Dating in Utah was not at all what I imagined. First, I’d thought I would wind up out with a Mormon (yep, this is me, being stereotypical). As it turns out though, there aren’t a lot of footloose and fancy-free Mormon’s on OkCupid. Next up, I thought I was going to go out with a girl. This really sweet gal and I had been corresponding, and I was excited about the possibility to throw stereotypes into the wind for a bi date in the state so outwardly facing as conservative. But she flaked on me early in the day.
A note on girl’s flaking: the corn-flakery of gals is the main reason I have yet to go on a girl date. I would imagine some ladies aren’t keen to out themselves on film, which I understand. But some women who have seemed more comfortable with themselves have also nixed our dates, or simply began ignoring my messages/texts/calls. And I have to admit, I felt like I was getting first hand experience with what guys are going through and tell me about. I’d like to tell you I don’t understand these women, that I never was a cornflake girl,* but truth is, I’ve been them too. More on that another day.
Back to the date. So Luke was an enthusiastically energetic guy who was happy to suggest hikes and runs I could take solo or as our date, but given Meg’s weakened state (she was turning gray/green, the color of a choppy sea, every hour or so) there was no way we could do a date that involved movement. I suggested the local brewery, a recommendation by my parents who had been to Utah earlier in the year, figuring if I wasn’t going to run around the canyons I could at least try local brews.
As I bopped outside to meet Luke, I noticed instantly his fuzzy trapper-hat, along with a foil wrapped package about the size of a breadbox. A hug and “hello!” later, he handed me the package, which was surprisingly warm. “Homemade beer bread,” he explained. After assuring me it wasn’t poisoned, I was wiggly-puppy excited.
Upon sitting down I attempted to ease Luke into the “you’re on camera and things are going to be a bit weird” scenario by joking about the microphone we were sticking to him. He responded by saying he had more practice with the mics than I could guess, and immediately I was taken aback. What reality show had he been on to be used to producers stick their hands down his shirt for a mic and checking the sound? This guy was clearly not the Utah-ian I was anticipating.
Conversation ran away with us. We rambled from what brought him to Utah, what took me across the country, the places he’d lived, the work he did, the dating scene in Moab (“sucks” was the answer) and life on the road (he’d traveled the country in a van back in ye olden days). Apparently at some point a man slipped and fell outside and an ambulance had to be called and there were lights and flashing and sirens and staring and I only know about this because Megs told me later (and questioned my sanity for how the heck Luke and I missed the hub-bub).
He then suggested we play a game he’d been trying out on first dates. As I’m curious about other people’s tricks of the dating trade (and yeah, I like games a lot), I agreed. Game on. This question popped out of his mouth: “What is one thing you DO NOT want me to know about you?” In other words, what would you never want to tell a first date?
I went first, and told what has become known as The Ton-ton Story – a charming tale in which I accidentally suggested to the CEO of my old company that were I to gut him open like Hans Solo sliced open his ton-ton, my CEO’s stomach would be super snuggly and warm based on the amount of cold oats he ate in a given day. Not my finest moment (and my boss told me to keep my trap shut whenever the CEO was in the room from there on out).
Luke stared at me, laughed, and said the story was rather amazing. He then produced what he didn’t want to me to know: that he hadn’t graduated from college. Which to my California tech-life brain is so the norm I felt a bit cheated. I just admitted one of the most humiliating experiences ever, and he told me something every third techie in SF brings up as a boasting factor? Hmm.
For my next turn, I mentioned that I have to clean my tonsils in the shower every few days because my tonsils have craters in them. For the sake of sensitive ears and over active imaginations, if you want to know why this happens and what it’s all about, you can read the Wiki page on Tonsillolith. It’s pretty gnarly. Whatever Luke told me in return didn’t compare, which he admitted freely.
On my final turn, I told him I’d had a colonoscopy a few years ago, and that my dad had wanted to see the images from the procedure, and while I was coming out of the twilight sleep haze, my dad and the doctor were talking about how clean and clear my colon was. Luke didn’t really try to compete.
Oddly enough, admitting some of what I consider the most humiliating moments of my life and shudder inducing factors about being me seemed to go over really well. Luke seemed, dare I say, impressed by my candor and it opened up the conversation to topics we’d never had explored otherwise. On top of that, once you’ve discussed the details of pre-colonoscopy procedure with a stranger, suddenly ordering a cup of coffee in front of them or unhooking their microphone or saying goodbye isn’t all that awkward.
Which makes me think there’s something to this whole being exactly yourself, true to who you are, and not tempering what you’re about too much. I had a really good time with Luke.**
*I did not however think it was a good solution hanging with the raisin girls. I was all about Chex, really.
**And hey, he said he had to visit the Bay Area in the next month or two for work. Plus, his bread was delicious.