Remember Date #9? He turned out to be a bit of a jerk in the end. (Which just goes to prove my theory that you shouldn’t wait on a man who is 20 minutes late to a first date. And you certainly shouldn’t kiss him at the end of said date, but I didn’t know any better back then.)
I was sitting in Café Fulya yesterday debating whether or not I should schedule two dates for one day, which (because I’d have to change outfits, run across town and reassign their numbers) would be a bit of a logistical nightmare. But then it suddenly hit me: I do want a boyfriend. I want to be in love.
Coming from one who dates more often than she does laundry, this may seem a bit odd. I mean, isn’t that the whole point of this experiment? To date thirty guys, find one I like and live happily ever after? Well no. To be perfectly frank, I like being single. I like having the freedom to date thirty different men. I like being at liberty to care or to not care about their day, their favorite sports team and how they’re feeling. I like to make decisions based entirely upon what I need and what I want (which is why, for better or worse, I’ve always backpacked Europe on my own). But the novelty of flying solo is starting to wear off.
Maybe it was just the music— Café Fulya was broadcasting swanky, sultry jazz at the time—or maybe it was the weather. In just 24 hours, it’s gone from “Too f*cking hot!” to “Too cold for the sleeveless dress I was planning to wear tonight and now I’ll have to plan a new outfit.”
I’m not supposed to fall in love. I’m supposed to just meet some new people, check out some new restaurants and attempt to enjoy myself while not-in-London. And if that four letter “L” word must rear its ugly head, I shall confine it to my newfound affection to the city of Philadelphia. Nothing—and certainly no one— else.
But fall has finally come to the City of Brotherly Love and as I stared at the saffron-colored leaves blowing across the sidewalk, I found myself thinking, “Well now, wouldn’t it be nice to be in love?” And not in the brotherly sense.
Having just returned from my first drink with Date #9, I’m starting to think that it wasn’t just the music after all (although the Bing Crosby certainly didn’t hurt). Maybe it’s the change of seasons and my own… oh jeez… change of heart?
So I suppose I should say something about Date #9. I’ll start with the basics: he was late. Twenty minutes late, and I wasn’t even sure if I was in the right place so I had to ask the bartender, “Is this Tank?” The website had said that the bar was illuminated by a huge fish tank but as I glanced around, all I could see were Christmas lights and a few businessmen in suits. No sign of Date #9 and no tank.
“Sure is,” the bartender replied. “Are you waiting for someone?”
I nodded and took at seat. Sure enough, there was the fish tank. I decided I could either sit there sulking and sipping my glass of water, or I could order a Raspberry Chocolate Truffle Martini and live it up. But the bartender was wearing a wedding band and the businessmen were too old so I pulled out my phone and texted my friend in L.A. (Being that September 4th has come and gone, my new text messaging plan has finally kicked in.)
“My date is late because he can’t find parking,” I complained, “but at least he called. And I am currently drinking the best martini of my life!”
And my God, was that martini good. Frothy, sweet, and probably 8,000 calories but who cares? If you ever find yourself in the Rittenhouse area of Philadelphia, please go to Tank and order their Raspberry Chocolate Truffle Martini.
In fact, I was so into my drink that I kind of forgot Date #9 was still driving around looking for a parking spot. My dad does that sort of thing all the time (because it’s way better to leave a girl alone in a bar for 20 minutes than to just pay for parking, right?) so at least I’m used to it. Given the sheer brilliance of my Raspberry Chocolate Truffle Martini, however, I didn’t think the evening could get any better (even if my date did show up) but then a handsome man in a gray sweater entered the bar and flashed me a smile. It was Date #9 and from there the evening became a sort of Bing Crosby blur.
We talk music, literature, film and, of all things, historic preservation (which I minored in at Goucher) and we laugh for two and a half hours straight. He apologizes again for his tardiness (and the fact that he has to be up early in the morning) and offers to drive me home. I accept. We drive, we arrive and well, let’s just say, I like Date #9 even more than I liked my Raspberry Chocolate Truffle Martini. (And that is truly saying something, folks, because the martini matched my nail polish.)