Real Moxie

Woebegone troglodyte hermitage.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Defining character

I just went out on a date with a dame I met on the internet. She was very cautious; she wouldn't even tell me her name. (She did tell me enough info that I could track her down if I really wanted to.)

Her main requirement for me to go out with her was that I could define the word "character". She said that no one pays attention to character anymore, and that she is looking for a man of character.

Fortunately, I had an online dictionary handy, and I slyly looked it up while I was talking to her. I smoothly said that a character is a written symbol that is used to represent speech, as in "the Greek alphabet has 24 characters". She said, "That's not what I am talking about."

I immediately followed up with saying that a character is an imaginary person represented in a work of fiction, as in "she is the main character in the novel". But then I blew it by asking why she wants to date an imaginary person. She sounded frustrated, but apparently her other internet prospects could not even give an inappropriate definition. I had just barely passed the test.

It turns out that the most looked-up word in my online dictionary is integrit y. All the other words in the top ten have some obvious explanation based on news stories in the last year, such as tsunami, pandemic, and levee. But no one can figure out what "integrity" is doing on the list.

My theory is that there are a lot of women out there on the internet who are looking for a man of integrity. And there are a lot of men like me who have to look it up.

She almost canceled the night before. She said that she had nightmares about me being a crazy drug addict. Her fears seem to have been prompted by me telling her that I like music from The Doors. She insisted on moving the time of the date earlier so that she could inspect me in plain daylight.

It turned out that she was an amateur psychologist, and she figured that she could decide for herself whether I was a crazy drug addict. She noticed my dilated pupils at the restaurant right away, and became alarmed. Somehow she got the idea that I might have been forcibly committed to a mental asylum.

I walked her to her car after dinner, and she was still cautious. "This could be a dangerous neighborhood", she said. I replied, "Lady, I am carrying a hockey stick. No one is going to mess with us." I considered telling her that I had a gun in my hip pocket for backup, but I don't think that would have helped.

The next day she sent me a nice email apologizing for giving me a thorough interrogation about my psychiatric history. She said that she consulted with her mom about it, and her mom said that those questions should have waited until the second date.

She said that she had to ask me on the first date because she fully intended to ditch me at the end of the date. However, she said that I was much nicer than she expected. She said that she liked me so much that she told her mom that I was a "work in progress". I guess that is her way of saying that she will go out on a second date with me.

Maybe not. Her biggest fear was not that I'd be a crazy drug addict, but that I would write her up on the internet. She is very fussy about her privacy. I had to promise that I wouldn't do that. She would not give permission for this post. I just had to do it, and hope that she is not too offended. I tried not to identify her. I don't even know her name myself! I'll send her an email about it, and take it down if she objects. My guess is that even if her mom reads this post, she won't even recognize her daughter because she got a completely different description of the date.