Thursday, November 29, 2007
So, back to the four dates in five days...
Just after I submitted my ad, I went to LA for a week to see my parents. It's restful, visiting them. The main event might be going to one of the several malls, or going all out and visiting the fancy outlet mall. Woohoooo.
I always drive, my mom riding shotgun. She grabs onto the handle of the door whenever the car is remotely close to any other car. Between the grabbing and driving with those crazy Californians, I am cool under pressure. I could drive a tank in warfare. Through a minefield. In the dark.
The trip was perfect timing. It was great to relax with the parents, and when I returned to New York, the dates were planned. Then it was just a matter of getting them over with.
First date was with a copy writer. I don't remember his name, but he was tall-ish and had dark curly hair. His emails were very nice and polite (which counts) and having a drink with him seemed like a good way to start what I assumed would be a summer of dating.
My thinking was - hm...copy writer. Somewhat smart, a little on the creative side, probably quiet, detail-oriented (which can be good or bad). Probably not obnoxious.
At my suggestion, we met at Paladar, a fun Cuban place on Ludlow, on the Lower East Side. They serve great mohitos and caipirinhas, perfect summertime drinks.
I must have been slightly nervous beforehand, but I had zero invested in the evening. I was expecting to be proven right again, that the world was a big, lonely place, that in a city of so many single people, I was destined to stay single, that guys weren't to be trusted. So after work that night, I scampered across town. I didn't tell a soul about where I was off to, and I didn't expect a thing.
When I walked in, Nameless Guy was sitting at the bar, looking like a nervous version of his ad. There was an awkward handshake and the immediate ordering of drinks. Since it was early, we were the only ones there, so it wasn't too obviously weird (like 'Hi, nice meeting you for the first time ever after exchanging a couple brief emails. How interesting to see you in real life. Thank goodness you're not 10 years older than your photo').
Nameless Guy had gone to an arts school for his degree, and I had photographer friends who'd gone to the same school. We talked about that. We talked about the freelancing life, living in New York, writing, etc., etc.,...and then realized there was absolutely no chemistry whatsoever. None.
After a while, we were groping for conversation. Talking to a complete stranger can go either way. I'm usually pretty good at chit chat, but that night it was like trying to suffer through Chem class, or worse, Physics.
I felt bad because Nameless Guy was obviously a nice person. But in the end, what can you do. It wasn't about either of us being nice or interesting. It wasn't personal. And this was exactly the kind of mindset I needed for my dating adventure.
Nameless nice guy and I shook hands at the end of the evening, and it was understood that nothing more was expected. I walked off feeling slightly blue, but generally okay. I hadn't gained anything, but I hadn't lost anything either.
I just kept my chin up and kept walking.
Photo by myself, in Hell's Kitchen.