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Nick, There’s Something I Should Tell You

December 13, 2008

I walked into the Hopvine, a local bar in my neighborhood, and it was packed. My glasses fogged as I scanned the bar for Kate, a girl who I was meeting for a first date. I walk to the back of the bar to look for her and not seeing her, I grabbed a nice window seat that just opened up. Kate arrives a few minutes later. After a couple of drinks, a couple laughs, things are going well. We start talking about cars and I tell her about my old 1978 Ford Thunderbird and she tells me about her old school Toyota Previa van. As she is describing to me about her van, she mentions that it was just towed away the other day. Sensing a great story there, I ask her to tell me why her van was towed.

It turns out the winters in the midwest were rough on the Previa and when she moved out to Seattle five years ago the screws on her Wisconsin license plate were rusted tight. While she got new Washington plates, she never put them on. And as she parked around Seattle, she would get a couple of parking tickets every so often.

Residential parking in Seattle is zoned and you have to have a zone permit to park in certain neighborhoods. She never got that zone permit. So in addition to getting parking tickets for her license plates, she started to get parking tickets for the (lack) of zone permit. She sometimes got two a day. Kate paid them for a while but they kept coming and started to add up. And before she knew it, she had at least 300 parking tickets before her van was towed. “At least.” She never knew how many she got.

Then she tells me that she checked online and saw that she has a warrant for her arrest.

But an arrest warrant shouldn’t prevent a potential relationship. And we have a second date, and after that, she invites me over for dinner for a third date. The plan for the third date was to have dinner at her place and then go to her friend’s party afterward. Dinner is going well. I bring over a nice bottle of wine. We talk about The Wire, music, politics, all over homemade macaroni and cheese. Then she leans in says the following, “Nick, there’s something I should tell you.”

Whatever follows that sentence is never good. We all know this from TV, movies and sitcoms. I could only sit there and wait for what seemed like an eternity to hear what followed, “I’m engaged to be married.”

It’s actually not what you think it is. One of her good friends is from a country where they don’t like gays very much. And she married him so that he can get a green card. They haven’t had the formal ceremony yet. They have to prove they are in love for two years. She told me this little fact just in case one of her friends mentioned her husband at the party we were about to attend. We shared a cab to the party and we had a few drinks, and a few more laughs. We got back to her place and I knew it was over. I wish I could say that we didn’t work because of the arrest warrant or her gay husband, but it was more traditional than that. There wasn’t a spark. There wasn’t a connection. As I walked from her apartment it started to rain and I smiled. Because I knew this would be a great story to tell.

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One comment

  1. Fascinating. Did you ever talk to her again?



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