In the midst of this whirlwind of first dates and despite one OMG-I-can’t-do-this-freak-out following the Baldy date, I continued to window shop in the online dating marketplace. I had lots of interesting email exchanges with several interesting men. One morning as I was going through the latest collection of potential matches that had been sent to me through the magic of online dating algorithms, I stumbled across a guy who described growing up in Texas (me), in a religious home (also me), and had opted out of religion as an adult (3 in a row!). Separated-but-not-yet-divorced. Dad of 2. His main profile pic was warm and smiley. Seemed worth an email.
I am an early riser, so most of my online dating window shopping took place while the online dating world slept. So I was surprised to get an email response early in the a.m. He was at his son’s swim practice with his daughter. Over the next several days, we exchanged several emails. Email conversations were easy. We talked about our shared Texas experience, what we have taken away from our exposure to organized religion, his kids, where he was (practically and emotionally) in the separation/divorce process, our jobs… In a moment of boldness, I suggested that maybe we could meet up sometime. Between his work schedule (he’s a musician, so most of his work is at night), his co-parenting responsibilities and my busy work schedule (in addition to my normally hectic schedule, I was traveling a fair amount at the time), it took a bit of effort to find a time when we were both available. We decided to meet up on a Wednesday night, after I got back from a quick trip for work.
The “quick trip” for work was a bit of a whirlwind. I flew out Monday evening, got in late and then had to drive an hour to where my meetings were held. Tuesday was all-day meetings, including giving a presentation to a group of docs. Wednesday morning I got up at 2am to pack up, drive an hour back to the airport and make my 5:30am flight. I took a taxi straight from the airport back to my office, where I had a full day of meetings – a lot of being “on.” I was exhausted. Not exactly how I wanted to go into a first date. Oh. And did I mention that – after we had emailed a bit about our respective feats of physical fitness – he suggested that we meet for a run? Not my best PlannerGirl moment. We met downtown, both of us in running clothes. It was a chilly mid-November day. I remember thinking that as good-looking as he was in his profile pics, they really, really didn’t do him justice. We fell into step and started running. Conversation in person was just as easy as it had been over email. We talked about the role of exercise in our lives, his trip to Japan, my relationship with my Dad (who is also my favorite running partner)… Despite my lack of sleep, I felt energized. After we finished our run, we changed clothes and decided on dinner – a sushi place that my friend’s husband runs. Dinner was fun. We talked pretty much continually. It was fluid and easy. The food was good – and he enjoyed the experience of eating as much as I did, which almost never happens. As dinner was winding down, I didn’t want the evening to end. As we were walking down the street, he suggested we stop somewhere for a drink. We stopped into a divey beer place. I am a wine girl; I know relatively little about beer. He is a beer connoisseur. I decided to let him lead, and he chose a couple of beers (which, PS were great). We continued talking as we drank. Occasionally our legs touched under the bar. It was exciting and felt a little like 6th grade. In the best possible way. We left the divey beer place and he suggested we head somewhere else. So we hopped in his car and went somewhere else. We ordered a snack (I love being with people who enjoy eating) and a couple more beers and continued talking. I honestly don’t remember everything we talked about that night. It was kind of all over the map. But it felt comfortable, like being with someone I had known for a long time.
With the place closing down and nothing else open, we figured we should probably call it a night. He drove me home. This was the first time I had let a date drop me off anywhere other than a subway station. He pulled up in front of my condo, gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek, and that was how our first 7 hours together ended…