#5 – Sca-ven-ger Hunk…
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
SCA-VEN-GER HUUUUNK………(hoping you all heard that in your head with the dramatically prolonged vibrato-esque voice that I intended)
Four Snowboarding Yanks,
Three Taco Bobs,
and a Partridge in a Greek Salad.
Warning…the level of forethought and creativity that went into the following date is so high that you may explode from jealousy.
Ok – with that qualifier out of the way, and heading into treacherous amounts of awesomeness at your own risk, let me tell you about Brian (he gave me permission to use his real name). I met him originally on Match.com, and then again on OKCupid. But, let’s not waste time with all that when we have “Quazy Quests” to discuss…
First of all, this date with Brian is our SECOND date…which I’m lucky he even agreed to since I was (and this will shock anyone who knows me) – late to our first.
To my credit, (and to someone else’s misfortune), there was an accident on 59 that had me sitting on the highway for almost 1/2 hour, but still… I can’t STAND being late
and Brian was amazingly gracious about it.
We met at The Hay Merchant (a craft food and beer spot in Montrose) and chatted over a couple of beers. Easy first date. We established that we each love the improv shows at ComedySportz…in fact, he participates on one of their improv teams when he’s not crunching numbers (my condescending generalization of his role as a Statistician in Houston’s Med Center) at his dayjob. So… when he asked me on our second date, rather than call or text to line up dinner, he sent an Evite…an EVITE, people! (A-Dorable) with all the information I’d need to prepare for our ComedySportz Improv inspired Scavenger Hunt date. Check out said invitaion here.
(Quick caveat – when I asked him if I could write up our date as part of this series, he said that was fine on the condition that he ALSO would write it up from HIS perspective and post it to his blog. See below to read it from the guy’s point of view.)
Brian showed up RIGHT on time and handed me the first clue – boom. Right in.
As you can see – I had to decipher each clue along the way which would let me know WHERE we were going next. In this case,
(and this MAY be the only one I figured out without getting a little hint),
we were headed to
…that’s right — Party City.
And, as the longer scrolled paper said, we might need to pick up some ‘accents’ for our ensembles there.
Along the drive to PC and throughout the night, we pulled slips of paper from a hat (literally…see pic to the right, of said hat) with silly or first-date get-to-know-you questions on them and took turns answering. This was a great way to make conversation and keep those first date lulls in conversation to a minimum. Plus, being with a guy who does improv comedy meant that I would hear things like:
“The other day I went dumpster diving and I found……….
Bahahahaha! So silly. There was definitely a lot of laughing on this date.
We arrived at Party City and started looking for someone to ask our question. I asked a man what country he’d like to travel to, and he replied with “Hawaii.” (allow enough dead silence to give homage to the not-so-brilliance of this reponse.)
SOOOoooo…. “Hawaii” was our “other country”… great.
We also trolled through the store looking for some accoutrements to add to our “look.” I decided Brian needed a white feather boa and I got a pair of fabulously glamorous sunglasses. And you KNOW what they say about a person who wears their sunglasses at night? They can see the light that’s right before their eyes. But, I digress, …on behalf of my 80’s-child friends out there…
Anyway, while we were checking out, a Party City employee handed me the next clue.
Now…if you’re doing the math, you’ve realized that Brian had to have gone to ALL these places earlier in the day to deliver the clues…
…this is the kind of dedication and time/thoughtfulness that is RARE in a date…
and it did NOT fail to impress.
Also – he had a whole ‘back up’ folder in his car with copies of each clue in case someone along the way messed it up.
Once we were there, we were to pick out a bottle of wine from the country we’d gotten in the last location… you know… Hawaii (raising one eyebrow in geographic superiority…). While there aren’t a lot of Hawaiin wines at Spec’s, we were able to pick out a lovely Californian Zinfandel and while doing so, a Spec’s employee walked up to us and handed me the next clue – which led to “Sophia” (a BYOB restaurant tucked into Montrose.).
So, after getting the wine, we headed there.
I should take this opportunity to tell you about another thread of this improv-inspired date…
The “Pavlovian Response” game.
Brian had alluded to this in the Evite, but also texted me to let me know that his friend would be contacting me to assign me MY role in this game. Here’s how it works. Each of us had the task of responding to a certain stimulus/cue/behavior with our own behavior and throughout the night, we’d be trying to figure out what the other’s was. By way of example, I’ll tell you mine.
Brian’s friend e-mailed me and told me that every time Brian took a drink or talked about/mentioned drinking, I was to twirl my hair… and get more and more obvious/crazy with it as the night went on. She even sent a video with an example (you know… in case I didn’t know HOW to twirl hair…)
While we were at Sophia’s, as I was talking at one point, Brian just leaned back and “bock!”ed like a chicken.
What?? I realized this was his Pavlovian Response (well…it was either the game or a rare form of farm Turrets), but I didn’t know what had triggered it.
But, oh… I would dedicate myself to figuring it out.
About 20 minutes later, as I was talking again, he clucked again (poor guy… he’d let his friends pick his P.R. out…hee hee). This time, I just repeated everything about what I’d just done… shifting in my seat, picking up my fork…nothin’. So, I repeated my last sentence word-for-word until he did it again, right after the word “blog.”
Eureka!! I’d struck comedic gold. Keep in mind, he didn’t know mine yet, so I had all the power, folks. All I had to do was say the word “blog” [bock!] and any reference to the blog [bock!], whether a great blog [bock!] like my blog [bock bock!!] or another mediocre blog [bock!], and Brian would cluck like a chicken. Power, baby… and I used it. Anyone we interacted with for the rest of the night got to hear poor Brian doing his best barnyard impressions… awesome.
Eventually, later in the meal, he did pick up on mine, but since mine wasn’t nearly as embarrassing, I was fine with that. Did I mention that I now have a bald spot?
Small price to pay to be able to write about all this in the blog [bock!!].
Our server had given me the next clue before dinner started. I couldn’t figure it out right away… I even enlisted the help of our new friends one table over (how could they not inquire about our date when there were feather boas and chicken noises involved?). I eventually (with Brian’s help) pieced it together that we were going to an improv show at Third Coast Comedy*. Awesome. I LOVE comedy. And, how more perfect can you get than ending the night of improv-based scavenger-hunting, than with an improv show?
So, we arrived at the theater just after they’d started the show, and we weren’t even there 5 minutes before we were both volunteering to participate. Brian went up on stage first, and I followed. I got to help out with two sketches and I LOVED it. (The second time I was on stage, Brian took some photos, but… no one had taught him how to zoom with an iPhone, so they’re far off/blurry… but you get the idea).
I had SUCH a blast here.
Love being on stage.
Is it too late to consider a career change?
At the end of the show, one of the improv guys pulled me aside and handed me the final clue.
Now, remember, each clue tells me where we’re headed next. So, you’ll probably chuckle when you see that the last clue said only:
“You’ll be sleeping here tonight.”
Brian said he’d hoped that by the end of the night, I’d know him well enough to know that he was just kidding with any implications. And I did. It cracked me up.
But, as we climbed into his truck, I said, “well… you know… I can sleep in a LOT of different places. I mean… I could sleep at a FrozenYogurt shop. I could sleep at a wine bar…” – my point being that if he was on the same page, I’d love to keep the date going. So, we decided to head to the Boom Boom Room (a charming wine bar a few blocks from my house).
We nestled into a banquette with our hat of questions and some sangria and just chatted for another hour.
Finally, we left, after asking a stranger to snap these photos —–>
and he drove me home.
As he walked me to my door, he handed me the last piece of the scavenger hunt…
A scroll with a reference to misteltoe inside. I took the bait and we had a nice goodnight kiss. Nothing crazy or long, just a sweet kiss to end the night.
He drove off and I was left to process the most amazing date!
I honestly can’t think of another date I’ve been on that required SO much work on the front end from the guy. Not only did it impress me that he would go to such lengths, but it also made me feel like he thought I was worth doing so… makes a girl feel cared about and significant when a man is that thoughtful.
Admittedly, with regard to that ever-pressing “will there be a next date?” question, I was on the fence. Brian, for all his thoughtfulness and preparation, is a HARD man to read. I couldn’t tell if he was feeling a “spark” or not…which makes me wonder if I was… He’s definitely likeable, but I couldn’t get a good read on how much he was liking me…or not! But, his actions speak louder than his nonverbals (nonverbals are so annoyingly un-loud that way) and he asked me out again. I’m intriged for sure, and I can tell he’s a good guy.
Two observations about his personality and intentions:
1. I noticed throughout the night that whenever I would be talking, he was REALLY tracking with me – as in, not only eye contact, but seeming to genuinely listen and care about what I was saying. This goes a long way toward a woman feeling appreciated.
2. I accidentally left my sweater in his truck. We tried a couple times to coordinate me picking it up, but – due to my crazy schedule – it just wasn’t happening. I was fine to just wait until we met up again, but the other night… I returned home from dinner with a friend, to find a paper bag on my doorstep with my name on a card attached. Inside were my sweater and the infamous white feather boa.
He had driven all the way to my house to deliver it to me, knowing I wasn’t there (we’d talked earlier that night and he knew I had plans). THIS is the kind of gesture that lets me know, even if I didn’t sense it on the date, that he’s sincerely interested in me.
So…we’re doing lunch this week.
And we shall see….!?
In honor of our date foray into Improv-land, “Third Coast Improv Theater” has generously offered a 2-for-1 Date Night special for anyone who mentions my name/blog [bock!]. They’re not doing any more shows in 2012, but you can check out their website for date night (or guys’ night, girls’ night…whatevs) in 2013.
(that is… if we even MAKE it to 2013… fingers crossed, am I right Mayans?