Friday, June 18, 2004
Funny when it happens to someone else
Really, quite comic. I'm lounging around in panties and a slip, watching the start of the ballgame and, I'll admit, idly wondering where Carter is. He's adjusting, but he's still very much in a work-run-home groove. It's rather unusual for him to be out on his own for much more than an hour or two.
When he finally does show, at about eleven, he looks shell-shocked. I ask him what he's been up to, and he says he thinks he's been on a date.
I'm all "get out!" He says it just snuck up on him - a bunch of folks at the supermarket got off work at around 3:30, one of them takes a basketball out of his locker, but drops it. Carter picks it up, dribbles it on his way back. They ask if he's any good, Carter says he used to play a little, back in school. They are, of course, skeptical, and it's at that point that Carter remembers he's something like five-three now (and probably a fraction of an inch shorter than that). Still, they want to see what he's got. He looks at the group, figures he wouldn't be the only girl, so says why not.
It's frustrating to not be very good - not only is he shorter, but he's got pretty small, almost dainty hands, so it's tough to get a good grip on the ball. He's having fun, though, so he barely notices when two or three hours have passed. A couple folks say they've got to go, some of the others realize they're hungry, and they're heading to McDonalds or something. Somehow the suggestion of going to a movie comes up, and but only he and one other guy are interested in the next thing playing, and it's not until he's actually sitting in there that he realizes that Ravi had paid for both their tickets.
My response ("hey, free movie! What'd you see?") annoys him. He just spent an evening with a seventeen-year-old boy, and I was asking about the movie. I asked him what bothered him more, that Ravi was a boy or that he was seventeen. He claimed that they were both pretty damn creepy. But, I said, you can't avoid the fact that you are physically an eighteen-year-old girl. Kind of pretty at that; seventeen-year-old guys are going to be interested. And be fair, you're kind of like a teenager even if you feel closer to thirty, getting used to being one thing physically as opposed to another. I certainly feel that way often enough, after almost a year. Unless, of course, what creeps him out is that he likes this Ravi.
"No! Seriously, I barely know him. If I had a sister, that sort of thing... He's a nice guy, but I didn't feel anything."
Then it's no big deal, I say. What if he thinks it was a "something", Carter asks. Well, I say, you're a girl now. Think of every way a woman has ever shot you down: "Oh, you thought that was a date? I thought we were just hanging out" or "I just got out of a relationship and just want to keep everything low-key." Heck, you could even go with the truth.
Carter wasn't having any of that - after all, I've only told smart, white, upper/middle class folks, and only a couple of those. Not everyone would react as well as Maggie or Doug. So don't tell them the whole truth, I say. "My last boyfriend kidnapped me and held me prisoner for two months so it's kind of tough for me to let a guy get close" works too. Or not usually going out with folks so young.
And then, once you've established that you were just going to be friends, you can play your next game of basketball in just your shorts and sports bra to gain a distraction advantage.
This leads him to ask if I was quite so evil before I was a woman. Hey, I say, I didn't make the rules...
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