There have been many bad dates. There was one that was really special and then it turned not so special. I’m thinking of that night here, but you can read how it ended here.
There’s excitement that looks like piles of discarded dresses and jeans and that mini skirt that will wait for the next date because I’m not that kinda girl on the first date. I could be, but I’m not. The search for the perfect outfit matters tonight. What I wear matters because what I look like matters. More than that, he matters. This is more than boredom or opportunity. I like the sound of his voice and the way he smells. I like the way my mood shifts and optimism is born with the sound of an alert from my phone telling me he thought of me and has something to say to me.
I brush out the curls I tried to iron in and it’s a big puffy mess that ends up getting flat ironed again. I ignore the random flyaway strands that stand erect on my head like an electrified halo, and focus on my makeup. I don’t want to wear too much but I need to wear enough that when I look in the mirror I’m not looking back at my Dad. I end up wiping it all off and starting over because in my excitement, my smokey eye looks like I was sucker punched and I want him to want me, not pity me.
I perch on the edge of my bed, completely ready, except for my shoes. Do I wear the ones that are comfortable? I could go night hiking in these if he wants to prolong our dinner date. Do I wear the heels that offer solid footing? Do I wear the strappy stilettos that I already imagined framing his face by his ears? No. That will wait for the night with the skirt that I will keep yanking lower even though I know how short it is before I ever put it on. I decide on flats so if he decides to take me on an adventure, we don’t have to make up for my poor wardrobe choices.
Looking at the clock, I end up taking off the long dress and slap on jeans with a low cut top that would go well with the stilettos or the boots because really, part of me wants him to imagine these shoes right next to his ears too. I look at the clock and there’s a whole hour before I need to leave and I realize I’m failing the girl stereo types in my excitement.
I take the time to get caught up in an episode of a show that makes me feel things and I regret it as I’m blinking away tears and hoping my makeup won’t run because touching it up would make it feel caked on.
We meet at the restaurant where I forget to wait for him to open the door for me. I like the way he stands next to me and the air in the room is charged because one touch on my arm or his open palm on my lower back sends warmth through every inch of my body. I follow the waiter to our table and start pulling out my chair before he has a chance to because I forget that some guys want to do this too.
He sits next to me and our conversation flows into his passions and hobbies. Hearing him talk makes me want to share and I jump out with my excitement and I’m calmed almost immediately when I feel the warmth of his palm on the back of my hand and look into his eyes, getting momentarily lost. At the same time, talking constantly might mask the fact that I can’t understand most of what he says. His dark hair and thick accent are so sexy to me. My thoughts ramble faster than I can speak and I get a little tongue tied. I try anyway and my words stumble in a heap right before me. I feel the weight of his solid thigh now resting against mine and his gaze is intense and a little hungry. My mouth is suddenly dry and I nearly knock over my water only to see his quick reflexes save the day and his amused laughter washes away my anxiety because in that moment my clumsiness is secondary to the way his amusement makes me feel. I appreciate the fact that I don’t drink on a first date and try not to laugh at the party foul it would’ve been if I had ordered that Cape Cod.
Our meal arrives and suddenly I’m not hungry. I knew I couldn’t handle an entire gluten free pizza on my own, but I didn’t realize I’d get so full so quickly either. I want to pick at my food and watch him eat because he’s ravenous after a long day at work. I’m lost to the smile on his face and the smell of his cologne mingled with the scent that is uniquely his. He looks at me like I’ve just ordered food I don’t plan to eat and there’s a moment when I understand why men don’t understand female quirks and I decide eating what I was hungry for is better than wasting a meal because of nerves. It’s a pleasure filled moment when I’m surprised by textures and the unexpected spice combinations make me want to savor each bite. With the first taste I’m lost to a sensory moment of textures and an infusion of herbs that demand my full focus. Eyes closed and odd sounds coming from me, he can’t contain his laughter and the sound rocks me out of my food joy bliss with a smile that doesn’t even care about what might be between my teeth.
As we eat, our conversation winds down into what you would expect from two people really comfortable in each other’s company. Our meal is finished and we’re turned toward each other, side by side in a booth. His arm is more resting on the seat back of the restaurant booth than touching me but I still take the moment to move closer to him so I could feel the warmth of his body. I laugh at a joke, unsure if it was actually funny or not and inch closer and he takes that as his cue to pull me closer, and tilt my chin up for a gentle but chaste kiss.
We leave the restaurant and he walks me to my car, holding my hand like I might get lost without it. I put my purse and leftover pizza in the passenger’s side and he leans down for another kiss. His hands are warm and solid, but not demanding in his embrace. His kiss is gentle and while he’s exploring, he’s also very responsive to my reactions. He opens my car door and this time I let him. I’m seated and he shuts my door, leaning in for a last kiss once I lower my window to say good night.
And that was when I decided he’d get a second date.
It was halfway through the third date that I could start to understand what he was saying and I chose to end it.
One day someone special will ask me out. He won’t assume a date means I want sex, although if I’m saying yes to a date, I’ve already decided I would potentially be okay with that. A spin on the dance floor won’t mean he has freedom to touch my derriere. He’ll be tall. He’ll be beautiful. He may be a ginger, but I love blondes and brunettes too. More than that, he’ll be smart and able to shift my perspective with an observation. For now, I’m content dating myself and seeing friends that don’t want me for sex.