Lou is reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
On Sunday night, I spent two and a half hours on the phone with one of my best friends from college. Anastasia is married, has a one-year-old baby, and a fulltime job, so I don’t get upset when she and I fall out of touch from time to time. It happens. A few months of busy schedules isn’t going to change the depth of our friendship at this point (10 years later, we’re stuck with each other). We all have friends like that. Time apart means nothing.
The last time Annie and I spoke extensively was when she and KD came to visit me in late July, a few weeks before MM and I re-met and started dating. So, needless to say, much of my conversation with Anastasia was spent bringing her up-to-date on the new boyfriend, which lead to me re-remember my first date with MM.
I believe I've told the story about how when MM and I first met and I turned him down because I had started dating someone else. When we met the second time, I was extremely busy at work, training for the marathon, and all-around over-booked. We tried to pick a date, but I ended up agreeing to what was little more than a “let’s play-it-by-ear” plan for the week. It was unintentional on my part, but also unavoidable. I was canceling plans all over the place because of my very-huge-mongous work project. I simply couldn’t commit (per usual). And yet, I didn’t want to give him the impression that I was potentially trying to blow him off again.
A few days later, it was Thursday night and I had plans to go to an outdoor event with some girlfriends, but severe storms ripped through the city and the event was canceled. I was riding the train home with @, when I had an idea: What if I just text him to see if he wants to meet up tonight? I wavered. I waffled. Is last minute planning really ideal for a first date? @ encouraged me to go for it. After all, what does one have to lose?
At 8pm, it was still raining when I met MM at a neighborhood bar. When he sat down across from me, I noticed the polo shirt he was wearing had a crest on it. I looked closer at the writing above the graphic.
“Does your shirt say, ‘Hogwarts?’” I asked.
He looked down at his shirt as though he wasn’t quite sure what he was wearing. “Yes,” he answered.
“Like the Harry Potter school?”
“You’re wearing a Harry Potter shirt... on a date?”
“Yes.” He had his reasons. None of them were… let’s say… good, but whatever... I'm willing to overlook fashion flaws. So, I let it slide. Well, except for the fact that I’m still telling the story.
He proceeded to tell me about his love of the Harry Potter series, which I had never read. On our next date, he showed up with a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – the first book in the series.
“I thought you could read it on your trip to Europe.”
A few weeks later, I was in Switzerland at an Internet café. Unsure of when I would be connected again, I took the opportunity to email him that I had finished the book. Only, I hadn’t finished the book. I just wanted an excuse to email him and that was the best I had. I finished it a few days later on a bus between Chamonix and Nice, France. Thank God.