Sour grapes and dating

In elementary school I was read the story of “Sour grapes”, for some reason it has stuck with me over the years. For those of you who do not know the story, here is a short summary of how I learned about it:

My 2nd grade teacher reads the story out loud to the class. A fox walks by a tree and see’s these grapes on top of the tree. The fox then tries in vain to jump toward the grapes. The fox tries as hard as he could to reach these majestic grapes but fails. The fox walks away and saids “they were probably sour anyway”. After our 2nd grade teacher read this story, she asks what was the moral of the story. As the token shy asian kid in class, I sat in the back of the class and never tried to answer, but everyone else raised their hands and tries to answer. Until our teacher finally had enough of these 2nd graders yelling stuff like “the fox is really a sheep and eats hey”. She tells us “the fox makes an excuse, that the grapes were sour anyway, to make himself feel better because he failed.”

Fast forward 26 years later and I am in the optometrist office, I’m waiting for an old asian guy to come in to examine my eyes. Anyone who knows me, knows I pride myself on still not wearing any contacts or eyeglasses at the age of 32, but I feel my vision slipping so I go in for my annual checkup. I’m in a bad mood waiting for this old guy to come in, then all of a sudden this gorgeous woman comes in, I’m speechless and kind of in paralysis at this point. She doesn’t introduce herself and gets strait to work, she tells me to look into the machine that looks like a submarine periscope. She saids “read off the first line please”, I got one eye looking at the line of letters and other eye trying to catch a glimpse of her. I mouth off “A-D-C” who knows if that was correct, she starts changing lens on the machine to make the letters look clearer. I start getting them right “C-D-F, N-W-O, W-W-F”, what I really wanted to say was “R-U-Single”. Between reading off lines of letters, I finally muster up enough courage to make some small talk, “where are you from”, “how long have you been doing this” etc. We enjoy a few laughs and were getting towards the end, I need to ask her out but I realize I don’t even know her name!

She tells me, to come back to the office after work so I can dilate your pupils, I have no clue what that is but girl you can dilate anything you want on me. That was me thinking out loud. So now I’m excited I got 4 hours to figure out, how I can ask this gorgeous optometrist out! I go back to work and I’m googling “Best pick-up lines” and her hometown to give me anything that could help. I’m so hyped I walk around the parking lot a few times and mix in some jumping jacks for good measure to calm me down. My co-workers notice me smiling like a 5 year old who just stole some candy, and got away with it. He asks me why I am smiling so much and I tell him “Because I’m going to see my optometrist”!

I drive back to the office, I hype myself up like Ray Lewis’s pregame speech by saying “what time is it?? Its game time, any dogs in the house woff, woff”. As soon as I sit down the old asian doctor comes and gets me, I don’t know what to do. In my mind, its like Darth Vadar just killed Opie Wan Kenobi again. Should I follow him to the tiny dark room or ask for the fine doctor, I begrudgingly follow, it was like a death march into that tiny dark room. He proceeds to put eye drops into my eyes and I’m feeling weird. I can feel my vision slowly going, great I can’t ask out the fine doctor and I’m about to go blind. I stall for time by going to the bathroom a few times, but no fine doctor in sight. I decide to drive home before my vision really goes, and on the drive home I’m giving every excuse in the book, she probably has a boyfriend, she might be a republican, maybe she was a tranny.

I’m about to drink myself asleep but then an epiphany happens, I think to myself how many beautiful women, will have to cross my way before I do something about this. I revert back to my second grade class, thinking about the sour grapes story. I’m the fox, this whole time. I’m tired, of talking all this shit about grapes, I like grapes! I want to eat some god damm grapes! I search my apartment for a thank you card and find only one left. I’m thinking long and hard about what to write because I know I only have one bullet in the chamber, I got to make this shot count! I just write something simple with my number in it:

“Thanks for taking care of me, I manned up and put in eye drops, would love to talk to you more some day”

I give the receptionist the card the next day. I’m waiting on the phone as if Jack Nickleson from the movie a few good men, is about to give me the code red. Nothing, Nada, I start thinking maybe her phone broke, maybe cellphone towers are down, its 8pm and then I proceed to drink myself to sleep. Don’t Judge…

Its Friday at 12:47pm I’m on my lunch break, and I realize to myself that this was the first time, I did not do the old sour grapes routine, I did something about it. I had just created an alternate ending to that sour grapes story, if I was that fox in the story, I had just built a ladder and gotten to those grapes, only to find out, they were indeed sour. I know the grapes are sour, and knowing is better then never knowing. 12:57 and she texts back! “Hi Alex, just wanted to thank you for the kind note, lets grab a bite sometime”. I run out the office like Allen Houston hitting the game winning shot against the Heat in the 1999 playoffs! I can hear Mike Breen doing the color commentary saying “bang”

I’m happy, it worked, and while I would love to tell you about a happy ending, it didn’t go according to plan but at least I know now, that grapes are sour, I want a steak now!

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