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December 21st, 2005


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04:24 pm - Meetings and Zoos
Last night, I was out to meet mmefrufru for dinner. I managed to get out of the office and head up to Molly Woo's pretty early, so I had a wander around the mall. I checked on a few stores, including one called "What On Earth", which has all sorts of cool, weird stuff, and was having a 20% off everything sale.

On my way through the ground floor, though, I passed several of those booths that are set up seasonally in the mall's main corridors, the ones with the usually annoying salespeople and fascinating yet useless electronic toys and baubbles. I was wandering slowly through the mall, gazing at the windows of the stores, and thinking to myself, "My, it's lovely to not have a girlfriend this time of year!" It was dawning on me, as I walked through the most expensive and posh mall in Columbus (the name of the mall is "The Polaris Fashion Place", which should tell you something), that I didn't have the time, money, or inclination to be forced to purchase something because I was in a relationship with someone. And that's when I heard the sweet voice behind me.

"Sir, do you have a lovely woman in your life who might be in need of some pampering this holiday season?"

I stopped short, realizing that I'd drifted close enough to one of those temporary booths in the middle of the floor to be within the Salesperson's Selling Sphere of Sadistic Sorrows (say that three times fast), where they suddenly perceive that, if they say something to you, you'll be reeled in, or will at least glance over their merchandise.

I wasn't actually thinking about it, and the words just tumbled out:

"Why, no, I don't. I'm actually delightfully single." I smiled at her, and the words just kept coming. "Do you have a handsome man in your life?"

I'm not actually sure whether I was initially amused or horrified at this entertaining little discussion I was suddenly having. I was only vaguely aware of the people wandering around me. The girl was very attractive, and maybe a little older than I was, and seemed to be selling something aromatherapy- or candle-related. Whatever it was, it was the kind of stuff you expect to stink to high heaven if you get too close. But I wasn't smelling anything unnatural at that moment.

She looked at me for a moment, unsure how to respond. I felt myself losing my nerve at that point, worried that I'd embarassed her (or worse, that her boss was right behind me and I was causing her real problems), but she brightened a bit before any sort of fear could take root, and answered. "No, there's not."

"Is that good or bad?" I asked. "Most people shouldn't be alone for Christmas unless they want to be. Me, I'm pretty fresh out of a long relationship, so being alone doesn't seem like a bad idea."

She smiled, and the smile touched the corners of her eyes. "No, it probably doesn't. What are you up to around 6 PM?"

I still wasn't really thinking, so the truth sort of fell out of my mouth. "I'm meeting three women for dinner. Why?"

She looked a little crestfallen, and I knew what I'd accidentally done: either I was playing the field pretty damn wide, or I was gay. The idea that a guy can meet three women as friends is never the first thought, and for good reason. Now I figured that was when she was getting off work and wanted to meet or get a drink or something. I'm still not sure what the process of actually picking up a girl is supposed to be, so figuring out how to do it is still completely beyond me, in a tactical sense.

She started to say something, then stopped. I took that opening to "finish" my previous thought. "I'll probably be available in a week or so, after Christmas, if you're interested in chatting more?"

This brought the smile back to her eyes. "I think I might like that. Can I have your number?"

It wasn't lost on me that I'd never been asked by a girl for my phone number before, at least not without some sort of pretext of, "Oh, I need to call you about our project," or, "In case I want to know more about the Grove." I scribbled it down on a scrap of paper, and smiled. "By the way, my name's Mike," I said as I held out my hand.

She took it. "Jill. Pleasure to meet you."

"The pleasure's mine. I'm afraid, though, that I have to do some more shopping before I head up to meet my friends. Drop me a line sometime soon."

It occurred to me sometime later that, when she calls, she's going to hear a woman say, "You have reached Tina and Mike. . ." so we'll see what happens, I guess. I'm laughing just thinking of that.

I finished my curcuit of the mall, and hung out near the doors to Molly Woo's. I sat there for about ten or fifteen minutes, waiting for mmefrufru and her friends to show up, watching the pretty (and, generally speaking, underdressed) women bustle in and out of the cold.

The girls showed up about five minutes late, mmefrufru producing a small gift certificate for me and giving me a hug. We trundled into Molly Woo's and sat down, where I got to catch up on various aspects of mmefrufru's life and times (always spectacular and entertaining). We ate, laughed, and managed to cut the bill down a tad after some shuffling and some mental arithmetic.

After that, it was off to the Columbus Zoo. One of the girls got dropped off at a Bible study and didn't go with, so it was just three of us. We all got in free, mmefrufru because I had an extra person on my Zoo membership card, and the guys in front of us in line had an extra ticket that they weren't going to use. We also managed to avoid paying for parking.

We saw every animal who was out that cold night (not many were, but a select few managed to brave the cold). We spent about two hours at the Zoo, and then went our separate ways.

All in all, a good night.
Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic
Current Music: "Fins", -JB

(9 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:ceolnamara
Date:December 22nd, 2005 02:35 am (UTC)
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I've just realized it's not likely I'll be able to go to Zoolights in the next years or so - I've never been.

Ryan and I are revising our plans for May. Let me know if you hear about registration for the AZ festival.

Sounds like you had fun.
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From:chronarchy
Date:December 22nd, 2005 01:13 pm (UTC)
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It starts in mid-November, and ends a few days into January. There's hope.
From:mmefrufru
Date:December 22nd, 2005 05:03 am (UTC)
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Wow, Mike! You should've told me you got a woman's number. Bet that made all the night sweeter! :) So glad to see you again. And I'm glad you enjoyed yourself...and I'm really glad you think my life is spectacular and entertaining! :)

Alas, if it weren't for the money mishaps, we would've had a sweet night at Hound Dog's, too. Oh well. Until next time...
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From:chronarchy
Date:December 22nd, 2005 01:12 pm (UTC)
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I was going to tell you, but it didn't fit in the conversation. I tend to think like that. . . "Oh, it doesn't really fit here, so I'll keep my mouth shut." Of course, there's nothing that doesn't fit into my LJ, so I knew you'd hear about it sooner or later :)
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From:singingwren
Date:December 22nd, 2005 04:37 pm (UTC)
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Haha, that's awesome. If anyone had done that to me when I used to sell stuff, I probably would have punched them in the face, but you were fortunately smoothe enough to avoid being punished. Hehe.

As for the people never thinking you could see three women as friends thing, I think it's a matter of your curious wording. Because, most people don't say "I'm going out with two men" or "I am going to see three women." Most people say, "I'm going out with my brothers" or "I am going to see three friends." The fact that you specified sex instead of relationships or names may have been what made it odd, and subtly placed an emphasis that "Ooh hey, I'll be out with members of the opposite sex!"
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From:chronarchy
Date:December 22nd, 2005 04:44 pm (UTC)
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Perhaps. On the other hand, it was simply a more complete statement of truth. I was, indeed, meeting three women for dinner. I didn't know two of them, so I couldn't say "three friends", and "three people" isn't really correct, either, because "people" sanitizes the meaning and sounds more like these are business associates or people I don't know. I also didn't remember names, and they would not have meant anything to Jill anyway.

In short, I think that I probably was the most descriptive I could be, and certainly the most naturally descriptive for me.
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From:singingwren
Date:December 22nd, 2005 05:20 pm (UTC)
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Interesting you think "three people" is sanitized but "three women" is not. It's a bit more specific, yes, but both make a kind of distinction between "people" and "friends." You also said you didn't know two of them, which means it would NOT be odd to call them 'people.'

I think you just like to say the word "women," much like your fondness for "I know this beautiful woman..." :)
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From:chronarchy
Date:December 22nd, 2005 05:59 pm (UTC)
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True, there is that fondness. I wonder who it means?

I've never found out.
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From:singingwren
Date:December 22nd, 2005 05:22 pm (UTC)
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On the other hand, it's also probably for the better you didn't say "three bitches," as several of my friends are wont to do. :D

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