Wednesday, January 11, 2006

up Date

Not at all what I expected. And this is kind of cool.

I proposed meeting for a drink, found out she preferred wine, proposed a wine bar in her neighborhood in SF.

Work finished early, so I was able to get there plenty early with no worries of being late and meandered through the streets to find a parking spot.

I got a table near the door, and waited.

I was a little nervous, but nothing overwhelming. It was less angst over making things go well and more angst over not making things go poorly. I just wanted to get through a date without doing anything clearly wrong or stupid.

7:30 hit and she arrived. Really easy to spot. Yeah, very pretty girl. Not in a manufactured, contrived way. Naturally pretty. Looks like a tall, fit, lighter-haired Natalie Portman. Heart shaped face, high cheek bones, light brown eyes.

I got greeted with a hug. Yay. Solved one of the giant questions: How to greet? I had a plan, but was pleased she sent a signal.

She had kickboxing that night, then went home to get ready for the date and came straight to meet me, so she declared herself in that post- exercise starvation mode. I understood.

We solved that problem as best we could, and chatted for a long while. Enjoyed a few dishes and shared a flight of reds that was quite good. Once our time there had come to a close, I asked her if she wanted to see about finding her some more calories elsewhere. I knew that what we had consumed wasn't going to solve her problem.

Conversation never stalled, I never had to fall back on any of my prepared "in case of conversation lull, ask her about this" questions.

I like her. She's inquisitive and sweet and down to earth. And smart and a little dorky on the inside, which is endearing. And she's tall and slender and leggy and athletic, so… yeah. I would like a second date.

I had a hard time finding my car. Eventually found it, I offered her a ride to her door, she accepted, we pulled in her driveway and proceeded to…. Talk. For another 2-3 hours. At one point she opened my glove box, found my stash of, among other things, White Zombie, Metallica and Black Sabbath. To convince her I wasn't in a Satanic cult I gave her an impromptu tour of "what’s in the CD player". On my mix CDs, (much of it happy 80’s stuff) I ended up challenging her to "name that tune". We have a lot of intersection in musical tastes. I have no opinion on the extent to which that portends compatibility.

We talked about more profound things. Had a semi-ambiguous discussion about things moving too fast. I genuinely feel no urgency to have anything happen fast. That said, I'm definitely attracted to her. I didn't talk about my marital situation. My profile is clear: Currently separated. She didn't ask directly, and I didn’t tell. I fear that she may not have picked up on that, since some of our conversation bordered around those topics, but never went into them. I fear that "currently separated" is a red flag for some folks. I hope I didn't get a free pass on an oversight on her part.

We parted with a hug, a long, lingering kind. And it felt like there was a connection there. She hugs for real. At one point, I had to ask whether I was missing a signal. It was 1:15 and we were still in my car chatting. So I put it out there that we're both grown ups, and that I wasn't sure. She confessed that she wanted to kiss me, but didn't want to, too. That was all I needed to know. I thanked her for being gutsy and honest and clear. Hugs are just fine.

I got home and in bed at… 2 am. Yeah. Crazy. But I committed to driving a teammate to practice, and got up at 5 and did the whole rowing thing. In the rain, none the less. Had I not rowed, I'd have felt my dating life was compromising my rowing life and felt that I couldn't have good boundaries and all that. But I don't feel that way. I feel like I made a lot of conscious choices.

I hope not to hit the wall today. I hope I can bust out of work early and get home early and sleep early and get through without incident. If it gets bad, I may resort to caffeine.

My only complaint is that she can kind of talk a lot. A little like this. But not that bad. And better to have a chatty date than a quiet one. Yikes. No meek wallflowers for me, thanks.

There were plenty of points when I was thinking the evening would end and I'd have a manageable night. I tried on a few occasions. But it just kept going on. And I thought, "Fuck it, life is short". earned its keep last night.