A few weeks ago, a challenge was accepted. By mid-November, I was to find at least one date. Well, me being me…I knew this was not going to be a simple and easy feat. I may be plucky but I’m also terribly picky and not the approachable type that seems to score dates by the barrel. Then again, I’m not sure who does score dates like that. Except for girls on TV and we all know those are just pretty little LIES.
That said, I spread the word in multiple venues. At my recent birthday/housewarming shindig, I voiced my desire to plunge into the dating pool once again. And this time, there was actually someone in my midst that had not one possible suitor but TWO! Holy cash cow Batman!
As my ever supportive group of pals got into the spirit of my struggle, we all decided a group outing would be best. To even out the male/female ratio, I volunteered my at first reluctant single gal pal, J3000 to join me. After some minor threats, she agreed to come along.
A small word about my matchmakers. First off, they’re a couple. More specifically a couple of gingers, married gingers. We shall call them Mr. and Mrs. G for short. Also, I work with Mrs. G. The suitors are high school mates of Mr. G and he highly vouched for them. Good enough for me as Mr. G is good folk. We will refer to the suitors as S and F. I must apologize for the uninventive nicknames. I’m tired and I’m blogging this late tonight as I made a promise (and I like to keep my word).
Anyways, the party was on Saturday and it took me until actual Birthday Monday to recover. Life was a blur. A good blur but still…a blur. As many of my work mates came to my fateful party, they were quite excited to make this matchmaking event happen. Game as I’ll ever be, the wheels were now in motion. I’ve never done the group date thing before and so I figure this might be another interesting adventure to add to my dating annals. And so, here we are.
Let’s just say this about group dates – IT’S A FUCKING PAIN IN THE ASS TO COORDINATE SIX PEOPLE.
After MUCH back and forth Thursday was the agreed upon date of action aka tonight.
As I can’t really keep my mouth shut, pretty much all my friends were informed of my goings on ASAP. In terms of my challenge, however, this group hang didn’t count. The stipulation is it must be one-on-one. Why bother you ask? Well, it’s about dipping the foot in and also, the possibility of this leading to the tete a tete that help me succeed in fulfilling the friendly wager.
What I do love about my pals – they’re wonderfully supportive. They know my mindset and they’re ever so encouraging. All day long, I got well wishes. It was like Birthday Monday all over again but with less birthday cake emojis.
Pre-game mindset – low to no expectations. I didn’t really get a good gander at the fellas but I had a distinct feeling they wouldn’t be for me. Why squash it so quick? Well, sometimes, you just know. No matter – an excuse to socialize and drink? Why not?! Also, it seemed like a good excuse to get my pal, J3000 to join me in the crazy dating jungle. Side not on J3000 – she’s tried the online thing – slightly disenchanted. A bit wary of the dating world but curious to gain more experience. Open but cautious. Cautiously open. Not an unusual story.
Mrs. G and I had chatted a bit before the blessed event and agreed that the fellas might not be my bag but we sensed that perhaps one of the guys (specifically S) might actually be a decent match for J3000. Our chat was kinda comforting on a few levels. One, being set up by a friend with one of their friends always makes me a bit nervous. Even if the friend says no pressure, I always feel bad if things don’t work out. And as stated before, Mrs. G and I work together. Awkward, ya know. The fact that Mrs. G also felt the boys might not be my cup of tea lessened any small amount of pressure I might have felt. I wouldn’t feel like I disappointed her if I didn’t take to them and I wouldn’t feel as weird if I did. Simply put, it was good to have laid that out.
Secondly, we both also were on the same page about seeing how J3000 would interact with the boys. Gut instincts are all I got to go by these days and we both had the same thought – J3000 might hit some luck. Excitement might yet be in the wings! Oh and did I mention that one of the potential beaus had messaged her online a few weeks ago??? Foreshadowing much?
Enough pre-game – onwards!
The setting was to be a casual hang at a bourbon bar (hellloooo!!!). The boys were made aware of they were being set up but were never given any photos of us. They placed all their trust in Mr. and Mrs. G. Oooohhhh.
Truth is there wasn’t a lot of drama (sadly for this blog). I don’t think I’ve ever felt less sweaty palms about a date thing before. My only concern was what shoes to wear during a supposedly rainy night (it didn’t rain a single fucking drop).
Left work with Mrs. G and headed off to the bar. Got there early. The bar JUST opened and we were the ONLY patrons. Slowly others trickled in. Mostly those that were in the party. Mr. G showed and soon after J3000. The boys (F & S) were held up at work so we were forced to drink while we waited for them. Yep. I was forced to drink.
Luckily the bartender was quite the chatterer and led a mighty interesting double life. Bar owner by night and some sort of crazy award-winning burger chef during the day. Suffice it to say, speaking to him made me incredibly hungry.
Eventually, the fellas showed up and casual introductions were given. Seriously. Very low-key. Also, within those few minutes, I knew – no love match tonight for moi. But it’s cool. With brown liquor in hand, nothing can be wrong. And nothing was.
Not sure about you but when I drink, food must follow. In this case, pizza was king! J3000 and I quickly scooted to the pizza joint next door (I love NYC!), got some slices and quickly did an assessment of our current situation. Neither of us felt any particular predilection/attraction for any of the guys but we ware both happy to spend a nice evening in their company anyways. J3000 also noted they had very nice personalities.
Well after drinking some more and now eating, a connection did seem to slowly be growing. At least from the outset. S finally zeroed in on J3000 and soon, they were chatting so hard, the rest of us left them to their own devices while we quibbled about serious world issues (i.e. Do you think Werner Herzog really didn’t ever see any episode of The Simpsons before guest starring on it? The answer to my mind – yep. The guy never saw it).
More about this possible burgeoning love connection. When S did arrive, I had a funny notion (and Mrs. G did too!) that he had a hankering for my pal but wasn’t the type to act on things ASAP. But like any person, if given an opening, he will make the most of it. J3000 can be a chatty gal and apparently so was he. There didn’t appear to be many lulls (although J3000 claims there were a few but not awkwardly so) and well, it was just kinda cute. Low pressure and cute.
I’ll say this – maybe cuz I’m a bit sentimental and maybe because I have no real stake in this affair but it’s kinda sweet sometimes to see a guy be a little smitten. And it’s even sweeter when it’s because of your friend. By night’s end, S got J3000’s number and I’m fairly sure he’ll be using that info sooner than later. I think S was a bit bummed the night had to end. He had a slight look of bewilderment when he realized we had to all split up. Corny but true. Cheers to J3000 for generating that sort of emotion, even if it’s just for the night.
And yes, it’s even sweeter when I can personally be in the thick of it but truth is, when I am, I can’t catch these little gestures. I’m too red in the face to notice the nuances. Without the pressure of a love match, it was kinda fun to observe. Observe and send some extra hope and energy to our lovely friends.
Well what about F you say? His personality was slightly suited better to mine but not by much. Real nice guy but the connection wasn’t really strong. I felt a little bad cuz there were moments where he was definitely trying to start or continue a conversation. And maybe it was the really loud music or maybe I was simply content as I was, I couldn’t generate the greater energy to keep a chat going longer than it was supposed to.
At the end of these dating adventures, my ultimate goal (besides the obvious) is to just not get depressed about things NOT working out. At this point, I know it’s hard to always be hopeful and maintain that cool, optimistic attitude. It’s hard when guy after guy turns out to be someone you just don’t want to spend time with. Not because they’re duds. Not because they’re jerks. But because they’re just not for you.
Tonight was a little reminder of that. Things didn’t work out for me tonight but that’s ok. Not entirely sure how things will pan out for J3000 but truth is, that doesn’t even matter. I liked seeing the glimmer of possibility, even if it wasn’t happening to me. It’s just knowing it can. Remembering how I was able to generate that type of smitten-ness not that long ago and to remember that feeling of tenderness. It’s why I keep going and why I keep trying, even when it’s easier to just stay at home and eat a tub of popcorn.