Thursday night’s rendezvous with Date #9 was rather disastrous; although I managed to avoid bleeding to death by way of my toenail injury, I got caught in a torrential downpour, lost on my way to the restaurant and trapped in a one-way street Bermuda Triangle of Death while trying to find parking in the suburban Twilight Zone that Date #9 calls home. Suffice it to say, I arrived completely flustered, soaking wet and twenty minutes late, thereby rendering Date #9 rather pissed off.
In my defense, I had reserved a Zipcar for 6:00, thereby giving myself an hour to make what should have been a 30 minute trip. Date #9 offered to give me directions but I’m rather sensitive about my ignorance of the ‘burbs, plus I sensed that he was busy at work and I didn’t want to appear incompetent or needy, so I told him I would be fine.
After 45 minutes on Broad Street, however, it occurred to me that I was not fine, and that I am in fact rather incompetent when it comes to driving outside of the city (and inside the city, for that matter), especially when it’s dark and pouring rain and I keep replaying a co-worker’s description of her recent hydroplaning accident in my head. I pulled over to call Date #9 but our conversation was less than reassuring.
Him: Do you see the funeral parlor?
Him: It takes up an entire block, you have to see it.
Me: I can’t!
Him: Where are you?
Me: I told you, I’m on Broad Street.
Him: But where on Broad Street?
Me: The 6200 hundred block.
Him: The 6200 hundred block?!? You’re not even out of the city!
Me: I know! That’s what I’m trying to tell you.
When I finally arrived, Date #9 offered me neither a kiss hello nor refuge beneath his umbrella when and he wouldn’t accept my apology until I had spent the better part of five minutes groveling and promising to follow his directions next time. (If there even is a next time… we’ve not spoken since.)
Nonetheless, last night marked a turning point in my dating career. For starters, it was my fifteenth first date; I’m halfway! Secondly, it wasn’t actually a date. It was a consultation. This is because I have achieved dating nirvana. I’ve survived so many cocktails, coffees and fancy crudités that I’ve transcended the earthly, self-absorbed world of serial dating for true enlightenment. And I’m so enlightened that I’ve become a dating consultant.
How exactly does this work? Well, in this case, I agreed to give Date #15 a few hours of my time (on a Friday night, no less), and to put together a little report full of helpful advice (I was thinking something like “Wear a dress shirt next time” or “You’ll find that women like it when you hold the door for them” but he was fine on both counts so I’ll have to consult my notes for a more detailed analysis; stay tuned).
It’s basically the same as doing pro bono legal work. Being that I’m enlightened now, I’m radiating positive energy and kind-hearted benevolence as all guru-types do (or maybe it’s just my coconut Bath and Body Works Body Splash?) and as such, I offered to provide Date #15 with an assessment of his dating skills free of charge. Of course, he paid for dinner (smoked chicken ravioli at Bistro Romano—the best!) but since I’m not an actual lawyer, I can’t be expected to fully comprehend the intricacies of pro bono work.
There is, of course, the possibility that Date #15 never really wanted a consultation—that he only suggested it as a way of asking me out without exposing himself to possible rejection, at least this is what my brother told me when I revealed the identity of Date #15. (My brother also thinks I should get new business cards and go into date consulting full time but based on Thursday night’s debacle with Date #9, I’m not sure that this is such a good idea.)
It so happens that I met Date #15 while driving my dad to work about a hundred years ago. Actually no; it couldn’t have been a hundred years ago—I didn’t have my license a hundred years ago— it was probably three years ago, before I moved to London.
Our meeting took place in a shipyard someplace (Date #15 works in the marine transportation industry just like my dad) and I have a feeling I was wearing pjs at the time because it was one of those late night driving jobs. Nonetheless, I must have made quite an impression on Date #15 (either that or he’s just trying to score points with my dad by helping me with my little experiment) because last weekend, he sent me a Facebook message asking if he could take me out in exchange for a few pointers.
And because I’m enlightened now and totally committed to giving back to the universe (by helping poor bachelors in their quest for true love), I said yes.
Of course, my track record would suggest that I’m not exactly qualified to give advice (I am still, for all intents and purposes, single, and Thursday night’s suburban disaster would be best described as a total waste of my sexy bra) but October marks the start of a new month. And I intend to commemorate this new month, once again, with new men.