Saturday, April 08, 2006

Part I: 80s dancing date

(You know how much I love detail, so get comfy...)

Okay, so... I have to admit I was rather ambivalent much of Friday about the date. Part of me was looking forward to seeing KT, but strangely another part of me felt like it had been forever since our last date and just felt kind of blah.

At Work
I got kind of silly at the end of the day. My cubicle neighbors overheard one of my conversations about the impending date and asked a few questions. As the day was wrapping up, I yelled over the cubicles, "Can I ask a question? Do I invite him in when he comes to pick me up?"

Eyes immediately said, "yes, invite him in for a drink. Offer him a glass of wine."

"But I don't have any wine. I don't want to open a bottle of wine. That's for next week," I loudly replied.

"Why not? Is it an expensive bottle?"

"Yes, it's a $90 dollar bottle of wine. Besides I don't know if he even drinks wine."

"Okay, well just invite him and see what he does."

I know, I'm lame. I have no clue about dating etiquette. Hence why I'm always asking other people. Maybe guys have the wrong impression of me as I do KT (but hopefully it's not as severe :-S).

Waiting for the door bell
KT missed some manners because he never gave me an idea of when he thought he would arrive at my place. I assumed we were aiming for 7pm if all went well for him at work. I scurried around to tidy up my place a bit. I purposely left some random piles of stuff because I wanted him to see how I normally live - i.e. cluttered. Unfortunately, that also meant I discovered an unwelcome pile of tiny black dots in my extra bedroom. It freaks me out because it means I have pests of some kind... probably termites. :(( Yech!

As the time passed, I didn't know what to do with myself. I put on some music and went upstairs to fold the laundry that had been sitting on the floor since Monday. When I noticed it was 7:20pm I began to wonder why he had't at least called to tell me he was running late. At 7:30pm, I tried calling his cell phone but without even one ring it immediately directed me to voicemail. I hung up without leaving a message and remember thinking "his seminar couldn't run this late?"

I was getting cold and sad, not a good combination. I wanted to nap on the couch but knew feeling groggy wouldn't be a good way to answer the door. The clock read 7:50pm and I was feeling very upset. I couldn't help think that maybe I'd been stood up. At what point do I drive myself to the theatre? But I also know he's not that type of person. Still it was very frustrating to be able to do nothing. This time when I called and got his voicemail, I left a message. "Hi, I know you said your seminar might run a little late. Give me a call as soon as you can and let me know where you are." I felt totally dejected.

Finally, a little after 8pm, the door bell rang. There he was, new hair cut and all, wearing his waterproof jacket. He was wearing a blue, vertical striped shirt with a black t-shirt just peeking out over an upper button. His bottom half was black with a noticeable rectangle, silver buckle. He immediately apologized and said that his phone wasn't working. He was worried that perhaps he forgot to pay the bill and they'd disconnected his service. I invited him to come inside.

He kind of tethered himself to the front entry way I walked back towards the living room to grab my purse and coat. I guess I kind of rushed myself out since we were so late on starting dinner. He had me stand in the doorway area outside and brought the car to my front door so I wouldn't get wet walking in the rain. :)

Sushi Dinner
KT was still fumbling with his phone as we parked at the restaurant. Since his phone hadn't been working for several hours he was concerned his parents or someone else would be concerned. They had driven down to Sdo to visit his younger brother. He turned his phone off and on to get it to work again.

After being seated, he looked a bit anxious. He then apologized and said he needed to make one quick call to his brother to check that his parents had arrived safely. I browsed the sushi menu to keep myself busy and not appear too nosy. Basically, he said his to his brother and asked if his parents made it to his place. Then his brother must have asked if he wanted to talk to the parents. KT hesitated and then said, "sure, put them on."

At first, KT, I presume, was speaking in Fuj because it sounded totally different that anything I had heard. I wish he had spoken longer because I liked the sounds and was very intrigued by it. The small bit I heard seemed like pleasant beeps if that makes any sense. Then there was a switch to Mandarin. He said "hao" a couple times and then some English "I'll take care of that" and "okay" before hanging up.

He quickly explained that the first person he spoke to was Dad. His dad was all excited about the 6-cylinder car rental they had been given. KT showed that same expression adult kids all have when we know we have to let our parents talk even though it's not really something we need to listen to but we want them to be happy. :)

We were careful not to order too much. We've always had a large amount of leftovers from dinner. I told KT that I'd rather undereat than overorder, especially since we were going dancing, and he was in agreement. I learned that he does not like unagi (more for me ;)). So we ordered a nigiri sampler and some extra hamachi and maguro nigiri.

The conversation seemed a little winded. Somehow it just didn't feel so intimate this time. Plus, every so often he make some wincing faces. When I asked what was wrong, he paused, searching for the appropriate words, and vaguely expressed that he might be feeling some discomfort. (Obviously, he learned from last week to limit the level of detail. ;))He reasoned that being a doctor you can pick up some strange things from your patients. My mind experienced a large "UGH" and I just couldn't help think this relationship is jinxed.

We covered some fairly esoteric and dry topics (to the average person). We started talking about pharmaceutical sales reps and the perks he used to get from them. The industry has been forced to change many of their practices the past few years. (You know he never really asks me about my work.) And then in talking about his HMO, KT mentioned the formulary policies and how they don't always encourage the use of the most effective drug versus the most cost-efficient drug, an example being Allegra or Zyrtec versus Claritin. When Claritin became an over-the-counter medication, the physicians were directed to move allergy prescriptions to this to reduce costs even though many felt it was not very effective. Then, once Allegra became generic, they were all told to move patients to this drug because it was better than Claritin. I started bringing up how it will be interesting to see his organization's reaction to when blockbuster drugs like Zoloft and Plavix lose patent protection in the coming years. Yeah, okay, I know, say what? ;)

He was a trooper and ate dinner. I couldn't help point out that he would take his nigiri apart, eating the rice first and then the fish slice. When I asked him about it, he said that he was afraid of it falling apart if he tried to take a bit of it together. (Was he trying to not look sloppy in front of me?) At the end, I asked him how he was feeling, and he thought maybe his stomach just needed a little food.

Somewhere in the conversation, the topic of college rivalries was brought up. I honestly don't recall how - oh, because UCLA was the college team people talked about where I grew up. I asked him who he would root for if he had to choose between UCLA or USC. Somewhere, he mentioned knowing EB or R alum who married USC alums. I distinctly remember him adding that he knew some R people who married EBs and things worked out fine. (Overanalysis alarm... is he trying to imply something? ;)) I told him that my cousin and her husband worked out a good compromise being from EB and USC. Each of their two cars has both license plate frames - one in front, one in back. They simply reverse them so that each school plate shows one time in the front, and one time on the back side. :) My cousin once tried to pants her youngest brother because he dared to walk around her house wearing an EB t-shirt and an R pair of shorts. You just can't do that; it's just wrong. ;)

The clock read 9:10pm (the show started around 9pm), so we asked for the bill. KT pulled out his wallet and produced a $20. I looked over and asked, "you got it?" He nodded and then pulled out a few $1 bills to cover the tip. He seemed very surprised and proud to have the exact change for the evening.

Going to the Theatre
On the drive up to RWC, we chatted about friends. I was telling KT that I might be doing a little swing dancing to 80s music with my friend. He said something like, "sure, go for it," as if I was asking for permission to dance with another man. We talked a little about hiking and he was telling me about the places where he liked to go when he was in med school. I then asked if he liked to go camping. He said while his friends have talked about, they've never gone.

That kind of gave me the opportunity to ask something that I've always forgotten. I was curious to know who his friends are. He said there are people from residency. His church group is nice but younger crowd. He also has friends from high school, but most of them are married. He had some good friends in college but he commented that they kind of went their own ways with their studies and lost touch.

He talked about one friend in particular who is very social. One night he'll go play board games (I think) with the Catholic group. KT made some comment about how his friend says that board games are for the Christian right because it's the only wholesome thing to do. The following night, this guy will go out and party and drink heavily. This seemed amusing to KT. I'm not sure if he felt caught somewhere in between about how to be social, how to be cool. I made it pretty clear that I thought playing board games is fine because that's what me and my friends like to do.

Somehow we got on the topic of my friends. I mentioned an interesting fact that even though many of my friends also went to EB, we didn't know each other from school. He thought that was interesting. In fact, I met most of my current close friends from one "seed" - my good friend from high school roomming with a Kata. Amazing how things happen like that.

As we approached the main street area, KT asked me if I've ever gone to karaoke.

"Sure, you me those little booths you can rent for the evening? My friend is Korean and she's taken me a few times when I visited LA. There's some in Clar right?" (Gosh I babble too long don't I?)

"Yeah, there's that. There's also a Chinese one that opened in Teo. Do you like singing?"

"Oh yeah," I confessed, "I'm one of those people you'll see driving along singing to the music."

"Ah, then we really need to take you out for some karaoke." (Aww, is he thinking about where to take me for a future date? ;))

And I had to keep going for some silly reason, "yeah, I also have Karaoke Revolution for PS2." (Come on, ask HIM a question will you?)

We parked pretty easily in a lot across the way from the theatre. There's some major construction going on in the local downtown. It's clear the city is trying to revitalize the sleepy little mainstreet. It should be a nice place to hang out when it's all done. It's must have been around 9:30pm as we walked toward the theatre.

As we came around one corner, the people walking towards us seemed familiar to me. Half the group I expected to see on the dance floor was leaving? TJ was the first to notice me and say "hey." As if everyone else had been in soft focus, I suddenly recognized their faces - Ig, Em, Ma, and Wand. I told TJ how disappointed I was that we wouldn't get to dance! They told us how they couldn't get tickets for the show and were headed over to TJ's to hang out. Ma then extended his hand out and introduced himself to KT. I felt bad about missing that one. I followed up by introducing him to the rest of the people in the group. I asked Ma about the new house and he commented how they're still cleaning up the water in the garage. (I can't help wonder how curious TJ was to know who I was with. We don't talk to often anymore, so I'm sure it was news to him. :))

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