Leslie's Omnibus

Bus Driver's Observations

Sounds like an open invitation to divorce court to me.

Well, where's the fun in this? Or this? (Okay, that second one might be a little bit amusing... Especially... No. Read the post below. You'll get what I mean.)

Speaking of dating, believe it or not, I had another decent date last night. Different guy, but very nice. Good dinner, good conversation, total gentleman. Yippee, Skippy -- I seem to be on a roll lately.

My definition of a decent date? Well, I didn't want to punch him, and I didn't want to run away. That's a pretty good start for me. Actually, I'm getting better and supressing the wanting to punch thing... but the being poised to run is going to take some work on my part... and a very patient guy.

I didn't used to hate dating (okay, that was in high school and college -- over by about 1981 or '82), but, boy, howdy, do I hate it now. Over time I've done ads in the Chicago Reader, video dating (it was a free gift certificate), singles dances, blind dates, date-dates and more, and the thing I hate most of all is the fact that dating has become just like everything else in modern day life -- way too much information, way too much expectation, way too fast. I've met some good guys over time, but the Way-Too-Three thing always blew what might have had a chance to be a real relationship... rather than a drive-by. And I've had so many drive-bys since 1989 that you'd think I was living on the south side of Chicago, instead of the north.

The whole punch and run thing was really deeply imprinted on my psyche in my second-to-last "date" ago. I'd only met the guy (let's call him "The Jerk") once, and talked to him for less than an hour. He's probably got 5 to 10 years on me. We talked about baseball (hate it), politics (I have some strong opinions) and the global business community. The Jerk seemed decent enough at the time. He asked me out, and I agreed to meet him at my local neighborhood tavern about a week later. (I know almost everyone in there, and figured I couldn't be safer anywhere, except if my father were alive and sitting next to me with a baseball bat.)

The first indication that things were not going to go well was when, before I could even sit down at the bar, he announced that he hadn't realized that the place didn't take credit cards, and he had no cash. Great. Just great. I paid for the first round and pointed out the ATM a half a block down the street.

The second big "uh-oh" was that all my friends shifted to the opposite end of the bar when he walked back in. It's never a good sign when the friendliest people in the neighborhood treat the new guy like he's got a bad case of cooties. Big honking hairy cooties.

The third big eye-opener was when he ordered an entree for himself, and didn't offer to order anything for me.

So, irritated though I was, we made a little small talk, and I mentioned that I really, um, dislike the haste with which most dating relationships accelerate these days. That I've gotten pretty old-fashioned about things like, oh, you know, getting to know someone well, respect, space. He looked me dead in the eye, gave me one of those little "you say you want a nice boy, but I know you really want a bad boy" grins, stroked the back of my hand and told me, "Your eyes look really sexy when you say that. Can I kiss you now?" (This is where the desire to punch kicked in. Hard. Really hard. Really, really hard.)

"Okay," I think to myself, "I can get through this with some dignity and still never have to see this jerk again." So I put on my best "I'm being really polite, but you're really beginning to piss me off" smile. Then he launches into a tale involving his PI license, his bicycle, and the last time he got arrested. Woohoo. That's such a turn-on. (This, of course, is where the urge to run, run away now! kicked in.) And of course he wanted to call me again. Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It wouldn't be so bad, I guess, if this gem of a guy hadn't been a composite of just about all the men I've dated over the last fifteen years (with the exception of the last two, and it's still too soon to tell in both instances).

So if I get excited because I didn't want to punch a guy or run away, you'll know it's actually a compliment. I think. Yep. It is.

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