Here, in the third installment of The Cutest Story I Have Ever Told, I discuss the steps necessary to missing out on a date with your crush. To be completely transparent, it was an almost group date. And, well, you already know it ends in me not meeting up with Bongo…
Part IV: The almost date.
I was counting down the hours at work one afternoon when I received an ambiguously titled e-mail in my inbox. “Hey” was all the subject line said. My guard went up because I’ve had some rather sleazy stuff come to me via my old job, and though I held many responsibilities there, “Company Ho” was not one of them.
I opened up the message, expecting anything but what I was about to read.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, I’m familiar with all three, but assumed that only Spaniel and I knew of the latter two. Based on our last conversation before getting all skippy, I should have not been surprised that Bongo also knew of wiz rock and H&TP. Imagine my surprise when, a month after I had visited his fabled steampunk office, I received an invitation to an upcoming show for H&TP.
How exciting! I processed all the necessary steps that brought me to this point: Obviously Bongo had to have asked Spaniel for my e-mail address, but even before any sending could have begun, Bongo had to have:
- Remembered me.
- Remembered what we talked about, which was Harry Potter.
- And lastly, thought of me.
I wanted to spin in my seat, wheel around the office, stuff my face with brownies and call up a girlfriend screaming “Oh my God, guess what??” I wanted to IM Spaniel with questions “Did you guys talk about me? Does he remember what I look like? Did he ask for me specifically or are you and our entire office invited too? Does he recall ‘the skipping?’ He does? Can you make him forget about it?”
Uttering not a single virtual or audible peep, I immediately e-mailed Bongo back, trying to contain my excitement in simple words, limiting my use of exclamation points. Yes, I would love to go. In his original message he had mentioned wanting to gather a group of friends together to go to the show. This probably meant I should bring a friend or two as well, because someone would have to keep me in check. I quickly fired an e-mail off to Poofy Fairy, letting her know her Harry Potter fandom was needed. (Let it be known she has not read the seventh novel.)
Thanks to GMail, that message has been saved and remained intact since the minute of its original departure. Captured here for archival purposes:
How do you like them apples?
At this time in my life I was working two jobs, the 9-to-5 in San Francisco and some random hours in Apple retail. (With what I’m about to disclose, there is absolutely no way to cover up that affiliation.) The H&TP show was scheduled for the Saturday after the original iPhone release, so as much as I wanted to play hookey from energizing the crowd of Mac enthusiasts, I had to warn Bongo that I might be late for the show. I assured him, though, that I would welcome the entertainment after all the hooplah.
Saturday arrived after a very long Friday. At 5 o’ clock on Friday, I CalTrained to Palo Alto, hustled to the backdoor of the store, and immediately reported to my post as “cheerleader.” The next morning was essentially the same, and since we left the store at 1 a.m. the night before, it may as well have been the same day.
When I finally clocked out of Apple on Saturday, I was completely beat. I drove 40 minutes home and crawled into bed. I had bags under my eyes and was totally not cute. I did not have the energy to drive an hour north, not even to see H&TP. I groggily called up Poofy, attempted to use my words, and learned that she, too, had had a long day. She would not be able to make it to H&TP. No matter. I called Bongo and told him I needed to nap first, and then I would see him at the show.
Our first phone conversation was me saying I needed to take a nap.
He was sweet and asked me how the iPhone release went. Meanwhile I was melting deeper and deeper into my mattress, conflicted inside. I’m so tired. But we’re so talking on the phone! He let me hang up and return to my nap, and I told him I would call after an hour’s worth of rest.
Alarm set, I dozed off. But not satisfyingly.
When my alarm rang, my body jarred. I felt warm and drowsy from the summer nap and could barely roll out of bed. I definitely wasn’t up for an hourlong drive.
I called Bongo, worried I was making a horrible impression on him, and asked if I could somehow carpool with him after BARTing up the East Bay. Ever the gentleman, he said that would be fine. Hooray! I’d be able to re-pass out on BART and try to return to my usual perky self for hanging out with Bongo.
I had things to do now. I tried to pick out some appropriate clothing and gathered my things in my purse. I fed the dogs, locked up the house, and drove to the nearest BART station. I then parked the car, swiped my way through the turnstile, and waited on the platform for the next outbound train. Leaving the house was too much of a rush for my exhausted mind, so as I waited for BART, I got wise and checked my watch. I was at the beginning point of my destination when I should have been at the end point, calling Bongo to let him know “I’m here!”
I don’t know where those 40 minutes went. Perhaps to feeding the dogs, finding parking at BART, or an overall timesuck in my slightly laggard pace. This wasn’t going to work. I panicked. I was looking more forward to H&TP at the end of the week than I was to releasing the iPhone, and there I was two minutes away from standing up Bongo. I checked the BART schedule. It really wasn’t going to work.
I called Poofy Fairy, asking her what public transportations there were beyond BART for reaching the concert venue, and the answer was none. I was lost. I had messed up. And I really liked him.
I called Bongo and explained the situation. I was standing on the platform waiting for the next BART train which, by my rough calculations, would arrive at our meeting point approximately 20-30 minutes after the start of the concert. I apologized profusely, “Normally I don’t flake like this,” hoping he wouldn’t take me for some flighty, irresponsible, uncaring creature. He expressed understanding, alluded to a “next time,” and offered to send me his pictures from the event later in the week – my only tangible consolation that he had not dismissed me or become disinterested.
Defeated, I swiped my unused (but still charged) BART card at the turnstile, started up my car, and returned home to my dogs.
I really liked him.
Next: Part V – The date.