While quirks and questions outweighed things I liked, it didn’t seem like reason enough to end it. I figured I’d date him until he did something that was reproachable and warranted a breakup or until we fell madly in love and got married. He was okay, so I decided I could cook him dinner.
In the spring of 2003, I was living the Hopeless Romantic life. Joe Millionaire and The Bachelorette catered to my thirst for love. I would watch both regularly on my T-VCR. It was the days when those AOL dialup discs were everywhere, enabling us to get online for free. It was also a time when many didn’t multi-task like watch TV and surf the internet simultaneously, neither did I. Like many things at that time, Yahoo Personals was also free. I did my searches before or after these two shows. Yahoo Personals did what it promised; it provided prospective people that could be The One. Overall many people were leery of online dating, probably because of the newness of it. Despite people still relying on traditional dating modalities, there was still a good assortment of potential future boyfriends.
I guess this is the benefit of living in a city as large as Los Angeles.
Among the assortment, I met Gameboy, a Scientologist. He was witty and smart (enough). It wasn’t until a couple dates, I learned he liked Halo, a military first-person shooter game. I’m not sure what the object is besides shoot stuff. Gameboy loved inviting friends over for a multiplayer Halo Party. This was before flat screens TVs were readily available; most TVs still had a picture tube, which made them bulky. People would load their TVs and gaming consoles into their cars and schlep across town to play video games. I suppose it was more interactive than staying at home and logging on at a specified time, but barely. All the effort to play video games seemed ridiculous. I would have been okay if he didn’t invite me, but since he extended an invitation, I thought I had to accept. While it was interactive for them, it certainly wasn’t an interactive date. Gameboy made a half-hearted offer for me to play. I declined; I was already getting motion sick, besides I didn’t want to make him lose. I didn’t care if it was a dating faux pas, I turned down future Halo Parties.
While Gameboy’s love of first person shooter games is the thing I remember most, it was our first date that won me over. We went for Thai food in Pasadena. Similar to what I did with the Redheaded Italian, I met Gameboy at the restaurant. It was raining in Los Angeles, but we braved the big spring storm. (As I came to learn, to the local population, driving in rain is a big deal and shows you like a person.)
Gameboy didn’t change the plan like the Redheaded Italian. I didn’t need to translate like I did with Mucho Gusto. And, as far as I knew, he didn’t take comicbooks like Comicbook Crook. We drove our own vehicles to the restaurant and had a conversation in English while we waited for our dinner to arrive. It was perfect. Then the restaurant lost power.
He wished for a Mini Maglite™. I hadn’t been out of college for a year and was still giddy on TV production advice I received, “If you want to work in TV production, the two things you should always have are a Mini Maglite™ and an 8 inch crescent wrench.”
I have both in my purse.
I rummaged in my purse and pulled out the Mini Maglite™. Gameboy was pleasantly shocked. Then, he disassembled it, turning it into a candle.
It was unique and romantic. I was enraptured by his ingenuity. (I didn’t know at the time, that this is a well-known feature of the Mini Maglite™.)
The first date was great. The subsequent dates, not so much. Prior to the Halo Party, parts of future dates included watching him play video games with his roommate. I thought I could learn to love the quirk.
His gaming was chronic.
While quirks and questions outweighed things I liked, it didn’t seem like reason enough to end it. He didn’t care I attended church regularly and I didn’t care he had separated from the church of Scientology and that his parents and sister still attended. The me of today would see that lack of compatibility is reason enough, but again, I was an unskilled dater. I figured I’d date him until he did something that was reproachable and warranted a breakup or until we fell madly in love and got married.
He was okay, so I decided I could cook him dinner.
During dinner, somehow Gameboy and I started talking about a future family. It wasn’t our family per say; it was an amorphous family. Since he had disconnected from the church of Scientology, I didn’t think twice about letting him know what I thought about the religion he was raised with.
“If I have kids, under no uncertain terms,will I raise them with Scientology. Further, I can’t get behind a religion that started based off a bet some science fiction writer made.”
To my surprise, his hackles went up. “L. Ron. Hubbard is a great man. I don’t care that he used to write Science Fiction; his writing helped develop a lot of concepts that are important to Scientology. I might not currently practice, but it’s important to my family. I want to raise my kids with the same religion that made me me. Besides, if it’s so bad, why do so many people practice it?”
He left shortly after dessert. We hugged each other goodnight. He said he’d call, but he didn’t. I didn’t even need to break up with him. I just had to offend him.
I was so excited about my first Thai iced tea from our memorable first date, I wanted to recreate the memory. In lieu of a pre-dinner cocktail, I made Thai iced tea. I’ve tried different recipes since then, but my favorite is from Thai Table.
THAI ICED TEA
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 teaspoon milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
- 1-2 tablespoons Thai tea to taste
1. Add sugar and sweet condensed milk to a glass or cup.
2. Put one tablespoon of Thai tea in a tea sock or lose tea bag.
3. Place the tea directly above the glass.
4. Pour hot water over tea.
5. Set the tea aside.
6. Steep for 5 minutes and remove.
7. Stir until the sugar and sweet condensed milk are dissolved.
8. Add ice and top the tea with milk.