I had forgotten how much work goes into dating. And it’s all related to hair: combing, trimming, scrunching, tweezing, plucking and so on and so forth. Before you know it, I’ll be eyebrow threading and eyebrow threading, from what I’ve been told, is the point of no return. I’ll be bald by Christmas.
I do hope Date #1 appreciates my efforts because the past 24 hours have seen a succession of minor (and not so minor) crises. The first, as you might have guessed, was the issue of what to wear. Salsa dancing requires sexy. Online dating requires sexy. But too much sexy on the first date can give the wrong impression. And although my cherry red Cuban heels were a given, I thought it best to accessorize the heels with, you know, some actual clothing.
I emptied the entire contents of my closet onto my bed. First up? The red chiffon T-length, which I purchased expressly for the purpose of salsa dancing three years ago but have never worn (I was dating a salsa fanatic at the time but we broke up before I got the chance to take my new duds for a spin). The verdict? Too formal.
Next up was another red T-length (note the amazing variety of my wardrobe). Red T-length #2 has been around the block a few times. Actually, it’s been around the globe a few times because I’ve had it since I was seventeen and at seventeen, my main concern was the acquisition of wrinkle-free clothing that could be stuffed into my backpack, rinsed in a hostel sink and hung to dry on a bunk bed somewhere in the Alps. It’s held up surprisingly well over the years but after some consideration, I decided that it too (despite its Hostelling International history) was too formal for a first date.
Option #3 (a sequined halter paired with my skinny jeans) confirmed what I have always suspected: I’m still too flat too pull off a halter top and no amount of underwire is going to change that (push up bras, you see, require something to push up).
In the end, I settled for a little black dress (borrowed from my mother), a red purse (also borrowed from my mother) and my red heels (finally, something not borrowed from my mother). I breathed a sigh of relief and was just reaching for my red nail polish when my cell phone hurled itself from my desk in an epileptic fit.
“One new message,” the screen read. It was from Date #1.
I scrolled through my inbox and there it was: “Can we talk?”
Can we talk? This was not good. “Can we talk?” is never good. “Can we talk” usually proceeds “It’s over” and given that I’ve yet to meet Date #1, I thought this rather grim prognosis was a little premature.
“Sure,” I texted back, hands shaking as I tried to figure out what Date #1 could possibly want to talk about. We’ve been corresponding all week about the logistics of our rendezvous. We’ve planned everything from the pre-salsa drinks (sangria at Amada) to the lesson (9:15 at Brasil’s). At my insistence, we’ve even arranged for a set of wingmen to join us (just in case Date #1 turns out to be an axe murderer) so as far as I was concerned, there wasn’t much left to discuss.
But then my phone began to ring. It was him.
“Hello!” I answered in my perkiest flight attendant/sales associate/development diva voice (and no, I’ve never been a flight attendant but I think the intonation is the same).
“Hi,” he replied. “How’s your day going?”
How is my day going? Here Date #1’s calling to cancel and he has the audacity to be all nice about it? My mind raced as I tried to figure out what I’d done wrong this time. Was it the blog? The sangria? The suggestion that we each bring a friend to keep the axe murderer tendencies at bay?
“Fine,” I answered. At least it was until all of this “Can we talk?” business.
“Great,” he continued, “I’m just out walking my dog and I figured it might be nice to talk before we meet up tomorrow night. Less awkward, you know?”
Oh. Hmm. Not a bad idea.