Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Memories of March Madness

The past few years of my life have been so ingrained in the sports world that the word Cinderella has come to mean less about princesses in puffy dresses, and more about a great underdog story. And in the midst of this year’s March Madness, and more talks about NCAA tournament expansion I had become less and less interested in filling out brackets, and more about just wanting to root for the “lil guy.” Not to say they had to be mid-majors or dark horses but more so ..my main thought was… well, “DUCK FUKE.”

It’s been a while since any part of my life had resembled a Cinderella story. Especially, the Walt Disney fairytale variety. No, instead, it’s been a lot more like those shitty German ones, with the not so ‘happily ever afters.’ And people wonder why their kids need therapy? But for those of you keeping up with the news, “I may have finally arrived” as they say in Hollywood. Errr, at least in the sports world…sorta. I'm still waiting on that call back from John Favreau on Iron Man 3, but no promises.

After plenty of brushes with television opportunities and guest spots on various sports programs, I finally had the chance to make something of myself on my new show on Versus... “The Daily Line.” The opposite sex, and my dealings with them had really taken a backseat to the things I was working on. Make that a back seat with no seatbelts and the speakers blown out… and zero action in it. I just didn't have time for all the background noise and drama that dealing with boys brings into my life. So I put myself on a mandatory hiatus. I gave up men for lent, I guess you could say.

It wasn't like I didn't go on dates. After all, I meet interesting people all the time. And no one said I had to marry the guys. (Whew!) But if anything, casual dating was good practice. I did the shoot-arounds, and shuttle drills, and all that stretching that looks more suited for gymnastic porn than really loosening any muscles. But, at the end of the day, I was still talking about practice! Thanks Allen Iverson.

There were a couple of faces that were recurring in my line-up, but they were more like the D-league and less like a five man. And I just liked it better that way. After all, there's no way I was these guys "one and only" let alone their frontrunner, given their “ass options” on the daily. And as I've always said, never make someone a priority that only sees you as an option. So I just kept trucking along, like I always do.

When my show's business brought me out to LA however, something quite unexpected happened. The event was nothing short of a "meet cute," as they call it in industry terms. But, in my head it was more: “we met, and damn, he was actually cute.”

But he wasn't cute in a big muscular jock, frat boy, Jersey shore way that I had become so familiar with in NYC. Nope, it was something much different. It was that disarming charm, quick wit, and a ridiculous sense of humor that caught me off guard. Oh yeah, and his big blue-green eyes didn’t hurt one bit either. All it took was one look and a genuine smile, and I went from man eating bitch to Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman-- minus the whole hooker part. He was confident, but not cocky. And his flirting was ever so subtle. In fact I wasn't even sure he was so much as interested. Maybe that's because he flirted a lot like I do. He was a classic "sand thrower" as I've come to refer to them, as their ancient technique dates back to my preschool days. But like any piece of jewelry you'd find at Tiffany’s, or a good pair of Chuck Taylors.. It never seemed to go out of style.

I can't tell you the last time I asked a guy out. I'd always come from the camp that the dude should always make the first move. But this seemed like a win-win situation. It’s not like I was having huge dating success in NYC, and if it bombed, well, at least there wouldn’t be any awkward run-ins. So I casually told him to look me up if he was ever in NYC, and gave him my number. Yeah, I'm that smooth.

Of course he texted me. I mean, who wouldn’t? We decided to meet up the following night, since I already had plans to meet friends for dinner. Nothing crazy, just some kind of dive bar, as I am really not into that whole club scene.

He played it cool, and kept it casual, and delivered as promised with the locale. It was the perfect dive bar. I’m pretty sure when you Wikipedia the term, this place’s address comes up. It’s the kinda establishment that has peanut shells all over the floor and is unapologetic about it. And somehow, this good old southern girl felt right at home there. With Lynyrd Skynyrd cranking through some rickety jukebox speakers, the two of us just sat there and enjoyed one another’s company. Turns out, he wasn’t just smart, he was actually quite brilliant. And his jokes made me laugh harder than I had in a long time.

Two and a half hours, and with me one and a half light beers deep, we left the dive bar to take a walk down the Santa Monica pier. God, I missed having decent weather. I had almost forgotten what it felt like to actually have a beach to walk down. Besides, the Hudson view only looks great in movies because the scenes aren’t scratch and sniff. The two of us made our way to the end of the pier, and past all the carnival rides that had shut down for the evening, and found a decent bench to people watch from. And eventually, he moved in for the kiss.

It’s not that the kiss wasn't perfect because it most certainly was. In fact it was that "one shining moment" every sports Cinderella story dreams of. The problem was… well, what comes next?.. It had been so long since I had been out on a date with a dude that didn’t seem overly preoccupied with getting in my pants, and that had his shit together, that I didn’t know how to respond. The cool chick in me said to play it cool. The high school band dork that still saw herself in braces and unruly curly hair.. well, she was awkward to say the least. And that’s the part of me forgets that basketball and dating go both ways, unless you play for the nets. The problem lies in the fact I feel like I can never stop playing defense. Especially in the D League when your chance at the five man is on the line. But what’s a girl supposed to do, when you're with a guy, and something amazingly good happens???

Well if you’re gun-shy like me, you diffuse the situation with a bit of humor. You pull back, from an amazing first kiss, smile, and say the first thing that comes to your mind without hesitation or need for filter. In my case, I made a reference to the fact we had an audience of bums that were holding a “fundraising meeting” on the bench next to ours, and then immediately reference some completely asexual movie line.

“Good talk, Russ,” I said.

“You just had to open your mouth didn’t you? You couldn’t resist?.. Had to wreck the moment,” he laughed.

What was he talking about? I’ve had plenty moments in my twenty six years of life. I just like to wave at them as they pass me by, or be the guy driving the truck that runs them over. I'm sure I've felt the foot pop at the end of a romantic comedy kiss or the Roy Hobbes shot at the end of “The Natural.” (The movie, not the book, btw. Yeah, won't even lie, made THAT mistake on an English lit paper once. Luckily I happened to check out Cliff’s Notes before I turned it in. My bad.) SO WHAT??? Besides, since when did guys have moments? Shit, since when did guys have feelings? Well, ones that didn't involve the words, “ooo yeah right there.. Uh huh.”

“You know,” he said, “once you let your bad ass frat boy guard down, you’re actually a big sweetheart. And that’s the side of you I really like.”

I’m sure I opened my big mouth to make some smart ass comment, but I don’t even remember what I was going to say since he cut me off by kissing me. Well, that was one way to get me to shut up. And his technique actually worked.

The rest of the night went rather well, so much so, it didn’t occur to me how late it was. I saw him a few more times before I left L.A. and we’ve talked a bit since, but the long distance crap really does suck when you’re trying to get to know someone. But for now, we’re just making due with texting and whatever forms of technologically advanced communication we can find.

His schedule sucks, and mine does too.. but it’s because we’re both chasing careers that make us happy. So I’m ok with that. I guess I just never once thought I would meet someone, and have to tell him a chance at happily ever after would have to wait. Certain circumstances create larger than life chasms that make reaching the people, places, and things we like even harder than they should be. But then again, if chasing dreams, and careers, and relationships were that easy, wouldn't we all be doing it?
Because let's face it.. Every sports enthusiast loves a good Cinderella story and more so, a happy ending. And maybe one of these days they'll make a glass slipper in a size 6 and a half. Until then, well.. I’ll just have to settle for my silver Ree-Zigs.


Anonymous said...

It's hard to focus on the words when your background is so hot!!

Anonymous said...

You totally would ruin it, wouldn't you? Not surprised at all. I hope you realize that as every guy who is single was reading that, their hearts sank a bit. Good luck, be safe, have fun and most importantly follow your insticts.
PS- Go Wings!
PSS- Lane Kiffin better start Mitch Mustain next year. Way better than Barkley. Thoughts?

Doug said...

Congrats!!! It's nice to hear some good personal news out of you. Just don't go out of your way to sabotage this (which it seems you have a tendency to do). He may be Prince Charming or he might be a frog. Just give this a chance to progress at it's own pace and see where it goes.

Keep up the good work on the show!!

just a guy wit good advise said...

Your words are from the heart and make perfect since...but don't think to hard about things because then you will find yourself thinking about it everyday(I do it too)..Everyone makes mistakes and its okay as long as we learn from them. You are a very beautiful girl that has a promising future. Don't let anything stand in your way. Fuck Brett hes old news, very old news. I read all your blogs so you have two outta ten. ;) Live your life to the fullest. There are going to be haters, let'em hate. That's what makes you stronger and gives you more determination to go after the things you want. Don't ever let anyone put you down, nobody can judge you. The best time to smile is when you can't...That perfect guy is out there somewhere( maybe in Wilkes, NC hint hint) hell it could be me :)

just a guy wit good advise said...

and that loser who left that lame ass comment wouldn't be the guy for you because obviously he is all about looks.

just a guy wit good advise said...

Oh and uh i forgot to tell you I'm a big duke fan ;) haha J.J Reddick is the man.... You don't have to post these comments you just seem like a girl that wants diff opinions and the ones that strike you as earth shaking and heart touching, you want there's more often. So I'll know if you want mine. Just blog and I'll be here haha. And girls that make the first move seem to be a whole lot better off because they take pride in what there thinking and doing.. It shows effort, courage, pride, and confidence babe.. Like I said don't think about things to much just do them. Life is all about choices and how far your willing to reach out and set forth towards your self made goals.