I woke up the next morning and berated myself as I mentally replayed everything from the night before. So much for resolving to leave women the hell alone. I was right back where I’d started. Another embarrassing blunder to try to forget, another woman I was highly likely to encounter again faced with a pressing need to avoid me.
You complete fuckwit, Lad Litter, I confided in myself. Just lose whatever shreds of ego you’re pathetically clinging to and give up. They all end up saying they like you as a friend for chrissakes, so just be satisfied with that and don’t moronically believe there’s a hope for anything more. I do tend to pay out on myself.
I read the paper and moped around the big old house on the hill for the rest of the morning. Around mid-afternoon, I started rationalizing, listing pros and cons:
1) She’d actually gone out with me;
2) Conversation flowed easily and I hadn’t said or done anything stupid;
3) She was very beautiful and charming. I felt comfortable with her;
4) Surely you’re not a sleazebag just for trying to kiss a girl;
5) There was really nothing to be embarrassed about;
1) She might have been at a loose end, or just plain hungry, and gone to the restaurant with me just for the hell of it;
2) The possibility that I might say or do something stupid was ever-present. She may well have picked up on that vibe;
3) She was very beautiful and charming. She probably made everybody feel comfortable. It didn’t mean I was anything special;
4) You are a sleazebag if you try to kiss a girl who doesn’t want you to;
5) There was really nothing to be embarrassed about. Yet;
Only one thing to do. Push the matter so that I could be sure one way or the other. Ring her up and ask her to that night’s party that I’d already decided not to go to. If she wasn’t interested, that would end the matter. Until future rounds of rationalization, where I could almost hear myself saying “Asking her out for a sixth time should be okay. She might really have had a string of Amway meetings to go to those last five times.”
But for now, I wasn’t in stalking territory yet. I rang and she didn’t sound displeased to hear from me. I asked her if she’d like to go along to the party. There’d be a few people she knew there. I could come over and pick her up. The party was in Carlton so we could have dinner in Lygon St. She said okay.
This was something of a surprise. I had expected her to make an excuse or just tell me she really wasn’t interested. Now I had a date to get ready for. I spent the afternoon cleaning the car and dressed in the best ensemble I could come up with. Pleased with myself and reeking of cheap aftershave, I climbed into the car and found the lights didn’t work at all. Got out. Checked fuses, checked globes. Nothing.
I called TLOML, apologized and explained the situation and asked if she would be able to come over to my place to pick me up. She sounded a bit suspicious, but agreed.
We had a very pleasant meal in Lygon St but it was the company, not the ambience. Italian restaurants give me the creeps. Because Italian restaurants seem to employ only creeps. But that’s another post, coming soon.
At the party, no-one seemed surprised to see us together and we seemed to be conducting ourselves like any established couple, chatting independently with a range of people but keeping an eye on each other. I thought this was okay. I was wrong.
In the car on the way back to my place, TLOML seemed to be seething and would hardly speak to me. She made her point and I made excuses and apologized. She seemed satisfied with that and after we kissed, she ended up staying the night. If this was a movie, there’d be a tasteful dissolve right about here. But not before letting you know that I pretended to be asleep in the morning when she left the bed, naked, to get dressed. I watched her walk around the room, looking for her clothes. She was fabulous. I remember telling myself that I could get used to all this, and hoped I would get the chance.
We said goodbye and I told her I’d give her a call soon.
It looked like I had a girlfriend.