#106

First of all, I want to thank everyone who shared their two cents regarding Email #104. I feel rich in perspective, if not in pennies. The consensus was that it’s normal to not feel crazy chemistry or partner pings on the first few dates. You all voted for a slow burn vs. immediate sparks, and reminded me that the only question I should be asking myself after a date is, “Do I want to see this person again?” It warms my heart with reassurance to know that many of you initially felt meh about the love of your life. 

Update on CWFFF:

We chatted on the phone in late October to get on the same page. It was a good convo and we talked about hanging out again. However, our November availability never lined up and I’m out of town for all of December. We haven’t texted in a few weeks (but he’s also not much of a texter, which I don’t mind) so I’m unsure if it’s officially fizzled or he just knows I’m not around. There have been a few moments where I’ve been tempted to reach out, but I don’t know if that’s because I want to talk to HIM or if I just want some attention. TBD for the foreseeable future.

Update on Fellow Solo Diner:

We met up the following weekend for food and drinks (I got a virgin Hot Toddy, aka a Hot Fraudy). He was cuter than I remembered (phew!), but despite talking for ~3 hours, I was confused if we were hanging out romantically or platonically. He was recovering from a hangover, but it also seemed like he wasn’t that interested. He suggested we hang out again as we walked to the subway, but, to my severe disappointment, there was no kiss. (I’m basically a born again virgin at this point.) We made plans over text to do something the following Sunday, but I could tell something was off. On Saturday, he texted to say he wanted to cancel because “I kinda have been feeling like I need a break from dating to focus on other things going on in my life right now, and feel I shouldn’t get like too involved with someone else.” I told him I was getting that vibe and wished him the best. I was mildly disappointed, but mostly because the chance to lock lips with a human man had eluded me yet again. Due to both of our current circumstances, I knew there wasn’t long-term potential with him, but had decided he could be a fun fling. While I suspect the Universe doesn’t want me taking slutty detours along my treacherous Husband Quest, I still intend to try at my friend’s wedding this New Year’s Eve. 

Another barely-worth-mentioning update:

Months of isolated misery got the best of me and I had a FaceTime date with a Hinge man from my childhood bedroom (at least my mom wasn’t home). He’s really smart and we had fun, but I haven’t heard from him in over a week so methinks that’s that. Plus, I think I need to consider it a Red Flag of Incompatibility that he doesn’t believe we have souls; it leads me to believe he would scoff at my various spiritual interests.

Speaking of soulful insights:

I’ve been so concerned with making sure to present the “real me” to potential suitors, that I’m starting to question who/what that even is. Maybe my authentic self is really just a messy mish mash of contradictions; and instead of trying to dig down deep enough to uncover the most genuine nuggets of who I am, I need to just dump the whole box onto the table and let these guys sort through the clutter until one decides he’ll take the whole lot.

Happy Solstice and, I guess, cheers to the emotional rummage sale I’ll be hosting in 2022. I encourage you to invite any and all qualified shoppers.

#105 Went to dinner alone. Wound up on a date?

The night before my 31st birthday, I took myself out for a prix fixe dinner at a nearby restaurant. [My reservation was at 6:30pm, but some of my friends were going later at 9pm. They encouraged me to change my rez and join them, but I told them I didn’t want to eat that late and I’d be long gone by the time they arrived.] 

My “table” for one was part of the bar area, in the corner, facing out the front window. It was actually really nice to gaze upon the outside world while I ate, avoiding any accidental eye contact with the rest of the diners who were surely looking on in pity. During my second course, another lonely soul was seated at the window bar one chair away from me. I continued gazing and grazing while lightly eavesdropping as the waitress told him all the seats at the actual bar were full. What a couple of losers we were. 

After a few minutes of parallel solitude, he turns to me and says, “So I can’t decide if these are the best or the worst seats in the place.” I tell him I think they’re the best, and the ice is broken. Gradually, our paced-out banter reveals that we’re actually enjoying ourselves. At one point, the waitress (I later learn they’re friends) tells him a seat at the bar is open but he chooses to remain in our timeout-corner-with-a-view. We eventually introduce ourselves and, while we’re each on different courses of the meal, basically end up having dinner together (but, like, still separately). 

In fact, I ate so slowly that by the time I finished dessert and checked my phone, it was already 8:40pm. My friends would be arriving soon, so I figured I might as well hang a little while longer to say hi. In between greeting my friends, he asks if I’d like his number. I say sure and the rest is history. 

Dinner conversation highlights:

  • When I tell him my birthday is the next day, he guesses I’m turning 27. Bless him and bless my daily commitment to sunscreen since middle school. Turns out I’m 7 months older than him.
  • He was living in Buenos Aires (where I studied abroad) before the pandemic brought him back, and he’s planning to apply to grad school there.
  • He’s interested in immigration as it relates to climate change. Verrrrry cool.
  • We laughed a lot! I was sober, he was drinking, and it was refreshing to get to know a stranger in a no-stakes, non-date context. I wasn’t trying to impress him or decide if he was husband material; I was simply glad to have someone to chat with. It was an unexpected delight.

We’ve texted a bit and have plans to hang out tomorrow. Even if this goes absolutely nowhere, I will remember that night fondly forever. Because of the countless times I’ve gone places alone and rom-com-dreamed a cute-enough stranger would be so bold as to approach the magnificent me, I’ve always been crestfallen—reminded that meet-cutes only happen in the movies. Or do they?