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Friday, May 31, 2013

The Chaperone

Last minute dates are not my forte, but sometimes you're just itching to get out of the house and you need a catalyst. A few weeks ago I was feeling just that, so, I took to the internets, and 20 minutes later I had a date waiting for me across town. So, I drove over, parked, and strolled up...to a very, very crowded bar watching the end of a very, very exciting basketball game. Luckily, I didn't have to wade through the crowd to find my date, because he was saving me a seat right by the door. How nice! I sit down to watch the last few minutes of the game (giant upset), and then, when the game is over, he suggests we grab a table and a beer...oh, and have I met his friend who's here with him that he's known since grade school?
So, The Chaperone, my date and I all grab a table and a beverage, and he starts telling me about his journey from the South to the Marine Corps to the Bay Area. He's super, super handsome, seems pretty sweet, and...a little intoxicated already. Apparently, he and The Chaperone have been there for a few beers already. After telling me about his little journey, The Chaperone starts chiming in, and then railroading the conversation, mostly telling me about how he was the smartest kid in school. It's sort of starting to feel like a competition, which is making me uneasy. I think The Marine senses this, and suggests that we go play darts at a nearby pub. I offer to drive, since they have a two-seater, and 10 minutes later we have another drink and a fistful of darts. Not, however, after the blondes at the bar made eyes and smiles at The Marine (which he happily returned, so I wandered over to the dart boards as soon as I got my beer to give him time to do whatever he needed to do. Surprisingly, he didn't linger long).
We settle on playing the game Cricket, which I've never played before. The Marine, who's full on intoxicated at this point, starts telling me the rules. The Chaperone starts interjecting, saying he's wrong. They start arguing. Then they start arguing in earnest. The Chaperone Googles, The Marine asks the bartender, and there are conflicting answers. Finally, The Chaperone agrees to drop the subject and let us play "our way," stating, "We need to stop or [The Nugget's] not going to want to hang out with us anymore!" He does not, however, lose any opportunity to get a jab in about how we're doing it wrong.
We start playing, just me against The Marine while The Chaperone sits this game out and critiques. Every once in a while there will be a verbal scuffle between the two boys about technique. I learn to ignore it quickly. Then, as he's preparing for a throw, The Marine says to me, "I have three questions for you." Oh. Well. Okay. The first question was easy enough. "What was your childhood dream?" Veterinarian! I like this game. Next question? "Oh, you thought I had this all figured out already?" Well, yes, that was implied when you said you had three questions. Whatever, it's my turn to throw, anyway.
Eventually, during a throw, The Marine, who can barely stand without a wobble at this point, has a second question. "Is it philosophically significant that humans are the geometric mean between a microcosm and a macrocosm?" I take a deep breath, because I know that he strung together the biggest words he could think of in an attempt to sound more intelligent (and possibly sober), and that The Chaperone was going to have a field day with this question. So I say, "Those are all human constructs, so yes, it means we're super self-absorbed." As predicted, The Chaperone is nearly falling off of his seat with laughter. "We are? Says who?" "Well, just assume that this holds true," says The Marine. "Okay! Let's also just assume that the Cubans killed JFK. NO! No, it's not significant because it makes no sense!" "You're wrong and she's right!" The Marine says indignantly, and stomps up with a pout to make his throw.  I think he was a little hurt that I smiled at The Chaperone's ribbing, because he then announced he had to use the restroom...and 5 minutes later I could have sworn I heard him talking with the blondes at the bar.
At this point, we had been playing darts for close to an hour, and both myself and The Chaperone are ready to leave. We decide to play three more rounds, and then choose a winner. I narrowly lose, and we head out to the car. As I drop them off at their vehicle, The Chaperone says, "It's been nice to meet you!" and ducks into the driver's seat. The Marine lingers and says, "Okay! Question number three. What is your excuse for not kissing me right now?" Predictable. Did I mention he was very, very handsome? So I gave him a brief goodnight kiss and sent him off to his chaperone, never to be seen again.

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