Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Right Stuff

What do you want first, the good news or the bad news?

Okay, fine, the bad: No progress today on the insurance front, although we seem to be getting closer. Kevin, the assistant at my GP's office, continues to try to connect the insurance dots so we can officially use Stanford for the entire run of my care, but naturally it's not easy. The insurance company needs a reason (me having a rare cancer is just not reason enough) why we can't handle everything at Alta Bates, and until we can identify the right person in the network, convince him/her that my form of cancer is rare and needs to be treated by qualified specialists, and provide all the necessary documentation, this fight is going to drag.

Sure, I'm frustrated, and so are all my family and friends, but it's part of the process, and we'll get there -- I'm confident of that. On the home front, Dad has relieved Mom for a couple days so she can go back to Santa Cruz, take care of some stuff at her home, rest up and hopefully relax. (I know this will be difficult for her, but I also know she's reading this, so Mom -- relax. Please.)

But here's the good news: I had a date today. And though initially it was like pulling (teeth), in the end, everything went swimmingly.

Here's the scene:

I woke up in a giddy mood, ready for the occasion. After a shower and a thorough brushing of teeth and shaving of face, I donned my best gear: my nicest jeans, some dressy shoes, and my finest tee-shirt, the blue one that helps bring out my eye color. We're talking 100% class here. After spritzing myself with just a drop of Drakkar Noir to add that hip, seductive scent, I got in the car and drove to meet my date.

I made it to the cafe (which others might refer to as a 'bank', but I prefer 'cafe') well ahead of time and before my date began, I got some advice from a certified dating expert who had me sign some papers that basically indemnified herself and her associates should the date end up going awry. "We can't be held responsible if you screw things up," I was told, but I wasn't too worried about that -- I wasn't there to screw things up, was I?

I signed on the bottom line, got some final advice, and then I was ushered into a special room for the date.

Once inside, I found that my date was in there waiting for me. I shut the door for some privacy, and endured a bit of an awkward silence before making the first move.

"You look familiar," I said.

"So do you," was the response.

"Weird coincidence," I mused.


Okay, not a great start, but not a totally bad one, either. My date sniffed and waited for me to say something else.

"Um... so... how are things going with you?" I asked.

"Well, I have cancer," came the blunt reply. Wow -- talk about a conversation-killer. More dead air, an uncomfortable shifting of feet, eyes looking everywhere around the room except for at each other.

Time for a new tactic: current events. "So hey, how about that whole thing in Burma? Was that crazy or what?" I threw out.

"Terrible tragedy," was the response. "I suppose you're going to bring up the earthquake in China now too, aren't you?"

Strike two. Man, this was not going well at all. One of us coughed, I'm not sure who. You could hear the clock ticking on the wall, and that wasn't a good thing; my date had made it clear that we only had a half-hour to spend together, and time was bleeding away.

Maybe entertainment was the path here: "Your thoughts on Simon Cowell?" I offered.

"A worthless, pompous ass."

Bingo! Now we were getting somewhere; now we had some common ground. This was clearly the road to take, so I continued: "Natalie Portman or Keira Knightly?"

"Portman, no contest."

"Hey, me too!" I exclaimed. Maybe we had more in common that I thought. I continued along this vein, asking questions, gauging answers, and realized that contrary to my initial impression, we were two peas in a pod. Every response I kept getting was perfectly in line with my own.

I sniffed the air; it could have been me that I was smelling, but I had to ask, so...

"Is that Drakkar you're wearing?"

"Hells yeah it is!" was the response, and my heart leapt.

This was almost too much of a coincidence. People talk about love at first sight, but this was something different entirely. Brimming with confidence, I went with the trump card: the one question that has sent so many previous dates scurrying to the waitress to get the check immediately, before they give me some flimsy excuse about needing to spend time with their dying marmot and then bolt the restaurant before I can even ask them to sleep with me. Nervous as hell, I took a deep breath, looked my date in the eye, and just put it bluntly.

"What do you think of Star Wars?"

"Star Wars is hella cool!"

That was it; that was the clincher. You could probably hear my sigh of relief in the lab office cafe kitchen. This was meant to be; we were definitely made for each other.

We got into an in-depth discussion about how the original Star Wars trilogy stacked up against the Indiana Jones trilogy, and how those stacked up against the Back To The Future trilogy, and whether Lord Of The Rings trumped all. We were just discussing the relative merits of Frodo versus Marty McFly when I checked the clock: we only had 90 seconds left in our date. I had to act fast.

"Would you care to shag, baby?" I asked in my best Austin Powers impression, and swept away in the romantic nature of the question, my date immediately agreed. We got down to business, and I'll spare you the details, but it was nothing short of amazing. In fact, I felt like I had done it a million times before.

Before I knew it, my time was up, and I said goodbye to my date -- for now. My heart told me that I'll probably see this person again sometime soon, so I headed for the cafe exit, handed the waitress a nice tip on my way out, and left with a smile.

So that's how my date went. Like I said, it was the good news of the day. Sorry if it feels a bit anti-climactic after all the build-up, but then, I never was any good at writing romance.

With much (self-)love,


elizabeth said...

Sorry about the insurance fiasco, but hey, the great date made up for it, right? ;)

Lisa said...

Laughing...Out Loud. Still!


Bradley said...

oh my lordy...after reading this im so confused. can i get a (dictionary) here please? :) so in all seriousness, i dreamt last night that the band was all in a room talking, and mary-kate olsen was in the room with us. apparently you two love-birds had already been on two dates. i know, weird dream. had a bass-less rehearsal tonight. wasnt the same without the big dawg. we miss you and lisa. get better soon and come back and play!

Trey said...

Epic. Hilarious! You should be a writer or something...

Thanks for the continued updates - reading and sending you the best every day.

Logan said...

Laughing so hard that my sides hurt!

Logan the puppy ;-)

tom said...

at any point did you put on side two of Led Zeppelin four?

Dino said...

Tom, you need more tutelage. It's Side One. But I went with Kashmir instead.

Amy said...

Dino thanks for the hilarious recap of your date at the cafe (bank). I have filed away your "dream girl" characteristics so if I meet a lovely lady that enjoys the nerdy movies you like, I will send her your way! :) Where is Triumph the Insult Comic dog sock puppet right now? I'd love for him to interview you. I appreciate your humor and honesty in what you are facing.
Keep rollin, homie! x x

Paul said...


Amazing (a Shirley Family word) how you can be so descriptive without saying anything!

Keep that marvelous sense of humor in will help a lot.


Looney said...

Dude, I'm so dense. T had to explain your *date* to me...