One Mile to Bushy Run Station, by Robert Griffing.
Tonight I went to a dinner the OD had arranged -- when he first suggested it, he asked if I minded if X was present, and I said it would be ok, as long as there no expectations. "Oh yeah, no expectations. Just friends meeting. You know, she's lonely, and we want her to meet more people." But as he became more zealous in arranging it I started to get annoyed, since I didn't think he was taking my point seriously enough. When I confirmed with xiao Jimmy that his wife would not be able to go, he said yes, but that it wasn't important, "Since it is all about you two." He got this idea on his own, so I believed that maybe there was a small chance that the OD saw things differently.
But it turns out that he and his wife (along with their friend from church, who knows x and introduced her), were thinking the same exact thing. Worse, they took the questions I gave to the OD for prospective spouses and suggested that I ask them of X. "Why aren't you talking with her? Now's a good opportunity to ask those questions." The OD's wife said that they were good questions (of course they are), but they seemed to have forgotten that the most important question, the one concerning religion, was also mentioned by me and a likely reason for things being a non-starter.
So I sat there as they tried to egg me on, 4 against 1. As I had arrived early with xiao Jimmy, we waited for everyone else before going in, though I wanted to go ahead and pay and sit down. (Which the OD had suggested.) X was running late, and I was volunteered to wait for her, along with her friend. "Did you pay for her? Why not?"
Later: "Jimmy, don't you think she's nice? See, everyone thinks she's a nice girl. Even if you don't marry her, you can at least still be friends with her."
Afterwards: "Why aren't you walking her to her car?" I was walking with xiao Jimmy and chatting with him...
I think I'm beyond the "be friends first" approach -- it seems rather beta and it's very unclear. Recently I've been quite willing to burn bridges when things don't go anywhere. Why not? Finally coming to a conclusion as to whether to expect friendships with women to attain the same strength as friendships with men has helped quite a bit.
Meanwhile a Mexican girl walked in with her friends and their dates. I couldn't help but notice her.
The OD's church friend is interesting -- she also went to Cal, graduated in '96 with a double major(?) in history and political science. She now practices law, specializing in immigration and personal injury law. Xiao Jimmy thought she was rather attractive, but she is married with one child and expecting another.
I suppose I could have kept up appearances and acted according to their expectations, but acting the way I did tonight (mostly in an embarrassed manner) makes me seem shy but possibly interested. It would have been better to have been civil (which I was, I think) but yet disinterested. I don't want to give anyone the wrong idea or to lead anyone on.
I was embarrassed, annoyed, a bit angry, uncomfortable. I didn't think they were still trying to set me up.
There is this though -- she doesn't mind having guns in the home and she's actually shot a few pistols. The OD's wife pointed out how she likes being with children and is confident in handling them. The OD: "What other questions? The farming one..." He even asked for my phone. I thought he needed to make a phone call and couldn't do it with his phone for some reason. But it turns out that he was just entering her phone number into my phone and calling her, so that she would have my number. (She did save it.) I was dumb, huh, in my interpretation of things?