Wednesday, April 21, 2010

LolaRuns goes to Mie n Yu with Trainerboy

Approximately 25 minutes after LolaRuns posted her "LolaRuns gets a dose of reality" blog, her phone rang. Surprise surprise - it was Trainerboy!

It was 1pm or thereabouts and Trainerboy was outside his home walking Lindey, his new rescue puppy. Trainerboy wanted to know if LolaRuns was still interested in meeting for drinks. Why of course she replied. Where shall we go inquired Trainerboy? Well gosh Trainerboy - I don't know. What is your preference? Trainerboy hemmed and hawed and finally said "Let's meet in Georgetown! But where?" It was obvious that Trainerboy was only 37 and has no clue on how to make a great first impression on a girl. So LolaRuns threw out a restaurant that has a great scene, a busy bar, and the best red wine sangria on the planet. "Let's go to Bodega. Besides, my girlfriends and I have reservations for dinner there at 9pm and it will be convenient for me."

Truth be told, LolaRuns wasn't meeting her girlfriends out for dinner that Friday night. We do usually have a Friday night dinner tradition because it is a great way to wind down from the week and catch up on gossip. On this particular Friday night however, there were no such plans with the girls because we had agreed instead to Saturday lunch and a photography exhibit.

So why did LolaRuns tell Trainerboy that she had a phantom dinner date with her girlfriends? Because she was already annoyed at Trainerboy's inability to plan, to follow up in a timely manner, to confirm, and to take the initiative. Trainerboy had asked LolaRuns out on a date for drinks and even before the date started, she knew that she did not want it to be a long one.

Him: "Ok - but where is Bodega?"

Good grief, I thought.

Me: "I'm online right now so I'll look it up for you. Here we go - it's 3116 M Street."
Him: "What time should we meet?"
Me: "How about 7 or 730?"
Him: "I can do 730 but if I can get my neighbor to walk Lindey, 7 will work too."
Me: "Ok - just text me to let me know which time will work."

It was a balmy night for October and LolaRuns is cheap. So she parked her car near her friend Miss. T's house at 25th and M and took a leisurely walk to 31st and M. As she parked, she received a text from Trainerboy who said that Bodega was crowded and there was no room at the bar, so would Mie n Yu work? Sure she replied.

As LolaRuns stood at the stop light to cross onto 31st, she noticed a man, approximately 6'0 feet tall, in casual jeans, dark brown loafers and a nice light blue button down shirt that was untucked, walking in front of her. LolaRuns knew instantly that it was Trainerboy. From the back, I could see that true to his profile, Trainerboy is athletic and toned with broad shoulders and a lanky but muscular lean build. Ding Ding! You are three for three! Trainerboy may not be able to plan a date but he is able to tell the truth. His profile stats and his appearance were true to form. I was impressed and relieved.

Trainerboy walked into Mie n Yu with me five feet behind him. He turned around, we made eye contact and smiled, and shared a brief hug. We exchanged pleasantries while I took off my rain coat and took a seat at the bar. Now that I was face to face with Trainerboy at the bar, I could see that he is indeed handsome. Trainerboy looks like a young Rob Lowe with hazel eyes, dark brown slightly wavy hair, and a wide toothy grin.

Right away, we dived into conversation while I scanned the drinks menu. I ordered a shiraz from South Australia and asked if Trainerboy had ever been. No he replied but if given the opportunity, Trainerboy prefers New Zealand to Australia because of the terrain and the lifestyle. Trainerboy asked abut Vietnam and the last time that I was there. I explained that I have traveled to Vietnam twice in the past 3 years and that my Mom and my Dad had been my tour guides. We traveled from the south to the central and to the northern regions. I even saw the building that used to be the hospital where I was born. Trainerboy was most interested in how my family was able to leave the country before the fall of Saigon and wanted to know how my family was able to leave. It was a combination of luck and family connections I expained.

My father worked for the US Embassy/Consulate in Saigon as an accountant and was the first and only person in his family to have a proper education. My maternal grandfather owned a successful electric company and supported the democratic movement. My mother's oldest sister had married an American lobbyist who worked on Capitol Hill and they resided in North Arlington. One of my mother's brothers was in California studying medicine while another brother was a Vietnamese pilot who trained with US soldiers and traveled frequently to the US. As a result, there was no shortage of money and connections to get my parents, maternal grandfather, and nine uncles and aunts plus children to the US on a chartered flight to Cambodia where we stayed for a few weeks before landing at the National Airport (now Ronald Reagan airport) and settling in Fairfax County. The most harrowing part of the tale is that we flew out of the Saigon airport two days before it was bombed. Had we delayed, we would have been stuck in Vietnam for a number of years or become part of the wave of boat people who suffered cannibalism, drowning, starvation, and other atrocities on flimsy man made boats. But we were incredibly lucky and left in comfort and safety because of the timing of our departure.
Trainerboy appreciated the background and told me about his family history. Trainerboy grew up outside of Annapolis in a county with little or no diversity. In his school, he recalled one male African Amerian student and one female Latino student. Trainerboy explained that the Latino student was quite exotic and most likely shaped his attraction to dark haired olive skinned girls instead of buxom blonde blue eyed girls. Trainerboy has one brother who is a year older than him. Their parents divorced when he was eight and he and his brother moved in with their father and new stepmother. Trainerboy moved back with his mother when he was in his teens and lived with her until he went to college. Trainerboy shared that college was never part of his plans until senior year when he received letters recruiting him because of his athletic abilities. Trainerboy's Aunt Tina, his mother's sister, was the only other person who received a college education and she provided guidance on applications, recommendations, and exam preparation.

Trainerboy went to Ohio Wesleyan for his undergraduate studies and the University of Delaware for his master's in exercise physiology. Trainerboy explained that the graduating class was small so each student had the opportunity to deliver a speech. Trainerboy got up on the podium and said "Mom, I promised you that I would get an education but I didn't promise you that I would get a job."

With that, Trainerboy moved to Colorado where he served as a trainer on occasion but spent the bulk of his time skiing, hiking, camping and enjoying other outdoor activities that only Colorado can offer. After a few years, Trainerboy moved to Florida where he trained athletes at the area universities and then recently moved to Virginia a little more than a year and a half ago.

Because Trainerboy recently adopted his dog Lindey, a Boston Terrier Border Collie mix, we talked a great deal about how Lindey was selected and Trainerboy's first week of training and socializing her. Trainerboy took a great deal of time and care in selecting a dog and wanted a dog that could be social with other animals and people. And in the spirit of adopting dogs who truly needed homes, Trainerboy focused his search only on dogs that did not have multiple adoption applicants.

From the way Trainerboy described his dog selection process and training approach with Lindey, it was obvious that Trainerboy recognizes the large responsibility of caring for someone other than himself. Simply put, Trainerboy is not selfish and will one day, make a great parent.

Positives aside, what are LolaRuns' reservations about Trainerboy? Trainerboy did well in school because in his own words, he happily implemented recommendations on projects and papers. Trainerboy is also well organized; he tackled all assignments in a timely manner so that he could have the freedom to do as he chose on the weekend. While growing up, Trainerboy's parents did not have much money so Trainerboy watched and helped his father fix or make home improvements around the house. Trainerboy grew up in a community where it was not uncommon to leverage the skills of the electrician down the street in exchange for helping to paint the interior of a house. Trainerboy also revealed that the townhouse styled condominium that he currently lives in is not the first property that he has purchased. Although it is apparent that Trainerboy is financially responsibile, handy with tools, and is school and street smart, Trainerboy lacks intellectual curiosity and does not want to expand his horizons.

LolaRuns experienced this first hand when Trainerboy asked about the plans that she had for the weekend. I enthusiastically replied that my girlfriends and I were going to the Philip Trager photography exhibit at the National Building Museum on Saturday afternoon. I explained that the exhibit is a 40 year introspective of silver gelatin, platinum, and giclee photographs of architecture in Connecticut, Italy, New York, and various dance troupes in motion outside of dance studios. Instead of asking questions about photography, the exhibit, the artist, the medium, Trainerboy muttered "that's very cultural" and abruptly changed the subject. It was disappointing to LolaRuns that Trainerboy did not ask questions and did not exclaim that he knows little about photography and art but would like to learn more.

Similarly, when Trainerboy asked about the genesis of LolaRuns' dog's name, Victor Hugo, Trainerboy did not care to discuss favourite authors or books. Trainerboy did well in school and demonstrated his great knowledge about the body as it relates to exercise physiology but has no cultural or intellectual pursuits. Trainerboy did not attempt to understand LolaRuns' job or tread onto topics that are outside of his comfort zone while LolaRuns asked a great deal about exercise physiology.

This is a complete turnoff to LolaRuns and it became apparent that Trainerboy also recognized the intellectual divide. To Trainerboy's credit, he does have somewhat of an open mind when it comes to trying new foods and described how he introduced his then 50 year old father to Thai food and the varying degrees of hot and spicy. Unlike LolaRuns however, Trainerboy veers away from "fancily prepared small portion foods" and hangs out with guy friends at sports pubs where Trainerboy dines on bar staples like burgers and chili. When LolaRuns ordered her South Australian shiraz, Trainerboy ordered the same because he rarely if ever drank wine. LolaRuns recalled Trainerboy's profile and his statement that he enjoys beer from a floating cooler.

9pm did not come soon enough for LolaRuns and Trainerboy. Overall, conversation was pleasant and LolaRuns knows that Trainerboy is a good person with a kind and loving heart who will make some special girl very happy. Trainerboy's outstanding qualities? Trainerboy is handy with tools, financially stable, lives within his means, owns a home, and understands the magnitude of caring for and raising a pet.

Despite such wonderful qualities, LolaRuns and Trainerboy both knew there was no match. Trainerboy walked LolaRuns outside where we parted ways with a hug. I strolled in one direction while he headed off on a different path.

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