Monday, July 13, 2009

Shallow like a kiddie pool

Welp! I’m still in mourning over Michael. That’s why it took me so long to come back to this blog and post something. I was emotionally-drained. I loved me some him. And now he’s gone. I was devastated! I didn’t think I’d be able to watch the memorial, but not only did I watch the live streaming coverage on CNN (brought to you by Facebook) DURING the workday, I DVR’d it and have watched it again several time since then. This can’t be healthy!

It was a life-changing moment, though… one that I will probably remember until the end of my days. And I’m not the only one who feels that way. On the night that Michael passed, the girls and I had dinner/movie plans. The details were sketchy and Michael’s death hadn’t been confirmed when we met up at the restaurant after work. While we were there, CNN broke the news that he had, in fact, passed away. We were sitting at the table, getting misty-eyed and talking about how unbelievable the news really was. Our cocktails arrived, and Teresa looks at me and says, “You know, no matter where life takes us, no matter where we end up, we will always remember each other because we were together when we received the news about Michael’s passing.” There was an empty water glass on the table, so each of us took a turn pouring out a little bit of liq for Mike and then we did a toast to him. Because the whole situation was putting a damper on the night and more than one of us were dabbing at our eyes with our cocktail napkins, we dashed off to see “The Hangover”, which left us crying (but this time because of laughter!).

But I am comforted in knowing that I’m not the only one who’s obsessed. The media can’t keep his name out of their mouths, so this will be an ongoing topic of conversation for the foreseeable future. There’s no doubt about that. But, I vow that I won’t dwell on it for too much longer. Instead of mourning so hard, I should just be celebrating the fact that God blessed us with such a tremendous talent. And for that, I am truly grateful.

Now, on to today’s post…

Major personal admission forthcoming:

I once broke up with a guy b/c he owned a cat. Okay, actually, he owned TWO cats, which turned out to be a problem for me. In my opinion, a straight guy wouldn't own a cat. And, if he wouldn't own ONE cat, he damn sure won't own TWO. I called him "Cat Daddy" behind his back. Not only did this dude just own the cats, he was also borderline obsessed with them. He gave them real names (Serena and Angelica), and he would talk babytalk to them and coddle them like toddlers. But they were cats. That sht was lame. And so I broke up with him. Now, of course, I didn't tell the dude that the reason he didn't stand a chance with me was because of his taste in pets. At the time, I made up some other reason for why things wouldn't work out (I can't remember exactly what I said), but we went out separate ways and I didn't miss a beat. And one day years later I was having a cup of coffee and thinking about my life when a memory of Cat Daddy popped into my head and I realized that sometimes I am shallow.

Nobody WANTS to be shallow, but all of us fall victim at one point or another, and I was saddened to realize that I'm no exception. So, anyway, I was faced with my shallowness again recently. I met a guy. Nothing new. The Earth did not move, and sparks did not fly, but he was nice and he seemed really into me. We met halfway through a bourgeois happy hour and within an hour of the first word spoken between us, he handed me his credit card and told me to buy drinks for me and my friends. See? Generous. At the end of the night, I was still debating whether I would give him my number, but he asked for it so nicely I felt compelled to give it to him. So I did. He sent the first text before I even made it to my car.

I noticed that he didn't use any punctuation in the message. And, while this isn't, like, a dealbreaker, it also didn't really work in his favor. I couldn't help but think that Mystery Man texts in full sentences and uses proper grammar, too. And then, I admonished myself for using Mystery Man as the standard to which I compare every single man that I encounter. I gotta stop doing that! And anyway, the punctuation thing was annoying, but it was a text and everyone knows that you use shorthand in a text message situation. No biggie.

He called me a couple of times and the conversation wasn't terrible, but it also wasn't the most stimulating. We had a few laughs, talked again the next night and had a few more laughs. On the third day after we met, he sent another text:

Guy: How was your day (noticeably absent punctuation)

Brown Girl: Fine & yours?

Guy: Not to bad

I stared at the screen on my Blackberry for a while. Did this guy really just type "Not TO bad"? Now, anyone who knows me knows that I'm a stickler for grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. (even though you can't always tell from this blog, which I rarely edit or proofread before publishing!) So, it bugged me that he hadn't used the right to/too/two. But, again, I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. I mean, this kid was supposedly a college graduate, so it had to be a slip of the finger. The next day, he text me again.

Guy: Playin bball today what are you doin (noticeably absent punctuation)

Brown Girl: Brunch & movies with a friend. What time is your game?

Guy: At too but I shouldn't be done to late

Okay, now if you're like me, the "too" and "to" mixup jumped out at you right away. What does this guy have against the extra "o" on the end of that "too"? How could he mix up "too" and "two"?? To make a long story short, we exchanged text messages a few more times over the course of a few weeks, but I noticed that this guy was consistently challenged by the difference between to/too/two. I don't know what's so hard about it because it's something most people master in elementary school! EARLY elementary school at that. And the fact that he kept getting those three words confused really bugged me!

Eventually, the texts stopped coming. He'd initiated all of them anyway, and it was my duty to respond whenever one was received, but soon I stopped responding and he stopped initiating.

Now, the truth is, if I'd really been feeling this dude, I probably wouldn't have let his difficulties with the English language get under my skin. But since I was on the fence about him anyway, it was enough to push me over the edge into "not interested" territory. So, again, I'm faced with the realization that I'm somewhat shallow. But I think I'm justified in finding this whole to/too/two thing disturbing. I don't think it's unreasonable to desire a man who has a basic command of the English language. Do you?

For the record, I think the cat thing was worse. I probably shouldn't have ditched a guy because he was showing so much interest in his pets. It probably just meant that his heart was kinder than most... Oh well, that's water under the bridge now.

For what it's worth, I did feel bad about ditching the dude with the language issues, but I'm a writer who loves words and would prefer my partner to have a similar respect for the English language. I think to/too/two is setting the bar pretty low, actually, sort of a minimum standard. The next guy that I allow into my life should at least be able to tell the difference between the three. And, if that makes me shallow, then I'll be that.

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