Picking up where I left off from yesterday… me and New Dude are on hour 6.5 of our first date. I felt as though our "real" date was just starting and I was already on the tired side. Kind of like going to a concert and there are fifty-eleven opening acts. They are good but by the time the headliner comes on, you feel some kinda way. That made no sense but I know ya'll know what I mean. Anyway… so there was this weird chemistry in the car. You have two people who don't really know each other but are dying to know what the other one is thinking. And determined to find out. I would describe the ten minute drive to the restaurant as filled with a nervous buzz mixed with wary curiosity and a comfortable silence.
We pulled up to a wine bar I've been dying to go to and a huge smile spread across my face. I love when a fella makes an educated guess about me and is correct. And then I got it. His whole master plan date thing. Po' thing. He really strategized to have a portion of the date for him, a portion for me. When really I would have been happy with chit chat and coffee at brunch. As we walked inside and they had a spot reserved for us, I mentally let him off the hook for springing his entire family tree on me at once. It was over the top and I don't like game-playing tests but I liked that it was part of a plan. In other words, I like a man who shows some initiative. Plans an outing. Takes a shot.
We talked about music and sports while I perused the wine and martini menus (Lord, I love a bougie cocktail). I ordered a Vanilla Ginger Mint martini (sounds like it's doing too much but it was delicious), he ordered the James Bond special. We weren't hungry following all the goodies from the cookout so after they brother the drinks, he lifted his glass for a toast. "Well here's to you being a good sport." I clinked and added, "Here's to you being okay with your aunties, cousins and mama telling me all about you." He paused. I smiled, with all my teeth showing. "So there's an ex-wife, I hear." His glass hit the table. "They did get chatty, huh?"
"That they did." Now ladies, what I'm about to drop on you is super-secret psychology of the date. This is secret sauce handed down from the great female communicators of our time. Men, ya'll can just skip this part. The key is to not always press for answers. You make a statement; anchor the statement with a positive action (sip of drink, smile, pat of hand, hair flip, arm stroke) and wait. So after my statement, I licked (delicately, in a non-hoochie way) some sugar from the rim of the glass, took a sip, set the glass down, leaned back and said nothing.
"That's not a first date story." He said moving the coaster from the left side of the table to the right. Classic evasion.
Earlier in the date he said something that I pulled back out and flipped on him, "Didn't you say we were past six hours and I met your fam so we might as well call it date three?" Blinked once, flashed the smile, head tilted slightly to the left. Right there, it showed that I listened to what he said earlier, I was comfortable enough to tease about it and yes, I still wanted to hear the ex-wife story. So without coming out and saying, "Lookie here cutie, I played cards for 2 hours with your parents while your cousin Ray-Ray eyeballed me like I was the last shrimp on the buffet, you owe me something." I let the implication hang out there. Repetition, response and reinforcement. Ladies, lock it in – doesn't have to be all confrontational to get a point across. Here endeth the lesson... moving on.
He smiled, shook his head and started telling the tale. He met the ex in business school. They married after graduation. They got jobs in two different cities. Did the long distance thing for two years before he transferred to a position where she was. Once under the same roof, they didn't so much mesh anymore. They kept it going for another six months before things came to a head (he didn't explain, I didn't push) and they decided it was better to go their separate ways while they still had respect for each other. They split everything 50/50 and he moved back to Dallas.
I'm quite positive there is a lot more to that story than he told, but that was good enough (for now). After all, I wasn't about to start dragging out all of my BougieTales of woe. He's been single for two years and doesn't like it. He finds dating to be quite a bit of work and more drama than he recalled. I agreed and silently wondered if that's why he gave me the family test so quickly. "So that's that." I said.
He put his hands up and shrugged. "That's that. And now I'm here with you - a lovely woman gracious enough to put up with my family for hours in the heat."
"I admit I thought it was a little bit trifling, but I get that you had a plan."
To which he replied, "I did though I probably could have run it by you first."
"Hey, I own my triflingness but I try to balance it out with the sexy." When I blinked rapidly, he laughed, "I'm actually good people, just had to see your reaction to that. You play your cards close to the vest."
"You already know how I play cards." That was me being witty.
"You're a shark."
"Ew, not a shark. An angelfish with sharp teeth."
"They call that a piranha." That was him with snappy comeback.
"I'm really not deadly. I'm relatively harmless."
"I'll have to take your word on that."
"You should. I'm good people too."
"Is that right?"
"I guess we'll see."
"Are you trying to find out?" Me flirting.
"As much as I can." Him flirting back.
And then there was The Moment. We both stopped talking for a minute and sort of shared a "this is fun" look, complete with vibe, slow smile, sizzle. I honestly can't recall the last time I had one of those. We ordered another round of drinks and settled in to talk. One of those conversations that just zips back and forth, no lag time, varied topics. I do so enjoy someone who can keep a conversational ball rolling. Nothing worse than dead air. We didn't have that problem. If anything, we had too much to say and both of us were tired as all get out from being out in the heat most of the day. (Okay all the drinks didn't help). After another hour we decided to call it a night.
We headed back to his house where my car was parked and made plans to talk later in the week and attend the Maxwell/Jill Scott concert on June 8th. We lingered beside my car drawing out the good-bye and really… that's all you need to know about that. J He called later that night to make sure I got home, he called the next day to just to say "Hey!" and he's called every day since for a chat. So we'll see. But overall I have to say… good times.
And there you have it. The longest first date I've ever had. You are now welcome to share your thoughts, comments, insights. Has anyone had a first date that lasted over 8 hours? I know someone has a comment about that "triflingness balanced with the sexy" line. The floor is yours…