In between the time when Mr. Tugboat and I "officially" stopped dating and before we started being ambiguous friends, I went on two dates. Tug even referenced them in his first comment on my blog as proof that I had moved on from him and that the pot that was calling the kettle black should stop. That particular kettle is bad at remembering names, so he gave the two men that I went out with nicknames: West Virginia and Zoolander. We always referred to them by those names, even off blogger.
West Virginia is 30. Grew up on a dairy farm in the place that he's named after. When I first met him, the schtick of, "I'm just a poor farmer trying to make good in the big city," was too much for me to handle. I don't idealize rural, farming life, in particular because I once chopped all my own firewood and had to haul my large quantities of my own drinking water. To me, indoor plumbing is a plus and avoiding cows at 4am is even better. West Viriginia agreed, went off to college and is now an IT/Project Manager guy of something to do with water systems and filtration tanks.
Zoolander is 32. Grew up in a suburb of Houston and is an actor/model that lives at home with his parents (no joke). He recently moved back to Houston after trying to "make it" in Austin and is living with his parents to save money to buy a house. His real job is waiting tables at a steakhouse. After interrupting every sentence and trying to turn a backrub into more, I let him know that I wouldn't be seeing him again.
Well, a couple of weeks ago, West Virginia called me, just to see how I was doing. He hadn't heard from me since after Thanksgiving and wanted to catch up. During that phone call, he said the craziest, sweetest thing to me. It was something along the lines of: "Girl, you have so much going for you. You are sweet, beautiful, and funny. I hope you are squeezing your lemon for all it's worth and making some damn fine lemonade."
Let me tell you, there is no better way to ask for a second date than a phrase like that.
More time passed with the promise that we would call each other. We finally did get in touch and I invited him over to watch the second half of the Superbowl with me. He came over, we ate pizza, drank beer, and played with Zac, who wanted no part of ever falling asleep again.
Basically, I had a great time.
He was more comfortable this time and a little less, "Aww...shucks, ma'am" and a little more like an interesting, articulate person. He still had the unbelievably annoying habit of asking me a question, listening to my answer, and then responding immediately with a compliment like: "You have very beautiful eyes," which made me want to throw something (like preferrably a full bottle of Bass Ale) at him for not listening to me. But, all and all, I had fun with a very nice guy.
It just reminded me of standing in a video rental store with Caroline from Austin after my date with John Farmer. She said, "He was such a nice guy, but clearly not for you. He'll make a good mate someday." I quipped, "...to someone that isn't me," and we both laughed and acknowledged the very obvious truth.
When I woke up this morning, I thought, "Maybe it really IS time that I give a nice guy a chance."