Marisa Tomei Punched Me in the Face

April 11, 2007

The third day when I was in Aberdeen, I drove to the ocean. It was a gorgeous day. And this was truly remarkable because it always rains in the Harbor during spring. There was sunshine in every direction I looked. When I got to Ocean Shores, I drove along the beach and found a place to park. While the sun was out, the wind was unforgiving. I quickly walked to the jetty and starred out onto the ocean. Watched as the waves crashed violently against the rocks. It was remarkable. But between the combination of the wind and the sand blowing in my face, I only stayed for a few minutes. I reached to take a photo of my rental car (a dijon yellow PT cruiser) on the beach with the ocean in the background but the batteries on my phone were completely empty. As the sun was setting across the horizon, it looked like the perfect car commercial photo – oh well. I got into my car and drove back into Ocean Shores.

Here is a camera phone photo of my Dijon Yellow PT Cruiser. The educator from Aberdeen High School who I had been working with, loved the car when she saw it, so did my Aunt. I then gave up the idea of buying one. Photo taken on March 22, 2007.

Here is a camera phone photo of my Dijon Yellow PT Cruiser. The educator from Aberdeen High School who I had been working with, loved the car when she saw it, so did my Aunt. I then gave up the idea of buying one. Photo taken on March 22, 2007.

I decided that I would eat in Ocean Shores. Pick a nice restaurant (within a reasonable price range) and read my book, the before mentioned The Year of Magical Thinking. Couple this with a few beers and you have a recipe for a great night in the Harbor. I pulled into a place that I ate at when I was a kid with my parents. It had been so long ago the only thing that was familiar was the shape of the restaurant – it looks like a deformed octagon tent.

I tell the waitress that I want to order a couple of drinks and then I would order dinner. This surprised her. She so badly wanted to take my dinner order. I just wanted to read and kill time. I finally order my dinner and I get the oven-baked halibut with a baked potato. She asks me if I want onions, sour cream, butter and bacon on my potato and I reply with a big fat yes.

I get my fish and it was perfect. You always hope for great fish at the shore. But there was something different with my fixings for my baked potato. Sure, it came with onions, sour cream, butter and bacon but it came combined together as one spread. One Spread. I kid you not. It was combined as one delicious, mouth-watering spread.

Now I had been chatting with this girl online for a few days. And it was going well. She was funny and I found her very interesting. She studied film in New York and had worked on some TV shows. But her passion is her art. She is does both painting and photography and I should mention that she is really smart and very well read. Anyway, I wrote to her and told her about my fixings for my baked potato and she told me if they sold that in the store, she would buy it by the vat. I was sold.

As I was leaving the Harbor for good on Friday, I had planned a date with her for Sunday. We had drinks and saw a movie and I had such a great time getting to know her that I asked if she wanted to get more drinks after the movie. And we did. We shared a piece of cheesecake and talked for a longtime. It was one of the best first dates I had been on in a long time. She mentioned to me that I should come to her gallery for First Thursday – a Seattle based art walk where all the galleries stay open late on the first Thursday of each month.

Two days after our date, I left the worst message I have ever done in the history of messages on her phone. Here is what I remember of the message to her, “Hi, it’s uh Nick and I just want to, uh, say I had a good time the other night. I was thinking on Friday we could have dinner, there is, uh this great Spanish restaurant. Uh, um, I’ve never been there, but uh, um, some friends I know have and, they, um… said its good. So let me know if, uh that works for you. Also, I would love to see your place… I mean art gallery! So uh, letmeknowifthatworksforyouandgivemeacallbackat… Nick. It literally was like the movie Swingers when Jon Favreau calls Nicki from the bar and leaves a horrible series of phone messages. Luckily, I stopped with one horrible phone message.

But thankfully for me, she saw past that. I went to her gallery on Thursday and we had a great time. I saw her art, which was really cool. We had some wine, hung out with some people from her building and spent the night laughing and eating pizza when I should have been in bed for my early day at work. On Friday, Seattle had a record temperature day. It was 78 degrees in Seattle. And it was a perfect temperature for a birthday and a third date. When I picked her up, she looked fantastic in her black dress and matching heels. The place I took her for dinner was incredible. Great food and great service. P & K’s recommendation did not let me down. We had a great conversation over dinner and our waitress even put a candle in my dessert for my birthday.

Before our date on Friday, I told my friend Brian that she was so great and I wondered why she would like me and wanted to go out with me. And I told him that it reminded me of that Seinfeld episode where George finally goes on a date with Marisa Tomei. And Marisa asks George why is a man that is so funny, bald and stocky still single. And George tells her that he is actually engaged and she then punches him in the face. I told Brian that I was waiting for Marisa to punch me in the face.

I took her back to her place and she showed me around. And as I was leaving and hugging her goodbye, we kissed. She walked me down the stairs and I held her hand as I left. She was flying out of town the next day. I said goodbye and as I drove home that night, I thought to myself that I just had a ‘top three’ birthday.

Yesterday, I left her a message about a date idea I had for this Sunday. She called me back an hour later. She told me that Sunday sounded great but there was something she wanted to tell me. She said that she didn’t feel a romantic spark after we kissed. She wanted to tell me on Friday but she didn’t want to ruin things – my birthday. I was caught completely off guard. My heart sunk, as I heard those words. Marisa Tomei had just punched me in the face.

Ten minutes later, I called her back for clarification. What was it about the kiss? And she told me it wasn’t the technique (a mild victory) but that she simply didn’t feel a spark. And I asked her for a second chance and she said no. She said that she really wants to be friends with me and that I was one of the coolest people she had met in Seattle.

Upon reflection, I wonder if I had missed the signals. If I had been so caught up in things that I missed the subtle clues of a relationship not working out. I think about the day in Ocean Shores when I emailed her about my baked potato. That night was perfect foreshadowing of what was to happen next. A beautiful sunshiny day that was coupled with wind and blowing sand. I know there will be other girls, more dates and other exciting and embarrassing stories. But this one stings. It makes you question yourself. It raises doubts and bruises your ego. These past few months seem to point to a new direction in my life and its possibilities makes me excited. So I will remain hopeful and see what new adventure is coming around the corner.


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