Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why I Hate the French:

Once upon a time, there was an attractive, adorable boy named Brandon.

Brandon was going to be a freshman in high school, and he thought that he was really, really cool.  

Brandon fit in really well during the first few days of orientation and was happy to see that he was able to make lots of new friends (a big step up from his experience in middle school).  Within just a few hours, Brandon had found himself a social home with the cheerleaders - every guy's high school dream!  Brandon wanted to impress all the girls and make them like him (Brandon liked being liked by girls).  Brandon began to hatch a devious scheme in an attempt to win the heart of every hot girl on campus;  Brandon took French.

When the first day of French finally came, Brandon was so overcome with excitement, he could barely contain himself!  THIS was the moment he had been waiting for!  THIS was his time to truly shine!  THIS was his chance to win the heart of every hot girl on campus!

But within a week, Brandon realized that he hated French.  He hated the way they use random accent marks that face different directions when they write.  He hated the way they only pronounce half the word and sound like they're puking the other half.  He hated their stupid accents.  He hated French in every way conceivable.

Brandon hated French so much that he gave up trying just a week into the school year.  No amount of impressing hot girls was worth enduring French.  Instead of learning a foreign language, Brandon used his time in French class to flirt with the girl behind him and fall asleep.  Other than that, he had no interest in it whatsoever.

Brandon ended up getting a 4% in the class.  Even if you multiplied his grade by 10, he still would have failed miserably.

This began Brandon's lifelong hatred of everything French (except kissing).  Brandon hated French movies, French food, the French language, and French people.  According to Brandon, everything French should die in a raging fiery inferno.

A year-and-a-half later, Brandon decided to go to EFY (Mormon summer camp).  It would be an entire week spent away from home and parents - being able to do whatever he wanted when he wanted.  He was excited.

Brandon got off the plane and found the shuttle that would take him to EFY.  There was a very hot girl named Jordan that sat next to him.  Brandon will never forget Jordan.  Brandon and Jordan had a very good time together late one night, but that's a story best shared another time.

Everything looked and felt great.  All signs pointed to Brandon having a wonderful week.

Then Brandon met his roommate for the week.  When Brandon first heard his roommate speak, it sent Brandon into a silent nuclear meltdown.  If Brandon weren't so magnificent, he probably would have dropped dead from an aneurysm or something.  Entire civilizations could have been destroyed from the sheer concentrated power of Brandon's indescribable rage.

You see, Brandon's roommate...


Brandon was determined to not have his week ruined.  It was the first week he'd ever had to himself in his entire life and he was not about to let some pretentious Frog spoil it for him.  It was a difficult feat, but Brandon managed to keep his steadily rising hatred towards the French under control - even when the dirty Frenchman would add random French words into sentences even when he obviously knew the English word.

Brandon actually managed to be pretty nice to the Frenchman.  The Frenchman was obnoxious, pretentious, and kind of mean. No one in the group liked him.  Even the girls avoided him (and girls usually flock to foreigners).  Brandon did his best to make him feel included in the group's activities.  However, despite Brandon's best efforts, the Frenchman only had rude things to say to Brandon at the end of the week when they said goodbye.  This did not help Brandon's view of the French.

As the Frenchman left, he turned around and pointed at Brandon with his right hand like a gun, pretended to shoot Brandon, and winked with his right eye while saying "See you later!"

Two years later, Brandon had miraculously graduated from high school despite his terrible grade in French.  Brandon was getting ready to go to BYU.  Being a girl-crazy teenager, Brandon was excited to leave home and start in on his adult dating life.

Brandon went on lots of dates and was very happy.  One girl especially caught Brandon's eye.  Her name was Alisha.

Alisha was short, extremely cute, dark hair, and was from Texas.  Her screen name was CuteSunshine4.  Alisha and Brandon decided to date.  For several weeks, things were going great.  Brandon liked Alisha and Alisha liked Brandon.  Only good things awaited them in the foreseeable future.

One night, Brandon and Alisha were out on a late-night walk.  It was a clear starry night.  They sat down on a bench to enjoy the beautiful night and participate in some (French) kissy time.  In between kissy time, they talked about songs and poems that they had written.

Suddenly, a wild Frenchman appeared!

The Frenchman had overheard Brandon and Alisha's conversation about poetry and had rudely interrupted their kissy time!  He stood and talked to Brandon and Alisha for many minutes.  Brandon had never seen this Frenchman before in his life, but already hated him.  Trying to be polite, Brandon let the ambiguously gay Frenchman stumble his way through the English language without making fun of him out loud for being French.  Alisha was also being nice to him.

Then the Frenchman sat down next to Alisha.

Brandon was sad that kissy time had stopped.  But before Brandon could realize it, all of Alisha's attention was on the Frenchman!  Brandon reassured himself that she was just being nice and that their kissy time would resume once the Frenchman got up and left.

But then Brandon watched in horror as Alisha slowly turned her back on Brandon and faced the Frenchman!

Suddenly, Alisha and the Frenchman were having a full-blown conversation and Brandon was being awkward and trying to lean in so he could participate in the conversation.

The Frenchman talked about his style of poetry - how he'd take phrases that he heard people say throughout the day and piece them together to make them work.  Alisha was intrigued.  Brandon thought it was the dumbest thing he had ever heard in his entire life.

Somehow, Brandon had became the third wheel on a date with a girl that he was previously having kissy time with.  It was a situation that he had never been in before, and was gravely unsure of how to handle it.

After a half hour or so of Brandon stressing about what he could do to turn this situation around and kill the Frenchman, the Frenchman asked Alisha if she wanted to go back to his place with him so he could read her some of his poetry.  It was 1:30am.  She agreed.

Brandon watched in incredulous horror as his first romantic relationship as an adult crashed, burned, and went up in smoke.

As they were walking away, The Frenchman turned around and looked Brandon in the eye.  He pointed at Brandon with his right hand like a gun, pretended to shoot Brandon, winked with his right eye, and said "Good to see you again."

And that, kids, is why I friggin' hate the French.

Monday, November 28, 2011

What 'Love' Means to Me

I remember an episode of Modern Family not too long ago where the gay couple was having an argument.  At one point, one of them goes into the bathroom to shave his beard because the other one says he doesn't like it.  So the one with the beard says something to the effect of "The man that I love doesn't like the beard, so the beard is gone."  Now, yeah, it was a funny moment in the show (and he ended up not having to shave his beard), but it stuck with me.  To me, that act, at its core, demonstrates what I think love is and should be - that you're willing to be, do, become and achieve what the other person wants and expects out of you.  Love is a conscious decision you make to give yourself to another person.

What are the benefits of such an action?  You get to be with and impress the person you admire everyday for the rest of your life.

Plus you get to have sex with them.

There's a lot of trust involved in giving yourself to another person.  You have to trust that the other person won't abuse the love shared between you to make you do or become something completely warped and twisted.  That's where the vulnerability of love comes in, and that's why it's such a terrifying thing to me.  Letting someone have that kind of control over me makes me feel paranoid - especially when it's the kind of thing that is supposed to be decided upon silently.  How can you truly trust a person to the point where you're willing to be molded by them?

I've only loved one person in my life and I literally was willing to do anything for that person.  I remember the exact moment that I realized (and decided) that I was in love with her (and it turns out that it was that exact same moment she realized that she loved me).  We were both really sick with the same illness.  We both kept tripping over each other and telling the person to sit down and rest - both of us trying to take care of the other person when we weren't even really in a position to be taking care of ourselves.  It was a hilarious dance of trying to obey the other person to keep them happy, while trying to take care of them while letting them take care of the other.  It was like a game of "Standing, Sitting, Lying Down."  It was a little redundant; why couldn't we just take care of ourselves?  I think we realized that we were in love because we were quite literally trying to give ourselves to each other, even when we needed to focus on ourselves.

When things didn't work out a little more than a year later, I pulled my head out of my proverbial ass, looked around, and realized that I had become a person completely different from the person I was when I first started dating her.  It disturbed me at first - that someone had so much control over me that they were able to change everything about me.  I didn't know what to act like; do I act like the old me or the new me?  Which one do I like more?  Years later, I settled for a mixture of the two - the good parts of both.

Facebook recently suggested that we be friends (again) today.  I sat and stared at her picture for probably 5 minutes.  It was weird to look at someone that I had previously dedicated myself to and realize that we most likely have nothing in common anymore.  I still look at her and feel that emotion that goes along with looking at people you care about.  But if I saw her today, I wouldn't even know how to talk to her.  Even though that emotion exists to some degree, we are not in love.

Love is much more than a strong emotion.  Love is a decision.  Ideally, the two go hand-in-hand, but it's the decision that will stand the test of time - not the strong emotion.  From what I hear, that strong emotion changes over time from that "teenager-heartbeat-gonna-die-right-now" feeling to more of a feeling of close companionship.  That "honeymoon phase" feeling isn't what's going to hold it together after that.  It's the decision to love that will.

A close friend of mine described love as Alchemy and not Chemistry.  Chemistry between two people is great and a lot of fun, but when the chemical reaction dies down, all that's left are the ashes of a good time.  Alchemy is changing one thing into another - creating something new out of old ingredients; building and creating new things together.  It's far more difficult and doesn't sound nearly as glamorous, but it's what I want and expect.  Alchemy is when you go to build or create something and you can trust that the other person won't only support you, but will improve you as well.

So how do I trust someone like that again?  I have no idea.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Things you probably don't know about me

  • I have way more confidence in myself than any person should.  This used to not be the case.  I think the change happened when I went backpacking in South America for a summer.
  • However, despite my unhealthy amount of self confidence, I'm extremely self-conscious about the size of my ass (it's huge).
  • I recognize that I have some very over-calibrated defense mechanisms and generally don't let people get to know me.  I very rarely give people straight answers when asked a direct and prying question.  I don't know why I do that.
  • I do, however, react well when someone shows a genuine interest in getting to know me on a personal level.
  • I was (am) really slow to mature.  People always guess that I'm significantly younger than I am.
  • I have a pretty strong chameleon personality in order to keep people from extrapolating things about me based on my behavior.  If you want to get to know me, the first step is you need to isolate me from the group, otherwise I'm just acting, adapting, and manipulating social situations and you'll never get anything concrete out of me.  I do it for fun.
  • I can lie on a lie detector test.
  • I'm usually pretty direct with people and I appreciate when people are direct with me.
  • I don't ask questions unless I'm prepared for all the possible answers.
  • When I don't sleep, I act like I'm high.  People usually leave you alone when you're high.
  • When I'm in the library, I always wear headphones.  I'm never listening to any music.  Wearing headphones is just the universal sign for "Leave me alone".
  • I'm currently on 5 different medications designed to make me fall asleep - one to trigger sleep waves in my brain, one to separate communication between the two hemispheres of the brain (to make me stop thinking about stuff), one to relax and dull my nerves, one to just make me feel drowsy in general, and a mood stabilizer to keep all the others from messing me up.
  • Even with all that medicine, I still have trouble falling asleep.
  • I'm absolutely terrified of falling in love again.
  • I prefer to sleep alone.
  • I sleep with a knife under my pillow.
  • I'm attracted to girls with piercings and tattoos.
  • I love girls that wear huge reflective sunglasses
  • I hate New Year's Eve.
  • I don't really have a "type" when it comes to dating.  The only common theme seems to be if they make me laugh (and even then...).  I've dated ugly girls and hot girls, fat girls and skinny girls.  I've dated perfect Christian girls and I've dated girls who are currently in prison for 1st degree murder. I've dated girls that were 100% country with boots, hats and horses, and I've dated girls that were 100% punk rock with piercings and tattoos and bright pink hair.
  • I often give people genuine compliments but they think I'm being sarcastic.  I don't know if that means that I'm really good at being sarcastic, or really bad at giving compliments.
  • I play my piano for at least an hour every day, often playing the same songs (or parts of songs) over and over and over.
  • I'm very quick to sever ties with friends.  It's rare that I'll keep in contact with people once they're physically out of my life.
  • I'm a chick flick kind of guy.
  • I always cheer out loud when the guy gets the girl.
  • I used to not be funny, so I decided to study what makes people laugh and all the different ways to do that.  Now I do stand-up comedy.
  • My skill in humor is so broad that a lot of people often tell me that "no one else understands 'our humor'".
  • I love sitting and listening to people talk about themselves.
  • I also love watching people interact with each other.
  • I get more nervous talking to a girl that I like than I do when I speak in front of a crowd of thousands of people.
  • Girls often think I care about them way more than I actually do.  This is because when I was younger, I never did the casual dating thing.  Between the ages of 15 and 21, I probably spent the equivalent of 1 month without a girlfriend, so being in a relationship is what I'm really really good at.
  • I purposefully create awkward moments for people.
  • I'm extremely determined and almost always get what I want - even if I have to wait several years.
  • I'm freakishly good at learning people - learning what motivates them, what makes them tick, and predicting their behavior in almost all situations.  I can plan conversations that I'll have with people way ahead of time because I already know what they're going to say.
  • My heart jumps every time I get a text message.
  • I'm always plotting my next move.
  • I often yell things as loud as I can and sound angry.  I'm not.  I just think it's hilarious to ask someone how their day was at full volume, or shout "WHAT!?!" when they knock on my door.
  • Amusing myself is my biggest motivator.
  • I write a lot of songs, but I've never finished one.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Accidental Date: Part 2

If you missed Accidental Date: Part 1 (I don't know how you could.  It's the huge wall of text after the wall of text below this one), you can read it HERE

When we last left our hero (me), he had just found himself in an especially precarious predicament:

I was on a date (and had realized it only moments before).  I had just eaten the most beastly cheese pizza of all time.  It was also very garlic-y.  Lauren (not her real name), my date, had done the same.  I knew my body wasn't going to handle it well - no one's body could gracefully handle that much cheese.  We had plans to do the Lexington ghost tour right after eating - a solid hour-and-a-half tour of walking around with no access to any facilities.  We both also had a lot of water to drink.

I wasn't totally sure how to act because I had only figured out that I was on a date midway through the date.  That, plus tons of cheese, lots of garlic, lots of water, and impending doom when all those things are combined.

That pretty much brings us up to speed.

We left Pizza Hut with a box full of half a pizza.  After placing the pizza in my backseat with a slight twinge of disgust (and neglecting to open my date's door for her once again), I climbed into the driver's seat of my little silver Mazda 3 named Kuto.  My goal for the next 10 minutes was to not panic and drive to the DMV.  I pulled out my Knowledge Brick (smart phone), consulted it, and then made Lauren navigate.  This whole time, a time bomb was churning in my stomach.  Lauren was probably the same.

There were no surprises for us in the future.  We knew exactly what we had gotten ourselves into.

With heavy support from a smart phone, we managed to find the Visitor's Center (and then realized that there are huge blue signs all over town pointing you to the Visitor's Center).  The phone may have gotten us to our destination, but WE found a place to park.  Take that, technology!

We walked up to the Visitor's Center, stood, and waited.  It was cold outside.  I had forgotten gloves and so had she.  Hand holding - out of the question.  It was like The Universe was blatantly telling me that the touch barrier was more like a touch barricade, and there was no breaking through that thing tonight.  I already had to pee and my stomach kept gurgling from all the curdling cheese that had become a wrecking ball in my intestines.

In most other date situations, we would have stood there in kind-of awkward silence while I try to fill the silence by saying the first thing that comes to my mind - often exacerbating the awkwardness (and the silence).  Not so with Lauren - we didn't have any trouble filling the silence and killing time until the tour started.  We talked about jokes and embarrassing moments and stuff.  It was good fun.

Then she quoted Star Wars.

Now, I'm not a HUGE fan of Star Wars movies.  I find them mildly entertaining at best.  But I definitely understand that when an attractive girl quotes Star Wars to you on a first date, you've just stumbled upon a beautiful unicorn.

So I stared in awe for several seconds (making her uncomfortable, I'm sure).  Then she launched into how she watched all the Star Wars movies while traveling home over the summer and how she was so emotionally invested in them that she cried when Anakin turned dark.

I was so amazed, I almost puked on her.

The ghost tour started.  I was pretty excited to hear all the stories and walk around and stuff.  I had been looking forward to it all day.  We walked around and saw different sights and buildings and the cemetery and all that.  But here's the thing - none of the stories were really scary or made you look around all paranoid-like or anything.  They were really more of a history lesson.  The way the lady told the stories was way more informational than theatric.  It was still cool, but I was a little disappointed by it.  Plus Eric had told us all the stories the night before (and frankly, he did a better job on most of them).  I could go into detail on what each story was and all that, but to be totally honest, there was nothing special about it.

But it was still fun to interact with Lauren after each story while we were walking to the next sight.

Lauren was listening to the stories.  I don't know how closely she was listening.  I made sure to keep an eye on her at all times because, firstly, she was my date and a man needs to be aware of his date at all times even if he already made up his mind that he was going to purposefully be a crappy date - keeping consistent with his behavior - in order to keep from weirding her out (saying that out loud makes me feel sad); secondly, as a result of all the gaseous cheese and water interacting in my belly, I had to make sure I was standing downwind of her at all times.

And so the night went on - with me trying to gauge how interested my date was in our date activity and making it a point to neglect her even though I didn't want to but I was afraid I might weird her out if I started treating her like I was on a date with her because I didn't know it was a date at first but then when I decided it was it was too late, while simultaneously and silently relieving myself of any excess pressure built up in my system without letting her know.  I felt bad for the people behind me.  Second hand smoke is disgusting.  Second hand post-cheese pizza must be absolutely wretched.

There was one point when I loudly launched one right into the face of the little girl standing right behind me.  She must have been 4 or 5.  She shouldn't have been there.

Have you ever seen a cute little girl's silky blonde hair blowing beautifully in the wind on a Spring afternoon?  It was kind of like that, only she was gagging (and then crying).

It was cold outside and I could tell that Lauren was cold because she was standing there all rigid with her jaw clenched (either that, or her insides were also in revolt and she was trying to hold it in).  I weighed the options in how to help her warm up.

Option 1) Do nothing.  This would be consistent with my behavior all night, but it would also make her be cold and I wanted to take care of her and make her feel comfortable.  But I was still self-conscious about randomly changing my behavior.

Option 2) Offer her my huge coat.  Dating 101 for men - when you're going on a date outside and it's gonna be cold, always overdress.  That way you can offer her your coat without being cold yourself.  You stay warm, she's comfortable and thinks you're being a gentleman; everybody wins.  Luckily, even though i didn't know it was initially a date, I was still overdressed.

Option 3) Cuddle-stand to keep each other warm.  You know what I'm talking about - when couples hold each other while standing.  I don't know what the actual word for it is, so I'm just gonna call it cuddle-stand from now on.  It's like a prolonged hug.  This option was at the top of the list, but I also had to consider the viability of the option - we hadn't touched at all yet and The Universe had told me in every way it knew how that breaking that touch barricade wasn't gonna happen that night, plus I couldn't judge if she even wanted to be touched, we were in public and while that doesn't bother me, I'm not sure if it bothers her, and I was pretty bloated from the pizza and I was afraid that any pressure on any part of my body would cause a sudden loss of control of my "gatekeeper" muscles.

So while option 3 was my favorite, I went with option 2 because that was the one that I was most prepared for.

She refused the coat.  So I defaulted to option 1 - the worst of the 3 options.

In normal dating situations, I would have insisted, taken it off, and physically put it on her.  But she was lying to me and saying that she was warm, plus I hadn't had a chance to air out my long coat after that poor little girl nearly passed out.  I decided to keep my behavior consistent as I had previously decided and continue to neglect my date.  I'm such a charmer, I know.

She said that she was actually pretty warm except for her face.  My first instinct, then, was to correct her having a cold face with... well... my face, but then I restrained myself.  Partly because I was pretty sure she wouldn't go for it, partly because we hadn't touched yet, partly because we both had garlic breath, but mostly because I didn't want to belch in her mouth.

So I kept consistent with my behavior for the night and continued to neglect my date because I'm cool like that.

No doubt, I was having trouble taking care of my personal discomfort while also trying to interact with Lauren.  But I was doing a pretty good job of keeping things quiet - being sure to air out my big coat from time to time so that when I leaned in to whisper something funny in her ear, she wouldn't get a whiff of something foul.  But all this walking around was really starting to take its toll on me.  However, despite all my pain and discomfort, I'm proud to say that there was only one point on the tour where I felt almost certain that I was going to crap my pants.


The tour was over and we were walking back to the car.  I told Lauren that I needed to find the closest bathroom ASAP.  She agreed.  We got in my car (after I didn't open her door for her again), and the smell of the cheesy pizza in the back seat was so potent that I considered just locking her in the car and running for it.  That would probably be consistent with my neglectful behavior for the night, anyway.

We began our journey home.  We talked about the tour and stuff.  I don't remember too much from the conversation because I was a little preoccupied.  I know we listened to The Darkness because I love The Darkness and she said she did too but I think she was lying and had never really listened to them.  But our conversation continued as it had before - funny, fun, comfortable, great.

Then she said that she thinks farts are funny.

While swerving wildly and screaming "I AM TAKING YOU TO DINNER AGAIN!!!" I literally and figuratively almost shat myself.

We stopped at a gas station.  I decided to fill up my car and then I booked it to the bathroom.  I won't go into detail on what took place in there, but after I was done, there was a mushroom cloud over that gas station.  The janitor sobbed and quit later that night.

Although our stop at the gas station provided relief, that relief was only temporary.  There was still plenty of cheese inside of me that my body desperately wanted to expel.

But the night wasn't quite over, yet.

As we were driving home, I told her that we had options (I always like to give my dates options and never pressure them into staying with me if they don't want to).  I said we could go to my house and watch a movie, or we could call it a night.  It was probably around 10:20pm at this point.  She said she wanted to watch a movie with me.  I was super excited because she wanted to still be with me, but I was also panicking because deep down inside (literally), I was having a tough time keeping my composure.

We drove home.

While pulling up in front of my house, a really good song started to play.  So I stayed there for just a few extra seconds in order to listen to part of it.  But after realizing that I wanted to listen to more, I just turned up the volume and Lauren and I rocked out for a good minute or two until the good parts of the song were over.  If I could choose to be one thing for the rest of my life, it would be a rock star.  This is a little geeky, but I'm comfortable sharing it anyway - in any online game or forum or anything that I do, my name is always Rockstar.  Living my dreams through my online persona.  Ahhh yeah!

Anyway, rocking out was great spontaneous fun that she took part in rather than just watch me make a fool of myself.  Then we went inside.

My roommate was watching some rock concert thing on the TV.  Under normal circumstances, I'd be like "hey cool, a rock concert" (what with being a Rockstar and all).  But that night, I was trying to play The Game.

I don't know why but I thought the concert was almost over.  I later found out that it had just barely started.  Lauren and I went over to the movie rack to pick out a movie.  I couldn't see anything, so I just left it up to her.  For some reason, I expected that my roommate would see us picking a movie, realize that a brother is trying to play The Game, and maybe go watch his concert someplace else or something.  I severely overestimated him.

She picked out a movie for us to watch - Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.  I love that movie.  So does she.  We had talked earlier about how we love that movie.  It was a very strategic move - picking a movie that we were both already familiar with.  I'm not sure if she schemes the way that I do, but if I picked that movie, it would be because it's something to watch, but it's also an easy movie to ignore in case you start, um... "talking to each other".  But chances are she just wanted to watch that movie because most people aren't as strategic as I am in social situations.

We sat down and waited for the concert to end.  It didn't.  Ever.  We watched that concert for two freaking hours.  TWO. HOURS!!  I didn't want to get up and use the bathroom because that would have been a long time of just leaving my date sitting there alone (I was comfortable treating her more like a date now that we were on my home turf).

So I endured to the end.  The entire time, I wanted to go and do something else, but I couldn't judge how interested Lauren was in the (stupid) concert and I didn't know what we would have done - the rest of the house is literally covered in beds and it's pretty obvious what their purpose is, and we hadn't even come close to hitting that point of comfort with each other yet.  For some reason, I feel silly telling someone, "Hey, let's go someplace else and talk."  Looking back on it, she most likely wasn't interested at all in the concert and would have been glad to just go someplace and get to know each other a little more.  Watching hair metal guys play the guitar and change chords like it's some kind of magic trick kind of gets boring after 10 minutes.  But yet we still sat there for two hours, not interacting with each other in any way.

"Do I put my arm around her?  Do I hold her hand?  Do I cuddle with her?  Do I even want to cuddle with her specifically? or just cuddle in general?  Does our current seating arrangement lend itself to cuddling?  Does it even matter?  Does she even want me to do those things?  Is sitting perfectly still and not doing anything still an option?  Yes?  Good, I'll take that."

I offered to go get her some water.  That wasn't me trying to escape the situation or anything - I really did want to know if she wanted water; she hadn't had anything to drink for a few hours and I wanted to take care of her.  That doesn't mean that I didn't personally benefit from it, though.  The kitchen is way over on the other side of the house and I crop dusted all the way there and all the way back.  It was glorious and I couldn't help but grin a little when I sat back down next to her.

At around 12:30, she said that she was sleepy and probably wouldn't make it through our movie.  Was that the truth, or was she hurting from the pizza?  It didn't matter.  I didn't even try to make it sound like I was disappointed because I was so physically uncomfortable.  I immediately asked if she wanted me to take her home, she said yes, and we were out of there like a fart in a windstorm.  I didn't open her door for her (this time on purpose); there was no time to lose.  I drove her back to The Lofts.

We pulled into a parking spot at The Lofts to drop her off.  I'm about 65% certain that we parked next to her ex-boyfriend's car (and he was inside it).  I'm not sure if she noticed him or not (I'm sure she did - she probably spent a fair amount of time in that car).

Our goodbye was one of the shortest and most efficient goodbyes I've ever had on a date.  Given the circumstances, I think we both had something more important that we needed to take care of.  We started saying goodbye as we were swiftly walking to the door, talking about how much fun we had as well as making references to our favorite parts of the date.  She thanked me for such an awesome time.  Having an "awesome time", according to my interpretations, means "Second date, please!"

When we finally got to the door to The Lofts, all we did was a really quick hug, an about-face, and then sprinted to the closest accessible bathroom like our dignity depended on it.  No lingering, no key jiggling, no prolonged hug - nothing.  It seriously was like "Gudnitekthxbai".


Overall, I had a ton of fun.  One of the funnest dates I've been on in a long time.  The activities themselves weren't anything special.  The dinner made me feel gross (and the aftermath, as you've just read, was borderline disastrous), the ghost tour was more of a history lesson than something scary, and watching that concert DVD was just kind of strange.  The fun parts of the date were when she and I were interacting with each other - driving in the car, talking at dinner, rocking out in the car - that's what was fun for me.  I think that's a really good sign.  I didn't go into much detail about what we talked about and stuff during the story, but that's because I kind of want that to just be something between her and me (and not published on the internet).

I texted her the following day saying that I had a great time and that I was still laughing at parts and that I hoped we could go out again soon.  She, in essence, said "me too".

Will there be a second date?  Definitely.  Am I interested?  A little - there might be some potential; we'll see.  When will we go out again?  I dunno - she's super busy and as a result she is super hard to hang out with.  But I keep trying.  Again, we'll see.  Things should free up for her in the next two weeks or so.

Does she read this blog and find this whole story hilarious?  Yes.

Am I using this blog as a means of shamelessly communicating to her my views and interpretations of our date and telling her that I had a lot of fun and that I want to do it again sometime soon (minus the OMGCHEESE pizza)?

You betcha.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


It's my birthday.  I just withdrew from school for the semester because I can't sleep.  Happy day.

On the other hand, Sara 2.1 just gave me a freaking awesome present, so at least I have that.

UPDATE:  The day ended way better than it started.  I watched Wall-E and then went out on a date and had a great time.  So.....    :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Real Quick -

I just finished Accidental Date Part 2, but I think I'm gonna sit on it for a few days.  My posts are long and I don't want to overwhelm people.

Also, I cancelled my Facebook a few weeks ago (and reactivated it briefly so my new phone would re-download all the contacts, then cancelled it again), so if you see that I'm not on your friends list anymore, it's not because I hate you.  Quite the opposite - I love you.

Everyone who reads this should show it to at least 1 person who doesn't read this. Just post it on your Facebook wall or something.  Do it right now - you have no reason not to.  Don't be shy about it.  I would greatly appreciate it.

Also, my birthday is on Tuesday.  So if you were like "Hmm, I'm really in the mood to give someone a present on Tuesday" then I'm your guy!

Ackwarrd Date

I'm having a tough time with Accidental Date Part 2 (I spend an unhealthy amount of time on these essay-length posts), so I have this one for you instead (for now):  The most awkward date that I've been on in years:

An especially awkward date that I've been on recently was with a girl that we will call Kim.  I've known Kim for a while now and I always kind of wanted to ask her out but the timing never matched up (one of us would be dating someone).  When the opportunity to ask her out finally presented itself, I pounced.

Now I kind of regret pouncing.

There's nothing wrong with her per se.  She's beautiful, very sweet, driven to success, extremely classy, and cares and only has nice things to say about everyone - she's a genuinely good person (very, very rare).  We had a very successful first date (very successful...) - I was interested in her and she showed blatant signs of being interested in me and we had a good time just going on a walk and talking.

But holy crap was our second date awkward!  I'm very able to function outside of my element, but there was just a severe lack of "you feel comfortable, be yourself." going on - and I normally love and create awkward moments!  But the awkwardness was completely one-sided and too much to bear!  If you asked her how our date went, she'd probably say that she had an amazing time and was looking forward to doing it again.

We were originally supposed to go ice skating with my roommate and his girlfriend.  I had called up Kim a few days in advance and asked her if she would like to be my date.  She said she would love to and that she was excited (take note, girls - that's how you should say yes to ALL dates!).  Then a few days later we realized that it was the adult session of Stake Conference that night (it's a Mormon thing).  My roommate's girlfriend cancelled the date and said she would rather go to Conference.  No ice skating :(

I don't mind skipping the adult session of Conference - that doesn't bother me.  Is it something that I should go to?  Probably.  Does an awesome ice skating date trump it?  I'd like to think so.  Ice skating dates are always a huge success (if you know what I mean) and Kim and I were already headed down that successful path (if you know what I mean).  However, since we couldn't go ice skating, Kim and I decided to just try it again another time.

Then she called me up the day of Conference and asked if I wanted to go on a double date with her friend and her friend's boyfriend.

"That sounds great!  What are we going to do?"

"Well, first we're going to go to Conference..." and I stopped paying attention right there.  She said some other things; I'm sure they were beautiful, poetic, deep and moving - and she probably included the rest of the night's plans somewhere in there, too.  But I didn't listen.

"Oh, sounds like she's wrapping up.  Game face, boys."
"Yeah, Kim.  Sounds great!  I'm excited!  I'll see you in an hour."

So I got dressed up (which, technically, wearing a normal shirt and some pants is dressed up for me - but I got dressed up in a nice shirt, slacks, shined shoes, shave - I clean up good).  Eric helped me pick out a tie (he always seems to be right there every time I'm about to go on a date); we went for the blue tie for various reasons that only ex-missionaries understand.

I was about to do a Conference-date - something that sounds a little weird, but I was going to give it a try anyway.

This is when I realized that I'm just a big fat liar.

One thing about me - I'm an excellent liar.  Like, really really freakishly good at it.  I've had a lot of practice (delinquency taught me such valuable life skills!).  Caitlin and I play a game where we see what kinds of ridiculous things we can get people to believe about me (she's freakishly good at lying, too).  Apparently, I got divorced when I was in prison for two years after stabbing a man (and my ex took my son with her and I haven't seen him since before I went to prison), I was a male cheerleader in high school, and I'm technically bisexual, but since I'm at a Mormon school, it's not that big of a deal for me to just be straight because I'm already attracted to the opposite gender.  There are other things that we've made people believe, but these are the things that I remember off the top of my head (I've been awake since 4am after puking my guts out all night, so my memory isn't the greatest right now).  Now I try to keep the lying under control, but I'm still capable of great and believable things.  So on my date with Kim, I let my inner suppressed liar come out to play.

I came up with a good back story for all the great and productive things I'd done with my day/week that didn't include sitting and playing video games and sleeping in until 2pm and missing all my classes, including great and stimulating conversations that I had with people that don't exist (imaginary people).  I grabbed an unused pad of paper and a pen to make it look like I had the intention of taking notes (I didn't).  I noticed that the pad of paper was completely full, so I ripped out half the pages to make it look like that pad of note-taking paper had been used extensively.

Lies lies lies.

They show up to pick me up.  I'm already waiting outside - looking like I'm looking forward to this night (lies).  I get in - say hi to everyone and think to myself "This won't be so bad.  She looks great and is talking to me and she's energetic and flirting.  Our first date was great.  It'll be fine." Then she goes and ruins all of it:

"Ok.  Let's start with a prayer."


K.  I get the whole "be grateful for God's hand in everything" thing.  It's nice, sure.  Out loud, I can't say that I have a problem with starting a date with a prayer because I'll get judged for it.  But this is my blog so I get to do and say whatever I want.  Praying before a date is weird as hell.  I'm a religious person, sure.  I was a missionary.  But, I mean, really?  Really?
"But Brandon, it shows that she has a super-strong testimony!!"

It also shows that she's a complete weirdo.

So she prays.  I'm sure it was great and that God wasn't planning on watching over and protecting us that night until she prayed.  I didn't pay attention.  But I pretended like I did and I thanked her afterwards and said that I liked it because most girls get weirded out by that kind of thing.

Apparently I'm most girls.

We head off to conference.  On the way over, she talks more about our plans for the night.  I still didn't pay much attention (this date was already a disaster - mostly because of my attitude) - I just knew I had to pay for whatever was coming up because I try to be the kind of guy that pays for everything.  Frankly, I find the "fake wallet grab" to be a little insulting.

Then I realize that I forgot my wallet (truth).

There are few things more emasculating than turning to my date and telling her that I have forgotten my wallet and that I'm embarrassed.  I sit here and rag on her for all the weird things she did and all that, but let's face it - I wasn't much better.  I'm sure that if she made a blog post about our date, it would be about all the weird things I did and all that.

But this is my blog.

And she's probably way too kind of a person to do this anyway.

She said that she had no intention of letting me pay anyway because she's the one that had asked me out.  She said that she had her checkbook on her.


We arrive at Conference.  She and I get out of the car and start walking in.  Her friend and her friend's boyfriend stay behind in the car.  I guess they had something to talk about or take care of or something (hopefully gettin' work done).  The point is that Kim and I stood awkwardly in the middle of the parking lot in complete silence waiting for them to get out of the car.  We seriously stood there for a good 3 minutes of silence; and it wasn't the kind of silence where you sit and enjoy each other's company.  It was the kind of silence where we look around at different things, open our mouths to say something, have second thoughts, close our mouths, and just stand there instead.  Three minutes doesn't sound like very long - but try it.  When groups of people have a "moment of silence" for the troops or whatever, it's usually about 10 seconds long, but it feels like an eternity.  Now take those 10 seconds and multiply them but 18.  Awwwwkkkkkkwwwwaaaaarrrrrddddd.

We go inside.

The place is already full.  We sit near the back.  She thanks me for coming with her and says that she knows that I don't want to be there and that she really appreciates it.

"Of course I want to be here!  I was planning on coming anyway!  I'd be sitting with my friends over there!" I said, pointing to a group of people that I've never seen in my life.

Lies lies lies.

Conference starts.  The hymn starts.  Being Mormons, we all break out into perfect 4-part harmony.  But here's the thing about hymns - most of them have some pretty weird lyrics.  Combine that with a lack of hymn book and my inability to learn weird lyrics, and that means that I have to sit and lip sync through it while I wait until the chorus before I can remember the words, while Kim sits there and sings the entire song at full volume in perfect alto harmony with everyone else.

It's Socially Awkward Penguin at its finest (type it into Google).

The people giving talks (what Mormons call speeches) get up one-by-one, talk about the message they want to convey, and sit down.  I pretend to take notes.  In reality, I'm sitting there writing questions about things that seemed related but really weren't and then answering those questions in my head.  Questions like "What are we doing here?" which can be interpreted as "What is the purpose of this life?" but really I meant "Why am I here on a date?"  The intent was to both amuse myself and impress her with my deep questions when she glanced at the notes that I've taken.  I think she fell for it.

Halfway through the meeting, I got bored.  I wrote down a get-to-know-you question on my paper and passed it over to her.  She smiled all big, wrote something down and passed it back.  She had answered the question and asked me another.  Sweet!  Before returning it, I made sure to wait until there was a lull in the speaker's talk - making it appear that I was listening intently and didn't want to miss anything important that they had to say.  So we sat there the rest of the Conference, old-skool-texting each other back and forth.  It was actually a really nice part of the date - the highlight, even.  There were some things that I wrote that aren't entirely true about me, but at that point, I was just exercising my lying muscles for funzies.  I don't even know where that pad of paper is now.

After conference, we went to watch an improv show (that she payed for) that some friends were putting on in a bookstore.  Before going, though, everyone in the car but me decided that they needed to stop and use the ATM.  Ok, that's cool.  That way she doesn't have to pay for things with a checkbook (?!).  I figured me and at least one other person would stay in the car and just wait for the other two to use the ATM.

Not so.

They left the car running, tricking me into thinking that I would have company, and then they all simultaneously got out and closed the doors - leaving me inside like a sad puppy dog whining and pawing at the window.  So I had a choice, now:  I could either sit in the car awkwardly and wait, knowing that when they come back they'll all say "why didn't you come outside with us?" or I could awkwardly go inside, getting out and closing the door to a running car (a huge fear of mine), wait behind everyone as they take money out of the machine (being sure to obviously avert my eyes so they don't think I'm trying to learn their PIN), and then climb back into the car without saying a word to anyone.

Both options sucked.

For some reason, I created and then chose option D) All of the above.  I got out of the car - leaving the door open because I'm too scared to shut doors to cars when the keys are still inside the car - and just stood there, making sure the door stayed open, but while hovering just outside the car.  I looked weird.  To make it look less awkward, I tried to come up with a few nonchalant poses to make it look like I was just chillin' outside of this car without a care in the world, enjoying the beautiful night and thinking about Conference and stuff.  I'm not sure if I succeeded or not.

I managed to take two options, combine them together and create a third option that was leaps and bounds worse than the previous two.  I was too far away to talk to them, but I wasn't in the car waiting for them.  I hated myself for a brief moment.

Kim walked up to me.  "Whatcha doin'?"

"Ohhh, just thinking about Conference."  ....bwahahahaha!

"Oh yeah?  What about?"

"I was just thinking about what the second-to-last speaker said.  He made some really good points."

"Oh I know!!  It was so touching!!"


I have no idea what the second-to-last speaker said.

After getting back in the car after awkwardly waiting for everyone outside, we went to the improv show.  I like improv a lot and have done it myself for like 10 years.  I enjoy watching other people do it and think to myself  "Hmm, yes. Good form, good form."  It makes me feel smart - especially when I can predict what they're going to do long before they do it.  She didn't like it.  I thought they did a really good job.  She said that improv comedy wasn't her thing.  If it weren't obvious enough before, it's quite obvious now that this isn't going to work out.

After the show, her and I stood in awkward silence by the door (again) waiting for her friend and her friend's boyfriend to finish talking to people so we could leave.  It's at this point when I decide to break the awkward silence by making a joke about the awkward silence.

Bad idea.

She was like "Huh?  What awkward silence?  I was really enjoying just standing here with you."  It was like she had taken all of the shared awkward in that situation and dumped it all on me.  It was more than I could bear.  I almost puked, it was so awkward.  It was at this point that I decided that there would definitely not be a 3rd date.  After an amazing first date, you'd think that I'd be willing to overlook a bad date (and I was the one who thought it was bad.  she was apparently having a great time).  But this was just way more awkward than even I could deal with!  And I'm the master of creating, controlling, and loving awkwardness.

We went out to eat.

Now, I come from the freaking nice-restaurant capital of the world.  There are literally dozens of places to eat and everywhere you go to eat has dim lighting, waiters dressed up in tuxes, candlelit tables, and that dude that plays the violin.  It's all really REALLY nice.  So when people around here say that they're going out to eat someplace nice, for some strange reason, I imagine someplace nice.  I forget that my idea of a nice restaurant is completely different than everyone else's around here.

We went to Macado's (MAC-a-doo's).  Macado's is the kind of restaurant that has license plates, hubcaps and sports jerseys on the walls and black-and-white pictures of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe and stuff like that.  It's not a nice restaurant.  It's basically a sports bar that you can take the family to.

So the group sat down and Kim ordered a sundae for us to share.  How romantic.

It actually was really nice. It was the part of the night that we got to just sit and talk one-on-one and get to know each other and we could fill any awkward silences with a spoon full of ice cream.  Of course, I had already made up my mind that I wasn't going to ask her out again.  But it was still nice.  She ate most of the ice cream (which was fine by me).  The waitress was terrible and super slow and rude.  I personally would not have given her a tip because she was so terrible.  Kim still tipped her, proving that she is a far better person than me.

The drive back was pretty much in silence.  At this point, I had pretty much given up trying to charm her in any way.  I sat in the back on the left door side of the car, and she sat in the middle right next to me even though there was an open seat on the other side.  Under normal dating circumstances, this would be the kind of thing that I would be super excited about - this beautiful girl was sitting right next to me, touching my arm and leg while talking and placing her head on my shoulder.  But I had suffered so much awkward that night that I couldn't even bear the sight of her.  I saw her last night at a concert and I still felt awkward just waving to her from across the room.

The "goodbye" was pretty awkward as well.  They dropped me off, Kim got out of the car with me (for some reason she got out on the other side), and we hugged behind the car with fumes blowing in our faces while my roommates sat on the front porch shouting for me to do things to her that I had no interest in doing.

Imagine something really romantic.  Now imagine the opposite of that.  There ya go.

I apologized for having forgotten my wallet.  She said that she wouldn't have let me pay anyway and said that it's my turn next time and that she hoped we could do it again sometime soon.

"Oh definitely!"

I went inside, went in to see Eric (who was playing video games in my room) and said "nope".

That night I texted her and said "Thanks again for such a good time!"

Lies lies lies.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Accidental Date: Part 1

Eric had gone on the Lexington ghost tour as a date and said that it was awesome.  That night, he told me and my friend-that-is-a-girl (we'll call her Lauren) about it and we both thought it sounded like fun and said that we wanted to do it.  The next morning, I was like "I want to do that!" so I texted Lauren to ask if she wanted to go with me.  She said yes.  Sweet!

Little did I know of the huge and humorous mistakes that awaited me in my immediate future.

So a few minutes before picking her up, I get a text saying that she just got off work.  I could sense that she was building up to cancelling, so I decided to be oblivious about it and I asked when she would be ready to go.  Then she said that she also had to help set up for the dance at school that night.  Aww crap.

I started texting her "You have something else important to do.  I understand." but then I was like "No.  I've been looking forward to this all freaking day and if she cancels, I'm gonna uppercut someone in the chode."  So I said "Skip it.  Ghost tour - think about it."  And then I waited.  At this point, we were already late and we were gonna miss it, but I didn't care.  I wasn't in the mood to have my plans ruined on a Saturday night.  A few minutes later, she was like "Ok.  Let's do it."  I was surprised.

When I first asked her if she wanted to come with me, I didn't really think of it as a date.  I just knew that I wanted to go on the ghost tour and so did she.  I like being around her because she makes me laugh.  Perfect company for a ghost tour!

But as I was leaving, Eric was like "Good luck on your date!"  and that's when I got all self-conscious about it.

"Is this a date?  I don't know if this is a date.  I never said the word "date".  I texted her to see if she wanted to hang out.  I don't text girls to ask them on dates.  I call them.  But I plan to pay for everything and she's a girl and I'm a boy and we're going out together.  She's attractive, and I think I'm attractive.  I like being around her.  We haven't known each other long enough to be in the friend zone.  But I never said it was a date!  Is this a date??"

As she came out of The Lofts to my car, I noticed that she looked really cute - especially with that little bow/flower thing in her hair.  In a normal dating situation, I would have said that she looks cute.  I also would have gotten out to open her door for her.  But in my is this a date? confusion, I panicked and all I did was just sit there and pretend to be looking through my iPod for a song.  Way to play, Brandon.  Way to play indeed.

We were already late for the ghost tour.  I knew it wasn't going to happen and I had to come up with a backup plan quick because it was 7:00 and there was a dance at the school at 9:00.  The ghost tour is an hour-and-a-half long and they had one at 7:00 and at 8:30.  8:30 was too late because I knew for a fact that she wanted to go to the dance because she loves dancing (and I've seen her dance and she's good at it).  I didn't want to deprive her of that.  So imagine my surprise when I mentioned that there was a ghost tour at 8:30 and she said that she wasn't in a dancing mood and that she wanted to stay with me.  Sweet!  It was a pleasant surprise.  But we still continued forward like we were going to make the 7:00 tour even though it was 7:10 and we still had to drive for another 10 minutes.

Throughout all of this, we were talking and laughing and having a great time.  It was a lot of fun and we hadn't even done anything yet.

"But is this a date??"

I'm gonna go ahead and admit this - I had no clue where we were going.  I'm normally really good at looking up where I'm going ahead of time and all that, but it totally slipped my mind.  So in my confusion, I panicked and drove us to the DMV rather than the Visitor's Center - the starting point of the tour.  Real slick, Brandon.  Real slick indeed.

Dating 101 - if you want to ruin everything, take your date to the DMV.

We pulled up to the DMV.  I was embarrassed.  It was at that moment that we both simultaneously concluded that the ghost tour wasn't gonna happen for us at 7:00.  We immediately barrel-rolled (figuratively) and decided to go somewhere to eat.  We settled for the first place with an OPEN sign - Pizza Hut.

It was the Saturday before Halloween, so all the waiters and workers were dressed up in costumes.  One employee of note was a huge burly cross-dresser with a blue wig (like Ramona Flowers... but huge, burly, ugly, and with penis).  He had a little bit of a beard and was wearing a tight dress.  He smelled heavily of cigarette smoke.  He asked me to donate money to something.  He represented everything that I would never give money to.  I felt very uncomfortable.

I'd like to point out that even though things weren't going according to plan, I was still having a great time.  We hadn't even done anything yet, but the conversation was comfortable and funny.  I was having a lot of fun and I could tell that she was, too.

"But is this a date??"

We sat down and stared at our menus.  I asked her how hungry she was on a scale of 1-10.  She said she was 3 hungrys.  I was 4 hungrys.  That means that we weren't very hungry, but we were still sitting and having dinner.

Now, I fully understand that the evidence was very strongly stacked in the direction of "this is a date" but for some reason, that hadn't quite clicked in my head yet.  Looking back on it, I really should have realized / made that decision earlier, because this halfsies thing wasn't working out.  "Do I open doors for her?  Do I compliment her?  Do I put my arm around her?  Do I do that weird thing that I see guys do when they put their hand on the small of her back and guide her around like she doesn't know how to walk properly?  How do I behave??"

So while we sat and looked at our menus, I decided that it was a date.  The only problem is that my behavior had already been established for the night - I didn't compliment her; I didn't open her door; I didn't break the touch barrier; I didn't do anything date-like.  And I couldn't suddenly change my behavior mid-date.  That's weird (right?).  I was all kinds of confused and didn't know how to handle the situation and I was starting to panic; and when I panic, I make really, REALLY dumb decisions (like driving to the DMV).

So I decided that we were on a date, but that I was going to keep my behavior consistent for the night in order to keep from freaking her out or anything.  If we went out again, THEN I'd treat it more like a date.

Life is complicated when you're me.

We were sitting there talking and laughing and stuff and then I was like "I want to get to know her" so then I started asking her all of those date-game questions like "What Are Your Top 5..." and "Brief Life Story - GO!"  She caught on quickly and played along, returning questions and asking me personal (but not TOO personal - just the right amount of personal) questions.  It was fun to get to know her.  She's a person that I knew, but a person that I didn't know about (if that makes sense).  I won't share anything that she said to me - I don't know which bits of information are sensitive and which are free game.  The point is that there was a mutual interest in getting to know each other, which is good.  And it was a lot of fun.

And now here's the highlight of the date:

We decided to share a pizza.  I told her that I like cheese pizza.  I'm fine with toppings on it, but I prefer to just have a good ol' cheese pizza.  She didn't object.  I'm not sure if she was just being nice or was too afraid/timid to say that she wanted a different kind of pizza or what.  But we decided to get a cheese pizza.

Then we decided to get an extra cheese pizza.

Then, in our weird and humorous way of making fun of cheese pizzas, we decided to get an "ALL OF THE CHEESE!!" pizza.

So when our super-cool waitress named Renae came and asked us what we wanted, I said we wanted an "ALL OF THE CHEESE!!" pizza.  She asked if we wanted the "Super Duper Cheese Lots of Cheese OMGCHEESE" pizza.  Lauren and I looked at each other for a split second.  I knew what she was thinking.


Renae had never seen that kind of pizza up close before (and she works there).  It was like Bigfoot.  No one gets the OMGCHEESE pizza.  Ever.  So imagine our surprise when we saw it.

I'm not sure I've ever seen so much cheese in my entire life.  I really can't describe it with my vocabulary - that's how cheesy it was.  Imagine flattening out the pizza dough, spreading the sauce over it, and then taking like 9 full blocks of cheese and placing them on the dough - no cutting or shredding - just solid blocks, covering the thing in garlic, and then baking it.  It was kind of like that (only BIGGER!!).  All the cheese was still all melted and gooey (and really hot - I burned my mouth and now it has that weird fuzzy feeling).  The bread was still a little doughy and soft.  And it really didn't feel like there was a lot of bread there to begin with.  It was like the bread was scared of the pizza, too, and was trying to hide.  It really was an intimidating pizza.

So once we were done laughing at how funny our pizza was, it dawned on us that we now had to eat the thing.

Being lactose intolerant runs in my family.

That's when a series of unfortunate mistakes began.  It was a huge thing of garlic and cheese - a date's worst nightmare.  I had a choice, and I didn't have a lot of time to weigh the options and the outcomes of the choice.  The way I saw it, I could either eat the garlic-y cheesy pizza and say goodbye to breaking the touch barrier that night; or I could not eat anything (making her feel fat or whatever) and roll the dice on the touch barrier.

I ate.  And I ate well.

It really wasn't fair for The Universe to spring such a difficult decision on me just moments after deciding that I was accidentally on a date.  That's just too much to handle in such a short window of time.  "DATE!  PIZZA!  DECISIONS!  RITE NAO!!!"

I really did feel bad for my body - no one deserves that kind of punishment.  A little cheese doesn't really hurt anything.  A lot of cheese means that a storm's a'brewin.  And we still had the hour-and-a-half ghost tour coming up.

"Hey!  I've got a great idea!  Let's take Brandon and fill him up with cheese, and then walk him around Lexington for an hour-and-a-half!  What do you think will happen?"

I felt like a time bomb.  I'd like to say that hindsight is 20-20, but if I'm gonna be completely honest, foresight was 20-20 on this one.  With each bite of cheesy pizza, my 'inner fatty' and my 'inner charismatic stud' wept in each other's arms, crying out in pain - "Why, God?  Whhhyyyyyy???"

Throughout all of this, I made yet another mistake - I wasn't paying attention to how much water I was drinking.  I really wasn't all that thirsty, but I still managed to drink at least 5 glasses of water.  That's just not a good idea when you're gonna be walking around for the next hour-and-a-half with no access to a bathroom.

Lauren was no different.  She ate the pizza as well - and I'm 100% certain that she was also fully aware of the explosive ramifications.

We were both on a date.  We had both just eaten garlic-y, cheesy pizza.  We both had too much water to drink.  There was no turning back now; we had hit the point of no return.