Last weekend I went on a date. Several things led up to this:
- My New Year's resolution was to go on a date (this was more my roommate's resolution for me, but whatever).
- I got interviewed on TV about dating - so, like, maybe I should do it?
- My thirty-something divorcé friend solicited dating advice from me and, consequently, landed himself two Tinder dates.
- I'll do anything for a story.
Thereupon, I proposed coffee to the girl who I matched with over Bagel Meets Coffee. This became dinner when her work shift ran over. I wondered if she plotted this.
The whole week preceding the date I questioned everything. Why was I going? What did I want from this? What sort of coffee would I get?
I woke up one morning and, sitting on the toilet, realized how much I didn't feel anything. Like, get me an EKG. I remember in middle school not being able to sleep, having no appetite, and stricken when seeing my crush. This - what is this?
Generally, one goes on a date with someone they like. But how could I like someone who is restricted to four pixelated, filtered photos and a 250-word abstract? And the other option here is I am a desperate single going on a date, and I'll be damned if I'm that.
These emotions were compounded by our texting everyday. This happens when the planets don't align until the following Sunday at 4 PM, and you have to fill eight days of silence lest you devolve to the abrupt "So are we still on for coffee?" the morning of. The "worst" text came late one night: "So how was your day?"
To her credit, I doubt she meant anything by this. I over-read into everything. But, what?
My friend: "What's wrong?"
Me: "I feel like I'm shopping for a car I don't want."
Which is not the worst thing that can happen to you. I could need a car. But I don't. And this car is taking up too much brain space, time, and money.
I then remind myself that attractive cars are attractive cars. No harm in test driving. No one says you have to buy.
But who am I kidding? I don't like cars! I walk everywhere.
Even more foreboding to this date is, well, you can just read this guest post I wrote for Young & Twenty - before I even went on the date. Hint: It's called "Reasons It Won't Work Out."
As you can guess, the date did not end in fireworks and me coming undone. It went perfectly fine. She was late, and I was more excited in whether or not I was about to be stood up. (I texted Sara the potential conclusion to a blog on this: "And ultimately, I never had to buy a car. I got stood up.") But once she arrived (and I don't hold her tardiness against her at all, in case she's reading this - but wouldn't that be awkward?), there was conversation with sneaking glances into one another's eyes and pauses where we said we forgot what we were saying, but we're actually thinking, "What the hell are we doing here?" And I didn't slam the door when I got out of the metaphorical car. There was that "what happens now" hug, which I probably initiated even though I don't like hugging, but I wasn't going to kiss her because my chapped lips would have felt like scarab beetles, and no one should endure that.
Or maybe I'm deluded, and she went home and recounted the date in horror to her roommate. At least she didn't get the scarab beetle treatment.
My roommate asked me the following night if I had talked to her since. Me: "No, but I'm going to. I just don't feel like it right now."
Later I did text her, but then I realized I wanted to go to bed instead of responding. And then I felt guilty. Suddenly I understood how people get stuck in these quasi-relationships.
Well, pump the brakes. I'm getting out of this car. And so I never texted her again after that night.
And by the way, I walked home from our date.