Before I blogged about it, before I embarked on it…I knew I would have to be ready to hit the dating scene again. I thought if I could hide behind waiting for what I truly want to come along, if I could just wait out the marriage and hold on for him to return, I could avoid having to get to know people and allowing them to get to know me. Because being ready to date is so much more than wondering if you are emotionally healed enough to go forth without fucking over the next person…hell, after heartbreak, I don’t think you are really ready. To me, it is like deciding to have children…you can’t ever be ready for them and you can never plan enough….like love, getting back out there just happens. I am venturing forth not because I feel I need to or have to…I want to. But it requires effort to talk with people, sift the chaff from the wheat and see who is worth your time and who isn’t. It is tough being rejected or having to do the rejecting. I am not looking for that instantaneous attraction or intense chemistry, although he has to “get” me…I am looking for someone I can grow with and be with and be myself with. The plus side to dating is you get free snacks, get to talk about yourself all the time and can wear the same outfit twice and no one is the wiser. I am going to focus on the plus side.
I decided to be ready in another way…I went shopping. The creditors are going to have shit fits but I don’t care. A girl has to be prepared and what makes me feel all happy and pretty and brand spanking new is shopping. I bought 2 suits, 3 dresses (with the help of Artsy Craftsy), 20 pairs of pantyhose (okay, not really for dating per se….colder weather is coming and no way am I going bare legged in the fall/winter), 3 pairs of textured tights, perfume, 2 pieces of lingerie ( I am not stupid…I know how a great date ends), 2 pairs of panties, a tan linen skirt and an animal print blouse. I know the guys will be new and my old outfits would do just as well, but who agrees that there is NOTHING like new clothes, unless, it is new shoes?
Well, along comes Wanna Be….I answered his online ad and really, on Craigslist (CL), there simply are no ads worth answering. Reading them, laughing over them and sometimes praying for those people happens, but answering one? Not now. However, his ad was respectful and sincere…yes, he wanted the ultimate goal, but not right away. He wanted to be friends first, meet for dates and conversations…he was open-minded as to race, age and size….just be friendly, confident and single. So I answered and I was impressed with his vocabulary and the intelligence that came through in his writing. He stated he was TALL (only an inch shorter than me…thankyouthankyouthankyou), white and 26. I was stuck on the 26 part for a minute (after all, using my math where 40 is the new 25, I am 30..still older than he is!) but I got over it quickly. I have dated my age range and older than me….and I have learned that age does not equal maturity and the older the man, the more issue laden he is. He was college educated (intelligence trumps education in my book), gainfully employed and had travelled internationally. He was funny (not LOL, but more subtle), well read and he has actually heard of the TV shows I watch….was not familiar with my music but that’s okay. He said he was willing to listen to it. Perfect, right?
The reason I call him Wanna Be is that even though he claimed to be white and have an Anglo name, his email handle contained a Middle Eastern name….nothing against Middle Easterners at all, but right now I am on my white boy kick and that is what I wanted. He says he got the name while in a Muslim country (part of his Peace Corps tour, so UTA and I dubbed him a Wanna Be Muslim) but I had to consult with UTA and Cuz about it….neither of them believed him , but Wanna Be had more in the positive column than in the negative column, so we could stick it out and see what the deal really was. I told you all in the last blog post, we had made a date this weekend to go bowling and get some ice cream afterwards, but he sends an email the day before asking if I am still around the downtown area, would I care to meet for drinks? It would not affect our weekend date…he simply wished to unwind over a beer or two and thought I would be great company. I said yes and we met. I was nervous as hell and felt as if I were going on a job interview….I told a couple of people who I smoke with at work ( I call them the Puff Puff Crew) about it, and they asked did I have mace or something to fend him off if he got too aggressive. I just looked at them and said I had me…6’4” and 300 pounds…I would be fine. I really wasn’t worried though…it was happy hour at a popular restaurant.
We met at the bar..eventually. The restaurant has two bars….one in the front and one in the rear…of course I was at one while he was at the other but we found each other. You guys know I don’t drink so while he had beer, I had French fries and a brownie. I wanted chili and ice cream, but they were out of both! *sad face* We talked about work, life in DC, hockey (tentative plans to go see a live hockey game were made) and we people watched. He asked me what I thought about life…my response: it sucked but beat the alternative. I asked about his ad and the responses he received and he said none were as interesting as me. I never elaborated on the Middle Eastern name, and he never expounded, so maybe that will be a story for another date. I really felt comfortable with him and I can honestly say he is white and American. We spent time with comfortable silences and sharing smiles. Afterwards, he walked me to the bus stop in the park and we discussed plans for the next date. Apparently, he has not been bowling in 7 years and while he is willing to go bowling, he wants to wait until we are more comfortable with each other. My first thought was, it’s just bowling…but I do understand where he is coming from. We are definitely in the getting to know you stage and this is when you put your best foot forward….so we agreed to go catch an independent film (I thought Fun one would be my only companion for foreign/independent films) and maybe burgers instead. I do not think I am compromising too soon….he is as nervous as I am and who wants to make a fool of themselves early in the game?
Oh, funny story….while we stood in the park waiting for my bus (he was taking the train), I smoked a cigarette. Smoking did not bother Wanna Be but he said he never met someone who smoked, but did not drink. I told him live long enough and you will see most anything. My addiction/recovery will be my story for another date. So in any case, there is an Indian couple in the park also and the gentleman walked up to us and asked could I spare a cigarette, but only if it were menthol. The lady spoke up that they were learning to smoke and had chosen Newports over Marlboros and she would be so grateful if I had one to give them….I did. And to see them trying to smoke and giggle at the fact that they were being little kids playing grown up and giggling as if the tobacco were weed; to see the lady choking but determined to get it right because she thought smoking was cool and sophisticated; the man trying to show her how to hold the cigarette….hilarious! Afterwards, the woman wanted her picture taken with me! HOW could I resist? Wanna Be was just taking it all in and found it funny as I did, and when my bus came, he slung his bag over his shoulder and we ended the date with a hug and a promise to talk the next day.
So my first date in who knows how long….I think it went well. I hope it went well. Who knows? He could sit up here and cancel at the last minute or flat out ignore my communications. Or he could have found me funny, insightful and attractive and we will be at the movies sharing a popcorn. Just to be safe, I plan to put fresh linen on the bed, clean the house up some and maybe even shave my legs(!) before I leave out for work. I will have a healthy breakfast and lunch (nothing that would cause gas or weigh me down) and wear a cute outfit to work. You have to be as prepared as possible with this dating thing. Not expecting a great date, but a good date would not be out of the question.
I will return with an update over the weekend …enjoy your day!