Friday, April 16, 2010

The Grip

It wasn't more than a few nights ago that I ventured out on another date. This time it was with a seemingly lovely gentleman who worked in the entertainment industry (usually a red flag for as I'm not very "Hollywood"). Regardless of his affiliations he was kind and polite and interested and cute, too. Having met him through a dating website, I took all the necessary precautions. Public meeting place, busy time with lots of people (witnesses?), and something casual that wouldn't lead to a second location.

The Grip suggested one of those free movie passes that come along every so often. I do adore going to those pre-release screenings and filling out the surveys so I was excited. We met, first at the coffee shop near the theater for greetings. My general rule about first dates is to wear flats as they provide some versatility in the event of the decision to walk around, the need to run, or to keep a decent range in height. Many men I've encountered seem to prefer shorter women and at 5'7" a pair of heels makes that difficult. Unfortunately, due to wardrobe issues flats were not an option and I wore some conservative mary-jane high heels. Much to my dismay, the Grip would have been shorter than me even if I wasn't wearing heels, making me tower above him now.

He didn't appear to mind and we had our greetings, purchased our coffees and made our way to the theater. He was nice, a little corny, seemingly rehearsed, but overall a good guy. He allowed me to ramble about my studies a bit before I caught myself and directed the conversation to something we had in common--our love of movies. It wasn't long before the Grip's cheesy demeanor was starting to wear on me. In fact, he often laughed at his own jokes enough for the both of us. So when he would look to me after saying something not all that funny I would always be sure to be smiling politely or sipping my drink. A mutual respect, but a lack of chemistry. It happens but it doesn't mean I can't enjoy the rest of the night.

Waiting for the movie to start seemed to take ages. While more and more people filed into the theater we sat patiently. Actually, I sat patiently while he fidgeted like a mad-person. He played with his clothes, shifted in his seat, looked all over the theater. He couldn't be still. Unfortunately, the one part of him that did seem capable of concentration were his eyes and they were often fixated on my chest. Wearing a high necked shirt and a flashy necklace, I gave the Grip the benefit of the doubt.

"Maybe he's just staring at the necklace," I concluded. That was until he noticed and pointed out to me the lovely, large chested woman with the revealing dress who had just entered the theater.

"Daaamn!" he exclaimed. "She's really..." he motioned to his chest, "she's got some major..." I interjected before he could continue.

"Well, I can't see as her back is turned to me but maybe she's showing off for her boyfriend, the guy she's with," I hoped putting her cleavage in the context of a relationship may make him back off. No luck.

"She's all hanging out," he continued.

Luckily for me, one of the market researchers interrupted when she came over to ask us to participate in the focus group that would follow the film. A welcomed interruption and a welcomed offer, I eagerly agreed.

After the woman left to continue her search for participants, the Grip went back to fidgeting and making bad jokes that he thought were hilarious. After he finished cracking up at a particularly cornball joke I looked over at the Grip to see him crossing one of his legs over the other and clutching his shoe with his hand. Fondling the bottom of his shoe. My jaw dropped. How incredibly unhygienic. Even for a normal person, not a mild neat-freak like myself this is gross (I took a poll of all my reasonable friends).

Maybe he sensed the general discomfort (though I doubt it) but he decided to go get some popcorn. He returned with a small tub, propped himself next to me, and offered me some of my favorite snack. Dismayed, I took a few pieces knowing that after he digs in I will not be able to eat the contaminated popcorn. Of course there was hope if he was able to pick out piece by piece without touching any that he didn't take. Not the case. The Grip fondled every piece of popcorn his fingers could reach before picking out two kernels. Ew. Just Ew. And that's how he ate the whole bucket. Groping and molesting the popcorn one handful at a time before popping it in his mouth.

The movie was enjoyable. The focus group was entertaining. But I was looking forward to finally being in the car and on the way home. The Grip insisted on walking me to my car. He spent a few minutes scuffing his feet against the ground and twirling with his hands in his pockets and his head hanging down. He kinda-sorta-almost asked me to hang out again and I quickly brushed it off and went for my car. But I didn't stand a chance. He came in for a hug and I was forced to oblige. He squeezed his arms around me tightly and quickly before stalking off across the parking lot to his car. Free at last from the Grip's smothering crush, I drove home in peace, excited to tell the tale of my adventure with the Grip.

XO Jane

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