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"Rinji news o moshiagemasu! Rinji news o moshiagemasu!" Selena laughed and mock-shouted, knocking the lobster claw over with the pepper mill... and for a brief moment, I fell slightly in love. This was exactly what I was looking for: an intelligent, attractive, kind woman whom I not only had a lot in common with -- she also knew her Godzilla. What man in his right mind couldn't fall for that?
I had first found Selena online, on a dating site. I was only half-heartedly looking for someone there in the first place, but her ad jumped out at me. Her broad cheeks and bright eyes seemed to scream "UNDISCOVERED GEM" at me. I mailed her, she mailed me back, and then we had talked on the phone. We had a lot of interests in common, so I overcame my mild hesitancy (and she overcame her considerable hesitancy) and we agreed to meet over lobster.
We had similar tastes in entertainment and reading material, similar jobs in the past, and our share of parental issues. But it was when I discovered that she had been a fan of Godzilla movies as a kid, and still remembered the fine details... like that the giant lobster was named Ebirah... that I cracked. Cancers always seem happiest when the other guy drops his guard first, and despite my resistance, her charms had won me over.
"So how did a nice girl like you turn out to be a fan of Japanese monsters?" I asked her over dessert.
"They seemed like a good place to escape to when I was a kid," she said. "Mom was usually working, and Dad was away with work a lot. I used to pretend he was off defending the world from giant monsters... dropping bombs on them from his passenger plane."
Dad had been an airline pilot. Selena's parents broke up when Selena's Mom found out that Dad had a girlfriend on the side. Family background is one of those things I rarely bring up first in conversation: if someone has something of importance to say on the subject, it's usually not too hard to put the details together. And, as much as it was a cliche, Selena was a Cancer -- and Cancers always seem to get more than their fair share of family issues. Despite claiming to have no resentment towards her father, Selena could catalog his missteps as a parent and spouse as if they had happened yesterday.
Apparently I bore some resemblance to her father, both physically and in my mannerisms... but in a good way. Her ex was nothing like Dad, according to her... except in a bad way. Selena had broken up with the ex six months ago, and the wound was still fresh enough that (once the subject had come up) she was more than willing to point out how dissimilar her Dad and her ex were. The ex, it turns out, had none of Dad's redeeming qualities.
But mostly, the theme was how I was "just like dear old Dad"... again, in a good way. And as the evening went on, she pointed out more of those similarities.
"I hope that doesn't creep you out too badly," I said.
"No," she said smiling. "I like it," she said, then surprised me with a kiss as she turned to leave, saying she'd call me the next day.
Three weeks later, she called. "I think I'm looking for someone less..."
"Like your Dad?" I ventured.
"Yeah. That, and my ex is back in town, and we got to talking and... and I think I'd like to give it one more shot with him. We still have a lot to work out"
Six months later, I heard they had gotten married. And a year and a half after that, they were divorced. It turned out that he was never at home because he was a pilot, and he had a girlfriend on the side... just like Dad.
I wonder who Selena pretends is defeating her monsters now?