Monday, April 14, 2008

Dating Chronicle 2: Dirty Boots*

When I was doing the online dating thing, my “handle” was hikerliker76. As an avid outdoorswoman, I thought it was good to put my affinity out there right away, right in my name. I can’t remember whether I contacted him or he contacted me, but Dirty Boots’ alias and profile seemed like a great fit. I was thrilled when we set up a date to tackle the Arroyo Seco trail one Saturday afternoon.

He hadn’t lived in the area too long and when I asked him if he’d been on many of the local trails, he admitted that he had just taken up hiking as a pastime. This could explain why he was wearing jeans. I suddenly had an urge to turn him into the username police for false advertising.

As we crunched through the pine needles and gravel, he began to tell me about his childhood. And how he got beat up a lot in high school and had a hard time making friends. Not exactly the best way to sell yourself on a date—and also a bit of warning sign that he might be a seemingly harmless serial killer who was going to eat my eyeballs and leave me in a ditch on the side of the trail.

I remember trying to change the subject, but somehow we kept landing on unfortunate incidents. I was on a date with Awkward Victim Guy.

After about 45 minutes, I suggested we backtrack. We approached the river crossing we had successfully traversed on our way in, and began to step across the makeshift bridge of boulders back toward the first bank. The flow was strong with springtime runoff and some of the rocks were slightly submerged in water.

I had just balanced myself on a rather large, flat piece of granite, when suddenly I heard a scuffle behind me and felt Dirty Boots grab at my shoulders. I tried to hang onto him; steer him onto my boulder, but it was no use. His hands slid down my arms and he slipped into the river with a splash. I don’t know if he fully made contact with the ground, he bounced up onto my rock so fast. He was wet up to his knees and embarrassed to his core. And I was feeling adamant that—like pilots and psychologists—people should not be allowed to call themselves hikers unless they have accrued a substantial amount of hours (in the forest).

When we got back to the trail entrance he said, “So what do we do now, like make another date, or something?”

“Why don’t you email me. I don’t know my schedule by heart,” was all I could think to say.

*Per Mr. Wonderful’s insistence the last time I was writing about a date, this guy’s name has been changed too…but it was close to Dirty Boots, I promise.


Michael C said...

So what you are saying is that he made a splash on the date...just not with you??

Mel Heth said...

Well said, Michael C, well said.

Anonymous said...

Well, I've been hiking for a long time, and I still managed to crush my knee last weekend, so I'm not so sure how much experience counts in my case!

THAT was your handle! Oh, how bad is my luck that I wasn't on the same site! LOL

Kidding aside, glad that you battled your way through bad (seriously, jeans-wearing?) dates to find Mr. Wonderful. :)