Today was the first face-to-face meeting with a man I met through eHarmony. I was a bit leery about it since he told me that he wanted to meet somewhere to watch football. Not typically my idea of a first date, I took my chances and decided to meet him at the pub he suggested.
The morning started out pretty slowly. I woke up feeling very groggy, without any caffeine in my house and suddenly not that excited to put myself together to meet someone that I didn't know at a pub to watch a football game.
My dear friend, hairdresser, matchmaker and the person I seek for wisdom and advice was able to help me prepare for this first meet 'n greet. She did my hair, spoke about her relationship and where she is in her life and gave me some helpful advice for first date conversations. I also mentioned, only half-seriously, that if this date went well, she'd have to do my hair every time I was to see this guy!
Even though I knew the dress code was going to be ultra-casual, I decided to get dressed up anyway. I wore a white skirt and a black top with comfortable and casual black wedges that had a strap around the ankles. I have to admit, with my hair done by a professional and a sexy outfit, I felt pretty damn good walking into that testosterone-filled bar on my own.
Seconds after I approached the bar, I see him. Yes, I can tell from the back of his head that it's him, except he's talking to an attractive waitress and doesn't appear to be looking for anyone. I watch from a few feet away, try to make eye contact with the blondie who's captured his attention, and then find myself ordering a beer. Their conversation continues so I head to the bathroom, take my time taking care of business and return to the bar to find - they're still talking.
Already, I'm annoyed. I wanted to leave but then, I sat down, took a few sips of my beer and waited for him to notice me. He spotted me as soon as he turned back towards the bar. I made a passive-aggressive statement about how I had thought that was him. He didn't dare ask me how long I had been sitting there.
We walked to a table in the back near the window so he could see the game. Yep, he picked the table and his seat so that he could see the large-screen TV behind me. What was I thinking?
Actually, all of this is quite funny and at that time I'm thinking to myself, I better not be expected to pay for my half of this so-called date. Just when that thought enters my mind, he tells me that this is not a date. It's simply a meet 'n greet. He actually uses those words so I'm suddenly feeling less pressure to have this whatever-you-wanna-call-it fulfill any of my expectations. Not that I had any to begin with. I was actually telling my friends that I was a bit concerned that this guy might be a psycho or a freak of some sort which is typically the case (in my mind) with men who add their profile to an online dating site. I realize I'm being a hypocrite here, but bear with me.
After ordering our meal and chatting for a few minutes, it dawns on me that not once has he looked up at the television. I look back at the TV only to realize that his team is not even playing. They have the channel to another game and so he is forced to actually pay attention to me. This is when things get interesting.
We take turns asking each other questions as if this were an interview of some sort and before I know it, we're talking about strip clubs, rumors of him being gay and both of us having parents that have been married for around 35 years.
We talk and laugh for quite a while and I realize that while there's no sparks or real butterflies or any of that gushy stuff that I used to feel when I was young (and naive), I do notice how comfortable I am, how confident we both appear to be and how nothing about what he says seems to frighten me. I do think I may have scared him a bit when I mentioned that I drive a mini-van, but these are the kind of things one needs to share before getting too involved.
There's no awkward moments at all in the conversation and when he suggests that we go down to the art festival taking place in Old Town, I readily agree. He politely opens the car door for me (which is a company car, by the way). We drive down the road and suddenly, he asks the question that I'm least prepared for.
Yes, the conversation turns to the online dating scene and how I ended up there. Luckily, this is a first for both of us and I'm slightly encouraged by the fact that he was a bit concerned that I'd be a psycho or a freak of some sort.
The art festival is amazing. I buy a small, beautiful box which I intend to use for jewelry. We look at the unique art and end up inside a candle shop. We're both equally eager to dip our own candles. His, of course, turned out much better than mine, but he is an artist after all.
As we're walking down the street, a woman stops me to ask where I get my hair done. She's admiring my new style (thank you, Cynthia) and I give her my hairdresser's phone number since she's seriously wanting to know where I had it done. My date, I mean, my new male friend, teases me, calling me a celebrity. I'm blushing but feeling pretty damn good.
Overall, the date - I mean meet 'n greet - turned out well. We share many of the same beliefs and values and had plenty to talk about. He did mention a 'next time' so we'll just have to wait and see what adventures he has planned then.