First Date Postmortem!
So … I don’t usually do this, but I got the okay (actually, although he was fine with me sharing them, I’m going to keep his name and visage off, just in case. When it comes to the internet, I’ve learned that people don’t always know what they’re getting themselves into, and I’d rather error on the side of caution.)
Anyway! As those of you who read this little site know, I’ve been going on a lot of dates recently – at least one or two a week, when I’m in town. Most of them are pleasant enough, some turn into second or third dates, but no one’s made it past a third date since Ben – and that was last July!! (I say this to give you a bit of context.)
In any case, this wasn’t a blind date, exactly, because I had seen his Facebook profile (ah, modern love), but I had never met him in person. Actually, he emailed me sometime last year, maybe in the fall? I don’t really remember. Hmm. It may have been a facebook message, now that I think about it. In any case, I found myself glancing at his profile, which I thought was a parody, at first. Why? His CV sounds a bit … well … it’s ridiculous. Harvard undergrad (physics major), Cambridge masters (physics), Princeton phd (yep … physics), UChicago professor (guess?). Lest the whole “professor” thing throw you, he’s actually not much older than me, which makes him all the more impressive. Savant-like. I do love a man with a good education.
That said, most people with his background would be – how shall I put this? Uhhh … pretentious douchehats. From his writing, I could tell that wouldn’t be the case. He could banter (check!) and he had quite the sense of humor (check!). Plus, he was confidant and cute, in a nerdy way (check! check! check!). Nerd hot! You know I love that.
He was in the process of moving from Chicago to a nine month research stint in Japan, so he would be in New York for a week. “Multiple faculty at UChicago and assorted flagship state campuses have suggested that it is impossible you will go on a date with me. I suggest we challenge this at will; 7 pm, March 28, Fig and Olive?” (See complete exchange here.)
That was the exact right thing to email me: I love a good challenge.
Intrigued, I agreed to a date.
Of course – as you can see from the exchange – this was a few weeks ago, and as I have a memory like a rusty sieve, I only barely recalled our exchange at 5 pm – today. Yipes! Dinner at 7? In the East Village?? (after I scoffed at Fig & Olive, he had volleyed back with Hearth, on 12th Street. A decent choice, but pretty inconvenient, especially on a rainy Sunday.) I texted him around 6, asking if he wouldn’t mind moving it to 8 pm, and … um … on the Upper West side, maybe? He texted back that he wouldn’t (mind, that is).
At 7:30 it occurred to me that I wouldn’t be ready by 8. Could we move it to 8:30, I asked? We could, he texted back. At 8, still in my workout clothes at the gym (yes, the gym, people. I went there.), I texted him something along the lines of “Don’t kill me, but could we make it 9?” He told me later that he thought I wouldn’t bother showing up.
I did – show up, that is – around 9:15. I wouldn’t say I’m renowned for my time management skills, that’s for sure, but this was a bit egregious, even for me. I apologized profusely, and I think by the time he dropped me back at my place around 3:30 am, I had made up for it. But – yikes! What a terrible first impression.
In any case, since he’s not a New Yorker, I picked Blue Ribbon Sushi on 57th street, which is a safe, solid – but a bit boring, because I’ve been there quite a few times – choice. I didn’t have time to think of somewhere more creative!! (BTW, if anyone has a great sushi rec in the UWS, let me know!)
[Okay, now I remember why I don’t do postmortems, aside from the fact that most guys aren’t that into them … it takes so damn long! It’s almost 5:30 am and I’m exhausted. I really want to go to bed, but I haven’t even gotten to the good parts yet. Dammit!! Argh. I’m just going to speed this up a bit. Sorry.]
Super fast bullet point version:
- He was personable, charming, witty – and needless to say, intelligent. But most of the guys I date are intelligent; the difference with this one was his particular type (brand? ha) of intelligence. Much more academic than the guys I’ve been seeing in New York for the past five years. Reminded me a LOT of Dan.
- I enjoyed talking with him more than I expected to … not that I didn’t expect to enjoy it, I just got that feeling – which doesn’t happen THAT often – that I could talk to him for hours. Which is exactly what we did.
- Earlier that day, David Karp had texted me about doing dinner. I told him I was going on a date, but he should just stop by! I guess that’s a little unconventional for a first date, but I don’t really care about conventions. That said, when I got there, I did tell D to wait until after dessert. He ended up staying for about an hour and a half (he took this photo), until 12:30, when my date and I decided to “get a drink” at Whiskey Park on Central Park South. (I put “get a drink” in quotes because I didn’t drink any alcohol tonight. Although at one point – I think around 2:30 – my date said to me, “It’s amazing. I think you’re drunk on air.” Take that as you will.)
- Okay, so I clearly enjoyed the conversation enough to continue on, which I don’t normally. But I don’t want you to get the wrong idea: I wasn’t swooning. (No offense, date!) I just liked talking with him. It wasn’t that out of control feeling you get when you’re like, “OH MY GOD, I want to HAVE THIS MAN’S BABIES.” Or whatever. Ladies, you know what I mean. I’ve definitely gotten that feeling before (a few times) but not recently. Or even semi-recently. God. It’s been a long, long time, now that I think about it.
- Anyway! Whiskey Park closed at 2 am, and we still weren’t ready to call it a night. But it’s not like I was going to ask him to my apartment! So we decided to take a walk in Central Park, which, in retrospect, maybe wasn’t the smartest idea (??) I don’t know, I always feel ridiculously safe in New York, but there was NO ONE in that park. Seriously, we walked for an hour and didn’t see a single soul. NOT ONE PERSON. Do you know how crazy that is?? Eh. Whatever, alls well that ends without a mugging, right? (And aren’t Central Park muggings so 1992?) So. He *did* kiss me there, which was terribly romantic and carefree and reminded me of my younger self (my younger self was always doing terribly romantic and carefree things, or having terribly romantic and carefree things done to her. But my current self … well … that just doesn’t happen as often.) In any case, it was lovely. Mainly because for a few hours there, I forgot myself – and all of the stress in my life – and managed to live entirely in the moment.
- Around 3:30 am I started to get a bit delirious, and he walked me home and kissed me goodnight (sort of in front of my doorman. Awkward!).
This whole postmortem sounded a lot more giddy than I i
ntended. It was a solid date, an enjoyable date, but don’t get me wrong: it’s not like he swept me off my feet! Here’s the most interesting part – I think it might have been such a good date because I KNEW he was moving to Japan next week, and it would never be more than just one date. Does that make sense? It took the pressure off. There was no need to think, “Where is this going?” It was just “Hey, you’re interesting! Let’s have a five hour chat and kiss at the end!”
I think more of us should view dates like that, instead of the way we usually look at them: excruciating auditions until we get to the “good stuff” (namely: the relationship).
I know – don’t ask me how, I just do – that I’ll be single for the foreseeable future. I’ll date, of course, but I doubt I’ll have an official boyfriend in the year 2009. It’s just something I sense, and my gut is pretty accurate. 😉 That proclamation doesn’t come with a value judgment, honestly. It’s not that I don’t sometimes want to fall in love, but I’m very serious when I say that I’m pretty content, especially because being single allows me to spend as much time as I want – doing what I want – and then, a few times a month, go on dates like this!
Life is filled with such intriguing people. Honestly, it’s hard not to be excited when you think about it that way! (I know I sound so cheesy right now. I don’t care!)
And with that, good night to you all.
A couple of notable points here:
a. Jesus, who cares? Was this really necessary? Get. Over. Self.
b. Notice the lack of the push-up, padded bra here. This should silence the “she’s had breast implants” crowd.
c. Mentioning The Eater Guy by his first name now. Interesting. A raised middle finger to his past stipulations, perhaps?
d. Again with the tacky bobby pins! Wow. Just wow.