It’s Thursday morning and I’m chatting online with a friend from college.
“So you went out on another date?” he asks, referring to my newly updated Facebook status.
“What about that guy you went out with on Sunday? No good?”
“No, he was great.”
“Then why someone new?”
“Well, you know me…”
I have a system.
I promised myself I wasn’t going to go crazy this time. Actually, I promised myself I wouldn’t even start dating until I’ve moved into (and possibly even renovated) my new house. But old habits die hard, and even though I think I’m doing a darn good job of embracing the single life, making new friends and reconnecting with old ones (girl friends in particular), I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a little bit bored.
So I’m dating again. In fact, I’m dating several different people again because dating several people simultaneously keeps me from going into full blown happily-ever-fantasy mode. And this, frankly, is something with which I really struggle. I suffer from a rather distressing case of eternal optimism when it comes to love. I imagine that EVERY MAN I encounter, chat with or bump into at the coffee shop could be THE ONE.
(And wouldn’t we have beautiful children together? I wonder if he likes farmer’s markets. If he’s good in bed. Does he always wear those shoes? I couldn’t live with someone who dresses like that all of the time…)
Obviously this is a bit taxing. And ever-so-slightly unhealthy. Which is why I prefer to diversify and keep my emotions in check.
“So how’d it go with this new guy?” my friend asks.
“Fine, fun. But he was a little…”
You know what, let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
I’ll admit I’m a bit out of practice. I don’t quite know what to say, I don’t quite know what to wear and if another man asks me to text him a selfie I will probably scream, but my reentry into the dating pool is forcing me to consider what I actually want, and what is actually important.
Last Wednesday, you see, I went to happy hour with one of my girlfriends and then agreed to meet up with a recent Philly transplant from Plenty of Fish.
He offered to pick me up and bring me back to his place in Northern Liberties.
I declined on account of his possibly being an axe murderer.
I offered to meet him at For Pete’s Sake, a bar just a few blocks away.
He declined on account of not wanting to drink and drive.
I suggested we grab an ice cream at the Haagen Dazs on South Street.
He declined, citing my complaint not five minutes earlier about how cold it had gotten.
Exasperated, he finally said, “Let’s just go for a walk, or go to a park or something.”
“Fine,” I agreed, equally fed up with the entire process. (Because yes, meeting a stranger from the internet in a park at 9:00pm is so much safer than going to his house. I did at least have the good sense to text someone my whereabouts and estimated time of return.)
He called me several times on his way over, first to let me know he was on his way, then to inform me that it was “misting out,” then finally to let me know he was parking and would be with me momentarily.
We walked down to Penn’s Landing.
“What’s that?” he asked, pointing to the Christopher Columbus monument. “Columbus didn’t land here did he?”
“He was in New England right? Like Massachusetts?”
“Ummm… no. He landed in the Caribbean.”
“So why do they have a statue for him here?”
“Because there are a lot of Italian immigrants in this part of Philly.”
The history major in me was freaking out. How could you not know that?
But the new-and-improved me said, “Don’t be such a bitch, Kat. He didn’t major in history, and yet he’s still gainfully employed, has a house and has a car. Knowing about Christopher Columbus isn’t everything. Plus, he could have some other, perfectly nice qualities about him. Like so far, he’s kind of funny. And he smells good. And he has nice arms. Plus he’s confident enough to wear a fitted v-neck t-shirt and you do love a man in a fitted v-neck t-shirt… Also he’s been nice enough to drive down to your neighborhood to meet you. Stop being so damn judgmental!!!”
So I’ve agreed to “hang out” again. Although I’m still not sure about this “hanging out” business. In fact, this time around, I suspect “hanging out” equals a booty call. And we all know how I feel about that.