The back story of the deviously-arranged-by-my-friend blind date can be found here.
I dressed in a cute but casual outfit of dark skinny jeans, a navy/white striped draped tee, and coral strappy sandals and earrings. After finishing hair and makeup, I took cheesy bathroom self-portraits to text my girlfriends for outfit approvals. (One in NYC, one in Cali, one local – god, I love technology.) This was the text thread with the evil plotter of this date:
Me: Date ready ( + pic of outfit)
Her: Cute!!! my rule of thumb is: if you have good conversation, even if it doesn’t go anywhere, it’s a successful date. have fun!!!
Her: and keep me posted!!!!
Me: I will. Still sending you my one-eyebrow. (close up pic of my most sarcastic stankface)
Her: hee hee!!! yeah, I know. Love ya! xoxox
(Note: I was not, and am not mad at her for setting us up. But anytime one is shoved into a blind date, you KNOW it’s a requirement to give as much shit as possible.)
As I was leaving I fired off a quick text to the Prof that I was on my way. Up to this point we had only emailed. As I got close to the place I sent another text asking whether to meet him outside or inside the tavern. He replied outside was fine. I responded with “Cool. Look for the white/navy striped top.”. He replied, “Look for the guy who looks like he’s looking for a navy striped top. “ Okay, cute points for that.
When I arrived I had to weave my way through miles of heavy cables and white tents plastered with Coors Light logos. But I spotted him right away, thanks to his Facebook profile picture. I scanned the rest of him quickly as he spoke with an event staff member. WOOHOO, HE’S TALL! Dressed in chinos and a button-down with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. He’s lean and has good hair. He’s better looking than I expected. Not bad at all. The Prof spotted me then, and quickly came over. Unsure whether to hug, shake, buss cheeks… well, we kinda did all three. He took my hand, pulled me in closer to put his other arm around me while giving a quick peck on the cheek. That must have been the first ‘bro-hug’ on a first date in history. Who’s awesome? THIS GIRL. Yeah.
We pulled apart and he explained that we’d have to go elsewhere for a drink due to a planned event that night. I innocently feigned surprised (I’d seen the event promo on the venue’s Facebook page, complete with pics of Coors Light girls in body paint) and agreed quickly to his suggestion to walk through the park to another place he knew of. It was warm and not a short hike, but that’s why I wore flat sandals. As we walked, we talked about all the typical school and job stuff, where we both lived previously (we both relocated here recently), and how we both knew the “instigator” of this blind date. Prof is obviously crazy-smart, but not so much so that he was unable to carry on a conversation. Before I knew it, the jitters seem to have worn off and we’d reached a little tavern the other side of the park (into the shade, thank god, we were both sweaty).
And there we sat, talking on that patio, sipping our drinks, for the next 2.5 hours. We kept it light. No religion, no politics, no past break-up sob stories… just two people talking about stuff that interests them. We talked about his travels all over the world. He’s nice to servers. We both do yoga. He picked my brain about Bikram style. We both run. I picked his brain about improving my run distances and form. He’s very observant, even of my facial expressions. I mentioned that I love to write as a hobby and he leaps on it, asking me what kind of writing, have I had anything published, etc. As I tweeted that night, OH SHIT. Must keep mouth shut! I said that I wrote short stories loosely based on my life’s experiences. Mostly true. “Tell me your most embarrassing story.” *blink blink blink* ALL that is running through my mind right now is FNO-First Name Only!!! “What? No. I couldn’t. It’s too awful and I guarantee it will give you the wrong impression.”
“Trust me. It won’t. Tell you what, you think about it while I go to the men’s room. No pressure.” When he came back, I agreed on the condition that he share his most embarrassing story as well. Taking a deep breath, I launched into an abbreviated version of FNO, after which he roared with laughter at the ridiculousness of an ex-girlfriend walking in on my first and only true one-night-stand. I didn’t really breathe normally the whole time he was telling his story, because I was terrified he’d already decided I was a hussy with no morals. And then it sunk in that HIS story dealt with him sleeping with his friend’s girlfriend the day after they had broken up. Not too awful, but my jaw fell to the ground when he said, “Well, apparently she told her ex what happened and the ex proceeded to track down my parent’s home number. He called it. He asked to speak to MY MOM and when she came on the line he said, ‘Do me a favor and ask your son about the time he slept with his friend’s girlfriend.’” Ohgoodholyjesus. Too. damn. funny. And mortifying. But funny. We both cheers’ed to our mutual horror stories and drank to that. Then got back to safer topics. It was pleasant just to be myself with him. There was no online dating profile or 3-page email confessions to live up to. This is me. Take it or leave it.
When it was time to call it (I was starving, but didn’t want to admit it), he paid the check – yes, I offered to pitch in – and then we had a lovely walk back through the park. It started to sprinkle a little bit, but I didn’t mind. The scent of rain is one of my favorite smells on earth, and I basked in it while I listened to stories of his crazy Italy trip. Somewhere along the way he threw an arm over my shoulder and I rolled with it, hooking an arm around his waist as we walked along. Considering the proverbial ice fully broken, I made him tell me the story of how my friend coerced him into agreeing to meet me. He did. I blushed HARD and was very thankful it was dark. My friend has some serious ladyballs. And he scores big points for agreeing to meet a total stranger and actually following through. When we reached my car, he leaned in to kiss me goodnight. And I let him. Maybe more than once. There’s potential there. Then we parted ways and I went home and ate like the world was ending. He sent a text after a while to make sure I made it home safely. Racking up the points there, buddy. And he closed with “I hope I make it into a short story some day. “ Oh, Prof…. be careful what you wish for.
Overall, I had a lovely evening with a smart and attractive man. If I have any reservations whatsoever, there is only one biggie. But it’s stupid and superstitious and I feel silly even writing it out. The others I can tolerate. As for what the future holds? We’ll have to see. Peach sure isn’t going to rush into anything any time soon.