So we went to the big mall by my house and the first order of business was shopping for our respective office Christmas parties this afternoon. Here's what I got:
While not strictly under the $15 limit, I decided since it was food, and thus no sales tax, it was close enough for government work. (Literally, since my office does government work, haha.)
Here's what R. got, and I liked his logic. It was also close-ish to their price limit, and he said he wasn't leaving C&B without a gift. We were trying to make the movie, after all. And as a wine drinker, I said that I have recently burned through not one, but two, cheap corkscrews because I didn't want to pay $15-20 for one, and instead, I am just wasting money in $5-7 increments on corkscrews I throw away. So while I didn't think the corkscrew would be a great gift for everyone, if it were at *my* office party, I'd be clamoring all over to get it. So he said if it was a great gift for me, it would be a great gift for someone else. He's cute, really. :)
Here, I need to sidebar for a moment. While at C&B, I saw a former coworker from a job that I got terminated on my very last day of a one-year promotion. Have I mentioned this much on the blog? It was years ago now. My X left me on the day before I started this giant promotion with a new agency. By the end of that month, I had taken the kids and moved to another city, and enrolled them all in daycare for the first time. I was trying to save my marriage. That poor job was just not meant to be - I tried my damnedest to succeed there, but I was being pulled in way too many directions. This woman did not play a passive role in my termination: she had wanted the position for herself, and when I got it, she did every freaking thing she could for a year to make it hard for me. She is the friend of one of my dearest friends, although the whole termination-debacle kind of blew up their friendship, as well. (Not mine with my dear friend.)
Anyway, I'm at C&B, I'm on my third date with a guy I like. This woman is there (OMG the last time I saw her was when she was attending a Mariners game with her boyfriend and I was there for a singles-event alone, maybe my first EVER such event - I was a nervous wreck, of COURSE I would see her there).
I'll let you in on a secret. There are a handful of people (my old director from the bad job is now here, for instance, as well as another coworker) for which I completely exploit my changed appearance. My logic is, I have changed my name, lost 107 pounds, cut and colored my hair...I don't have to acknowledge you. You can look at me, trying to place me, all you want, but I'm looking through you like a piece of glass.
Last night, I applied this trick to this woman. It was not designed to work, haha, as we have known each for years through our mutual friend. But I didn't give a rip. Can you IMAGINE being out with a guy you like, and running into a passive-aggressive beeyatch like this? She would have gone over the top about my weight loss and all that, and not cared that I was standing there with a man.
Like a piece of glass, baby. I never acknowledged her. I've got a call into my good friend, and I'll fess up, haha, and I'm sure she'll hear from the woman how I dissed her. Oh wells.
Anyway. C&B, gifts obtained. Over to McCormick's for a drink. Easy banter, holding hands, doors being held open for me, all that good stuff. Nice guy, I like him. A quick drink (oh yes, he does!) and off to the movie.
"Like Crazy." Complete and UTTER chick flick. Bahaha, I told him afterward I admired his willingness to watch it - it was a great movie, but it was a total, over the top, chick flick. Slow paced, romantic. He pointed out many astute things about the movie, and then some funny observations about how not-a-guy movie it was. Passion without nudity. No violence. Drinking without getting drunk. Infidelity with emphasis on heartache of it all.
After movie...back to McCormick's for another drink. By now we are totally bonded with the bartender. The boys talk beer, hops, IPAs, and other beer blahdy-blah-stuff. R. is a beer connoisseur. I drink beer when I bowl, because it looks funny to drink wine. We sat there for the longest time just talking and laughing, totally great.
Because I am a lady of virtue, I take that man right back to his car and drop him off. A little kissing, talk of our plans for the following evening. (Yes, he has my schedule booked for my entire kid-free weekend, with the exception of tomorrow night, when I will go out with my friends and dish on him.) Very nice.
In a perfect world, this is exactly where that date would have ended. A wonderful, wonderful evening. :) And another date the next night to look forward to. But life isn't perfect!
I'm almost home when I see that he has called - I'm thinking to make sure if I got home, because he really is that sweet.*
*Since I am one to be very specific about what I wish for, it's only fair to note here that one of my self-destructive ways is to wish for things and then be unhappy/unsatisfied with them when I get them. So of course I wish for a sweet guy, and here one is. In his emails, he is super sweet. Naturally, this is almost a little grating to me. Because that's how I roll. Hmm, I wonder why I'm never satisfied? Happily, in person, he is not sugary sweet, he is super nice and has a lively, cutting wit and great sense of humor. This is tremendously appealing.
Anyway, no, this call wasn't sweet, this call was a...hmm, I want to say disaster, but no, that wasn't it. Well, remember how suspicious I am of little mini-spare tires? His mini-spare blew out as he was getting on the freeway. He has called a few friends, but has been unable to raise anyone (it is nearly 1 a.m. by now). Oh, fine, I'll swing back and pick you up - can't leave him stranded on the freeway in the middle of the night in the rain, right?
I pick him up. (Here's where the story bumps up from PG-rating to PG-13, so you can stop reading if you like!) We decide the best course of action is to go back to my place and I'll take him to the tire store first thing in the morning. His friend had called back and was getting off work in a few hours and was willing to come get him. But really, my place is five minutes away, I can take him home, get him to the tire store and drop him off back at his car with the repaired tire. For a virtuous woman, there were other options to take, but by now, I am up way past my bedtime and I am both a little irritated and a little...so-over-virtuosity. Completely overrated, and, since it is after midnight and we did actually part ways on our third date, we agree the tire debacle is actually our fourth date. According to Sex in the City rules, I am well within acceptable limits.
This morning, we are at the tire store when it opens. Happily, I get my own tires rotated, too! Something I've been meaning to do for ages. Back in August, I had to do EXACTLY what he did, replace two tires and have my front end aligned. So, I can be a little down on him for the hassle but not very much, haha, as I have done the same thing myself. He buys a couple new tires, we take one back to his disabled vehicle, which miraculously was not towed. I sit in my warm car and watch him change the tire in the rain. I told him I wouldn't help but I'd sit and make sure he wasn't crushed, haha. He finishes and heads back to the tire store to get that second tire put on, and I head in to work, only an hour late. On the way, I call Kim and give her the scoop on the whole night's events and we agree, while not perfect, it's still definitely worth seeing where this goes.
We're meeting tonight for Christmas lights at the park and Kidd Valley burgers for dinner on the cheap, since between the two of us we have outlaid an ungodly amount of money on car repairs since we met.