Guru of New
The New York Times Presents A “Modern Love” Article by Katherine Ruppe.
I met my dear friend Katherine Ruppe on the way to a white-water rafting adventure in Idaho. We hit it off immediately over lumpy sleeping bags, swarming bees and some sort of pharmaceutical that guaranteed we’d snooze through the scent of the nearby al fresco latrine.
I knew immediately that Katherine was a laugh-out-loud kind of writer. Apparently, the New York Times agrees.
A Guest Star in His Romantic Drama
By KATHERINE RUPPE
Published: January 16, 2009 in the New York Times
MY science-fiction-loving friend Alyson always told me geeky guys were more interesting. I took her words to heart when I found myself single again a few years ago and resolved to broaden my dating pool.
Until then my pool (more like a mud puddle) had consisted solely of adventurous, charming, yet fatally flawed boy-men, one of whom had left me stranded at dusk with a flat tire while mountain biking down a ravine known to be frequented by mountain lions. An earnest geek with a heart of gold could only be an improvement.
With that in mind, I met The Engineer. He was good looking in a Clark Kent way. Sure, he was a brainiac with multiple degrees and a military-industrial-complex job, but he also indulged in Red Bull and Jägermeister, was an athlete and had a playful side. Maybe I could have my Clark Kent and a daring Superman, too.
Our first date was initially strained because of his quiet nature — he seemed unable to speak without first making intricate internal computations. Luckily after a few cocktails he loosened up, and we talked about spiritualism, near-death experiences and flying (he owned a plane — hot). I melted when he held my hand and spoke of future dates we would go on. His good-night kiss was a little mechanical, but I still got goose bumps. I went to sleep that night feeling unexpectedly tingly.
Two weeks later we had our second date, in Las Vegas, where The Engineer was temporarily working. I had just finished a screenplay, and my craving for adventure won over my need for caution in the romance department, so I flew there to meet him.
The movie version of our time there would be all glitter and high-rolling romance. In reality, we were two people growing more in lust in a bland business motel complete with free happy-hour beer and hot wings. After two days he flew me back to Los Angeles in his single-engine. His sexy pilot’s voice revved me up, while his explanations of wing load put me to sleep. Perhaps that’s what life with Superman was all about.
Back home, visions of boyfriendship danced through my head. The Engineer, however, seemed to be on a different flight plan, not calling for more than a week. But by our next date our connection had returned so strongly that I blithely set aside my dismay and invited him to a Moby concert.
Twenty-four hours later I was lazing on my couch when he phoned. I thought: “How nice, he’s calling two nights in a row. He really does like me.” Instead he sent my stomach into a neat back flip with the words: “There’s something we need to talk about.” I braced myself for his dirty bomb.
Read the rest of Katherine’s saga here.
Guru’s Note: Katherine’s story is also included in a riotous new estro-classic by Liz Dubelman and Barbara Davilman: What Was I Thinking? 58 Bad Boyfriend Stories. (If they’d asked me, I could have made it an even 60. At least.)