I’ve been getting quite a few questions about my little experiment, although seeing as I’m gearing up for my fourteenth first date since the beginning of August, “little” no longer seems like the right word. Since I’ve have a break for the past two nights (by which I mean I’ve been working instead of dating), I thought I’d take the time to respond to your questions, and maybe figure out what the heck I’m doing in the process.
(Please note that this “experiment” is a work in progress, it’s about as scientific as the “crack” cookie recipe my flat mates and I “invented” during grad school and, above all, it’s meant to be lighthearted. If you’re looking for a highbrow meditation on modern feminism, I’d be happy to post a few of my old Oxford reading lists but something tells me that if you’re reading this, you’d rather just enjoy your morning cup of coffee with a side of humor.)
Question: What happens if someone wants a second date?
Answer: I put them through my Second Date Matrix, of course! Height, political views, income, and willingness to put up with me are all carefully calculated. If the date in question scores an 8 or above (on a scale of 10), I say yes; if not, I send them a form email that reads, “Thank you for being a contestant on the Kat Richter Dating Spectacular. Unfortunately, Kat has moved on and you won’t be moving on with her but please see the hostess on your way out for a lovely parting gift.”
Actually, I don’t do any of that. Taking the opposite approach to America’s anti-drug campaign, I generally Just Say Yes! Unless of course the man in question is completely undesirable and therefore undeserving of a second date, in which case I find that a polite but direct text message usually does the trick.
Q: Are you worried that you might skip right on past “The One?”
A: Absolutely! I’m worried about everything in this project, ranging from “Do these shoes look good with this dress?” to “Have I lost my mind?” I’m having a few moral qualms as well but I think I’ll address these on Sunday since Sundays are when I teach First Day School (which is Quaker Sunday School and no, I’m not kidding) and I’ll be feeling a bit more enlightened over the weekend.
Getting back to your questions, yes, I’m already second guessing myself for the “just friends” email I sent Date #10 yesterday, especially after receiving his reply (“Well, Kat, I already have enough friends. Good luck in your search”). What Date #10 doesn’t realize is that I don’t have enough friends, at least not here in Philadelphia, but I do have one small consolation: Date #10 doesn’t like sushi. How can I hang out with someone who doesn’t like sushi?
Q: What happened with Date #13?
A: We sat around and gossiped about which of our old classmates have gotten knocked up, arrested and/or kicked out of the Marines.
Q: Is there going to be a Round 2?
A: Eventually, but just as friends. I’ve yet to ascertain his views on sushi so he’s safe for now.
Q: Date #9 sounds good so far. Is he going to be your last first date?
A: Nope. I’m meeting Date #14 tomorrow. I’d be lying, however, if I said there wasn’t a small part of me that wanted to just give up on #15-30 and concentrate on building an actual relationship with #9.
Q: But if you call it quits, what would you write about?
A: I have no idea! Something tells me my readership would plummet if I were to, say, re-name my blog “What color nail polish is Kat wearing today?” or “Kat’s complaining about SEPTA… again.” Blogging about work (yes, I do occasionally take a break from dating to pretend I’m a productive member of society) is also out of the question. Part of me kind of hoped that Corporate would find my blog when I worked at The Shop, and that I’d get fired over it. But now that I’m back to teaching several nights a week, I don’t want to get fired because I actually like my job.
Q: How is it possible that a woman of your obvious good looks doesn’t have men at your beck and call?
A: I know, right? (By the way, this question totally made my day.) In all seriousness, it has to do with the fact that I don’t get out much, or at least I didn’t until last month, and I’m picky. On top of that, I’m also kind of shy. I haven’t been out dancing since returning to the US and I do my best work on the dance floor (just ask my old flat mates… rare indeed was the night I left TigerTiger without a phone number and some hapless bloke begging me to come home with him. But the men who frequent the nightclubs of Piccadilly Circus are not exactly… well, they’re no Fitzwilliam Darcy’s).
Q: Can second (or third) dates count as a date? Or does it have to be 30 First Dates?
A: What a great question! If I were counting all dates, I’d be up to 20 by Sunday! (A gold star to whoever can recall which three men, in addition, to #9, earned themselves a second date.) I recently hosted a friend from the UK who brought to my attention that fact that I might reach my goal a little sooner, and with much less effort, if I were to engage in a bit of mathematical finagling. We shall see.
Q: Do you seriously have world population map above your bed?
A: What, you mean socially conscious cartographic renderings aren’t sexy? I hope you’re not suggesting that I get rid of its buddy, my full size Mercator Projection, too.
And last but not least:
Q: Wow, Kat, you have such awesome style sense! I’m so jealous and was wondering if you’ll be conducting bargain basement tours of Philadelphia’s hot spots (and your mother’s wardrobe) any time soon?
A: Okay, so actually no one has asked me that, but the answer would be “Yes!” I should warn you, however, that the last time I took an out-of-town friend to Jomar’s it turned into an epic three hour adventure, with nary a coffee shop in sight. Nonetheless, I scored a brand new ball gown for ten bucks. I’m hoping that someone will give me an occasion to wear it one of these days.