Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Molecular Biologist

He’s a little shorter than I expected (like a foot shorter than me) and I can’t help but notice how prolific his nose is when viewed in profile. If men are anything like dog breeds, he’s surprisingly mellow for a little guy.

He seems pretty open and very smart. We have lots to talk about in terms of what our values are, how we both grew up, etc. I enjoy the conversation a lot and tell him so. He also does not have a car and his reasons for not owning one are similar to mine. He has a brother that lives nearby and they spend a lot of time together philosophizing and playing board games: a man after my own heart.

I know that I’m attracted to the intellectual part of this guy, and I appreciate how kind he seems to be. I definitely want to get to know him better, so I decide to be explicit about letting him know. I just tell him how much I’ve enjoyed the conversation, how refreshing it is, and how much I appreciate his laid-back manner. We have plans to hang out again in a week.

I’m not super optimistic just because I’m not super attracted to him and figure that’s a hard hurdle to naturally get over. But, I also realize that he has a lot of qualities I really appreciate and would love to have even in a just-friend. I hope that he is open to either one, and I don’t want to lead him on. At least I know that if he gets fresh like The Banker, I can hold my own. There is a lot to be said for feeling safe.

The TV Producer

This is the second older man I’ve dated in a while. He’s big and bearded and seems very friendly. We meet at yet another coffee shop. I’m glad Denver has a lot so the baristas don’t start to pick me out as “that girl that brings in a different guy everyday”. He orders a drink for me and we proceed to get to know each other. He’s chatty but not too chatty. We discover that we went to the same high school but of course graduated at different times.

He tells me about his job and we talk about some of our future goals. He is refreshingly honest and tells me that he’s interested in me and has been looking at my picture online for quite some time but didn’t think I’d be interested in him. I told him I try to keep an open mind but want to take things very slow and just date around until something clicks.

He invites me to go out with him the following weekend and I say that sounds good, but I never hear from him again.

The Architectural Engineer

This is the first older man I’ve dated in a while and I’m kind of looking forward to it. He’s into playing guitar and rock climbing, so we should have some good common interests to talk about. As soon as I meet him, I see that he is a very high energy person. He was on the phone when I found him, and gets off to immediately start talking to me.

We sit in the back of a little coffee shop and drink our drinks. I’m sitting right by a broom closet that the staff has to get in and out of every thirty seconds.

He talks about his interests, his past relationships and what was wrong with each of the women he has previously dated. He talks about spirituality and his view on religion. He has much to talk about.

I have not said very much and before I know it three hours have passed. I finally raise my hand and ask to be excused.

The Software Engineer

He calls me at 9:00 AM on New Year’s Day. I am roused from my slumber just a little bit earlier than my brain and body were prepared for, but I’m able to answer the phone in time and we make plans to get breakfast. I hurriedly get ready and ride my bike to the chosen meeting point. Once there, I receive a call from him that he’s running a few minutes late. I wait patiently for a half hour.

I planned to meet my dad at a certain time that afternoon, so I go ahead and order something to eat even though my date has not yet arrived. Just as my soup comes, the date shows up too.

He is from Iran but travelled all over the world with his parents and then on his own. He seems to be close to his family but also independent. He highlights some qualities about me (being a free thinker and unique) that I appreciate and want to believe are true. He apologizes for being late and gives me a homemade cookie to make up for it.

We chat for a relatively short time before I have to go. I leave some money on the table and he gives me a peck on the cheek as I leave. He calls me a few times over the course of as many weeks. We talk about getting together again and I jokingly mention that I’d be willing to give him another chance to show me how punctual he really is. He informs me that he is usually late like that. That’s all I need to hear: my time is too precious to spend waiting for someone else to show up.

The Banker

I’m on one of my long runs when I decide to stop into the bank and get some personal business taken care of.

The woman who greets me sees that I need a banker rather than just a teller, so she sends me to this strapping young man.
He seems very eager to please and very kind.

I apologize for my cold hands and he asks if I was running. He then seems very excited to hear that I’m training for a marathon.

He tells me about some of the marathons he’s run in and gives me some tips. He offers me some water and apologizes for taking so long to process my transaction. He asks me if I’m married and as we are saying our farewells he hands me his business card and suggests I should give him a call if I want to talk about running some more.

After consulting with some friends, I decide that I will contact the banker to find out what he’s all about. I’m kind of excited and intrigued about him if for no other reason than because he’s one of the first guys I’ve met without the assistance of the internet.

It takes a while for us to finally meet up for the first time. He goes out of town and calls me from his family’s home. We talk for a while but it’s kind of awkward the way many phone conversations with strangers tend to be. I tell him I’m not feeling really well and I want to get off the phone. He’s kind enough to contact me a couple of days later to see how I’m feeling.

Eventually, he gets home and we make plans to hang out-this is after a couple of cancellations, a phone getting lost (on his end), and then us discovering that we both don’t have cars. I’m really excited to meet him now, knowing that he, like myself, has a tendency to lose things, space out stuff, and also does not having a fast or reliable mode of transport.

We meet for coffee and the evening is really pleasant. I enjoy the conversation and like what he has to say. He tells me that he started training for a marathon in honor of his father much in the same way that I started training for this marathon in honor of my mom.

Family seems to be a big priority for him just as it is for me. He seems like an all-around good guy, the kind you could easily bring home with you and people would be happy about.

We go our separate ways and make plans to see each other again. I’m even more excited about this than I thought I would be.

For the second date, we decide to meet at a sushi joint (but this time I wanted to go!). We spend an hour waiting for our table, so have a drink first and again have a really pleasant and easy conversation.

I asked one of my guy friends for some advice on how to handle this date and he suggested that I should make it a point to give the guy some light little touches throughout the evening. This, he said, would signal to the guy that I was open to him kissing me good-night.

During dinner, we were sitting at a bar so it was an easy time to take my friend’s advice. I put my hand on his shoulder or his knee a couple of times. I might have laughed a little too long at a few of his jokes, you know what I'm talking about.
He started holding my hand and putting his arm around my shoulder, so apparently this secret man code was working its magic.

I had a car that evening, so I offered to drive him home.
When we got there, he invited me to come inside for a little bit to “hang out and watch a movie or something”.

Little did I know that he was really inviting me in for the “or something”. As soon as we walked in the door, he started pressing himself against me.

Perhaps he meant for it to be a gentle embrace, but he’s a 6’6” tall former football player who probably weighs two of me.
I was more than a little intimidated. I asked to use the bathroom and then talked to myself in the mirror about my game plan.

I eventually got out of there without too much drama. We have had a couple of very awkward conversations since then but have not gone on any more dates.

The Montessori Teacher

We meet for our second date at a local sushi joint. I had told him that I wasn’t really feeling like sushi, but he insisted. When we get to the restaurant, he orders a large variety of dishes. I order two things off the menu and don’t eat very much of either one of them. The conversation isn’t going anywhere for me-just a lot of silent moments, and not the comfortable kind.

Eventually, we finish eating and he asks me how I want to pay for the bill. I suggest we split it, but honestly I was hoping he would pick up the tab since this was our first real “official” date. I am annoyed that he ordered and ate almost everything, insisted on going there when I didn’t want to, and then didn’t just pay for it himself.

Part of me questions what my values really are. I like to think of myself as a liberal gal who is not very materialistic, and yet the way I reacted to the interaction with this man leads me to suspect differently. I may be a little more traditional and may value material things (money) a little more than I thought I did. At any rate, we hug after our date, he mentions something about carpooling down to our families’ homes for Thanksgiving, and I never hear from him again.

It's Been a While

Even though I haven’t written anything about it in a while, I’ve still be on the dating trail since last summer. I’ve had a variety of dates with a variety of dudes. Some were OK, some were not. I have been busy, but also I’ve been hesitant to write about some of my recent experiences because I want to be entertaining and not depressing or derogatory (toward the former dates). I will do my best to relate some of the details while remaining hopefully fair towards the others involved.

I can’t remember the dates or exact timeline of who came first, so here they are in no particular order...