Andy IM'd me today, asking me if I had any lunch plans. I didn't have any at 11:42 when he first IM'd, though I almost had some when I realized a client's website was down. He offered, "I have a bike and want to ride it over to your house. We can go from there." He mentioned this after asking if I still had my fancy car.
Yeah, well, fancy car, eh? Sure, I still had that one S he knew about, but I also had another S, a more functional car for my life style (think, "carry crap," and "haul dogs," and "extra-large purse on wheels").
And, yes, that would be a Smith boy. Fast car? Smith boy? Yeah, lunch was about to be an adventure. What I didn't realize, however, was that he actually wanted the convertible, top down, wind through his hair. It's a beautiful, glorious, sun-filled day, and top-down was the way to spend it.
So, off we went, though in the purse and not the convertible. We ended up heading to Palo Alto, because Andy wanted to drive and wanted to drive fast. The extra horse power in the purse apparently made up for the lack of convertibleness, and we dashed (literally "dashed at a hundred miles an hour") up to Palo Alto for lunch.
We were all of maybe 10 minutes into our lunch conversation (conversations with Andy are always fun because he always has great stories to tell) when he casually mentioned who he had been dating before he went to SxSw, and who said ex was currently dating.
Can you hear the trumpets?
Suddenly, clouds I didn't know were overhead parted, the heavens opened up, spilling light and music and stark uncontrollably hysterical revelations upon me.
Last year at SxSW, I spent much of my time with a particular friend (go ahead, search the site, you'll figure out which friend that was), initially because he was the only person I knew at the conference, then later because it was fun to hang out with him and meet all of his friends, then later because his group was fun and inviting. That's the way of good conferences, you meet cool people, you hang out with them, sometimes those friendships continue afterward.
This year, said friend COMPLETELY dissed me. He'd talk to me, but was pretty distant, and didn't spend much time with me at all. I was puzzled, but, well, after last year, I fortunately knew other people at the conference, and everything was fine.
Turns out, that this friend is dating Andy's said ex, or near enough that spending time with me, or even inviting me to the same event as new girl would be DISASTROUS. I'm not sure why, but this Andy revelation completely explained everything, solved all of my puzzles and cleared up the lingering WTF I was having from the experience.
I could not stop laughing at lunch.
I think Andy was puzzled about my amusement. I've been trying so hard not to care about knowledge I have no right to know, trying so hard not to pry into topics that I REALLY want to know about. And here, wait a week, and the pieces I needed to complete the puzzle are handed to me, along with lunch, on a platter.
The conversation of course turned back towards various stories, including the lobby backstroke swim contest that gave Andy some serious rug burns on his arms (stupid wall, blocking his victory), and other stories of conquests. After lunch, we drove back to my house, and he hopped back on his bike to ride back to work. I watched him take off his shirt to ride, "Hey, the chicks dig it," and laughed.
As he rode off, I had to think to myself that, in a different life, I could have fallen in love with that man. There are few people I know with such a light soul and bright outlook. It's incredibly attractive and infectious. The ending would have been quite painful, but, damn, the ride would have been worth it.