Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sorry 'Bout That! - The Uncommitted

In my earlier post about the reunion of Mrs. Capps' 6th grade class that took place 11 year afterwards, I mentioned seeing someone there from that class who I initially didn't recognize.

That person, who I'll refer to as "Jet" in these pages, wasn't the same person I remembered from the sixth grade. She was downright good-looking and at first I thought she was someone's guest.

The next day I wasted no time calling my friend David. He didn't know Jet, but at the time he was dating Elaine, the principal organizer of our reunion.

"Ask Elaine if Jet has a boyfriend," I said to David, conveying a sense of urgency. "Oh, and I need a phone number, too." He understood. Suddenly this shy person was taking charge of things. A little while later he called me just like a detective might be calling his client.

"Nope, not that she knows of," was the finding.

It took a few rounds of phone tag but finally I got in touch with Jet. Did she really not know why I was calling her? I mustered up the courage to ask her out on a date and she either mustered up the courage or exhibited a severe lack of judgment and said yes.

For our first date we headed out to Westwood to see Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl, starring Richard Dreyfus and Marsha Mason. Like most of the theaters out there, we were faced with a long line to see the next show. I hated waiting in lines. But since we were there to see that movie, we decided to wait, even though the showing we had missed had just started.

Well, I have to say that this wait seemed like not a long wait at all. I was actually sorry when the line started moving. The movie itself was good and afterwards we stopped at the now long-gone Swensen's for an ice cream even though it was a rainy December night.

And that's the way the whole thing started. Jet and I saw each other quite a bit after that. What I remember about those days was it rained a lot. Normally we are in the midst of a drought here in too-hot Southern California but that season was one of the rainiest on record.

One night Jet called and asked if she could borrow a typewriter. Yes, this was that long ago - no such thing as computers. It was raining hard outside and my parents thought I was nuts carrying a typewriter past them and outside to the car to take over to her in the pouring rain. But there I went.

When I got there, some guy was in her living room sitting on the sofa. Jet was in the other room doing something so I sat down and we just looked around the room like we were in an elevator. She came out, thanked me profusely for the typewriter and I still didn't know what was going on with this other guy sitting there.

Later on she explained that he was some annoying friend who had dropped in and was like the guest that wouldn't leave, and not to be concerned about him.

Like I said, we went out quite a few times but there was just one hitch in things.


I was also going out with Amy. We had been seeing each other for four years at the time I attended the reunion but by that time we had agreed we were not exclusive to each other. Haha, what a cop-out, right? "We can see other people." But it was true; I told Amy all about Jet. Besides, Amy if you are ever reading this, remember 'Goodie?' So it wasn't as though I was sneaking around. Amy knew about Jet and Jet knew about Amy. And I had no idea how things would end up but I was having my cake and eating it as well during those days.

Jet was just as confused about what was going on. She kept referring back to the movie we had seen on our first date, telling me she was going to be the Goodbye Girl herself and one day I'd be gone.

I kept telling her that wasn't the case and not to worry about it, even though in my mind I didn't know what would happen. I was just going along for the ride.

Finally, Jet couldn't keep up with the uncertainty. She told me she was planning a party and all her friends would be invited. Naturally, she wanted me there, too. And, she said, make sure I bring Amy with me. "Amy is so nice," she said, "you have to bring her."

"Well," I babbled, "uh, that seems weird." But she insisted. She even sent me an invitation to her party and made the same request about Amy in writing.

"Why does she want me to come?" Amy kept asking. I told her I wasn't sure but Jet insisted she be there.

The evening of the party arrived and so did Amy and I. I really don't remember anything about it except that all of us had a great time despite the weird circumstances. Now that I look back on it, like I mean at this very second, I'm thinking maybe her friends told her to do this to try and shake out my intentions.

But if the party was designed to clarify anything, it didn't succeed. Things were just as vague as ever.

Eventually, things tailed off between Jet and me since I remained a pillar of spineless uncommitment and Jet was also too nice a person to want to feel that she had come between Amy and I.

About a year or so later, I called up Jet and we went to lunch (in Westwood again) and also took in a showing of Woody Allen's latest, Manhattan. It was a lot of fun. But we had our own commitments and went our separate ways after that. It sort of reminded me of the ending from Annie Hall.

And so now I would like to apologize to Jet for being the epitome of non-committal, aimless dating. If you ever read this, you know this is about you so I offer my apologies for being such a dope.

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