"Oh, I don't know. A couple years, I guess. Why?"
"When are you going to ask me to dinner?"
Thus the initiation of my first date with Mr. Nice-but-Dull. We had, in fact, been conversing via the internet for over two years (if you include my 12-month stint in the Middle East). He had always been polite, but brief, and very reserved. Turns out he's precisely the same way face-to-face.
After the date, a friend of mine asked how things went. "Fine" was the only adjective I could come up with. It wasn't that he wasn't a nice man - sweet, courteous, thoughtful, all those things. He just wasn't stimulating - which didn't make any sense. He's attractive, intelligent, articulate, has a good job and plenty of confidence - there was just no spark.
And then there's Pea. Sweet, simple, bashful Pea. He's a librarian and legal researcher by trade, which is just about as yawning of a profession as one could draft, yet he excites me. He's quiet, but I enjoy him immensely.
Ah well - so much for mom and dad's idea that I'd marry a doctor or a lawyer. I think I'll stick with what makes me happy, rather than what I'm "supposed" to do. I was never very good at following the rules, anyway.