Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Why the second time (or the eleventh) is the charm

There has to be something wrong if I'm already repeating dates. Not just generic dates either, but exactly the same dates.

"I have an idea," he said. "We should go to Spectacle Island. They have a cafe there, and you can rent boats. I read about it online." My heart sank just a little. But since we had already been around and around the question, and I didn't have any better ideas for a Saturday afternoon, I agreed. Besides, it wasn't exactly the same date. I had gone to George's Island before; and surely nothing could be worse than that date. There must be something to this island thing; why else is everyone so intent on going there?

Islands are a date killer, as you can probably imagine. You're on an island, with nothing to do but talk, and no way of escape, except the next ferry, if you're lucky. After waiting half an hour for a burger from the "cafe" (a window selling plastic-wrapped sandwiches, bags of chips and warm bottled water) and walking into the ocean up to our knees, there was nothing left to do. We headed back to the pier to catch the next ferry to the "mainland." Unfortunately, after smoke started pouring out the engine, they were short a boat, and the crowd gathered grew more and more restless, as we waited. And waited. And...waited. By the time we finally got back to Boston I was sunburnt, tired of making forced conversation, and I had to pee.

I honestly wasn't expecting to ever hear from John again, given recent events and the ironic non-spectacularness of our Spectacle Island date. But of course, he wants to see me again, of all people. Not the guy with whom I had a good date, good conversation, and a good kiss, who lives a mile down the street from me. No, it's the guy from the bad date, boring conversation, with whom I have little to nothing in common, who lives in the suburbs 45 minutes away, and me without a car, who wants to see me again. I'll give most anyone a second chance (except the guy from last night, but that's another story), so I'm meeting him again tomorrow night. We'll stay on dry land this time, and there will be alcohol involved. Possibly ping-pong. And if alcohol and ping-pong can't make a date a success, then it's truly not meant to be.

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In yet another case of deja-vu, Saturday I found myself seated on the grass in front of Peet's Coffee in Harvard Square, sharing conversation and sipping an iced beverage, exactly as I had two months before. The similarity continued as we walked around the Square afterwards, ending at the Coop bookstore. Except...this time, it didn't end there. We made our way to the Border Cafe for an early dinner and a margarita, discussing favorite movies, music, and our travels. After we finished, he walked me home, even though I told him it was kind of far, and he would just have to walk all the way back afterwards. "It's ok," he said, "we can talk on the way." And we did.

Sometimes, while watching a re-run, or a movie I've seen dozens of times before, I can't help but wish that this once, it would turn out differently. Even though I know it's impossible, I can't help but wish that just this once, it would end well. And you know? Sometimes it actually does.

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