There’s this girl.
Note: Pretty much every story I could tell titled “How clueless I am” would lead off with the line, “There’s this girl.”
We had met twice, each time strictly platonic. We chatted, talked about our interests, mutual friends, that sort of thing. Each time we parted with a friendly hug, but that was it.
Then we swapped a few emails. And in the emails, I felt like I was picking up a flirty vibe. Subtle, low-key, but it seemed like something was there. Which was very cool; the interest was definitely reciprocated! But, umm, well, we hadn’t had “The Talk”. You know, the talk where I say how I’m already in a relationship, but it’s not an exclusive relationship, and you know, that works for some people and not for others. That talk. For me, that’s a talk I want to have before things progress beyond “merely” flirty. Because if I start making out with a girl and she finds out after the fact, well… then I’m a weasly scumbag.
We agree to meet at a bar for drinks one night, and I decide now is the time to have The Talk. Best to do it now, before things get serious. As I’m on my way to the bar, I’m thinking through how to bring it up and what I’m going to say. Trying to find a way to bring it up in a low-key fashion, smooth and casual, yet unambiguous and definitive.
I get there, we order drinks and start chatting. And as we’re chatting, the vibe feels decidedly not-flirty. We’re talking about our respective jobs, about past vacations, computer stuff… very friendly and casual, but not at all flirty. So I start second guessing myself. Maybe I completely misunderstood the emails. I must have been imagining things. Why would she be interested in me, anyway? I get cold sweats thinking of how I’m about to say, “Hey, before we go any further…” and she’s going to be thinking, “What? What is he talking about?!” My natural cowardice kicks in and I fail to have The Talk, completely and totally. Yep, I’m exactly that much of a wuss.
We finish our drinks and decide to stroll around a bit. We walk a few blocks, casually chatting further. We end up at her car. I lean in to give her a friendly hug goodnight… and she lays a big kiss on me!
Sigh. How did I reach this advanced age and still have zero ability to read relationships?