Did you know the clock moves forward at the Oregon/Idaho Line? Neither did we! Needless to say when we crossed the state line and our cell phones snapped forward 60 whole minutes, we knew we were in major trouble for meeting the date in time. A quick call to delay the date the hour we thought would relieve some of the tension, but still meant we had just a minute to spare.
The drive across Eastern Washington had started out lovely, with high mountains, green trees, and a well deserved nap for Alicia and then one for myself. This sun dappled snooze came to a screeching stop when I bolted up right and started to scan the horizons. Alicia, with all the concern due when the person sleeping next to you starts to act extremely and rapidly awake, asked what was wrong. Why my response? Fire. I smelled fire. And so started four hours of driving through the smoke choked Western States.
I don’t like wild fires. The smell puts my teeth on edge, smoke stains the sky a strange color and they make my asthma reappear. So while there where some laughs (me trying to drive a manual in reverse, Idaho living up to its reputation as the potatos state, etc) by the time we got to Boise, I was hot, tired, homesick, and a little peeved. In other words, I was not my best self.
Now, some notes have already been made about Boise, the boy who liked me better. As hinted above, I was not in the happiest mood upon our arrival at a very lovely little park in the city center, but I put on my best smile and went forward. Once Alicia and the guy were off on their running date, I got a few moments of peace to gather myself and call Noah for some moral support. Even so, I was only marginally feeling like myself when they came running back in and we headed off to dinner.
Before I continue this has to be said: I love people. I will literally give anyone a chance who stands next to me for more than about 5 seconds, be it the person in front of me in line at the grocery store, or a co-worker next to the water cooler at work (yes, we actually have a water cooler!). I am a fairly open and inviting person, but if I don’t want to talk, that is my right as well. Especially if you are on a date with my friend, and doubly so on a movie about dating said friend, I’m really unlikely to engage. If you need no other signal that a girl doesn’t want to talk to you, it is that she’s not sitting anywhere near you, or making eye contact, or literally trying to hide in a shadow.
Boise was having a lot of trouble grasping that not only did I not want to talk to him, I wasn’t supposed to exist. Usually on 50/50 dates, I sat a little ways away out of anyone’s eye line, which is normally more then enough to render me invisible. Not that tonight. Already aggrieved with the world, I felt like I was being cornered by this boy who kept trying to get my attention. All I wanted him to do was finish pub night so I could let this day die.
Worse, I also felt like I was utterly failing at my job. My very presence was causing problems with the situation. Eventually I went to sit outside on the patio, only to catch him craning his neck toward the windows. I felt defeated. We filmmakers are supposed to blend, to be ghosts. This was the first time I have ever had the experience where I couldn’t pull that off. Resigning myself and realizing the date was over, I decided it would be faster to just have pizza with them and pull an extraction maneuver as soon as I saw an opening.
Finally leaving, the day turned around considerably when I met Miles, our home stay in Boise. He greeted us at the door with squash casserole, adult beverages and sympathetic words. Faith renewed: people really are great.