I have written about this guy three times before.
1. The Landscaper Guy — Not Digging Him — I meet a man.
2. The Landscaper Guy and the Female Chandler Bing — I give him a shot. (I shouldn’t have.)
3. The Landscaper Guy and A Phone Smarter Than Me — I shoot him down, and miss. I have to take better aim and shoot again.
Well, I ran into him today. Again. Seems he has a vehicle now, a vehicle that needed gas, as did mine.
He was, again, wearing white but topped it with a blue jacket. No head scarf this time.
I said a passing hello like I would to a stranger, a stranger who looked somewhat familiar. He said “Hi” back with a look that said, You don’t have anything else to say?
I smiled at him, being polite, but not starting any kind of conversation. It was, after all, 7:45am.
He followed up with a “Hellooo” drawing the word out, raising his eyebrows at me. It was that kind of ‘Hello’ that wasn’t a greeting but rather a complaint of some sort. It said, You got nothing else to say to me?
I gave the ‘I’m just being polite‘ smile and thought, “Shoot, I’m supposed to know this guy. I have no idea who he is.”
He said, reading my mind– or my face, “You don’t remember me, do you?”
“I’m sorry, no, I don’t. Are you a neighbor?”
“Yeah,” he humphed (Is that a word? Because that’s what he did. He humphed.). Then he said, “Yeah, a few houses down. You live on Maple Street, right?”
“Yes.” I was starting to remember, but not his name. “Um . . . Oh yes, we talked a couple of times.”
“What’s wrong with dinner? You didn’t want to go to dinner?”
“Um . . . ”
“You still feel that way?”
“Yes.” What the hell?
“Why?” WHY DOES THIS GUY ASK WHY? WHY WHY WHY????
“I’m just not going out much lately.” This was the response that had failed me previously. It was all I had at 7:45am.
“But dinner? What’s wrong with that?” And he let out a humph again, “Just you and your dog . . .” (I ask you — Why’d he have to bring my dog into this? Oh, my dog was in the car, looking at him, probably judging him, I hope. Woman’s best friend and all . . . )
“I mean, you’re single, right? ”
“Yes.” I refused to lie, and he refused to STFU. As discussed in Where Did I Put My Fake Boyfriend there are some aggressive men who only accept the reported presence of another guy as an acceptable reason to decline a date.
“Well, I don’t get it. What’s wrong with dinner? I’m not talking about a relationship or anything. Dinner,” and he wasn’t done.
He added, incredibly, “I mean a woman like you shouldn’t be alone — for years — like this.”
WTF? I cannot believe he said that to me.
“I’ll be alright,” I replied and offered a purposely fake smile, one that I hope really conveyed, ‘You, sir, are an asshole.‘
He laughed. “Well.”
“Well. You have a nice day, now,” I said. This is the way Northern US women say the Southern US women’s ‘Bless your heart‘ which really means, ‘I’m done talking to you. Kiss my ass.’
“Alright,” he replied, shaking his head, which probably meant, ‘Bitch’ and truthfully, I don’t give a shit.
Just Me With . . . a full tank of gas, next to an ass.
For other run-ins with the men in my neighborhood, see:
I had just pulled into my spot at the back of my yard after running errands. I had three gallons of milk in the back and it was hot outside. Out of the corner of my eye, I see white — a walking big white tee-shirt with a matching designed white scarf on his head.
Since my last post on the Landscaper Guy, I’d had some major emotional isssues (fall-out from the Ex’s pending remarriage) and minor medical issues (son’s surgery to repair a fractured thumb) keeping me busy.
The Landscaper Guy was not occupying my mind.
I do think he, as promised, called. But I also got a new phone in the interim as well. My old phone would register his call as “WITHHELD” whereas my new phone says something like “REJECTED” when it is an unreadable number. Me thinks my new phone is truly a smart phone, perhaps smarter than me, as it seemed to know that this dude should be and should have been REJECTED all along.
I did not answer any rejected calls and he never left a message and I let it go.
But today, there he was. Ambling down the alley behind my house. I was still with no makeup but I had on a fitted Victoria’s Secret Pink Tee and skinny jeans which seemed to empower me, somehow. He had on his signature tee-shirt and, of course, the sweat.
My choices were:
1. Slowly get out of the car and deal with him, or
2. Try to make a run for it.
Guess what I chose?
But, I didn’t make it.
Damn, I need some privacy plantings. As I walked briskly to my back door looking straight ahead (leaving the milk in the car), he called out my name.
So, I ambled back down my walk and went to talk to him, hopefully for the last time.
Now that I got a better look at him, or maybe I felt a little better about myself, maybe it was my purple PINK tee, I don’t know which, and maybe you’re not supposed to say this, but, I’m out of his league. Sorry. Me with five kids, no make-up, emotional problems up the ying yang, yes, I’m saying it’s not gonna happen, not even to help me practice date.
We exchanged pleasantries. Then,
Him: “You been thinking about me?”
Me: “Not really.”
Him, shaking his head, “No, huh.”
Him: “So that means we can’t go on a date?”
Really? Is this guy serious?
Now, here’s where I wonder. Why ask why? It is what it is. Just make your exit, dude.
Then I repeated the supposedly magic words that I was told to say by a single relative of mine. Well, she’s my niece. I’m taking dating advice from my niece, the daughter of my sister!!!! (Channeling Marisa Tomei’s Oscar Winning performance in My Cousin Vinny. If you don’t know the reference, watch the movie. It is hilarious.)
Anyway, she said this would work, and I said:
“I’m just not into hanging out right now. I’m flattered, though.”
Game over — or should be, right?
Him: No, you’re not. (flattered, he meant)
Me: Yes, I am. (changing subject) So, are you on your way downtown?
Although I didn’t ask, he goes on to tell me the date when he’s done school for the Summer (or court ordered community service, I suspect).
And then he asked, remarkably:
“So you want to give me a ride to the train?”
OMG — HE REALLY ASKED TO GET IN MY CAR WHEN I HAVE JUST TOLD HIM I DON’T WANT TO DATE HIM!!!!!
Me: You know what, I just got home, so . . . no.
We exchange pleasantries, much more awkwardly this time, and he went on his way.
The thing is, I’ll probably see him again. What are the chances he’ll just keep walking? I certainly hope he does.
I do feel good about saying, no, though.
Just Me With . . . a smart phone much smarter than me.
But wait, there’s more . . .
Waiting for Spring, still. It was a rough Winter, as far as precipitation, emotionally, vehicularly (I love making up words sometimes), it was overall kind of blue.
In my part of the world we got a lot of snow this year. Snow means different things to me now that I’m in a much smaller house with no driveway. Not so bad. There’s so much less snow removal, but it is all my responsibility. I can’t always count on my beautiful ( lousy, good-for-nothing children) to help me when it actually needs to be done.
One fine, sunny, cold and clear day after a snow storm, I was out shoveling my front walk. By myself. A truck drove by and with some equipment in the back and slowed down. Then it kept going. I thought, well, this is gonna be some guy asking to do my snow removal for pay. So I wasn’t really surprised when he circled the block, came back and pulled up in front of my house. But I’m not going to pay someone to do my little front walk, though this snow was really heavy. I just got ready to tell him, no, thanks, I got this. But you know? He was pretty cute. Nice eyes. Nice smile. Had a hat on, which can mask a lot, plus, he was sitting in a truck with a big jacket on so height and weight were not clearly apparent, but still . . . As it turned out he didn’t ask me to hire him to shovel my snow. He had pulled over . . . (on a busy street, mind you) . . . just to talk.
I’ve found that nothing screams SINGLE for a woman more than doing exterior work on your house (not gardening). Exterior painting? Clearly this woman has no man. And now . . . shoveling snow? This chick must be single. Still, I was not prepared to be hit on outside my house on a snowy day with a shovel in my hand. Actually I was not prepared to be outside in the snow — NO TISSUES. My nose was running like Kobe Bryant at a Gay Pride Parade (tee hee). But lone pioneer woman that I am, my sleeve and gloves were good enough for the task at hand. That is, until this good-looking guy was trying to talk to me. And I was a — sans makeup, nose running, ugly knit hat and hand-me-down snow pants wearing — hot mess.
He managed to find out from me that I am indeed single, own the home, not a drug user, not a church go-er and my true age (not something I generally share, not even with myself some days). The man has interrogation skills. Or, standing there in the cold, trying to control my snot as traffic was whizzing by, I just didn’t feel like being coy. I found out his age (men always tell you that and of course he’s younger than me), where he works and where he goes to church. I got a little sermon about having faith and that will see me through. Then he tried to get my number. This man kinda liked me. As he already knew where I lived, I didn’t feel like giving out any additional information (aren’t you supposed to get the guy’s number anyway?). So I got his number and name (it was a sexy, French name). He made me promise that I would think about calling. “We could have coffee or something,” he suggested. And he invited me to church.
I did think about calling him. I still do. I figure, I can only get better in his eyes — I wonder how much more smitten he’d be if he saw me without snot, breathing through my nose instead of mouth, and maybe with a little lipstick on and dressed up in maybe — say — shoes — instead of snowboots. But I didn’t call, still freaked out about being single. (Translation: chicken-sh*t) But I have the number, right here in my phone.
Just Me With . . . the digits of a snowman.
Maybe if he had shoveled that heavy snow for me . . . More importantly, maybe this Spring . . . as I resume my exterior painting . . . I’ll be ready . . . for . . . anything.
I’m single. I’m free. I should be out there, right? Wrong. I have some real logistical problems in getting out what with all those people I made (the kids). But this post isn’t about that. Even if I could get out of the house, I just tiptoe around dating. Except for my Transitional Man, the only men I’ve dated since my marriage ended have been guys I’ve known since college. I think about branching out. I create online profiles but don’t pay. I don’t have a lot of extra money right now, but it isn’t really about that either. I check out guys’ profiles and get messages but I never respond. Why? Am I afraid of meeting a stranger — is it a safety issue? Nah. I don’t mind talking to strangers. Truth is, I can’t even get through the “What are you looking for?” questions online — let alone in person. I don’t know what I’m looking for. I’m not looking for anything. I know I’m not looking for a husband. I can’t take care of another living thing. I can’t imagine being anybody’s girlfriend. I could go on a date, though, if I had time. But in the meantime . . . I guess I need to be single, free for a bit. Doesn’t hurt to look, though . . heh heh heh.