This is a very complicated
story. It's also not particularly interesting, so you may wish to go
take whatever meds you can find around the house first, before
reading this, and then come back to read it in a stupor. Or just
escape now, I dunno, but for some reason I am compelled to write about
I was a total dork in high school. No, now pick your jaws up off the floor, because I know it's hard to believe that a woman who watches the Weather Channel and knows vast swaths of "The Holy Grail" by heart could EVER have been less than cool, but there you go. I was a dork. And as such, I didn't date in high school. Not even dorks. You can ask my friend Gubby. He was a dork, and HE didn't date me.
So I got into college, and I really changed. A lot. No I didn't. But I did expand my wardrobe to include fatigue pants and a Who concert t-shirt. I remember a lunch date with The. Cutest. Guy. EVER. whom I had mashed on met at a party the previous weekend and who asked for my number . . . he actually called me and we met for lunch. I wore fatigue pants, a Japanese hapi coat, and, if I'm being honest, probably my red leather boots. He couldn't get away from me fast enough, after telling me that he "just wanted to be friends." Yeah. Heard that one before.
But that's not what I called you all here to tell you, although jeez, why the hell not, since I'm baring my fragile soul and all? The point is, I carried my extreme artsy geekiness into college, and this was the 80s. Talk about not reading your era right. So I hardly dated the whole time I was in college, which was a looooong damn time. I was a geek who dawdled.
After college I bought the gift store where I had worked part time, and I found myself married to a job I loved. I had no time to date, which was good, because why change now? Only, things do change.
One of the first people I hired was my friend Kit. A good friend of my youngest brother, Kit had been like family. He teased me like a kid brother and I teased him right back. So when one of the mall management team started hanging out at our store kind of a lot, Kit teased me. "I think Larry kinda likes you," Kit would say, over my protestations. C'mon, Kit, that's not my style. I'm a dork, and guys don't like me like me.
Only this one kinda did, and we started casually dating in the fall. Kinda. It was very low-key and wasn't going anywhere, but it was nice.
Then one day Nick Asshat walked in and spun my world in a circle. Handsome in his loafers and tie, he asked me out to dinner. Of course it wasn't a real date -- it was just to catch up, since I had been a friend of his mom's and he just wanted to reconnect. Of course it wasn't a date . . . only it was, I found out. Surprise! and we went out again, and again. Casual, nothing romantic, but . . . nice. And, you know, that other "kinda" relationship with Larry was going nowhere, so . . .
Dating two guys. Me, the dork, who just didn't date, unless you count the five months with the guy who would become My Gay Ex-Boyfriend. Huh. What does this mean? I didn't know, but soon I was dating Nick Asshat exclusively. Lucky me. Kit teased me mercilessly while I tried to navigate the uncharted waters.
Fast-forward to the next fall, and Nick and I were just friends -- not even with benefits, just friends. Along comes a delectable college student, Jay, who asked me out. Never saw it coming. But, why not, right? I mean, I wasn't tied to Nick Asshat anymore. So Jay and I dated, casually. Kinda.
October was interesting.
Every time Jay and I went out, we'd somehow run into Nick Asshat, who was, of course, rip-roaring drunk. At Joe's Bar Nick had the gall to join us at our table and start a dice game. We left, and went somewhere else, and of course Nick would show up there soon, too. Jay wondered if I had tipped off the Asshat, but no; Nick just went wherever alcohol was flowing, which, in Chico, is everywhere. These collisions happened with regularity, until one night when Nick tried to get into his car to drive home. I stopped him, made him give me the keys, and I drove him home with Jay following in my car. Jay was losing patience. Nick had no interest. I was drunk on my new relatively scandalous behavior. And then Vince walked in, and asked me out. Three guys in the month of October.
"What is it about October?" Kit asked. I couldn't say.
The Christmas retail season is a real relationship killer, so other than a briefly unpleasant scene in which Nick crashed our work Christmas party at my house and pretended to be jealous of my date Vince, things were back to Dorkdom for me.
The following July Kit and his girlfriend decided to throw me a surprise birthday party, and they enlisted Nick Asshat's help to get me out of the house so they could set up. Nick and I had a great day, the best date of our whole non-relationship. When he brought me home after riding around in his convertible (looking like hell with sweat and no makeup and too much sun), I walked into my apartment to be greeted with "SURPRISE!" The real surprise was still to come.
Larry was at the party, which was no problem, since Larry and I hadn't dated in months and we had always been good friends. The eating and drinking lasted late into the evening, at which point some of us decided to go to the local pub. Somehow the night was ending with me, Kit, Nick Asshat, Larry, and Larry's roommate, all sitting around drinking beer. This could not have been a weirder, more awkward group -- unless I had called Jay and asked him to stop by, THAT would have done it. Larry and his roommate split off to one table, Nick and Kit at another, and I was caught running between the two tables like a frazzled, tipsy geisha, making sure everyone had fun at my surprise birthday party.
At the Nick table, the Asshat was expounding upon all things known and unknown, and Kit (who was the designated driver) was coolly taking mental notes so he could slaughter me later. I listened a bit, then tottered over to the Larry table, where Larry was pretty drunk, which was quite unusual. I chatted brightly as any good Birthday Geisha would, and then Larry dropped a bomb.
"Ahh nnever shouldda let you . . . getaway . . ." he slurred, gazing somewhere in the vicinity of my eyebrow. "Ahhh llloved you, LLLLaurie," he said with sloshy convicti0n. Really? The L word? (not lesbian -- the OTHER L word) That word was never anywhere CLOSE to my relationship with Larry. "Pal," maybe, or "buddy," but "love" was not part of our vocabulary. The roommate could see that this was going nowhere good, so he tried to end this particular conversation with something ham-fisted, probably a "how about those Giants?" kind of diversion. It failed.
"Ahh dunnnno what happened," Larry continued. "You were [BURP] reeeeally speshall," at which point I excused myself to go check on the Nick Asshat contingent. Kit shot me a look which said either, "you so owe me for this party" or "I'm gonna make your life a living hell after today" or "how the hell did you ever date this asshat, anyway?" I couldn't read the look, but I knew I would never live this night down. I flounced back to "I love you Laurie," secretly enjoying the whole sordid affair.
The next day Kit just smirked knowingly at me. The scene that July evening had been every bit as tawdry as my October dating spree. Kit threw his arms into the air in mock surrender.
"IT'S OCTOBER IN JULY!!" yelled Kit, and it became our mantra for messy living.
"It's October In July." Sounds like a really lame clearance sale. And that probably describes, as well as any phrase can, my dating life.