Here comes the rain again,
Falling on my head like a memory,
Falling on my head like a new emotion…
— The Eurythmics
Another day, another date—and I’m going to need another first-date dress.
Funnily, a sister-friend warned me of this over drinks last night. But it wasn’t until this afternoon, clutching my denim jacket around me as rain and wind whipped my skirt about my knees, that I realized that the season of subtle-but-strategic skin exposure was swiftly making way for fall (and winter).
Alas, #LeDress will soon need a time-out.
Much like the skies and streets today, my reentry into Manhattan’s atmosphere has basically been a blur. I was instantly thrown back into the highest gear of my lady-about-town life. Somehow, I’ve managed two castings, two meetings, two blog posts, four meet-ups with friends—and yes, one long lunch date—in the brief 48 hours since I returned.
First thing tomorrow morning, I’ll be back on a photo set (because Bills, Bills, Bills). Bottom line: at this point, I’m pretty much running on fumes. I’m not even sure how I’m still awake to tell the tale…
Except, I promised you I would, didn’t I? So, here goes: 2.5 hours with “Nine Lives” (see Day 34).
Honestly, it almost didn’t happen. Between the rain, my last-minute audition, the takeover of the West Side by New York Fashion Week, and the generally unpredictable lives of two freelancers, it wasn’t looking good. Frankly, I think we were starting to annoy each other just trying to figure out a plan. And as I sat waiting for my date to make his way 30 or so blocks downtown to meet me (because taxi + rain + 30 blocks = more than 30 minutes), I wondered if we’d both end up regretting spending effort or time that might’ve been spent doing better things.
You know, things like napping.
And like most first dates (even after great first conversations), it was admittedly a bit awkward for the first 10 minutes or so. Pleasantries and small talk exchanged, beverages and bites ordered, and…then what?
Again, he’s not the usual suspect; at least, not the one you’d pick out of a line-up of men I’ve historically been attracted to. With rare exceptions (even while priding myself on not having “a type”), I’ve tended to gravitate toward the lean and hungry ones. You know, the ones who are all sinew and sharp angles; sly and slightly sinister; sensitive, yet selfish. I don’t know why I insist upon playing against type; perhaps, it’s because I’ve always fancied myself the soft place to fall.
But this guy is solid. Like, every inch the former Marine and MMA fighter he is. His forearms bear now-ironic tattoos (i.e. Bible verses that are now reminders of his pre-Atheist days). He wears a porkpie hat that quickly begins to seem too small atop his massive intellect. And then, there’s his “creative facial hair” (which is what I’ve scoffingly termed any facial hair that’s not a well-groomed full beard, five-o-clock shadow or a clean shave—because I tend to be an all-or-nothing girl).
I keep looking for the Kryptonite that could be my undoing; but if it’s there, it’s well beneath the surface. I’m not naïve enough to think it doesn’t exist. An unusual suspect undoubtedly has an unusual hiding place.
But I’m here to keep an open mind, right?
So we chat…and chat…and chat. We chat about all the things you’re not supposed to chat about on a first date: Politics. Religion. Exes. Children—he has one; I’m ambivalent about having them. We even chat about sex—not with each other, but within the context of social responsibility (and if you think sex in the age of Tinder doesn’t require social responsibility, please log off now and grow the f*** up).
And we laugh—a lot. I like him—presumably, on his own merit, since I’m not distracted by heat, or fever, or intrigue, or the inexplicable-yet-uncontrollable desire to turn him into my next big obsession/disaster. No. I’m just observing, and listening, and engaging. And I decide that this is simply someone I want to know. So, I tell him so.
Actually, I ask him to make an agreement with me, since he’s proudly discussed the friendships he has with his exes, as well as his desire to only date someone he’s friends with. I ask if we can become friends, and see what—if anything—develops organically.
He jokes that the only reason I’m single is because I friend-zone everyone. I counter that the friend zone isn’t at all set in stone; but is only rational while we’re clearly both out here in the open market, weighing our options. Right?
He grins, then chuckles, as he extends his hand to shake on it.
“Yes, of course. I thought that was the plan.”
Did I mention that I love a man with a plan?