So Harry & the Potters turned out to be a disaster. Days of buildup fell to dust at my feet. Bongo had actually shown interest in incorporating me somewhere in his social life and I couldn’t get it together for that one evening.
In this, my fifth and almost final installment of The Cutest Story I Have Ever Told, we get to the meat of the story.
Part V: The date.
I really have to give the credit for much of Bongo’s extended interest in me to Google. For one, GMail was our contact method of choice when it came to actually contacting each other. Second, it allowed me to forever remember the day and hour that I first heard from Bongo directly. Third and finally, if it wasn’t for GChat, there would be no anniversary story to tell.
Though I worked on the Web I was notorious for closing GChat windows without any warning. At the time I had to test product features for different chat clients, making it difficult to keep track of all the windows I had open on my desktop.
After blowing it with Bongo and Harry & the Potters, though, I had to get myself back onto GChat. I had to reach him somehow and hopefully get back on his good side. For all the days following the missed H&TP concert, I stayed online. Close friends who also GChatted at work kept IMing me, surprised that I wasn’t randomly ditching conversations like I used to. Little did they know I was just trying to float to the top of Bongo’s friend list. (Domestica, after having learned of this, said, “You mean you didn’t try to stay on GChat for me??” Sorry, the truth hurts sometimes.)
My plan to not be out of sight, out of mind was working, though. Bongo and I IMed each other at work, discussing Surf’s Up and some Digg link that flipped your text upside down. He fulfilled his proposition of sending me pictures from the H&TP concert. We became Flickr friends. I asked if he had a Facebook profile so that I could share pictures from my office visit with him. We became Facebook friends. Off and on when we had coinciding lulls in our workloads we would chat back and forth. When he fell silent I grew anxious and worried. I wondered if he’d say good-bye at the end of the day, if we would chat the next day, if my good points (if any) came through via emoticons and conversational text.
Born on the Fourth of July.
That year July 4th fell on a Wednesday. I had a rare break from my 9-to-5 and weekend jobs, so my plan was to sleep in til 2:30 p.m./maybe noon, wake up, eat something, and see what would be happening later with friends. When your weekday commute requires leaving the house by 7:45, though, you grow accustomed to waking up at normal waking hours. For no reason at all, I woke up around 8 and couldn’t get back to sleep. I decided to rise and check my e-mail, because that’s what you do when you grew up in the Bay Area. I didn’t bother to pop in my contacts or put on my glasses, though. I just sauntered over to my computer to see if there was some low threshold, brainless relaxing thing that could send me some soporific vibes.
I had just waved the MaykaBook Pro out of hibernation when a GChat message popped up, “got any fun plans for today?”
Squeal! He IMed me! In the morning! On the American working class’ day off! Unbound by the constraints of chatting on office time, our conversation was flowing. I have really bad vision, so I was squinting to read his lines about wanting to see Transformers and maybe go on a hike, and I was too excited to walk ten feet to get my glasses. Just one problem, though. I don’t think I was meant to be a part of his plans. We talked about Transformers, but were we really talking about Transformers + Bongo + theMaykazine? Was he actually envisioning hanging out with a bunch of guys for the movie? So we discussed other things. We talked about what he was working on for his company, competitors for my company, and the overall skankiness of user generated content. According to my GMail records, we we were chatting about half an hour when a window of opportunity opened.
bongo: ahhh i can tell today is gonna be one of those days where I want to get a lot done…but dont want to do any of itim just ognna end up reading blogs
themaykazine: you should just get tix for transformers!
bongo: I should
bongo: do you wanna come see it??
I don’t know if it was a trap, but I threw myself into it anyway. I couldn’t even save myself from the blatant smittenism of the Face of Shock emoticon. A little more excited typing, and we had decided on two activities: a hike and a movie.
I IMed Poofy Fairy in a classic moment of Not Used to Dating Desperation. She asked me if anybody else was going to the movie. I had no idea. It would be awkward to ask. I would just have to wing this whole thing, which, based on my chickenshitedness and poor time management the week before, would probably be a bad thing. At least I knew I had a group of friends to come home and watch fireworks with if everything with Bongo blew up. (Again.) With Poofy’s blessing, I packed a change of clothes (To freshen up after hiking! No overnight first dates for The Kid.), tied the laces to my trainers, and drove to Bongo’s.
To be continued…
Previous: Part IV – The almost date.