I've had some odd dates in my day, many of which have made it into a story or poem. Dating, obstensibly fun, provides much room for things to go very very wrong very very quickly, a fiction writer's dream. What situation could be more fraught than what Sex and the City refers to as "a job interview with cocktails?" But my strangest dates didn't involve any job interview-like questions -- the ones that really get weird are what I call the Love Connection date (after the great show with Chuck Woolery), the ones that start in the middle of the day and are billed as "activity dates." (ie, no dinner and drinks and I'm tired and ready to go home) It's more difficult to get away with the I'm tired shit when it's four in the afternoon and hours before sunset. A list of these dates includes but is not limited to: finding Lee Henry Oswald's grave (my date felt he was treated rudely by two lesbians visiting someone else's grave when he asked where LHO was buried and nursed a grudge all day), picking cherries for a fee from a field with which we would bake something (umm, did he mistake me for his other girlfriend, Laura Ingalls Wilder?), going to the IMAX theater and seeing Behold Hawaii (behold the contents of my stomach churning and my date turning pale and nearly passing out), a day at a Renaissance Festival (I could weep on this one as it was a surprise and I could barely contain my horror upon our arrival). The list goes on, but I can't.
For the most part, though, I'm grateful. So much of my life is routine (I'm a Taurus, of course, and have almost no ability to divert from it) and so dating has provided me much needed material. As a beginning writer, I had no ability for setting. I had interest in character and dialogue, but none of these people had anything real and concrete to talk about. But when you're running around the Rose of Sharon cemetery, trying to find the grave of the man who shot JFK, you're somewhere real. It's not where Chuck Woolery might have sent you (he favored rolling skating dates if memory serves), but you could feel the sun on your back, see the widows visiting their husbands' graves, wearing big watches that probably belonged to those men, and finally happen upon the tiny stone that gives a name to the infamous and the dead, hidden away from the vandals, upon those who would wish more harm.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Back in two and two." Chuck Woolery, Love Connection
Cherries in the Snow
1 part godiva white chocolate liqueur
1 part vodka
1 splash of cherry juice
Serve garnished with a cherry.
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Labor Day Weekend!