It wasn't that I wasn't interested. Far from it. It was more the fact that Mary's a bit crazy, and doesn't even know me that well. Not really. Besides, if this blog has shown us anything it's that first time meetings aren't really my thing.
Mary isn't actually crazy. She's well within the acceptable range of crazy for anyone born a female. She's just a bit of an overachiever and trends towards the higher side of that scale.
We met over a year ago when Geremy brought her to Rock Band night at a local bar. Mine and Erik's band Metallic Brainstem were set to do a two song set list, and she filled in on bass.
Geremy had met Mary in class, and I believe was attempting to set the two of us up. Mary's a lovely girl, but the meeting was a bit like remedial science class at the local high school: Not a lot of chemistry. The feeling was mutual, and while the real life relationship floundered a little, we transitioned nicely to online buddies. We took to IMing one another on the slow days at work.
On this particular day, either work was extremely slow, or Mary was just over eager.
"Well, she's a bit young" she continued, "Twenty to be exact, but she turns 21 in September"
Strike one. Are we really counting months? Is this some sort of set up? Chris Hansen, is that you? No I will not have a seat over there.
"I met her in the Miss Arizona pageant. She competed with me"
A beauty queen? Me? Really Mary? Strike two. Why don't I just pick her up on my flying Pegasus and spend the evening slaying dragons and dancing with the faeries? I mean, if we're living in fantasy land why not jazz it up a tad?
"A twenty year old beauty queen? Have you read my blog at all Mary? Even a little? I feel like you haven't been paying attention" I began to protest.
"There's a pageant coming up. You should go cheer her on."
"Yeah, I don't know if..."
"She does ventriloquy for her talent" Mary continued, undaunted.
Last Saturday I found myself outside of a large auditorium wondering what I'd gotten in to. Apparently jeans and a white T-shirt aren't appropriate attire for a beauty pageant, so I made an attempt at dressing nicely. I felt a bit like a kid who's mom had dressed him in a tie for the first day of Sunday school, but I put on a brave face as we entered.
The competition was surprisingly not bad. Sure, there were a few off moments. Some of the answers during the Q&A portion were a bit less than fantastic(Not quite The Iraqs, but still amusing). A few of the "talents" were a little more Sanjaya than they were Kelly, but as a whole it was entertaining.
And then came Stephanie. The tiny girl walked out on stage in her flowing white dress, and Dream Weaver started playing. After a brief, and entertaining introduction she pulled out her dummy "Harley" and went in to her act. It was actually funny. For the first time in the evening I was laughing, and it was an acceptable time for me to be laughing. It was fantastic.
It was at this exact moment that I leaned over to Mary and whispered, "I think I'm in love"
"I told you"
After the pageant was over, Mary, her friend Kevin, Stephanie and her friend Quinn and I all went to Applebee's. The three cute girl to two nerd guy ratio completely threw me off so I spent the entire night hiding in the corner.
As is often the case when women congregate, the topic of boys came up, and from my corner I heard Stephanie say, "I really like an assertive guy"
Strike three. And I'm out.
Since Stephanie was gracious enough to let me use her picture for this blog entry I'm going to go ahead and post a link to her Miss America donation page. You don't have to kick in on my account. Do it for Stephanie. Do it for the tax break. Do it for the kids. Most importantly, do it for Harley.