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Monday, March 20, 2006

Part 2... And Stuff

Friday I wrote about how Mr. Lane and I met. One might say it was a rocky start. I wasn’t his biggest fan. He was cuter than shit. Unfortunately, he knew it. He was the kind of kid (19 yrs. old) who you see checking himself out in every window reflection, mirror, soup spoon, you name it. He was a little skinny, dorky, self-absorbed, but was cute and hysterically funny.

I intentionally gave him the cold shoulder because, even at the age of 16, I knew I didn’t want to date anyone I worked with. As the months went by, he began to grow on me, sort of like a hemorrhoid. Only, I didn’t tell him. He certainly loved himself enough for both of us.

Outside of his visits to the store while I was working, we didn't spend any time together. That is until that one night.

On the weekends I rarely had to work at night. I didn't have any plans until my cousin, Tammy called. She is a year younger than me but was one of my best buddies and jokingly, my nemesis. We would argue about who had the loudest stereo, the best clothes and earrings. We fought over whose parents were cooler and which one of us had the best looking boyfriend.

When she called that night, she was inviting me to go to a party she just found out about. Very last minute stuff. She knew I didn't have a car but didn't know I didn't have a boyfriend. She rambled on about how cute her boyfriend was and how I was finally going to get to meet him. Then she asked that question that likely was the end of my demise. "Who are you dating these days?"

"Oh... well... you wouldn't know him."

"Who is he? You going to bring him with tonight?"

"Actually, he's probably working or busy."

"Awww, come on Lo. He has to come. My boyfriend is going to need someone who doesn't know anyone there to hang out with otherwise he isn't going to want to go. Please!"

"Let me go call him and I'll call you back."

I hung up and thought about Mr. LaMe. I thought he was new enough in town that he wouldn't have any plans on a Saturday night. I wanted to ask him to go but I didn't want him to get the wrong idea. I also knew he had a car and that was a bonus. As was the fact that I was sure he had to be cuter than my cousin's boyfriend.

I called the store and asked for his phone number. I was so nervous calling him that I could barely breathe. "Hey. It's Lois... Lane from work."

"Hey Lois! What's up? Are you like working... and stuff?"

"No. Hey, I was wondering if you are doing anything tonight. I have some friends who are having a party and thought maybe you could meet some locals or something. You know, if you aren't busy."

"We... I mean, me and my sister and like her husband were like... gonna go checkout this movie. Hang on okay?"

Muffled with his hand trying to cover the mouthpiece, I heard him say, "Are you guys cool with me not going 'cuz like that chick, Lois from work wants to take me to a party and stuff. Is that cool?"

"I'm back. Yeah, I'll go with you. What time? Or are you picking me up? I can totally drive and I'm not a drinker so it's... like, cool... and stuff. But if you..."

"Cool. You can pick me up at 7."

I gave him my address. I was sick to my stomach because I had no idea how I was going to tell him why I really asked him to go with me.

He showed up at 6. Thankfully, I was ready and he didn't have to endure too much of an inquisition from my parents. My mom pulled me aside to say "Break him of that 'like' habit. He's cute, Lo."

He finally bought some jeans and was wearing a shirt that wasn't hot pink. He looked kind of nice, but I didn't tell him. His hair was tamed down a bit from his Flock of Seagulls flippity-do and was parted to the side and gelled up in a George Jetson or Vanilla Ice kind of a way. (Vanilla Ice hadn't been heard of at the time. In fact, Mr. Lane swears that guy copied his hairdo.)

He opened the car door for me. I smiled at that boy. I reached over and opened his door. He smiled at me. My hands were sweating even though it was winter in Chicago. I sat wringing my hands trying to think of a way to tell him.

Breaking the awkward silence, he said, "So is this like... ya know... like a date... and stuff?"

On the brink of hyperventilating, I tried to keep my cool and said, "I'm glad you asked that question. My cousin, Tammy, who you'll meet tonight, asked me to bring a guy. Well, really... like... um... my boyfriend. But, I don't have one. So, I was like... thinking about... maybe, since you are new in town and stuff, that you would... just like... ya know... pretend to be my boyfriend just so, ya know... she doesn't like think I don't have one. A boyfriend, I mean."

When I finally stopped looking at my hands, I noticed he was smiling. It may have been because I was finally speaking his language.

"I know it's stupid. But my cousin and I are kind of competitive. She is always trying to outdo me and like... when she was going on and on about her boyfriend, saying he is so cool and so cute and all that, I was like, okay, who can I find. Ya know?"

"So you think I'm cute? Or like... at least... like cuter than her boyfriend... and stuff?"

"Well, you aren't ugly," I smugly said while turning on his car stereo. I noticed it was a Blaupunkt, and I was liking that guy more by the minute.

When we finally arrived at the party, it began to snow. Watching his face light up while looking at the snow made me smile. Coming from California, snow was something he rarely experienced. As we walked up to the house, he slipped and I caught him.

"I better... like... keep my arm around you. Ya know..." with an exaggerated wink, he said, "since I'm like... your boyfriend."

After about ten minutes, Tammy gave me a sly thumbs up when he wasn't looking. I smiled in agreement. Fred, her boyfriend was no match compared to Mr. NotsoLaMe. Fred was boring, didn't say much and didn't seem to have much of a personality.

Mr. NotsoLaMe was trying to sneak a kiss in every few minutes. When my cousin went to the bathroom, he told me quietly that I was a terrible actress. "If I'm like your boyfriend and stuff... you kinda like have to be nice to me and like... sit by me... or like hold my hand. You could just kiss me... 'cuz... like... ummm, that would be good and stuff."

When she returned, Tammy actually yelled at me for turning down a kiss from my "boyfriend" which finally made me pucker up. I certainly didn't want to look like a bitch. Once that little shit got that first little pucker out of the way, there wasn't much stopping him.

Our relationship, as it were, blossomed that night. We became friends. It took a lot longer, and many more "like"s, "and stuff"s and a few, "ya know"s before he quit his job so I would date him.

I realized three pages into this document that I could write about him for another 10 pages, easily. Guess that means I still kinda like him... and stuff.

Tomorrow, I'll try to dig up some photos of that silly looking boy.