Tag Archives: first date

Your Father Isn’t… Eric

17 Feb

The takeaway: I’m a stellar BSer.

****

Eric has a great photo (from a wedding, always the best), so I’m girlishly-giggly when I see a message from him on OkCupid. We make internet small talk but manage to avoid the default questions (what do you do, where are you from, how long have you been here, where do you live now), which works out well since my answers to those questions are not inspiring (just got laid off, New Jersey, 8 years and Virginia… Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids would be a step up).

He messages me a few times from a guys ski trip in Colorado… clearly he’s in love. He’s also a firefighter so I hope he’ll make up for my missed opportunity with James last year. When he suggests we meet for a Saturday night date at one of my favorite and super-convenient-to-me restaurants, I’m positive this is going to be the best date ever.

I brave the February wind and arrive to the restaurant with a lovely wind-burned flush. I feel like a million bucks and then I see my date. He’s more attractive than his picture and I flick my eyes to the ceiling as I mutter a quiet “Thank you.” It’s been so long since I’ve been on a great date; I deserve this.

We do the awkward handshake/hug dance then head to the bar. I’m pre-glowing from my impending successful date that I’ve imagined as we struggle through the usual awkward pauses and conversational lags. Gradually, I start to worry.

I ask how he became a firefighter. He tells me the actual steps required to become one, including the classes, tests, and physical requirements. If you’d like more information, I’d be happy to guide you through the whole process; I’m an expert now.

He realizes that I didn’t mean my question quite so literally and launches into an indirect history of his experience with firefighting that eventually ends with, “But really, my neighbor is a fireman and suggested I try it, so I did.”

Every subject goes more or less this way: a long roundabout answer to my question that leaves me with no viable options for follow up. Insert long awkward pause here.

Something about him is throwing me off my typically-professional-grade conversational game. Not his dashing good looks… he has a small metal hoop earring pressed back horizontally against his ear lobe. I keep waiting for him to flick it back into its God-given vertical orientation but he never does. I still can’t figure out if it was on purpose.

By the end of the night I ferret out two of his passions: music and cars. I miraculously manage to coherently debate the evolution of talent coming through the 9:30 Club versus the Black Cat (two small but popular concert venues) and to (apparently) intelligently debate the virtues of German engineering (thanks Nick!). I failed to mention that I’ve only been to the 9:30 Club for a Katy Perry concert and NEVER been to the Black Cat. And I don’t even have a car.

****

Kids, as much as I would love for you to be tall, athletic, blond-haired, blue-eyed beauties (or at least halfway there anyway), Eric is not your father. But if I’m now a lawyer, the decision may have stemmed from this very date.

Your Father Might Be…Kevin

6 Oct

For the first time in a while, I’m actually excited about the prospects for this date. I’m meeting Kevin at a sushi restaurant near my apartment that I’ve been meaning to try but never have.

I walk into the restaurant right on time, by which I mean five minutes late, knowing he’s waiting for me at the bar. I’m awkwardly fishing for my phone and reassuring the hostess that yes, my date IS here when Kevin stands up.

Now, I realize that this is just coincidence but the brilliant rays of the setting sun blaze around Kevin’s silhouette, leaving me momentarily blinded with my heart racing.

I’m frozen elbow deep in my purse while the hostess, who still hasn’t decided to let me loose in her restaurant, asks Kevin if he’d like a table now. He’s still glowing.

I order a glass of wine and we settle in to those broad, sweeping questions you hope will steer you towards common ground. I learn that Kevin grew up in the area, has a close group of friends who are starting to settle down, is close to his parents, works for the government, is getting his masters in engineering part time at my alma mater, and coaches a high school lacrosse team. This guy has really his life together.

After sitting together for a while, I realize his looks may not have opened the heavens, but he has that athletic teddy bear build that only Americans can pull off. In fact, that’s exactly what I like about him: he’s all-American. The much-discussed but seldom seen, mythical all-American good guy. Who’s single. And on a date. With me. I feel like Steve Irwin discovering a species previously thought extinct.

Our date extends well into the night as we talk, even mocking the nearby couple feeding each other with chopsticks. When the hostess comes to tell us the restaurant will be closing soon, Kevin glances at his watch and asks, “What time do you close?”

“Ten minutes,” she replies, stepping back expecting us to stand up. Kevin turns back to me and says, “We’ll be out in eight. Finish your story.”

I melt.

Over the next two weeks, as I wait to hear from Kevin, I move from that annoying floaty, glowy stage that makes your friends hate you, to doubt, annoyance and finally mourning of the relationship that could have been. After all that, I must have imagined the sparks I felt that night, or at least that Kevin reciprocated.

I begin to analyze every aspect of my being for what went wrong. I’m in the middle of vowing to never eat sushi on a date again [Author’s note: sushi is not sexy food. Ever], when my phone buzzes.

It’s Kevin. Two weeks after our first date, he’s ready for a second one. He has no idea that in my mind I’ve worked my way through our entire relationship, ending in a crash back to reality in the form of his rejection by omission. Kevin is entirely unaware that for the four days since I had given up on hearing from him, I had fully planned on starting an all-raw-vegetable diet and getting into marathon shape… tomorrow. But of course, if I liked him enough to suffer so much in the aftermath, even if it was entirely self-inflicted, I liked him enough for a second date, right?

~~~~

Kids, Kevin isn’t out of the running but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Your Father Isn’t…. Harry

15 Aug

To be honest, I’m not entirely convinced about Harry, but he picked a bar roughly three minutes from my apartment on a night I was planning on staying in anyway, I agreed to meet him. I’m pulling in to the bar, five minutes early for our date, when my phone buzzes. I dig through my purse to find this little gem from my date:

“Don’t be late I have four other dates lined up for tonight 🙂 See you soon”

Is this seriously the same guy I agreed to meet? He had showed no signs of a God complex online but now I have a sinking feeling in my stomach.

After an awkward hug hello, we sit down at the bar and he playfully critiques my decision to order my favorite beer.

“So what I’m hearing is that you’re not adventurous.”

‘I’m here with you, aren’t I?’ I think to myself as he launches into an explanation of the job he “can’t really talk about” but he’s essentially the Jack Bauer of cyber security. Harry is apparently so well connected that I can’t utter a full sentence without unintentionally dropping the name of one of his high powered clients, but thankfully he’s willing to interrupt me each time to let me know.

“So what do you drink other than that beer?”

“I dunno… I used to drink Jack and Coke, but now I-”

“Oh, Coca-Cola’s a client of mine. I just cracked a really big case for them.”

“Oh. Cool. I’ve been drinking Jack and Gingers late-”

“Yea, so is Johnny Walker.”

“Oh. Cool.”

I must be a better actress than I thought because he’s totally buying my “I’m impressed” face and launches into further name dropping for the job he can’t talk about. The bragging crescendos with a story about a famous LA nightclub he assumes I’ve heard of (I haven’t) that he and his friend rented out for a party. Apparently Matt Damon was at the bar, where he and Harry got talking and totally hit it off.

I’m nodding along, trying to reserve my eye rolling for when he pauses to take a drink or check out the female bartender. I think that I’m caught mid eye roll when he suddenly reaches into his pocket and whips out his phone, which he thrusts in my face to show me Matt Damon’s phone number.

Harry is immensely pleased with himself and suggests a game of pool. The 8 ball gleams in my mind like the light at the end of the tunnel, so I accept knowing there will be a concrete end.

We play the longest game of pool on record (for someone who suggested it, he really wasn’t good but neither am I so that’s fine). I cannot conceal my glee when I sink the 8 ball into a corner pocket to win the game. I immediately start the “it’s been fun” conversational shuffle but Harry cuts me off.

“It’s been real babe but I gotta cut this thing short.”

“Short?” is all I can choke out. “You still have a full beer left.”

Harry tilts back the glass, opens his throat, and like Will Ferrell in Elf, his 20oz beer is gone. The glass thuds on the table beside me and I realize Harry has already made it halfway to the door. I hurry after him, utterly off balance by this turn of events, and catch him just outside the entrance to the bar.

After the usual goodbye pleasantries, I accept my fate as he opens his arms towards me and I go for the ass-out hug, leaning over carefully, head angled away. Out of no where his face is on mine, his tongue leading the brave but misguided charge. I make the fatal error of gasping in disbelief, which only grants access to his outstretched tongue before I quickly shut my mouth again.

Just as unexpectedly as he began, Harry spins on his heel and marches off, saying bye over his shoulder. I stand there shell shocked, wiping my mouth, and notice that the hulking bouncer is doubled over laughing (good-naturedly at least).
~~~~

Kids, while Harry might have protected Neil Patrick Harris from getting hacked that one time (and apparently “prevented WWIII against Russia and Bulgaria”), he is absolutely not your father.

Your Father Isn’t… Jimmy

10 Aug

Jimmy actually works in my field, so he invited me out for a “working dinner” to discuss ways our two organizations can work together (which is a meeting I do routinely in the office, but never over drinks at a bar). And, I find out later, so he can charge it to his corporate card.

Jimmy’s easily the cutest one I’ve dated so far, but I’m puzzled by his choice to wear worn jeans and a ratty t-shirt on a date. Even so, I have to admire his swagger as he strolls through the bar dressed like a gym rat.

He’s the kind of guy who doesn’t just steer a conversation; he drives it like a teenager in a borrowed Ferrari. Within the first twenty minutes he knows where I am from, my degree, my department and position, my parent’s degrees and professions, and how well connected I am to the upper echelons of my organization. I know that he works in marketing, drinks whiskey on the rocks and knows the waiter.

While he’s grilling me on my hobbies and activities outside work, I mention that I’ve gotten into boxing. This tidbit is usually a great conversation starter, or so I thought until Jimmy says, “Oh yea? Show me how you make a fist.”

Is this a trick question? I hesitantly make a fist, trying to figure out his angle and put it out over the table. ‘Maybe he’s just looking for an excuse to hold my hand,’ I tell myself and try to look like a sweet and innocent, but knowledgeable, boxer. I just look like Zoolander instead.

Jimmy examines my fist, slowly turning my hand over, then shrugs and lets go before continuing his previous line of questioning. I’m not sure how to react, so I let it slide (noticing a pattern yet?)

As we continue, I visibly perk up when the conversation turns to baseball. This is one of my ace-in-the-hole dating traits, because I love baseball and can actually discuss it intelligently. Jimmy, however, is yet to be convinced.

“Who’s your favorite player? Derek Jeter? I’m sorry, I just don’t trust women who say they’re sports fans until they prove it.”

“Nick Swisher.”

He pauses and seems to really focus in on me for the first time all evening and I know right then that something big is about to happen. He leans towards me, staring into my eyes. He’s either going to kiss me or…

The trivia questions start flying like a commentator at the Kentucky Derby and miraculously I keep up. I gulp down another beer from the sheer pressure of this challenge (I’m now tasked with defending the honor of every sports fan with boobs) and because it is a great way to stall for time as I think of my answer. Slightly buzzed and feeling a little bit cocky, Jimmy finally throws me one that catches me off guard.

“Uh… what?”

He knows he has me and smirks as he leans back. No matter how much I argue and question Jimmy remains resolute in his superiority, so finally I yawn and wave to the waiter for the check. He brandishes his corporate card and boasts, “ABC Association’s got this one.”

~~~~

It’s so kind of him, really, but kids, Jimmy is not your father.

Your Father Isn’t… Sam

29 Jul

When I first saw Sam’s profile, I pictured him as one of those cool academics: cute and athletic, but also laid back. The kind of guy who manages to not look like a pretentious ass gently swirling a glass of wine while an eager crowd listens to him elucidate on… stuff.

Our first date is off on the wrong foot, with each of us wandering in confused circles around Rosslyn station. When we finally find each other, I immediately realize why I had trouble.

I fib about my height as often as the next person (read: always). According to the chart my 5’11 doctor keeps, I’m not 5’3. I’m 5’2 and 3/4. Sam on the other hand has unfairly claimed a solid six inches of open airspace that his body does not occupy. I’m a bit miffed at this blatant lie but he has these huge, glassy dark brown eyes…and a distinctly squirrel-like look to him that makes him seem more like a Disney character than a date.

Sam looks up  at me (ok straight ahead, but it felt like up) and sort of squeaks, “So what’s the news?”

I don’t know how I’m supposed to answer that question, so I pretend he asked me something normal and the standard small talk commences. Throughout the awkward pauses that occur so naturally on first dates, he fixes me with a blank but intent stare, like my golden retreiver does when I stop petting her.

All in all, the date doesn’t go horribly, and he likes chocolate and peanut butter (yes I asked), so I agree to see a Matt Damon movie with him next weekend. I really want to see the movie and as you’ll see, Matt Damon has a tendency to pop up unexpectedly in my dating life. I don’t think he’s marriage materials, or even third date material in all likelihood, but I’m not about to write off a perfectly precious Reese’s lover.

As I arrive at the Courthouse movie theater, it’s raining so everyone is huddled quietly together with their heads down outside. Sam slips up beside me and asks, “What’s the news?” Having forgotten about this little idiosyncrasy, I respond literally, and we spend the entirety of the previews discussing current events. Not a great start.

As often happens, the floor below my seat was sticky, so I kept my purse in my lap. Perhaps subconsciously I didn’t want to seem too… open… so I sat with my hands folded on my purse, legs crossed, like a little old lady waiting for the bus.

I should also mention that I had been running for a train as we left the last date, so there had been no good night hug, kiss or handshake… no breaking the touch barrier of any sort. So imagine my surprise when during the movie has arm drops onto my thigh, palm up, waiting like a giant cartoon question mark.

I do what any nice, but not too nice, girl would do. I freeze. I sit with my hands clutching my purse, eyes glued to Matt Damon, especially when I feel Sam looking over at me. I can’t decide whether to shake him off or say something, so I just pretend I hadn’t noticed anything. My dog similarly places her paw on my leg when I’m not paying enough attention, so I wonder if he wants me to scratch behind his ear. Thankfully the rational side of me stays put.

Sam finally moves his arm back to his side of the divider, although he left that question out there way longer than I ever expected. Since it’s still raining when we leave the theater and he starts to walk me to my car, I make some fuss about my hair, give him a quick hug and run for the car.

~~~~

Unsurprisingly, I never heard from Sam again perhaps because I left him walk home in the rain, or because I didn’t offer him a treat for being good. I may never know exactly why, but kids, Sam is certainly not your father.

Your Father Isn’t… Michael

26 Jul

The first date I went on after joining OkCupid was with Michael. I was new to the scene, the guy seemed cute and very unserial killer-like and I thought we might have some chemistry. I do not have to admit here that the deciding factor was the suggestion we meet at Baked & Wired.

Our date is scheduled for a freakishly warm March Saturday, so I convince my roommate to head to Georgetown with me, hang out for an hour and be my escape plan at exactly 3pm. Being a good sport and I’m sure concerned for my safety, not the cupcake I promised to bring her and the laugh she was sure she would have at my expense, she agrees.

I’m glad she did because walking down the canal path, I find myself experiencing unexpected butterflies. I can’t believe how nervous I am, considering it’s someone I have never met before, will probably never run into again and have already established I have enough in common with that we could spend an hour together discussing these commonalities in person. Plus, there will be cupcakes.

Still, my instinct to flee is strong. Claire patiently tells me that no, I cannot call in sick to a date and that yes, it is too late to go home, he’s already seen us. With a hug and a pat on the cheek, I’m off on my first off-line online date, and I feel much like a toddler getting dropped off at preschool… equal parts nervous, excited, and bewildered, while also wondering how long until Mom Claire comes back to get me.

At first blush, Michael is sweet, respectful and confident. As we move through the line, admiring the rows of gigantic cupcakes, I start to relax. “I can do this,” I think as I glance up at Michael. “He’s perfectly nice, a med student at Georgetown, so clearly not an idiot, and he seems like he has good taste.”

I’m lost in my growing admiration for Michael when he interrupts my thoughts. “What do you want to order?” he prods me gently. “They have chocolate and peanut butter. What more can a girl ask for?” I reply, trying my best to look as cute and skinny as a girl ordering a peanut butter-flavored 2 pound cupcake possibly can.

“I hate peanut butter, especially with chocolate, but if that’s what you want, good for you.” I can’t help but look around for Ashton Kutcher. One of my great loves in life is the chocolate-peanut butter combo; so much so that my future kids better be damn cute if they want to outrank it and my future husband can hope for a close second at best. I resist the urge to ask if he also hates puppies and Santa.

We sit down to eat our cupcakes (he got red velvet) and talk about our weekends. I’m just getting started on my brilliant theory as to why happy hour was the best invention ever when he matter-of-factly interjects that he doesn’t drink. Ever. At all. Now, I’m no lush, but I enjoy my cold beer with friends after a long week. I’m also new to this whole dating scene, but interrupting a girl’s ode to reasonably priced cocktails with stories about how you love to go to parties to “see what stupid things my friends will do,” strikes me as an odd tactic. This prompts my first glance at the clock. It’s been ten minutes.

I let him regale me with stories about laughs at the expense of his inebriated (and slightly more interesting) friends, and steer the conversation towards his career. What med student doesn’t get all McDreamy when talking about why they wanted to be a doctor, and all the people they want to help, right? Cure cancer, save little kids, etc. All in a days work, right?

“I want to be a plastic surgeon.”

Not the answer I was hoping for, but I’m sure there’s a need for people to help heal victims badly burned in tragic accidents or mangled by some psycho they met on a dating site.

“It’s good money. Everyone needs a little nip and tuck eventually.”

Time check: 2:20.

I struggle through  the rest of the date by pretending he’s from an alien race and I need to understand his ways if I want to save the planet from destruction. It works surprisingly well.

Finally, it’s 3 and I feel my purse vibrate with Claire’s fake meet up text. I make my excuse to leave, but of course nothing is quite that easy with this guy. He asks if he can walk me to where ever I’m meeting my roommate, which of course we hadn’t established. I pick a place (close) and breathe a sigh of relief as she walks up to us. I’ve never loved Claire so much in my life, but now I have to somehow make this date end.

[Author’s Note: I want to preface this. I had been in the process of doing hiring interviews for work all that week. I swear, that’s the only reason I did this and it was entirely involuntary.]

Michael starts to slowly lean towards me, finally unsure of himself for the first time all day, and in his moment of hesitation I instinctively thrust out my hand, grasp his in a firm shake, and say, “Thank you for the cupcake. I’ll be in touch.”

Claire chokes and stumbles away, clutching her sides in poorly concealed laughter. At this moment, I love her slightly less.

As Michael finally departs, feelings of relief and incredulous survival wash over me. That wasn’t so bad.

~~~~

Believe it or not, Michael later asked me out on a second date and his surprise even seemed genuine when I gently turned him down. Needless to say, Michael is not your father, kids.