So, this marks my first post on dating since my triumphant return to WordPress! Sound the alarms.
Actually, I want that club horn sound affect that lets everyone know that shit is about to get real.
Ah yes…now we’re cooking!
So last week, I had a date.
As I get older, my perspectives with dating have evolved, which is to be expected. And much like any great fool, just when I think I have a firm understanding of the whole dating game, something occurs that reminds me that, “You know nothing John Snow,” and I find myself back at square one, both still single, and shaking my head at my hubris.
I’m mature enough, and smart enough, now, to understand that true knowledge exists in knowing….say it all together now…
…that I know nothing. But I’m still trying to understand, and I’m trying to understand what works for me.
So, I met this young lady on OKCupid. Now, let me tell you, OKCupid and I have a complete love/hate/kind of really hate, relationship due to a hacking incident that occurred back in October or so that they gave me no help with. To make a long story short, I had to fully relinquish the account, at which point I deleted my other dating apps, and went on an extended hiatus from the dating game all together
And yes, I’m back. My life hasn’t changed much. Most women I meet are through professional dealings, and while yes, I do work with one woman I wouldn’t mind asking out, that shit is tacky, and much more importantly, the fastest way to end up in HR with a pink slip in hand.
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
And I gave up the club scene eons ago…and I’m not much of a bar person, and yes, I go “out” a lot, social events of every imaginable tone and shade, but I don’t feel like we live in that place anymore when you can walk up to someone and say “Hi, my name is Todd. What’s your name?” That, to me, feels kind of out of place in this time and place. And so…OkCupid it is…
But this young lady, let’s call her The Writer, and I connected a few weeks back, 4th of July to be exact. We’ve been chatting via text since then. Right off the bat it was obvious that she’s very intelligent, very active, very busy with work, and very thoughtful. From the jump of our conversation, our messages were paragraphs, not the usual 2 word responses back and forth that just become tedious. We had cute banter from the jump, and when a few days later we set a meeting date for July 15th, I was genuinely looking forward to it.
Well, life moves on, as do busy schedules, and we ended up meeting on the 18th. Now, anyone who spends any length of time with me, knows that when it comes to dynamic decision making about things of fairly little consequence…I am 5 shades of useless.
After a few times of The Writer asking me my preference on things, I just laid it out there very honestly, “The answer to that question for me will 95% of the time be no, and if I have a strong preference or opinion, you’ll know before you ask.”
While some people say they don’t have a preference, when they really do, I actually don’t. For me, it’s all clever. I’m durable.
So we decided, or she decided as it may be, on Cafecito, a cute cafe in the Loop. It was a hot day in the city, so when I arrived first, I thought I’d find us a spot inside. I was amazingly impressed, and pleased when she asked me “Can we sit outside? I know it’s warm out, but I love it.”
Girl…talk dirty to me. I’m one who genuinely enjoys seasonal weather. I don’t love the summer, or the winter…I love it all, although fall is my favorite. It’s hoodie and cuddling weather. Put me in a hoodie, with a blanket, in a hammock with a good book and a cuddle buddy, and damnit, I’ll give you 2 thumbs up and a cookie.
So the plan was coffee and chat. Classic date. We dove into conversation, while sipping our coffee, and enjoying the sunshine. At no point, at least from my perspective, was conversation labored, or awkward. The Writer is an amazingly diverse personality. She also works in the nonprofit industry, and does amazing work that I won’t talk about here, but it’s work that I’m amazingly intrigued and interested in, and she is doing the damn thang. She’s also bilingual, which I love, and makes me envious, which makes me think I need to actually put forth effort to learn a 2nd language (I wonder if I can make that a work goal for next year). She’s well traveled, and worldly…
…and so, I’m just gonna go ahead and say it…
….she’s hot. I mean, like, really hot. Gorgeous. Beautiful. Of course, there is so much more to a person than what’s on the outside. But, we’re human. I’m human, and so much of our initial interactions are physical. We wouldn’t have been sitting on the patio of this cute cafe if her inner monologue was saying, “That dude’s face just ain’t right!”
I knew from her profile pictures that she was pretty, but when I actually saw her in person.
If you’ve read anything about what I like, physically, in women, she had my 3 favorite features down pat:
No need to get into details now, but I had fun letting my eyes flow over the contours of her face as we chatted.
There were moments of silence, which often can be the death knell of a relationship before it’s even started. But, those moments felt…alright. They felt ok. There was one moment when we were kind of looking at each other, no words passing between us, and I took it in, just enjoying the moment, the air, the breeze, the sounds of the cars and the people in the city whirling around us, and me, at a small table, with a beautiful woman, just breathing, and then I asked the natural question that appeared between my eyes, and winded it’s way out of my lips,
“What are you thinking?”
Sometimes, that question is used to break the silence, but in that moment, it was a genuine curiosity. One thing I can say about The Writer is that I could pick her mind for days.
And as we were finishing our coffee, “Are you hungry?” she asked.
How would you feel about ordering dinner?”
So the plan of coffee and chat moved on to chatting over dinner, which I thought was a fabulous idea, and I’m ashamed to admit, I would never have suggested, because I feel like in this dating thing, I’m always grabbing at straws of what’s right and what’s appropriate, and so on.
Speaking of approriate, I brought The Writer a bouquet of flowers. In our conversations, it had come up that her favorite flower is the peony. Which leads to a super funny story.
I asked my coworker Antonette if there was a florist near work, because I wanted to get flowers. She said I should go to Whole Foods.
“But, will they have peonies?”
“Well, peonies are in season, so yes they will!”
And she was right. But as I looked through their selection, it took me a few minutes to notice the little bucket labeled peonies was empty. I continued looking for a few minutes before I said out loud “Damn…they’re all out of peonies.” At which point, an Asian gentleman standing a few feet away said “You’re looking for peonies too? I guess we got here too late.”
That made me giggle. I thought since The Writer and I had talked for a bit, it was appropriate to bring flowers. I didn’t think it would appear “too eager” or what have you.
But that sentiment got me thinking, and I asked myself, “What’s wrong with being eager?” I think in a world where so many people want to be “cool,” being eager and earnest has gotten a bad rap.
It’s something I’ve thought about the past few days. I think a big part of what is wrong with the dating world is that everyone wants to protect themselves, and no one wants to appear eager.
I’m a huge fighting fan. Imagine a boxing or MMA match where the two participants spent 100% of their energy playing defense, protecting themselves, and no time extending towards the other person.
I feel like that’s what so much of dating is today. No one wants to expose them self. No one wants to bear the mark of being rejected, which can be a blow, both to the ego, and to the heart.
And I was reminded that that is not the attitude I want to have. I want to put my all in to it. If I’m going to be rejected, I’d much rather it for being eager and earnest. At least I’ll know I gave it an honest effort. And so what if I get rejected? How does the old saying go?
“It’s better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.”
Yeah, I dig that. And so, the first date with The Writer was a success. Following dinner, we walked along Michigan Ave., and I walked her to her bus stop. At one point, I asked her if it would be alright if I touched her. Other than our initial hug, we hadn’t had any physical contact. Not that I expected any, but I really wanted to touch her.
Is that weird?
She said it was OK, and I lightly grabbed her tricep, and pulled myself toward her, our arms and shoulders lightly touching.
The highlight of the night however, for me, was once we reached our destination, and were waiting for her bus, I asked her if I could ask a slightly inappropriate question. Her face immediately changed, and she had a “I knew it. Here we go!” look that made me giggle. I then asked, “Can I touch your hair?”
She has an amazing curly, wild mane of hair. She said it wasn’t inappropriate at all, but i know how women of color are about their hair. I did touch it (it was soft), and we hugged goodbye, and scheduled a 2nd date, which won’t be for another week. But we’ve messaged in the interim up to this point, and I look forward to more of that moving towards date #2, which I plan to do some research for, and hopefully plan something fun.
And so it goes. It’s currently 12:07 AM and I work tomorrow/today, so that brings this show to a close.