Colors of the Wind

I’ve missed you all. I’ve had a 4 month sabbatical from blogging and I am happy to be back. For the first half I was smitten as hell with a guy I thought was normal and available, only to find that he was out of state and country, for about half that time. Running from what I believe was himself and adulting – you know, not traveling abroad for a friggin’ living. I think he’ll be on that jog for awhile y’all. Once that wound heals, it will be fair game and we’ll all be playing, if you know what I mean.

The other half of my datecation was diligently spent getting the piss and vinegar flowing in my veins again. Good news, my sour ass is back.

I’ve never really gone ethnic in dating, which is Andrea-speak for dating someone of a different race than my own.

I can’t remember the real name of the first guy I dated. He was half-Japanese and ended up being real bizarre, so I aptly named him Hiroshima Bomb. No disrespect there; I was not in any way giving a nod to killing innocent people or world wars. And let’s be clear, he wasn’t da bomb, but a bomb; keep reading and you’ll understand why.

Our first and only date was in the winter – we met for dinner. We went to a swank little bar in Uptown. He compared himself to Ho Chi Minh multiple times during our meal and I know very little Chinese politics so that shit went right over my head. I’m kidding, I know Vietnam is different than China. Damn y’all. This Minh bit, and the other jokes he attempted were lame and after about 30 minutes, I knew this dude was a dud. I had to work the next morning and I remember I was so torked off about wasting an evening I could have spent relaxing, listening to this idiot make light of communism.

He liked himself quite a bit and I remember him asking approximately two questions about me. One of the answers involved me telling him that I used to be a funeral director (which I think is fucking commendable) and he made this distorted freak face in response. I knew I should get to leaving or I was likely to get into a domestic in the middle of this restaurant.

I took the high road: scarfed my appetizer, downed my drink and told him I was ready to roll. We walked outside into the snow and he grabbed my hand and said “Let’s go get some dessert!” I was dumbfounded. I am usually extremely obvious about my facial feelings and thought I made it very clear that I was disinterested. While I was slipping on the snow in my wedges, a wave of sympathy came over me. Plus I wanted chocolate, so I reluctantly agreed.

Next thing I know, we’re in this romantic wine bar and he orders a glass for himself. I’m like WTF, you said dessert and that’s the only reason I’m here. So let’s get with it chump. I ended up sitting there mouth breathing for 30 minutes while I was dreaming of my warm little apartment.

After one final dumb comedy pun about Commi leaders, I stood up and said I had to get going. I felt that I had hinted to him multiple times that I wanted to leave and he didn’t care cause he was getting his booze on. He stood up then too, dropped some cash and chugged his red wine. I started out the door and he came next to me and grabbed my hand. I had even moved my purse to the side he was walking up on to avoid his contact. Turns out he was a fighter, he just adjusted and over-came to my other hand. God bless mittens. Hiroshima walked a block with me and praise Jesus that I was parked in the opposite direction of him. I told him I had to leave and suddenly his face was touching my face. He friggin’ kissed me. I couldn’t believe it. I pulled away from him and I said “I really have to go, I’m getting up in like 10 hours.” He looked at me and said, “Wait what, really?” I broke the wrist and walked away. Little did I know, that would be the first of many dating bombs.

So fast forward to a few months ago and I found myself interested in a half-Vietnamese gent. He was really handsome, athletic, strong and had a lovely deep voice. We had some great phone conversations before we met; like hour-long conversations. I was giddy like a high schooler and gave zero shits that he was my exact height. He thought my being a funeral director was special, so I thought he was a fucking winner.

He had just relocated back home to approach grad school after being gone coaching Division One sports teams into his early 30’s. I thought that was studly as hell.

I was never an athlete in school, much too busy and non-committal to sign up for weekly practices and summer clinics. My last softball practice in 6th grade was spent doing kart wheels in the outfield, if that gives you any insight. Which by the way, I was incredulous when the coach, my own Uncle, benched my ass for a game after missing 3 practices in a row because I was at the cabin. Thanks a lot Uncle Bruce, I could’ve been a fucking Olympian by now.

One of my friends at work is also half-Vietnamese, in the same way that this guy was. What I am saying is they both have a white mom and Vietnamese dad. All this means to you is that my dear Oriental friend (she dryly calls Asians “Oriental” and it makes me laugh) could’ve offered some certified input, had things worked out. Which of course, they didn’t.

Half-Viet (my Oriental girlfriend’s nickname for him) appeared to have some emotional intelligence and was blunt, which I appreciate. He loved his nieces and nephews and was known in his field for being a pretty successful coach. He was baptized in the church but hadn’t practiced recently. I know what you’re thinking, who better to save this lost soul, than yours truly.

We went to this great little revival restaurant on the East Side, sat at the bar and enjoyed a few craft cocktails. We made friends with the neighbors and watched the horse races. He tried to explain ‘odds’ to me. That was definitely brave of him, and I.

As Coach hadn’t been home for some time, he asked me to pick one more place for an after-dinner cocktail. I picked a little hole in the wall near my house. We arrived and got carded at the door by a large bouncer and stared at by the menacing patrons standing at the bar. The pool tables were quiet, but there was a line for the pull tab lady so I knew it’d be a good spot.

We bellied up to the bar and each ordered a beer that was larger than our heads. We did some serious people watching and had a few good laughs. We talked about my job and how I was happy but not extremely challenged. He told me about being home and how he felt a bit displaced. At the time, he was staying with a sibling and didn’t know exactly what his next step in life was.

I have to say all of a sudden, I felt like I had all sorts of my shit together. Listening to him saying he was starting from scratch in his mid-30’s made me feel slightly accomplished. Not like the hot mess I normally think I am, but rather that I was on an okay path in life and it might be appealing to join my ass.

Coach was respectful and after some time, he said he didn’t want to keep drinking and not be able to drive us home. I appreciated his sense of responsibility since I would’ve kept date-drinking (*see below) and left my car wherever she landed the last time I could see straight.

He told me he didn’t want to be drunk on the first date and added, “Who knows what will happen.” I asked what he meant. He said, “Well as I told you, I got out of a relationship about 6 months ago so I’m taking things cool. You’re my first date since then. I want to be friends and set up a good foundation in whatever my next relationship is and that means continuing to get to know one another.”

He seemed sincere and I could appreciate taking things slow. I was getting a mature vibe from him and I thought it was a good thing to approach things mindfully. He dropped me off at my house and walked me to my door. He kissed me goodnight and left. It was a good one too.

We chatted over the next week and I did a stellar job controlling my texting. I let him initiate most of our interactions and I matched his messages at a 1:1 ratio. See that statistics action, you didn’t know there was a science to singletude, did you?

Coach wrote me midweek and told me he was headed out of town to handle a few things. I didn’t know if he meant what he said or if he was fake ‘going out of town’ to avoid me. That’s the world these days. You don’t know what the truth is or what the fuck people are doing. Unfortunately I presume full of shit until evidenced otherwise.

I asked him if he wanted to tell me more about whatever he had to leave to handle. He said that he had been working on some things in his personal life and he wanted to share it with me, but didn’t know how to start the conversation. And I quote, “I want to be open and honest with you but it’s very difficult for me.”

If you haven’t seen one before, (and I am the fucking expert) this is a red flag people. Either spill the beans and share the issue or don’t say shit and walk away. Don’t say, I have to tell you something but I can’t. Annoying.

I presumed what he was working on had something to do with another broad. I honestly thought he was maybe about to father some woman’s child, I mean who knows? I tried to offer a listening ear but it was clear that Half-Viet was not down with sharing. I wished him luck and encouraged him for working on himself, as I know how that goes. He said he enjoyed our time together and his issue had nothing to do with me.

Three days later, I start letting my insecurities rattle around in my head and I think, of course it had to do with me. I must have done something or not shown him the kind of person that could be trusted with another’s vulnerability. I’m sure reading this makes you well aware that I am in fact, sensitive as hell and fucking trustworthy. I really am…super loyal and will cut anyone who lies to me or my friends.

The reality that I am ignoring is that I went on one date with Coach and it was simply a good date. We laughed and he said he felt a (albeit it, short) connection. I enjoyed myself, heard a great new song at the bar and learned about odds. Anything beyond that, is beyond me.

This could be a bold thought, but maybe it wasn’t me. After talking with my Vietnamese people, his secrecy may have been half of his culture, keepin’ things private and handling his struggles on his own. Or he could have been spinning me total and utter bullshit. One of the great joys of dating – we’ll never really know folks.

I was glad to meet Half-Viet because it demonstrates that there are men out there who are mature and have some things going for themselves. And yes, maybe as a result of being thoughtful and aware, they’re confused as shit. What more can a woman expect though, a man can only handle so much. Even though that’s a serious jab to the jock, you know it’s fucking true.

Good thing it didn’t work out, because one of my girlfriends at work brought up a real good point. After I told her about our great first date and his Vietnamese last name, she said: “I’m sorry Andrea, but I am not going to be able to pronounce your new last name.” Good call Cierra, we definitely couldn’t be having that.

Ps. Stay tuned for a post on date-drinking. I just invented the concept and we’ll review the different levels of this phenomenon and the respective consequences. Maybe we could even have some guest bloggers weigh in with some show-and-tell photos.

You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you. But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew. • Pocahontas •

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