Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gifted

Being aware of your flaws is a good thing. It helps you to isolate and correct them. However, I have know of my inability to control the disgusted looks that creep on to my face during conversations, movies, social outings, concerts, meals, etc for years and have thus far been unable to fully block their occurrence. With that being said I can only imagine the face I made when my date told me he did not have friends growing up because he was "gifted". Apparently, this was the sole reason for him not having had a sleepover or any other kind of social life beyond the classroom.

I must admit, I'm a little take aback. Where I went to school they called it "gifted and talented" and I had friends. Maybe it was the talented part that made the difference.

I was feeling sorry for Gifted and his lack of sleepovers. Then his life became more tragic with the knowledge that his parents used to buy him board games but he had no one to play them with... so he played with his mom... once or twice... then she ditched him as well. Yikes.

I ask again why he thought he had no friends. Gifted abandons the term "gifted" for a reference to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.

"What...?"

"You know, X-Men."

"Oh..."

"You've heard of X-Men, right?"

"Yes, I graduated with James Marsden's sister."

"Who?"

"The guy with the sunglasses that keep him from lasering people with his eyes."

"Cyclops?"

"Sure."

Clearly this is going well. He orders pot stickers. They come. He looks dismayed that he waitress brings vegetable. She asks if we wanted pork. He seems unable to speak as he looks at her incredulously. I tell her we're fine. She leaves. Gifted searches the table for chopsticks. There are none. Just napkins and forks.

"Do you see any chopsticks?"

"No, just forks."

"How are we supposed to eat?"

I didn't go to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, but "I'm guessing the forks."

"Oh."

The waitress reappears with water and asks if we need anything else. Again, gifted becomes mute. Perhaps he is using his mutant ability to speak with her telepathically. So I ask for chopsticks... out loud.

The food arrives moments later... family style. I ordered pad thai with tofu and he ordered lo mein with pork. I offer him some pad thai, he offers me pork. After we both decline he questions my no.

"But I ordered pork."

"Right..."

"It's close to bacon."

"Right..."

"You like bacon."

"I like the smell of bacon."

"So you like bacon. You like pork."

"No, I'm a pescatarian."

"Pescatarian?"

"Pescatarian. Like vegetarian with fish."

"No, you told me you liked pork."

While I'm certain that I talk a lot and tell people way too much information about myself, I am also certain I don't tell people I like pork. Gifted however is not letting go of this so easily, so I change the subject.

Awkward conversation.

I change the subject.

Awkward conversation.

I change the subject.

This drags on for nearly two hours, when I glance at my watch and say that it is late and time for bed.

"Is that an invitation?"

"An invitation for what?"

"You said it was time for bed."

I'm thoroughly disgusted even though I'm sure he's mostly kidding. Sensing my pain, the waitress brings the check and the fortune cookies.

He hands me a fortune cookie. I happen to think this screws up the magic of the fortune, but really at this point, who cares.

My fortune tells me to be frugal. Okay. Accept that he wants to pay for dinner. Financially frugal. Don't feel obligated to kiss him even though you feel sorry for him. Sexually frugal. Don't respond if he texts you for another date. Textually frugal.

Gifted's fortune tells him not to get overzealous and expect too much. He reads this aloud and then looks at me and laughs saying, "I guess this means I shouldn't try to kiss you."

"Yep, pretty much."

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