As I make my way to Rittenhouse Square to meet PSM#3, I find myself in dire need of a pep talk. Having recently discovered, thanks to Google, that the man in question is a great deal more successful than his eHarmony profile originally led me to believe, I’m experiencing a rather unfamiliar feeling—that of inferiority.
Having already dated my fair share of doctors, lawyers, engineers and architects, you’d think that I’d be beyond the point of allowing a man’s career to throw me off balance. And yet I’m terrified because not only is PSM#3 successful in his career (and humble about it) but he’s also good looking. And tall. Taller than my dad, even.
This is a rare combination, and I’m not sure that I’m up to the task.
I take slight comfort in the knowledge that I’ve “played” well so far. He called me twice when I was at the theatre with my mom last weekend. Being a polite patron of the arts, I didn’t answer my phone, nor did I deign to call him back. Eventually, I sent him a text but when he wrote back and asked if he could give me a call, I told him I was too busy finishing up my lesson plans. (Score!)
He called again 36 hours later and after a few minutes of small talk, invited me to meet him in Rittenhouse Square on Saturday night—and so it was that I find myself destined for Philadelphia’s swankiest address in the swankiest snow-proof outfit I’d managed to cobble together.
For those of you unfamiliar with Philadelphia, Rittenhouse Square is the place to see and be seen. The park comprises two city blocks and each of these blocks is flanked by restaurants and coffee houses with names like “Parc,” “La Colombe” and “Rouge.” Prior to the start of my Great Date Experiment, I’d never been to any of these places but thanks to Date #4 (and a little help from Date #5), I’ve been to almost all of them now.
Even so, I can’t help feeling out of place. I’m good at pretending to be the sort of girl who frequents Steven Starr restaurants, and I’ve long since outgrown my first date jitters, but any minute now a well educated, well travelled, well groomed, well written man will begin to make his way towards me; I might have been able to handle one or two of these things but all four? I can’t do this.
You went to a good college, I remind myself.
You have a Masters degree.
You’re every bit as good looking as he, and even though I’m not entirely convinced of this last one, I’m wearing my new heels. (I know I’m supposed to be cultivating interesting hobbies to infuse my uninteresting life with something worth talking about, but I thought it best to spend the majority of Wednesday’s snow day shopping.)
I’m about collapse from asphyxiation when my phone rings. It’s PSM#3. “Sorry,” his text reads, “but I’m running late. I’ll be there around 7:30.”
Great. Just what I need. An extra half hour in which to hyperventilate.