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I Was The Chicago Cubs

She was the Florida Marlins.

Day 7 – June 5
Breakfast: 6 eggs, kimchi, spinach
Lunch: Good old Moe’s chicken fajita, no tortilla
Dinner: Salmon filet, cabbage

Today’s is mostly a dating-related post, but here’s my two cents on my first solo weightlifting at the Y in two years, and how it’s different from CrossFit:
1) You’re on your own. At CrossFit, I wanted people to check my form on heavy lifts and critique me. Now, I know what the hell I’m doing and I dread some meathead feeling like he can correct my technique because he weighs more than me.
2) No dropping the weights. Naughty, naughty.
3) No chalk. But you won’t be called “not a real man” for choosing to grab some gloves and spare yourself some blisters/rips/tears.
4) No rips/tears from doing 100 pullups for time. Unless that’s what you want to do, in which case, more power to you. Or less power, honestly. For me, it’s akin to doing 100 bench presses with the bar alone. Why go ridiculous reps at a light weight when you should be doing low reps at a heavy weight to build strength? Love your dead-hang pullups. Embrace them. In no time, you’ll be strapping on a weight belt and soliciting piggy-back rides from strangers. Isn’t that *true* caveman functional strength, to climb up a tree or a cliffside to escape a fucking cave bear while carrying your infant son and daughter or your injured wife?

Damn, I hate kipping.

Anyway, I feel great physically and look better than I thought I would after the binge. No soreness anywhere, despite some heavy sets. I needed the calories. Big weigh-in tomorrow!

OK, so here’s the girl situation. WARNING: THIS PARAGRAPH IS AN EXTENDED BASEBALL METAPHOR. You can skip it if you want, but I woke up with this analogy at 6am and it made so much sense. The Chicago Cubs haven’t won the World Series since 1908. They came very close in 2003. They were leading the Florida Marlins in the 8th inning of a game that would have *sent* them to the World Series, with their star pitcher throwing a shutout. A Marlins hitter popped a fly ball into the left field stands that may have been the 2nd out of the 8th, had not an over-excited Cubs fan reached out and tried to catch the ball, possibly preventing the Cubs’ left-fielder Moises Alou from making the play. Alou was livid, pointing at the fan (named Steve Bartman) on the TV feed of the game and drawing undue attention to him. Things imploded from there. The Cubs could not get another out. Their pitcher tired out. They made errors. The Marlins scored 8 runs in about 12 minutes, pitching changes and all. The Cubs lost that game, and the next game, and were eliminated from the playoffs. Bartman, a lifelong Cubs fan, was blamed for the entire thing, put under witness protection and drummed out of Chicago. He got hundreds of death threats. The Cubs haven’t been back to the playoffs since.

I told you that story to tell you this story:

As I am about to leave for a fun evening out with some good friends, The Bass Player calls me. We had met in a bar a week or two ago, I had left a couple voicemails for her with no response. She apologizes for being too swamped with work to do anything social, and I ask her what she’s doing. Turns out we are going to the same bar later that night to see the same band, of which she is a huge fan. A friend later comments that this is one of those perfect conincidences of life that I have to take advantage of. I agree. I meet a couple friends at a restaurant to ‘pre-game’ with some wine. It’s a wonderful evening. I am GIDDY with excitement at the prospect of seeing The Bass Player again, and re-kindling the spark we had during our first conversation. And then we go to the bar.

Now, it’s time for all of you reading along to play, “Find the Bartman Moment”. I’m going to objectively lay out the sequence of our interaction from that night. You raise your hand when you think you’ve found the point at which she whispers something horribly demoralizing that sends me running home in tears:

I grab a drink. It’s dark. I can’t make out any faces. I text her and ask if she’s here. She sends me a message back and says she is manning the merchandise table for the band. I go over and say hi. We hug. She is mercilessly beautiful. We talk for a while. Very flirty, very close-proximity stuff. She smiles a lot. She asks me to come down to a park near her place sometime to throw the football around. She tells me about a new ad campaign she is working on. I tell her about my plans to learn guitar, and my re-discovering my love for writing. I say I have to go back and see my friends for a bit. The band gets back on stage. I see her dancing by herself. So do my friends, who push me to go back out there and go after her. I grab her hand and dance with her for a fast song. I’m a bit clumsy, but the effort’s there. We stand side by side and listen to another fast song. They play a slow ballad and she sways along to it. I put my hand on her back and we sway back and forth in tune for a bit.

Did you raise your hand here? If so, congratulations! She says the following, leaning in close to me, her long brown hair brushing against my neck: “You putting your hand on my back is making me very uncomfortable.” I freeze. Keep in mind, I have a *bit* of social sense. I am not giving her a massage, I am not trying to unhook her bra over her shirt, I am not tugging at her waistband or grabbing her ass. But obviously, I have done something so utterly offensive and uncouth as to force her to potentially destroy, with one exquisitely-worded sentence, the same connection that she was so eager to rebuild by calling me earlier that night, not knowing if I even remembered who she was.

I am Steve Bartman after the Marlins take that lead and tack on run after run. I say “OK”, looking into her deep green eyes with complete disbelief. What else can I say? I sit down and listen to another song. She goes on dancing by herself, talks to a girlfriend. I finish my drink and tell her I’m heading out. She hugs me for I’m not sure what reason, other than to make herself feel like she wasn’t completely heartless. I walk home in tears. Cancun Sri (what I like to call my major-depressive panic-attacky alter-ego) makes a comeback, but I fall asleep before he can take over.

I sleep better than I thought I would. I wake up with a strange feeling. I’m not forlorn, or resigned to never being good enough to date anyone cute. I feel like I deserve an explanation. (Feeling like I deserve *anything* is a huge step forward in my thinking.) I decide to call her later today and get the scoop. What happened? How did the evening go from such promise to such animosity in a brief hour? Did I misinterpret her gestures? Does she feel like she made a mistake in saying what she said? Is this a misstep that can be overcome on the way to building something special, or is The Bass Player yet another in the long line of women who “liked me, but weren’t *in* like with me”?

This is, of course, where I need your help, dear readers. I was an actor in high school and college. If there’s anything I can do, it’s work from a script. I want your advice on what to say to the girl, the perfect voicemail or the perfect statement that lets her know that I am attracted to her but also lets her know that I am a man who does not deal with underhanded shit. I’d like to get this done tonight and know where I stand with certainty.

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