An original work of fiction
STANDARD DISCLAIMER: The following is based on a true story. It is at least as true as any current Made-for-TV movie now being shown. All names have been changed to protect any affected party. Some names have been changed several times. The author reserves the right for any vaguely autobiographical portion of the following to reflect more positively on his persona than would otherwise be true in reality. Please cut some slack to any recognized person, place or thing, however fictionalized it may be. END DISCLAIMER
This is the second installment of Shermie's continuing saga. You may want to read the first to give you some idea of the trials and tribulations leading up to the current dilemma.
Dating in the 90s:Parity Error
Chapter 1: The Perfect Babe (installment 2)
In cases like this, you've just got to discuss it out with your buds. I give Taz a call the next day. I quiz, "So how did it go with you last night?"
Taz, of course, doesn't want to confess to anything until he knows how it went with me. "OK; how did it go with you?", he says back.
"Taz buddy", I croon, "I'm in loooooove. Did you see it? Were the vibes annoying you? There was a luv thang goin' on! I got the number and I'm goin' ta give it a dial."
Taz is certainly not going to be outdone that easily. "Shermie, I didn't feel your emotions. The reason is that I was concentrating one hundred and ten percent on Rose." (I knew that.) "Rose is the sexiest, sweetest, nicest woman that I've met since answering that ad in the Jewish Journal, and we're going to go to a Jewish lecture on Mitzvot next week."
Geez, here I'm on an emotional high by getting a phone number, and Taz had already set up the DATE. And it's a date that will establish his high moral character.
"What do you think about me asking Leah to your Jewish lecture", I ask, hoping for the synergistics of teamwork.
"Nope, can't do that; I don't like double dating", Taz replies. Silence ensues for tens of seconds.
"When do you think I should call her? Tomorrow maybe?" I ask hopefully.
"Nope, too soon."
"Okey dokey." I sigh. "Then I should wait four days to call her?"
"Yep, four days is optimal", he replies. "She should be ready by then."
"Good thinking" I say, while wondering what she would be ready for. OK, no problema. I'm sure that I could think of something of high quality that I could do with her. I have the whole weekend to obsess about it.
There are surveys and stories in just about every pop-psychology book about the average American male having sexual fantasies every 90 seconds. Those guys must be pikers. A real good obsession, like the one I am looking forward to, is pretty much continual. Time off for pitstops only. Walking daydreams. Random compulsive visualizations. I've heard that women do the same thing. Only they do it for chocolate. Maybe I can work chocolate into my obsession.
Work, work, work.
The phone rings. I'm at work, already having accomplished several Monday tasks. Got my tea, chatted with a client, stared at my computer, talked to the boss, shot the breeze with a co-worker; the usual. Part of my job description is to answer the phone.
I pick up the phone and give my standard "Yeah, customer support, what up?"
"Hi, can I speak to Sherman?" The voice sounds as familiar as a dream. Whoa, this is the first time that a sexual fantasy actually talks to me at work!
Seeing as how the name was on the tip of my tongue, I choke out, "Leah?", simultaneously thinking "no waaaaaaay!"
But the voice on the phone seems most agreeable. "Yep" it agrees. "How are you?" it continues.
"OK for having my latest, bestest, most active sexual fantasy of all time call me up and say, 'hello'," I say in my mind. But out loud I merely say, "Real good, now."
We make small talk. We reflect on our shared Jewish services experience. We agree that even our friends had a good time that night.
Leah says, "One of the reasons that I am calling, is that the softball team I was playing for is on hiatus. It might be fun playing with a different team. I was wondering if your softball team needs any women?"
Wow, the small talk is over!
Any softball player knows that co-ed softball teams ALWAYS need more women. It's a gimme. It's a no-brainer. It's sports rule #2. There are always five guys and four women out there looking for just one more woman to round out a team. Especially on game day.
The softball team I play for is no exception. The nickname for my softball team is "The Little Jewish Softball Team" ("LJST" for short), although we go by the official moniker "The Sandlox Sluggers".
"The Little Jewish Softball Team" is apropos since we have a Little Jewish Coach, and a bunch of Little Jewish players, including me and Taz. We even have a Hillel Rabbi who laid tefillin between innings because he didn't have time before the game. No Saturday games. No guysover 5'8". And definitely not enough women.
Does the team need Leah? Does a ball need a bat? Does a glove need a hand? Does a jockstrap need a ....? The answer is, "WHO CARES?" The important thing is that Leah is on the phone asking me a question and the only answer has to be "yes".
So I say "yes". "Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes."
Then I say, "the team won't be playing this weekend, but would you like to get together for some batting practice?"
I swear I didn't mean anything by it. I was thinking softball, softball, softball. Or maybe I wasn't really thinking at all. I really know of some batting cages down in Manhatten Beach.
As soon as the words are out of my mouth I think "Take it back, take it back, I didn't mean it, take it back." I'm dead; she's going to take it the wrong way!
"That might be fun", she says, proving that we're both on the softball track and that I have too many fears and insecurities. "But I just hurt my back working out at the gym, so what do you think of a movie instead?"
I say "yes, yes, yes, yes" and we set up a time to meet on Saturday.
From striking out to a grand slam homerun in the same conversation. My heart is pounding, hands sweating, toes itching. BABE CONVERSATION!
And then an extraneous thought jogs its way through my consciousness. Hmmmmm. What if I had called her first? (As I was working up my courage to do.) I might have used softball as an excuse for the call. Of course softball would have been a totally extraneous topic to my ultimate motive of getting together with her. What if girls think like guys? Might she have just wanted to get together with me? Naaaaaaaaah.
In Rare Form
Wednesday night I have a doubles tennis match scheduled. My buds meet at courtside. There's Marsha and Morty and of course Cynthia. We start warming up on the court. I feel good. I run for all the balls that I have a chance at. I cheerfully say "good shot" every time someone tries hard. My form is terrific.
Cynthia finally comments, "Shermie, you're playing great tonight! And it's only the warm-up. You seem real cheerful. Did you buy a new tennis racket? Did you get a promotion? Did you get a new computer?"
She is so far off track that I have to chuckle. "Cynthia," I say, "I have finally met THE woman. Not just 'A' woman, but 'THE' woman. She's smart, sexy, funny, Jewish, athletic, and she gave me her phone number. I am in loooooove. I think this could really be the one!"
Cynthia says, "Uh huh." Morty and Marsha roll their eyes.
I add, "Really!"
Morty says, "You guys want to serve first, or should we?"
"We're going out THIS Saturday night for dinner and a movie!"
"We'll serve first," Cynthia calls out.
"I can see I'm not getting a lot of respect here! What, you guys don't believe me? This will be the first date of a lifetime!"
Cynthia tries to mollify me. "Of course you're going on a date on Saturday. We're all going out on dates on Saturday."
Morty interjects, "I'm not."
Marsha interjects, "I'm not."
Cynthia continues, "I'm not either, but that's not the point. The point is that we are skeptical that you have finally met "THE" woman. We have heard your stories before. You have done a good job of matching my past dating traumas blow by blow. My last two dating episodes turned out to be extremely hideous. You have not had any experiences quite in the category of those losers, but still, you do not have a credible dating history. We think you should at least go on one date before you attest to true love."
Marsha and Morty both nod their heads with their concurrences.
It's at least three against one, and I haven't even voted yet. OK, she probably has a point. But I refuse to be brought low by logic. I am soaring far too high for that. This COULD be the one. Why not? What about feelings? If my feelings are valid, then Leah is definitely the one.
I remember what Dr. Laura Schlessinger (author of "Ten Stupid Things that Women Do to Mess up Their Lives") writes about feelings. Dr. Laura, America's beloved psychologist, believes that feelings are fine, but one should not jump off a cliff because one's feelings tell one to. I concede. I will go on at least one date before I do any more attesting. But I play in a zone for the rest of the evening and Cynthia and I do not lose a set.
The rest of the week passes in a fog. Work, work, work, work. Play, play, play, play. Sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep. Am I setting myself up for a fall? I've spent twenty serious dating years (that's 140 dog years) finding out that anticipation is far better than any first date. No woman could be as wonderful as the image that I have of Leah. My head knows this, my brain knows this, my mind knows this, but no important body part knows this.
Saturday finally arrives!
!!!! THE THIRD INSTALLMENT CONTAINS "THE DATE" !!!!