Settling down in our seats I got the wise idea to keep sipping my coffee thereby she would feel the need to start the conversation. Conniving? Not at all, actually I surprised I had such a thought in complete clearness and on-time. You know what I mean, AFTER you said something stupid you realize you just said something stupid. Example, “ah, when are you expecting? Is it your first?” These are two questions that a man should NEVER allow to leave his lips. Guilty? My hand is up – been there, done that. I was not trying to be a crushing instrument to one’s self-esteem. (I will never forget the look on her face.) See, now you know why me getting the “sipping idea” was such a break-through.
Ended up I did not need the sipping idea because we weren’t in our chairs thirty seconds when she looked over at me and said, “I love this song? You?”
I had not noticed it but I did not share that. I took another sip and this time tried to get my ears and mind to focus on the noise, I mean “music”. It sounded like something current. How do I know it was something current? Because I had never heard it before; current music fads were not something of interest to me. What came out of my mouth was, “Honestly, I have not heard it before. Is it new?” That question unleashed five minutes of information about what kind of music made Tess tick. She had to have named close to twenty bands and only one had I heard anything of – the Beatles. “What about you?” she said now putting me in the driver seat or better yet – you know the booth where the person sits waiting for someone to throw the ball and hit the target thereby dropping the chair sitter into the water? Chair sitter – me/ball – my answer.
“I like” (just be honest) “what some people consider classic rock as well as some of the 80s rock.” (Sip your coffee)
“Ok, so you like the Beatles then?” I nodded. “Would you name some of your favorite groups?”
“See, I really enjoy music and I think music can tell you a lot about a person.”
“Um” (Apparently coffee is just coffee; it is music that is not just music. What happened next I can only explain by saying I must really like Tess.) “Um, now I am intimidated,” I said with a bit of a chuckle. She laughed to which I guess that means I should be intimidated because she is analyzing my choices. “How about I show you my Zen and you can see the groups, because under all this pressure I am sure I will forget some groups that may impress you?” I took my Zen out of my pocket and handed it to her. (Gee that almost sounded like something TMI.)
She snatched it playfully (again with the innuendos) and scanned through the groups periodically saying things like “Oooh I love them”, “I have not heard anything by them” or “I have never heard of them”. I decided to play the analyzing game too by following up her audible clues with “what song, group are you referring to?”
Tess had never heard of groups like Thin Lizzy, Roger Waters, Triumph, or Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. CHA! She did exclaim “Freebird!” which made me laugh. I was surprised though because she seemed to have heard of a lot of my favorite groups’ names but just did not know the music. She passed the Zen back to me and said, “Ok my turn” (yet again with innuendos!).
This was horrifying because I was completely clueless. Most of the groups names sounded more like the title of a poem or short story. If it was not for the couple songs by the Beatles on her iPod I would not have known anything she was listening to. The whole time scanning I was “umming” and when I handed it back to her I said “Beatles!” She laughed. What was now going through my head was is there a huge age difference between us? I did not see how that was possible but I could not get my head around the huge disconnect on my part about the music end on my part (or her part – depending how you would look at it).
(You can calm yourself I know the adage that you never ask a woman how old she is.)
“So when did you graduate from high school?” is what I said. I know, I know.
She said, “2001, how about you?”
“1999 but it seems like so much longer. Did you graduate from around here?”
“Yes, Princeton – you?”
“Me too!” Finally I got a question right.