Wednesday, May 12, 2004
The problem is, Carter and I never really broke up
I told him last night that I was going to meet Doug Hastings for dinner, to talk about the whole FBI situation and how we really weren't protected. I guess he was still dopey from workout endorphins or something, because he just sort of nodded and said it made sense to do that. This morning, though, when he sees be getting ready for work and putting my Little Black Dress in a garment bag along with another pair of shoes, he decides to get upset. "I thought this was business."
"Yeah, mostly. Business at a nice restaurant."
"And you're wearing that?"
"I don't think Carter Drummond would have minded."
He just shakes his head in disgust, saying he can't believe he went out with me. And I'm like, excuse me, are you saying I'm not good enough for you? And he responds with, oh, I'm great, except for really being a man. And I've just had it with the attitude, so I unbotton my blouse and stick my breasts practically in his face, asking if men have these. He says I should stop lying to myself and remember what I am inside. I point out that inside I've got ovaries and fallopian tubes and different brain chemstry and millions and millions of cells that don't any of them have a Y chromosome in them. And I tell him I may sometimes refer to myself as Martin Hartle, and talk like I'm "still" a man, but I'm not, that I just remember his life and act like someone with his experience would act. I'm the exact same girl he met last October, and I can live with it, and that he doesn't have to share my philosophy, but he's got to let me have it.
He called me a bitch, so I guess he's getting the message.
It was another agitating day at work, so I never really got a chance to totally calm down. Still, by the time I went to the restroom to get changed at quarter past five, I was feeling kind of good. It's been about a month since I went out with a guy, and it's kind of fun to get dressed for a date, put on lipstick, examine yourself in the mirror, even put on the shoes (which are little more than black sandals with an inch of heel on them). I'm not much good at doing anything with my hair yet, but I thought I looked okay.
Better than okay; stopped Maureen in her tracks. "Big date tonight?"
"Not really, just talking with a lawyer friend of Kate's. He's getting me dinner, so I figure he deserves a little leg. Guys like that."
"Oh. It's funny, I just never figured you for the dressing for dinner type. The way you talk Star Wars and stuff with the techies..."
"I'm a multifaceted girl." Then Kate came to use the bathroom, and she raised an eyebrow and said something like "Lucky Dougie".
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, why'd you break up with him? Kate says they just weren't compatible in bed. I'm running late, so I head out to the restaurant. We actually meet up in front, and have a couple drinks at the bar before being seated. I admit, I'm kind of flirty, sitting kind of sidewise so that my legs are out there for him to look at, with the shoes kind of dangling from my toes. He keeps sneaking looks at them, which makes me curious. "You like?"
"Yes, yes I do."
"Even though... you know..."
"I find it kind of hard to believe, but aren't you what we all say we want? A girl with a killer body who's just one of the guys?"
"I wish Carter looked at it that way. I mean, that's how he looked at it before he knew just how 'one of the guys' I am, and now... I don't know. Sometimes it's like he wants to pick my brain on how to survive, but can't get past that he slept with me."
Then we're moved to our table, and we order. He notices I still refer to Carter as "he", and I say that it's how Carter thinks of himself, so I try to respect that. He nods, but asks who, if I called him in, he would be representing.
And, gads, I don't know. Physically, there's no test on earth that will say I'm anyone but Michelle Garber. I tell him I sign my blog "Marti", that I tried "Marta" for a while but it didn't seem like me.
We discuss things like that through dessert, when I ask him why he doesn't think I'm nuts. He says he did, until Kate started talking about the FBI being all over the office, and he started hearing about intellectual property lawsuits involving BioSoft through the grapevine. Then he started to wonder if there wasn't something to it. Then he talked to Maggie, who crushed him with science talk, but was really convincing. Then he realized that this case was probably the biggest thing he'd ever have a chance at being involved with, and an old girlfriend had just dropped it in his lap.
I told him that I didn't have much money, but he said not to worry, he would rip me off if punitive damages ever entered the equation. I laughed at that, and he said that, really, he remembered an old professor reminding him that you can make a lot of money in the legal profession, but you can also work a lot of hours, and if you let them get in the way of something you feel passionate about, what's the point?
So, I asked, do you feel passionate about me? He said not yet, but he was certainly intrigued.
In the end, we just shook hands before I went home. I think he was hoping for a kiss, but he knew about the whole Carter/Mikhail thing, so he understood my not quite being comfortable with the boy-girl thing yet.
Carter was already in bed when I got home at 8:30. Whether he was actually asleep or not, I couldn't tell you, but whatever. One ugly confrontation a day is enough, and the day had ended on a pretty good note, so why ruin it?
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