Chloe dumped me.
I called her last week to make up about the whole Monopoly fight and she said we were cool.
Then she came over on Sunday to tell me in person that she was breaking up with me.
After the initial shock I said it was a little bit of a dick move to say everything was fine only to break up with me a few days later, but she said she wanted to do it in person, not on the phone.
She said it had nothing to do with the fight. She said it just seemed obvious that we weren’t going anywhere in our relationship and that I didn’t love her, and so what was the point. I didn’t argue. How could I? She was pretty much right.
She kissed me goodbye, said goodbye to Tad, then took off.
Obviously, I was very upset by the whole thing. I mean, nobody likes getting dumped. But it wasn’t fair to keep things going when I had already decided in my head that she wasn’t a candidate for the long haul. I mean, we could have kept seeing each other casually, but Chloe’s not that type of girl, so I didn’t want to keep leading her on.
All in all, it was a pretty classy dumping. I did wonder, however, if the real reason she wanted to come over in person was to say goodbye to my dog.
First dates are the ultimate TTS experience. Everything I’ve learned (and failed to learn) so far about communicating, listening, picking up on subtle bodies cues, being interesting and interested– it all comes to a head on a first date.
Unfortunately, unlike a true stranger who immediately signals your pass or fail grade, a first date is an essay exam: it’s a lot harder to gauge how well you did and you have to wait a long time for the results.
Chloe and I went out to dinner first at this new place by the beach, The Hungry Cat. Chloe is vegetarian but she eats fish so this place made sense. I won’t say the conversation was effortless but we did manage to get into a rhythm. Chloe grew up in San Francisco and she’s one of these people that genuinely never says anything mean about anyone. Normally I’d be disgusted by such a nice person but her positive energy is actually pretty infectious. The key is that she doesn’t take a pious attitude about being so decent and therefore doesn’t come across as sanctimonious about other people. I would launch into one of my tirades and she would laugh; she just doesn’t have any tirades of her own.
After dinner we went to a jazz club in Hollywood. We had a few drinks and the band was really cool. I tried hard not to look like I was trying too hard but I think you have to have somewhat of a plan for the evening or else you’re really not trying at all.
Overall, I don’t know if it was a love connection. We had fun. I liked her. Maybe this is the kind of thing that grows into something all-consuming. But right now, it’s just a seed.
Can I be on the rebound when the relationship I’m rebounding from never actually happened?
Seems weird but that’s how I feel.
I was feeling pretty upset about Michelle this whole weekend but I didn’t want to waive the white flag. So I dragged myself out of bed yesterday and went to Montana Ave. to go see Chloe at the pet adoption tent. The only problem was when I got there, she wasn’t there. I tried to subtly ask about her and an older woman told me she was in the Palisades that morning. She smiled in a knowing way like it was some big secret she was onto that I’m into Chloe.
I got in my car and drove to the Farmer’s Market in the Palisades. And there was Chloe, set up in a bank parking lot with a dozen dogs and maybe half as many cats. She saw me and kind of lit up.
“What are you doing here?”
“I said I’d stop by and see you. I didn’t know you were going to make it difficult.”
She laughed. We talked for a bit and then I cut to the chase. “Look, Chloe, I’m going to be honest with you. I had some disappointing news on the relationship front the other day and I’m feeling a bit negative. So can we go out some time, and please say yes, even if you don’t mean it, I just need some good news right now.”
She said, “Yes,” with a big fake exaggerated wink.
I smiled and got her information. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have asked like that, because now I’m not sure if she’s actually interested or just felt bad for me. I don’t even know if she gave me her real number. But I guess I’ll find out soon enough.
I purposely went back to Montana Ave. this Sunday hoping to see the Animal Shelter Girl.
Mission accomplished, she was there with The Artful Dodger.
She remembered me from last weekend and I told her my apartment complex doesn’t allow pets (a lie). I had to put the issue of adopting TAD to rest or else she might really wind up hating me if I strung her along with an animal shelter dog.
Anyway, I finally got her name. It’s Chloe. We talked for a while about how she got interested in working with animals. It’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect: she grew up around animals and really loves them. I told her I was hoping for a more interesting back story, like her brother was turned into a goat by a evil witch and now she scours the land looking for him.
She said, “That doesn’t make any sense. Why would I look for a goat at an animal shelter?”
I said, “Wait, you don’t have any goats here? Oh, my mistake,” and I pretended to leave.
We talked for only a little while and then someone interrupted us to ask about one of the dogs. I didn’t want to seem stalker-y waiting for her, so I just said, “I’ve got to go anyway. Next Sunday?”
She nodded, then I left.
I was walking down Montana on Sunday on the way to meet Paul for lunch when I saw the pet adoption people outside the Whole Foods.
I was early anyway, so I stopped and said hello to the dogs. (I’m not much of a cat person so I mostly talked to the dogs.)
I wasn’t even noticing the actual humans running the adoption. I was really just amusing myself by having a conversation with this one mixed breed dog that looked like a shaggy mutt. “What are you in for?” I asked him. (He was in a cage so it kind of made sense.) “Barking and entering?” (I swear I didn’t think anyone heard me say that.)
This went on for a while where I talked to this dog that I named The Artful Dodger. I was getting into the zone where I didn’t even notice anyone else. But then this girl came up behind me and said, “I think he likes you.”
I turned and saw this cute girl who helps out at the animal shelter. “I’m just making conversation.” She pushed me to adopt him but that isn’t a real possibility. I like dogs but I’m at work all day, I explained.
She seemed disappointed. She gave me the hard sell. I told her I just couldn’t. She said if I change my mind to call her. She gave me a card for the shelter. I said goodbye.
I went and had lunch with Paul at R&D Kitchen. I know what you’re thinking. That during lunch I kept thinking about the animal shelter girl. But the truth is, I kept thinking about The Artful Dodger.