Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Goodbye Sydney...and thanks

originally posted here

Two years ago, I wrote this post. Upon hearing of Sydney Pollack's death, I decided to re-post this, in tribute to a great film maker. Without Sydney, who knows...maybe my first date with Mr. Cruisin' wouldn't have led to the following...

I had just broken up with someone.

Well, that's not true. I had been dating someone, who, after a weekend ski-trip with the boys, came back to tell me he had met someone else. He told me...over the phone. Just as I was about to see a client. Nice.

I already knew Mr. Cruisin, as he was a friend of a relative. We would see eachother at various events, but he had a girlfriend. Although I thought he was cute, and funny...I didn't look at him in that way, you know, potential husband material...because he was, well...taken.

But as fate would have it...one evening right after a$%hole dumped me...I ran into Mr. Cruisin at a local restaurant. He proceeded to tell me that he and the girlfriend had broken up.

Now, you think I would have been jumping up and down ecstatic at this point, right? I mean, come on...nice Jewish boy, cute, funny, good job, tall, good dresser, hair on his head...what more could a girl ask for?

Well, being the "girl" that I was...I was too immersed in a self-pity party. Afterall, someone actually had the nerve to DUMP me! I was unable to see past my own sorrow, to notice that this perfect speciman of a guy was now available.

A few days later, the relative who was friends with Mr. Cruisin, told me that Mr. Cruisin wanted to ask me out. The relative told him not to...HUH? Well, as it turns out, the relative was just being protective, not wanting me to be a rebound, "transitional" person...and possibly get hurt.

Since I was still in a stupor and wallowing in self-pity, I didn't even react to this. I figured, okay, whatever.

Luckily for me, Mr. Cruisin is a self-made man. If you tell him he can't do something...he's all over it.

So, a few days later, to my surprise, I received a message at work...from none other than Mr. Cruisin. I proceeded to return his call, totally unaware that he was about to ask me out.

And sure enough...that's exactly what happened. We were having a fun, polite conversation, when out it popped...the question..."would you like to go out Saturday night?".

My head was spinning...how could I go out with this guy when my relative had just told me it wasn't a good idea to go out with someone who was on the rebound? Not to mention, I was still having a wild time attending my own self-pity party.

What to do?

I pretty much had to go out with the poor guy...I mean, he did just break up with someone...wouldn't it be rude to say no? I had known him for years, afterall, and he was my relative's friend, and I felt kinda sorry for him, having just broken up and all.

So, I said YES. We set up the date and that was that...or so I thought.

When I hung up the phone, a thought occured...

Should I really go out with him on a Saturday night?...afterall, Saturday night was notoriously "date" night. I didn't want to say no, but I didn't want him to think I was really interested in that way, since I had been warned by my relative that I would probably end up hurt.

So this was my quick-thinking plan.

I would call him back, and explain that I couldn't go out Saturday night...something had come up, but I could go out with him Wednesday or Thursday night. He said it would be no problem and we changed the date to Thursday.

It just so happens that following my phone call to Mr. Cruisin, my mother called. I proceeded to tell her about my upcoming date...telling her of the switch from Saturday to Thursday, and the carefully thought out plan behind this decision, when she had this to say to me:

"Cruisin-mom (she always called me that)...don't you deserve to have a date on a Saturday night? You don't have to marry him...just go out on a nice date...there's no harm in that."

Panic quickly set in...my mother (as always, dammit) was right. Why shouldn't I go out on a nice date, with a nice person, who could at the very least, end up being a good friend?

I picked up the phone, and called Mr. Cruisin back. I explained that the plans for Saturday night had been changed and I could go out afterall.

Mind you...this is all happening within a 20 minute time frame at the most.

Let's recap: Mr. Cruisin calls for Saturday night date. I say yes. I rethink, and call back within 5 minutes to change to Thursday night. I talk to mom 5 minutes later. I call Mr. Cruisin back to say Saturday night is good afterall. Cruisin Mom appears to be "nuts" at this point in time.

Thankfully, Mr. Cruisin was still in a bit of his own stupor, having just broken up with his girlfriend...so throughout all of this he was just kind of like "whatever".

By now the guy knows I'm nuts, but decides to show up for the "Saturday night" date anyway.

Since that phone call, (or calls, I should say), I had developed the cold of the century. I was sneezing and coughing... and producing enough mucous to fill Dodger Stadium.

Ah, yes, I was a beautiful, red-nosed sight. And I had to decide what to wear on this okay-I'll go out with you on a Saturday night-but don't want you to get the idea that I'm interested-because you are on the rebound and I don't want to get hurt-date.

I decided to go casual, sweater and cords...nice but nothing fancy (hey, at least I wore something besides my blue jeans).

It was time, and Mr. Cruisin arrived...I opened the door, and there he stood...ADORABLE!!! My heart did that thing it does when you first realize you are actually attracted to someone...I believe it's called "skipping a beat" or "all a flutter" or "tingly all over" or "the need to throw up"...well, you get the idea.

There he stood...wearing a tie!!! I was dressed casual and he was wearing a tie...YIKES!

So of course, being the genteel gal that I was, I immediately blurted out, rather loudly I might add, "You're wearing a tie!!!" ...(Duuuuuh)

You know what that adorable man with hair on his head did? ... he bravely ripped off the tie! He could sense my discomfort (the scream may have tipped him off) . "Wow,...this guy is already getting me", I thought to myself, as I proceeded to blow mucous into a kleenex.

Off we went. We drove into Westwood (the ultimate date destination in those days) for a wonderful dinner and movie. A new movie starring Dustin Hoffman and Bill Murray had just opened (Tootsie) and we stood in line to see it. We talked effortlessly, really getting to know one another, while I proceeded to blow and hoch up buckets of mucous.

How could any man resist that?

Well apparently, this man couldn't. Here we were on a Saturday night, out on a non-date, date, having the time of our lives. The connection was undeniable. The conversation and laughter endless...not to mention the mucous.

He brought me home. We talked (yes, really, that's all) until the wee hours of the morning. At one point, I excused myself to the bathroom. And here is what Mr. Cruisin told me later about that moment:

He spied a mastercard bill sitting on my dining room table (open, so it wasn't like he was going through my mail). It was for a grand total of $32.50. It was at that very moment he knew he could spend his life with me.

Afterall, what woman has a mastercard bill of only $32.50? So, she screams and blows mucous and calls me 3 times within 20 minutes to keep rearranging our date...she has a mastercard bill of only $32.50. He knew then, I was the woman of his dreams. Needless to say, those bills have a few more zeros tacked on them now.

The evening was coming to a close...and he asked me out for a second date.

There was no turning back now. This man, apparently thought I was wonderful...mucous and all.
And I knew, that any man who could take in stride and laugh at endless streams of mucous and being screamed at on a first date, was most likely the man for me.

We danced the first dance at our wedding to...

the theme from Tootsie.


Val said...

very sweet and sappy. Just like it's supposed to be! :)

Mildred Garfield said...

As Lawrence Welk would say, "Vonderful, Vonderful, Vonderful."

torontopearl said...

CM, this post was great to re-read. To hell with the expression "You never get a second chance to make a first impression." You proved that one wrong.

As I reread this, I thought that this piece deserves wider readership; maybe you can try to republish it somewhere in a newspaper or magazine. It's sweet and punchy. It's a personal essay that even ought to be written into a script. It's a bit late for a Sex and the City Scene, but something along those lines...with you doing the voice-over while actors do their thing.

Consider me a fan!

cruisin-mom said...

Val: Awwwww, thanks!

Mildred: I used to love watching L.W. with my grandparents...good memories.

T.P.: You have always been my biggest supporter. It's funny, the first time I posted this, I received over 20 comments...those days are long gone. I miss all of that feedback, but that's how it goes.

... Is the Window to Our Soul said...

TP is right, perfect timing for you to find an outlet to publish this. A very sweet story.

cruisin-mom said...

thanks Jaime!

Sue Doe-Nim said...

Perfect marriage.

I'm just de-lurking.

cruisin-mom said...

Sue: Hi and welcome. I love de-lurkers...just curious, how did you find your way here? Thanks for stopping by.

Stacey said...

I loved this!!! Post a picture of your wedding day, CM!