Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Russian

For lack of a better post, I have decided to share some of my poor dating experiences with the general interwebbin' public. Because at least these stories should make someone laugh. The stories will come later. Today's story will be: The Russian.

I met The Russian at a bar after seeing Toad the Wet Sprocket. This was last July. Ish. (Seriously, they toured and I went, and it was a lot of fun, and everyone who knew me in high school is laughing at me right now.) Anywho, afterwards, we went to a bar called 5 Star, and there was a group of guys there- a hockey team and they were chatting us up. I was possibly intoxicated (very possibly) (very very...). So I'm chatting with him about something drunk and stupid, but really funny if I remember right, and he asks if I'd like to grab a cup of coffee sometime, so I give him my number and I saw him entering it in his phone as "Rachel - 5 Star" and my brain was all, "Yeah, I'm not going to hear from this guy." Plus, I couldn't understand what he said his name was, but I figured I wasn't going to hear from him so it didn't matter. He shook my hand, then rejoined his friends and Blaire and Tedd spent the next hour or so making kissy faces at me. Good times.

He did call me a few days later, and I met him for a cup of coffee. He was an ESL teacher in the 'burbs, and he was from the Ukraine, and spoke Russian. When I met up with him, he shook my hand. I thought it was funny, because it made him seem nervous. We grabbed some coffee, then went and sat in Millenium Park and talked. At this point, he'd said his name to me like 4 times, but I didn't really understand what he was saying. So that was weird. But after a few hours, he walked me to the train, shook my hand, and we went our separate ways. I thought he was okay. No gigantic butterflies, but he seemed nice. I thought the handshake thing was lame, though. I'm a hugger, it's cool to hug me most of the time.

He called when he said he'd call, and we had another date. He came to my 'hood, and I met him by the L and he greeted me with....another handshake! Seriously, it was so awkward. My sister thinks it was respectful, but seriously, I kept thinking that this dude didn't like me. We grabbed a bottle of wine and went to my favorite byob thai place. We ordered our food, and as he opened the wine, he said, "We're gonna have to stay here until we finish this." Then as I poured my 2nd or 3rd glass he said, "Wow, you drink a lot of wine, don't you?" Perhaps he thought I was a drunk.

Conversation at dinner was fine, but I was trying to crack jokes and mock people as I normally do, and he was not funny. He was nice enough, but he didn't make me laugh, and he asked if I mocked people a lot. Um...yeah. Afterwards, we went to a park and played on the swings, then we decided to lie down in the grass and listen to some tunes on his iPod. Sounds romantic, doesn't it? So we're there, under the stars talking, listening to music...with like 2 feet of space between us. And all I could think was that if I was with someone I liked, that it would be so nice. But I was just lying there wondering what the heck was going on, and why he was wasting his time because I wasn't getting any flirty vibes at all. So at one point, I asked him to spell his name for me so that I could figure out what the heck it was. It was weird. That's all I'll say. Sounds like a very common Russian name, but wasn't quite it.

Anyway, he was talking to me, making some plans for the next week as he walked me home, and when we got there, he tried to shake my hand again. So I went for the hug to just to see what would happen, and he seemed a little nervous about it. And he left, and didn't call, so I figured we were good.

Three weeks later, I got an awkward voicemail from him with lots of excuses for not calling while I was on vacation in Michigan. I deleted it, then deleted his number. Also possibly when drunk, but eh.

Then, back in January, I was on the L on my way home from the airport- I'd been in MN meeting baby Natalie. The train pulls up to a stop and out of the corner of my eye, I see a guy on the platform who sort of looks like The Russian, and I think, "Oh man, how weird would that be?"

I think you know what happens next.

So the train doors open, and I'm sitting by one set and this guy gets on at the other side then comes all the way across the train to sit pretty much right next to me. I happen to look up (because I wasn't actually thinking it was him at that moment in time) and make direct eye contact and know right then that this IS, in fact, The Russian, and we just looked straight at each other. And I'm pretty sure I didn't keep a straight face. My thought process then goes a lot like this: HOLY CRAP. Does he recognize me? He totally does, should I say something? Ok, just keep your head turned to the right and keep reading that advertisement. So, Northwestern hospital is looking for volunteers for a study, nope, don't qualify, STOP LOOKING AT ME! SHIT, should I say something? What do I say? "Sorry, just wasn't that into you"? He'll probably just shake my stupid hand again. Seriously, what was UP with that? What are the odds I'm not making crazy faces right now? I wish I hadn't just gotten off of a plane where I was sleeping because I bet I look 10 kinds of busted right now, and in these situations, I'd rather look smokin' hot. What are the f'n odds of him being on THIS car of THIS train? I hope he gets off before I do, and not at the same stop because I will just have to HAUL ASS to get out of here. Doo doo de doo, MAN is this train moving slower than normal? Hey, I think I see him getting up, how do I not look, OOOOOOh, looky here at my fingernail. Yesiree bob, that is a long fingernail, I can totally feel you looking at me just GET OFF THE TRAIN!!!!! Ok, bye, hope that was just a coincidence and maybe you didn't recognize me. But I'm pretty sure he did.

That's my story. That was the only date I've had in the last year. Exciting, isn't it? :) Hope it was long enough for those of you reading this on company time to really burn through some Friday hours.

Today's song is one I've been listening to a lot lately, and it's making me wish that I at least had a crush. It's The Nicest Thing by Kate Nash. Let's hope I have some good dating stories soon.

Oh, and PS- my new dream job is picking songs for iPod commercials, just because they're always good. I figure I could spend my nights listening to music and working like 6 times a year.


Tyrel Beutler said...

It killed time for me on a Monday.

Rachel said...

I'm not picky about the day. :) Also, I posted my HIMYM thing before you did.