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The political appointee

In trolling for dates, I will immediately discount a potential date for any of the following fatal flaws: Piss poor spelling/grammar, not filling out the questions adequately or writing "if you want to know more, ask me" (I need to know more before I e-mail you in the first place so I can tell if we even have anything in common, Jackass -- sigh, what a cop out!), having a kid currently (not interested in baby momma drama), being anything other than atheist or agnostic, and lastly, if I'm not attracted to him (and trust me, I am VERY lenient and not shallow on this last one... they have to look like Quasimodo's brother for me to outright reject them).


Luckily, there are many guys in the D.C. area who pass the test. And so, I agreed to meet Bachelor #1: The political appointee.


His profile was well-written, thoughtful, passionate. He wants a "smart, cute, world-changing T-shirt-and-jeans girl." That sounds like me! I thought. He works at the Department of Education and seems to have an amazing future ahead of him.


The political appointee sent a mildly crass, mostly amusing e-mail and asked if I wanted to get together on a Wednesday night for a free show at the Kennedy Center, meeting for coffee beforehand at Cup'a Cup'a in Foggy Bottom. Well hot dog, count me in. The plan was to meet at 5 p.m.


That fell apart almost immediately, at least on my end. I got distracted by my mother on the phone (we're planning a trip to New York in a couple of weeks) and then all of a sudden it was 4 p.m. I'd gone swimming at the gym and my hair was in a big chlorinated gross knot -- I needed to shower and wash it before even thinking about meeting a guy.


Again, being easily distracted, I'm often prone to singing in the shower and being so overcome by the awesome acoustics that I end up taking a lot longer than any shower should. When I hopped out it was 4:38. Holy shit, I'm gonna be late!


I texted the political appointee to say that it would probably be closer to 5:15 that I would get there and apologized.


Hilariously enough, right after hitting "send" on the text, my phone buzzed with an e-mail message from him: "Don't hate me, I'm running late. Probably will be there 10 or 15 minutes late."


I laughed -- what a coincidence! Immediately my mind went to that "oh-this-is-the-funny-anecdote-we'll-tell-our-kids-one-day" place. I e-mailed back and reiterated that I, too, was late, and that he should take his time.


So after flat-ironing my hair, fixing my make-up and putting on a cute sweater with jeans and my knee-high black boots, I left the apartment -- at 5 on the dot.


I am not yet used to the foot journey to the Metro from my new place. When I lived with Ex-BF v. 2.0, you walked out the door and were practically already at the Metro, just one block away. I'm at least eight blocks from it now.


So I hoofed it, and by the time I even got to the train, it was already 20 after 5. And wouldn't you know it, I just missed the goddamn Blue Line. Next train was 12 minutes away! I opted to take the Yellow and transfer at L'Enfant, which I figured would be slightly faster than waiting for the next Blue.


I was WRONG! I transferred to the Orange, which would take me to Foggy Bottom, only to have it stop for 15 minutes in the tunnel because something was malfunctioning. And of course, I'm in a deep-down underground tunnel, so it's not like I even have cell service and could call the political appointee if I wanted to.


In any case, I finally got to Foggy Bottom at 5:52 and called him as soon as I hit fresh air out of the Metro.


"I am so sorry," I breathed. "I swear to God I will be there in 5 minutes."


Well, that would have been true, had I known where I was going. Sigh. I had gotten a map up of the area on my phone, but it was incorrectly labeled so I ended up walking in the wrong direction for a block, then backtracked, then realized this place he wanted to go was another solid eight blocks from the Metro station -- I had NOT factored in enough time for walking. I should have left my place at 4 p.m.!


Add to all of this that there is a steady drizzle of cold rain and a chilly wind. So much for fixing my EFFIN' HAIR! I looked like a wet dog.


I finally made it to the coffee shop and met the political appointee, who is smaller in person than he looks like he would be based on his picture. He was quiet and nice about my being late, and we decided to skip the Kennedy Center show since we'd be at least a half hour late for it and just walk around until we found a place to eat dinner.


So we talked, and we walked, and eventually we settled on a little sushi restaurant near the Farragut North Metro stop.


And... meh. I dunno. There's nothing wrong with him. He's really cute! And he's smart, and clearly motivated, and he has a good job... but... meh! He's good on paper, that's for sure. He's the kind of guy you bring home to your family, and your family says, "Oh he's a good one!" But...meh!!!


There was ZERO chemistry. Just nothing. No heart palpitations. No butterflies. I knew I had checked out of the date when he mentioned taking a dance class and my first response was, "That's gotta be a good way to meet girls." Literally, I said that to a guy I was ON A DATE with... I asked him about the prospects of meeting other women. Like I would to my best buddy Mark from high school, or my new best buddy Sean from work, or...


...or any guy I was friends with. Bam. That's it. We had a good conversation, I like him as a person, but I can't see myself getting romantically involved. I'm more upset about accidentally forgetting my umbrella on the Metro than I am about him not saying anything about wanting to see me again.


I would set the political appointee up with someone if there were a girl I thought he'd jive with, though. He is, after all, good on paper.


And the sun sets on Bachelor #1. (Seriously, anybody want him? He's really nice, and he campaigned for Obama.)


For my own personal benefit, I'm going to catalog all the things I think I've done incorrectly on the dates that I go on so I can learn from them in the future.


ROOKIE MISTAKE: I was unforgivably late. Don't be that late to a date.

Originally posted Nov. 26, 2009

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