Sunday, August 2, 2009

Something Fishy

I hired a matchmaker, a nice woman and her squad of matchmaking minions, to find me true love. Or at least, a guy that could hold down a decent job. Because this matchmaking service? SPENDY. If he can afford her fee, then he is unlikely to be living in his mother's basement playing video games all day.

I get a call one day from Chirpy Minion #1.

Minion: Hi, Jen! We have a great match for you! His name is "Guy", and he has brown hair and brown eyes. He likes to watch sports on tv and play pool. I know you like to watch tv, Jen. What do you think? Are you interested?

Chirpy Minion #1 is always extremely enthusiastic about a new match, as if she has used her Magic 8-ball, and she knows for a fact that he is my future husband. It'd be easier to take her seriously if she didn't verbally italicize all of the key stats off his intake form when she describes him.

Jen: He sounds great! When is he free?

There isn't any point in telling Chirpy Minion #1 that I don't like her delivery. My stated goal when I joined the matchmaking service was to go on as many first days as possible. I'll agree to meet the guy unless she says something like, "He's an axe murderer who likes cannibalism and torturing small animals. I know you like animals too, Jen. What do you think? Are you interested?"

So Guy and I meet for brunch in downtown Seattle, and the date goes pretty well. He's cute, dressed professionally, we had an interesting conversation, seems nice. Pretty soon we are discussing via e-mail where we'd like to go for our second date.

Jen: So, what do you want to do? I've got some free time next Saturday.
Guy: I want to take you for sushi! Don't worry, it's good. I'll explain all about it. You should try new things! I promise you'll like it.
Jen: (That's odd. Why does he think I don't like sushi? Maybe because I'm white?) Sure. I like sushi. Do you have a favorite restaurant?
Guy: How about we meet at the downtown mall?
Jen: (That's odd. I don't think there is a sushi restaurant at the downtown mall.) Is there-- oh, wait. That weekend there is a music festival near the downtown mall. Parking will be horrid.
Guy: Hmm. Okay. How about...we meet at...the city center building?
Jen: (There's no sushi restaurant there. Unless, is there a new one I don't know about? Odd.) How about Sushi Is So Totally Tasty, on 1st Avenue? Have you been there?
Guy: Oh. Um. No, not yet.
Jen: I've been there before and I think it's really good. I'll send you some information about the place, and you can decide if it looks like interesting to you. Is that okay?
Guy: Oh, sure. Okay.

So I send him mail with links to three different review sites, plus the site for the restaurant itself, and a link to Google Maps with a giant red thumbtack marking the address. (Yes, yes, I know. I'm the kind of person that plans things. For the moment, pretend it's adorable.) He writes back that it looks like good place, and we'll meet there for lunch on Saturday.

At least, that's the plan. I show up fifteen minutes early (which is not only adorable, it's considerate), but no matter how many times I look up from my book, it's not Guy setting off the bells on the front door. <tinkle, tinkle> Not Guy. <tinkle, tinkle> Not Guy.

At 12:15 I decide that I've clearly been stood up, which is unfortunate, but I'll live. I order my lunch and dive back into my book. Fifteen minutes later as I'm eating the last piece of pickled ginger, I hear <tinkle, tinkle> and when I look up, who do I see? Guy, looking sheepish and underdressed in a wrinkled t-shirt and acid-washed cut-off jeans. So much for "dressed professionally".

Let me clarify here that he has absolutely, positively no chance in hell with me. Regardless, I can still be polite as I tell him that. Manners are free. Besides, I'm curious as to what excuse he's going to give for being thirty minutes late.

Guy: Hi. Sorry I'm late. (He looks at the ground and, I kid you not, kicks an invisible pebble.)
Jen: Sure. No problem. Are you okay? I was worried about you.
Guy: I kind of got lost.
Jen: Oh, did the map I sent you not work? I'm so sorry. I should have double-checked that.
Guy: (shrugs)
Jen: Well, I 've finished my lunch, but I don't mind chatting with you while you eat. I need to leave in fifteen minutes, though.
Guy: Sure. (He sits down and opens a menu.) What's good here?
Jen: The fish is really fresh, so I'm sure that whatever sushi or sashimi you normally order would be good.
Guy: Oh, I don't like sushi.
Jen: (Oh, internet, I had to think for a while before responding to that. Finally, I came up with:) Um, what?
Guy: I don't like sushi.
Jen: Then why did you say you wanted to take me to a sushi restaurant?
Guy: (shrugs)
Jen: I'm positive that you suggested this.
Guy: (shrugs)
Jen: (waiting)
Guy: Well, you see, you didn't respond right. First I was going to say "I'll take you to sushi" and then YOU were going to say, "EEEEEEEWWW! YUCK! Sushi is soooo gross! I won't eat THAT." And then I was going to take you out for a really expensive steak.
Jen: (pause, pause, pause) But I like sushi.
Guy: (shrug)

At this point, I was speechless as well.

Internet, I hereby present to you... Sushi Guy.

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