Shortly after the whole Shawn disaster, I met Alex. He was several inches taller than me, and was good friends with my best friend Sarah's serious boyfriend so he had people to vouch for him that he didn't steal things. Plus, he lived in the pool house separate from his parents so I wasn't going to have to deal with any angry Mom's as far as I could tell. We met when he hosted a birthday party complete with a full bar and of course pool for Sarah's guys 21st Birthday. I impressed him with my ability to play a solid game of chess after drinking copious amounts of various types of alcohol. I wasn't that into him but it seemed like it would be really convenient if I was since all our friends were friends so we made out that night.
The next week he picked me up at my parents driving a large SUV and wearing a suit to go to an Italian restaurant in DC. (My parents were happy about the upgrade in vehicle, attire and lack of visible tattoos, but were not impressed with his stiff personality. I think they may have thought I was starting to lose it. Plus, I might have still been casually dating the "sweet fellow" they liked and Mom was getting stressed out about dodging his phone calls when I was out with other suitors. Sorry Mom!) So at this point in my life, I could barely boil water and frequently burned toast, and this guy was an actual chef. Like told me stories about hanging out with Emeril. I'm pretty sure I inappropriately spread olive tapenade on my bread when I was supposed to dip it and ordered the only thing I could pronounce on the Italian menu. Halfway through dinner, I knew I was done and was longing for relaxed night with the sweet guy but we still had to go to National World War II Memorial. It was beautiful.
It would have been the perfect romantic date had I been into him. Honestly, there was nothing wrong with Alex. He was an attractive guy who had a lot going for him, but I had tried to force it and it wasn't working. I even kissed him that night, (um, did you see the above pictures? You at least have to give it one more go in that setting!) but alas, there was no spark.
I was far too immature in those days to be honest and tell someone I did not want to see them further. My Mom dodged his house calls and I dodged his calls on my cell phone for a good week or two before I received his last message. "Damn girl, you are hard to get ahold of." I think he heard it and gave up then.
All was not lost. When Sarah and her fellow married years later, Alex and I chatted at the wedding and there were no hard feelings. I do believe I heard he found his perfect match since then.