movie (oh, admit it: only half of what that man does is funny, at best) and that Kris played a Chris Isaak song for me on his guitar. For some reason, we also watched about ten minutes of a low-quality prom movie*, the first one I'd ever actually seen myself. And eventually, Kris's best friend vanished to some other far-off corner of the house, and Kris and I were alone in his red-walled bedroom for the first time.
I'm not going to tell you what happened next, except to remind you (again) that I was clueless and inexperienced and therefore I'm sure the things that did happen didn't go as smoothly as they should have or were supposed to. I will also tell you that one very specific thing did not happen, which I am fully grateful for, because had I done that one very specific thing and then never heard from Kris again, I probably would be even more jaded, skeptical, and cynical than I am today.
It was a slightly awkward night, but not irreconcilably so in my mind, so I was beyond annoyed and baffled when I never heard from Kris again. I mean, vanishing after two dates? Socially acceptable. But after two months? Two months and some nakedness? NOT OK. My roommate was as naive as I was; she had the good fortune of having a clean-cut, fine, upstanding boyfriend whom she had been mostly chastely dating since high school. Hence, she was as enraged and confused as I was. "Did you break up?" she asked. "I don't think so," I replied.
As it turns out, it's true that hindsight is like Lasik, so I can see now several reasons why, after that night, Kris might have thought, "That's it; we're done here. Move along."
He's still an idiot, however. There's no changing my mind about that.
* Not really a prom movie, of course, but a word I don't particularly want to type on the Internet myself. Special thanks to Metalia for adding that codeword to the blogging lexicon (blogicon?).