I sat at the corner table typing away on the computer and spotted them as they waited for their drinks. She was giggly and nervous about the cookies near the register, and he smiled at her as he paid for the drinks and carried them to the table. First-date people.
They’re an interesting breed. She was nervous about saying the wrong thing and he directed the conversation and tried to stay cool as he noticed his socks weren’t matching. They didn’t want anything embarrassing to happen. Anything that may ruin their chance at happiness for the next eight weeks.
I couldn’t help but laugh … this is not what happened to The Guat.
I remember having the hots for this one dude. He was tall, athletic and muy good-looking at the time. He caught my eye at a friend’s party. He had no idea who I was of course, but after some stealth investigation on my part, I found out he had been friends with her five brothers for ten years, loved U2, and had no girlfriend. I liked him.
My friend dropped hints to her brothers about my availability, and eventually the message got around to the dude. So one day as I walked out to my car, which was parked down the block, he asked if he could call me sometime so we could go out on a date. I nearly fell down then and there from all the swooning my heart was doing.
I told him I was going out with my friend next Friday night, but we could go out on Saturday.
See you then.
On Friday night, I got ready to go out with my friend. I put on my best Levis booty jeans and blouse. I added a little extra hair pomade to my curls, so that I wouldn’t look like Amanda Miguel in the crazy humidity of the night. I also added a little bit of makeup that day.
All of this just in case I ran into The Dude. Well, that’s not really true. I knew I would run into him. They were all there every Friday night. The brothers, The Dude, and a couple of other friends. About 10 to 12 guys outside my friend’s house, just hanging out. I thought I was ready for the accidental run-in.
As I approach her house I paused. Damn it. There’s no other parking space available other than one in front of her house. Directly in front of her house, between a large blue Ford truck and a brown Buick Regal. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I took a little longer than usual at the stop sign, because I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to parallel park in front of 12 guys, one of them being The Dude.
I didn’t know what it was, or why I was so nervous. I could park. I’d done it thousands of times at work, on busy streets, and at home. But in front of all these guys? Dude. If I drove past them, they’d know I didn’t want to demonstrate my parking skills, so I decided to go ahead and do it. I felt my heart racing.
As I pulled forward, the car across the street drove away. It was one of those Exaggerators with shiny rims. A huge space was made available. There was a Volkswagen Beetle in front of the space and a drive way behind it. Perfect. I didn’t have to parallel park. I was so relieved. I drove past the house, did a perfect driver’s test U-turn and then approached the spot. I didn’t even need to turn down the radio for this parking attempt.
They noticed me as I pulled up across the street. In retrospect, I wasn’t driving as slow as I needed to be … as I approached the space I was started to feel the passenger side of the car elevate. I was a little lopsided. I was at an angle. However by the time I became aware of what was going on, I couldn’t stop.
All of a sudden I heard a BOOOM-BOOOOM!
As I realized what happened I didn’t know whether I should drive away or put the car in park. I shook my head, put the emergency brake on, put the car in park, and turned the engine off. Apparently I had driven on and over the curb. The BOOOOM-BOOOM was the sound of my tires and rims jumping off the curb, and making a hard landing on the street.
This awesome exhibition of parking skills was witnessed by 12 guys, including The Dude. I was mortified. I could see from the corner of my eye and the side mirrors that they were all staring at my car. I really didn’t want to get out. But I had to … there was no escaping it.
As I got out of the car, they all turned their heads in different directions, pretending they were interested in the moon, the stars, the architecture of the neighbor’s house, shoelaces, telephone polls, the lawn, or the handle bars of a motorcycle.
As I got out of the car I walked quickly past the guys and waved hello without really looking at anybody. I entered the house and headed to my friend’s room.
“OH … MY … GAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWD. I can’t believe that just happened!” I plopped my body face first onto her bed and proceeded to tell her what happened.
She sat there with her mouth wide open.
“Maybe we’ll wait ten minutes before leaving …”
When I got home that night I wasn’t sure what to expect the next day … my first date with The Dude. I imagined I had already made an awesome first impression.
The parking incident didn’t come up until our second date. We were hanging out at Gordon Biersch Brewery, and I had gone to the restroom. As I made my way back to the bar he was talking to a friend. They hadn’t seen me as their backs were turned.
“So what are you doing here?”
“I’m on a date.”
“Emilio’s sister’s friend.”
“Wait. You’re here with Curb Job?”
“Um … yeah …” I said as I stood behind them.
They both looked at me. Silence.
“But Curb Job is just my middle name. Nice to meet you.”