I cringe when a date pulls out his iPhone. It breaks the intimacy and serves as a reminder of waiting text messages, tweets to read, Facebook posts to "Like". Pressing personal business.
But I may have actually been turned on when he fished in his pocket and pulled out his device. (Yes, I’m still talking about a cellphone.) With his eyes focused on the teeny screen, I snuck a better look at his arms, his hair and, yes, his body as he typed, "What is a dangling participle?"
This was not your average first date conversation. I’d repressed my odder conversational openers like “I’ve noticed a commendable absence of gum on Seattle sidewalks” and “Don’t you feel sorry for that troll sculpture under the bridge? Doesn’t he deserve a companion?”
It was Evan who brought up annoying spelling errors. He sought a refresher on its versus it’s. I provided a succinct explanation. He then he asked the question du Google. I answered but blanked on an example. And so he searched: What is a dangling participle?
And right then and there, I was his.
If he wanted me, that is.
And maybe he did. We moved beyond grammar—right after I provided a mini-lesson on prepositions. (Yes, he asked. I swear.)
Our first coffee date lasted three hours. Eventually, we spilled out of the café and strolled through parts of Seattle’s peculiar Fremont neighborhood. By the water, he pointed out the house he thought Tom Hanks’ character lived in “Sleepless in Seattle”.
Seriously?! Just the day before, I’d snapped pics of a Seattle beach that I’d thought might have been the place where Meg’s character spied Tom’s character playing with his son. And, yes, elsewhere I’d photographed a couple of seaside homes I surmised could have been where Tom’s character lived. For someone else to bring up a Meg Ryan romantic comedy, well, maybe there is such a thing as fate. And maybe I don’t have to lurk atop the Empire State Building.
He described the peaks of a nearby mountain range as looking like they’d been created by Dr. Seuss. Again, I’d had Seuss on my mind the day before as I snapped shots of colorful churnwazzits and crankbangoozles at Gas Works Park. Elsewhere, I’d spotted a part of a train trestle that had to be the cousin of the infamous Snort from Are You My Mother?
Nobody—NOBODY!—connects with me on these terms.
What will come of this? Who knows? He’s in Seattle, I’m kinda sorta Vancouver-adjacent. But then Meg’s Annie pined for more in Baltimore and Tom’s Sam suffered insomnia in Seattle. I’d like to believe they found lasting love. Maybe this could turn into something. We’ve got a quirky beginning. Oh, the places we might go!