The Dumbing Down of Love

The Dumbing Down of Love: Day Five

The Dumbing Down of Love
(720 Hours in a Relationship)

     Sitting down at her desk, Olivia grabbed her phone and started typing a text message to Gray. She hated texting more than she hated talking on the phone, but she didn’t want to disturb Gray at work. She thought if she sent a text, he could answer it when it was convenient. She was knee deep in rebuilding a website but didn’t want to work on it. Her mind was elsewhere. She didn’t want to admit to anyone that her mind was on Gray. Rolling her head between her shoulders, she took a deep breath and stared at the screen of her computer. A half built navigation bar stared back at her. Laughing at her for thinking of Gray. Sighing, she got up and walked out of the room. The navigation bar could just keep laughing at her for all she cared.

# # #

     Hearing his phone vibrate on his desk, Gray opened the desk drawer and shoved the phone into it. He was ten minutes away from finishing a proposal and didn’t want any distractions. He tapped his pen on the side of his head and continued to stare at the monitor. His phone vibrated in the desk drawer, reminding him he had a voice mail or a text message. Sighing, he opened the drawer, grabbed his phone, and silenced it. He looked at the log of the phone and saw he had a text from Olivia. Smiling to himself, he flipped open his phone and read her text. He quickly typed her a message back and waited. He knew his proposal wasn’t going to be done in ten minutes. It might not even be done by the end of the workday now that he was completely distracted by Olivia.

# # #

     Sitting at her computer, Olivia waited patiently for Gray to instant message her. A window popped up on her screen and she felt herself smile.
     GrayS: Hi. It’s Gray.
     Antares16: Hi. I’m sorry to bother you while you work.
     GrayS: It’s okay. I’m just wrapping up a proposal so I have some free time.
     Antares16: Are you sure?
     GrayS: Positive.
     Antares16: One question and I’ll let you continue to work.
     GrayS: Stop feeling guilty. It’s work. Who doesn’t mind a pleasant distraction from the grind?
     Antares16: I’ll probably apologize one or two more times. It’s my nature. I swear I was a Catholic in another life.
     GrayS: LOL. What are you in this life then?
     Antares16: Good question…don’t really have a religion I adhere to. Just believe you should do good and not harm others.
     GrayS: That sounds like a good belief to have. I think I’m with you in the religion department.
     Antares16: Okay, changing subjects here. I’m normally not a girly girl and normally don’t care, but what the hell am I suppose to wear tomorrow?
     Gray stared at his monitor. He hadn’t completely worked out his plans for their first date, but he liked the fact that Olivia cared and had the courage to ask him what she should wear. The only thing he was sure of was that he wanted it to be the best date Olivia had ever had. Sighing, he started typing as his mind pondered various date scenarios.
     GrayS: Casual’s fine. No formal gowns required.
     Antares16: And I just got my ball gown back from the Disney princess I know. Damn.
     Olivia felt relief wash over her. She knew it was that one simple question that was running laps in her brain. She knew she wanted to be dressed to the nine even if it was casual.
     GrayS: My turn for a question. What does Antares16 mean?
     Antares16: I’m an armchair astronomy buff. Antares is a star in the Milky Way galaxy and it’s the 16th brightest star in the sky. Put them together and you get Antares16. Sometimes it’s listed as the 15th but that’s another story and I won’t bore you with that.
     GrayS: Definitely more interesting than GrayS. Astronomy buff huh? Don’t laugh when I can only point out the Big Dipper to you. It’s the only thing my mom ever taught me.
     Gray moved their conversation window over to the monitor he wasn’t using and started scouring the web for astronomy information. He was thankful for the first time to have dual monitors as he was quickly bombarded with pages and pages of links. Sighing, he clicked on the first one listed and hoped it was what he needed.
     Antares16: That’s better than nothing. Most people don’t even look up at the stars anymore and that’s very sad to me.
     GrayS: So what’s the brightest star in the sky if you’re the 16th?
     Antares16: Sirius. Aka The Dog Star
     GrayS: Seems like I’m going to have to do some serious studying on astronomy.
     GrayS: What website do you recommend to the village idiot here?
     Antares16: LOL. The best is It has everything you ever wanted to know or need to know about anything related to the skies.
     Antares16: What about you? What are you an armchair warrior in?
     Gray looked at the site he was looking at and was very relieved to see it was the exact same one Olivia had suggested.
     GrayS: I love to cook. If it’s on the Food Network, there’s a chance I have every episode on my DVR
     Antares16: What’s your favorite thing to cook?
     GrayS: Hmmm…
     GrayS: Probably mac and cheese casserole. It’s the perfect comfort food.
     Antares16: I can’t see into the future, but I hope it has you cooking for me. My grandma made the best mac and cheese casserole in the world. It’s a dish I’ve missed terribly since she’s passed.
     GrayS: Didn’t she ever teach you to cook it?
     Antares16: It’s not the same you know.
     GrayS: You mean it’s not the same if someone else cooks it and then you replicate it.
     Antares16: That’s it.
     Sighing, Olivia could see the recipe box sitting on a shelf across the room. Maybe she would dust it off and move it into the kitchen where it belonged. If her date went well with Gray, maybe she could offer to cook for him. Shaking her head, she closed her eyes and pushed the thought out of her head. She didn’t want to plan a future when the present was still happening.
     Antares16: Do you watch the reality cooking shows too?
     GrayS: Of course. It’s one of my guilty pleasures.
     Antares16: Since you said guilty pleasures…what’s your guilty pleasure CD or song?
     GrayS: September by Earth Wind & Fire
     Antares16: That’s a great song! Why is that a guilty pleasure? Do you remember, the 21st night of      September!!! Who doesn’t like to sing the chorus at the top of their lungs?
     Gray laughed out loud. He could picture Olivia sitting at a desk, dancing in her chair, and singing the song at the top of her lungs.
     GrayS: The high notes are a bit much for me to reach, but it is a great song. What about you? What’s your guilty pleasure?
     Antares16: Madonna. Anything Madonna. “Lucky Star” might be my favorite. No, I take that back. “Causing a Commotion” is my favorite.
     GrayS: Not sure if I’m familiar with that one. Who’s your favorite artist?
     Antares16: Of all-time or current?
     GrayS: Either one.
     Antares16: Hands down, U2
     GrayS: Is “Beautiful Day” your favorite song by them?
     Antares16: Just a great song lyrically and musically. How did you know I liked that song?
     GrayS: It’s your ring back on your phone.
     Antares16: I completely forgot that it was.
     GrayS: So if that’s not your favorite song, what is?
     Antares16: I don’t have just one favorite U2 song, but I can narrow it down to two. Maybe three.
     GrayS: And they would be?
     Antares16: Okay, so it’s a three-way tie between “Hawkmoon 269,” “Electrical Storm” and “Walk to the Water”
     Antares16: That was hard. What about you?
     GrayS: I’m a closet parrot head. Jimmy Buffett should have been my guilty pleasure now that I think of it.
     Antares16: NO WAY!
     GrayS: ‘Fraid so. Hope you don’t think less of me
     Antares16: Of course not. Do you go to the shows and tailgate in the parking lots too?
     GrayS: Sure do. I put on the obnoxious shirt, hat, etc.
     Antares16: Coconut bra and grass skirt?
     GrayS: Sometimes, if the weather is nice.
     Antares16: LOVE IT!
     Antares16: So what’s your favorite song?
     GrayS: I’ll pick three as well. It would be “Take Another Road,” “Tin Cup Chalice,” and “The Wino & I Know.”
     Antares16: If we were in grade school, we could so make each other mix tapes. It would be so fabulous.
     GrayS: Then let’s do it. We’ll exchange them tomorrow.
     Antares16: Seriously?
     GrayS: Serious. Let’s do 20 songs, and the 3 we’ve mentioned have to be on it.
     Antares16: Done and done.

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