Man #8, The Scorekeeper

23 03 2011

Every person we meet has the potential to teach us something about the world, about life, and about ourselves, and eight men into my dating prescription I am just starting to scratch the surface of what this process is meant to do for me.

I met Man #8 at Schultzy’s in the University District last night for beer and sausage gumbo before heading to a book signing event at the University Bookstore.  At Schultzy’s, Man #8 and I talked about our love of baseball.  One of the things he likes to do when he goes to the games is keep score on his own scoresheet (he’s also an accountant), and he’s also announced some games for local radio, which I thought was interesting. (I had also had a very brief stint in radio as a newscaster.)  For me, my love of baseball had come about from watching my son pitch when he was in Little League.  There was really nothing more beautiful, and there are few places I would rather be on a warm summer night than, beer and hot dog in hand, watching a game at Safeco Field.

The Scorekeeper was the third date I had set up from my ad on Craigslist.  He told me he had seen my ad, gone to the blog, read the first post and the “About the Author” page, and decided right there that he wanted to go out with me.  He had decided not to read any further because he didn’t want what he read to influence the experience.  He wanted to simply approach it as a date.  I was actually impressed by this.

I had also liked the initial email he sent.  It had read, “I read your CL posting, and I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to go out with someone as much as I want to with you!!  Your quest to date 100 guys is brilliant and I would LOVE to be a part of it!”

How could I turn that down?  It was ballzy and authentic and I like that.

So, there we were.

The Scorekeeper had suggested that we go to the book signing event for Neil Strauss’ new book Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness.  For those who don’t know, Neil Strauss is a writer for The New York Times and is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone magazine, as well as the author of many books, the most famous being, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, where he lived in a seduction community in an effort to learn how to become a pickup artist. 

I did not really know anything about Neil Strauss before this event, but I was impressed with what I heard.  He talked about his process and, in promoting his new book, which is an anthology of interviews he’s conducted over the years, he talked about lessons he’s learned along the way.  One of them, of course, is, “Everyone loves you when you’re dead,”  meaning that as you become more successful, the critics and haters will emerge to try to squash you.  Everyone loves you when you’re dead, because you no longer present a threat or competition.

In talking about his process, he said one of the intersting things about interviewing rock stars was these lessons that could be gleened from various individuals, and those lessons may vary depending on the groups you were surveying.  He said he hoped that some kid would be inspired to go out on a street corner and interview every passerby or some other segment of the population.

Hmm. I’m no kid, but interesting thought…

I waited around while The Scorekeeper got his book signed and then we went to a bar across the street to talk some more.  We sat there talking for about an hour more when, from out of nowhere, The Scorekeeper says, “So, do you want to kiss me?”

“What?  I don’t think anyone has asked me that so abruptly before.”

“Well, do you?”

We were sitting in a booth with a bright can light shining down, and I said, “I’m really not one for making out in public.”

His question was like a drive-by bullet, and it killed our date.  Killed it dead.

He proceeded to press me for an explanation for why I didn’t want him, a man who was practically a stranger, to potentially stick his tongue down my throat in a brightly lit booth in a bar like I’m some skanky whore.  (He didn’t put it in those terms, but that’s how I saw it.)

“Is this something you learned from reading “The Game?” I asked.

I also tried to explain to him that I had only kissed one person since my husband, and it felt awkward.  The whole thing made me very uncomforable.  I could see how his tactic might be a good way for a guy to take a temperature reading of a situation if he had nothing to lose, but any hope of me forming a long-term relationship from this date, in my mind, was now gone.

Shortly after my refusal to kiss him under the spotlight, the date was over.  He walked me to my car, and I hugged him and thanked him.

As I drove home, I felt sad.  Up until his question, I had enjoyed my time with The Scorekeeper and I had really liked him.  He had been cuter than the picture he had sent me, and that’s a rare thing in online dating.

I got home, ordered Neil Strauss’ books, got into bed, and started reading my Macro-economics book. (What can I say? It’s better than an Ambien.)  I read until my eyes started to droop, then reached for the light, and as I shut off the light, I started to cry…

…and I’ll explain later.  I promise.

Photo here.

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