World's Worst Flirter. It Worked.I attended a hospital fund raiser yesterday, a Sunday, with the general manager of the resort where I work, not too pleased that it was a normal day off and just a few ticks short of a hundred degrees outside. The sticky, hot weather was not conducive to anything except air conditioning or the beach. When I suggested to the GM that if he was looking for someone more than half his age to accompany him to a public event and should have called an escort service he wittily responded, "... you were much cheaper."
Hundreds of folks from organizations and companies trying to outdo each other but all for a good cause: defraying the cost of a new cardiovascular wing with double the beds, the staff and the latest equipment and technology. I tiptoed away from the shake and grin routine, a bit tipsy from drinking a couple of gin and tonics too quickly, sat on a bench in the shade, and was approached by a fellow who looked around my age or some more (I'm 25), a couple inches north of six feet, handsome enough and a good physical presence.
"Hi!" he said, looking down at me. He was dressed too casually for this group. An outsider of sorts.
And then silence.... a good 20 seconds of silence as he looked at me.
"Is there more than a 'hello' from you," I asked. "Oh, um, yeah, there is, um.....", and another 15 somewhat awkward seconds of empty space and his stare. "My name is Robert, pleased to meet you." He stuck out his hand. Again, not smooth. I shook it, helped myself up with the extended arm, and with untypical grace solved the issue which would have otherwise wilted in the heat. "Robert, I'm Katie. Let's get me a diet coke and sit down in the a/c somewhere."
The ice was somewhat broken. He spoke with enthusiasm and energy in sentences without periods or other punctuation.... and was charming in a schoolboy way. He asked about me and what I did and was seemingly happy when I was. He knew about my work, what I liked to do, my family, even the EP adventures. Only then did he tell me about himself. Cardiology resident at the hospital... works 70-80 hours a week on six-day, 12-hour shifts ("doesn't give you much time to take me out for coffee," I joked... and he blushed hard.) and thrilled with what he does.... born and raised in the same home state as me... and a good guy. Introduced me to the department head, a cad for sure, who embarrassed Dr. M. further, "Robert, your taste in women exceeds your medical skills."
Just one of those days where things worked out. Eventually. And finally enough courage to ask for my phone number.