Monday, September 14, 2009

Shadowcat no more

A couple days later, I wrote Shadowcat an email inviting her out to dinner on Saturday night.  She replied with:  
Hey Debacle,  
Things are just crazy busy for the rest of the semester, so I won’t have time to go out.  
Crazy busy for the rest of the semester was a rejection.  Even if Shadowcat really was swamped, she could’ve found a way to make time.  What had happened?  
Sighing, I closed my laptop and lay down on my bed.  Could it have been my poor excuse for a pasta dinner?  Each of the last two times I’d cooked dinner for a girl, I’d never gone out with the girl again.  It was time to cut my losses and retire from the kitchen.  
Perhaps it’d had nothing to do with my cooking.  Had I been too cautious physically? The dinner and salsa date was the third time we’d been out and I hadn’t even gone in for a hug yet, let alone thrown an arm around her.  
Still, it’d seemed like we were so good together.  
Had I been oblivious to the signs that Shadowcat wasn’t having fun – in the same way I’d missed them with The Axis of Evil?  Was I reading only the cues that I’d wanted to see?  Perhaps Shadowcat was simply a better actress than she thought. 

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Shadowcat was a trained dancer...

While it would be easier to go out to dinner before we went dancing, I wanted to exorcise old demons from The Axis of Evil and cook a meal.  Shadowcat was super enthusiastic when I offered to make dinner.  She even seemed fine with a menu of pasta and vegetables, which is good because that was the extent of my culinary abilities.  
The cooking hadn’t gone as well as I’d hoped.  I must’ve left the angel hair noodles in too long because they came out a bit mushy.  While I’d stirred the tomato sauce diligently, I’d forgotten to turn on the burner.  The peas gave me no problems, defrosting in the microwave to my satisfaction.  However, just peas was kind of underwhelming.  Why didn’t I think to pick up some fresh broccoli?  I considered stuffing the noodles into the fridge and saying that we should go out for pizza because there was a problem with the stove.  However, Shadowcat knocked on the door before I had a chance hide the food.  
Once I let Shadowcat in, my anxiety melted away.  I’d warned her I was not a gourmet chef.  Mushy pasta was edible and cold sauce was better than no sauce.  The meal would at least be serviceable.   
Shadowcat helped me carry the food to my room, which I’d spend all day cleaning.  We sat down on the loveseat where I’d placed two TV tray-tables side by side.  While we ate, only the warmth of her smile matched her intense eye contact.  A part of me wished I could skip the salsa dancing, take her to her door and get that first kiss out of the way.  
Besides, was going dancing a mistake?  Shadowcat was a trained dancer and I struggled with the Cha Cha Slide.  How could I even pretend to keep up with her?  
However, once the music started, Shadowcat seemed quite content to take on our hero as a project.  She explained and re-explained the foot movements, patiently putting up with my abnormally slow learning process.  While I wouldn’t call what we were doing dancing per se, as my steps were independent of the beat – it was wonderful to feel her tiny hand clasped in mine as I held her around the waist.  I could get used to this!  
I was watching Shadowcat’s feet so closely that I was taken off-guard when someone’s head smacked into my collarbone.  Letting go of Shadowcat, I staggered sideways for a couple steps before regaining my balance.  
Standing beside me was a teary eyed Axis of Evil.  Without a word, she continued towards the door and Dark Helmet jogged after her.  What could he have done to upset her so?  Perhaps he’d tried to surprise her with flowers.  Hard to believe that I’d nearly lost my mind over that girl.  Being dumped by her was a blessing in disguise.  
“You okay?” asked Shadowcat.  
“Great!”  I said as I massaged my collarbone.  “While I may not have the steps down, I’m not crashing into anyone.  It’s comforting to know that I’m not the worst one on the floor.”   
My soon to be girlfriend laughed and we resumed “dancing”.   
The more I spent time with Shadowcat, the more I appreciated just how calm and comfortable with herself she was.  She didn’t even seem to mind that her future boyfriend was hopeless both as a cook and a dance partner.  I couldn’t imagine her allowing a situation to escalate into the drama and absurdity I’d experienced with girlfriends past.  In short, she was a keeper!