Okay, so last time I told you about the blind date my friend Grace wanted to set me up on. I told you how nervous I was to go, and in the end I decided this:
Maybe it’s a bit like pulling off a bandage or jumping into cold lake water: you just have to gird your loins, grit your teeth and get it over with quickly.
And so, with some advice (and prodding – thanks, Grace) from friends, I decided to take a risk and just go on the darn date, already!
So: you’re probably wondering how it went?
Well, that remains to be seen! So…sit down, get a cup of tea or a glass of wine, and I’ll dish.
We agreed to meet at a Starbucks about halfway between his work and mine. We decided on a Friday evening after work – that was best for me because my kids were with their dad. The after work coffee thing was good, too. Not very risky, really. Drinks would worry me, because you’re either in a bar or a restaurant, either one of which could lead to pressure to extend the date into a meal or the possibility of drunkenness and the generally bad decisions that go along with that condition. Ahem.
So, coffee seemed a safe bet: I might get a bit jumpy, but I wouldn’t end up doing or saying things I might regret the next day. Plus, Starbucks just seems like the perfectly cliché place to meet for a blind date, right?
Okay, so I get to Starbucks, and kind of wander around like I’ve lost someone, looking for this guy who I don’t know, but who I should recognize, because I’ve seen lots of pictures of him and also, he told me he’d be wearing a grey suit and pink shirt (he works in the financial industry, so that’s kind of the standard uniform, except for the pink shirt. But I kinda liked that he was confident enough to wear a pink shirt). So of course, he’s not there. And I can’t figure out if I’m relieved or worried. In one way, it’s nice to get there first. Then I can find a spot, act all cool, and let him be the one to look for me and approach me. On the other hand, do I look weird or desperate being here first? And should I get a drink first, so he doesn’t feel he has to pay for me? If I do, should I get him one too? But what does he like? Just a plain latte? But if he doesn’t like it, he’ll feel obliged to drink it because I already bought it. So probably I should just sit at a table and wait for him. Are you even allowed to just saunter into Starbucks and sit down without buying something first? Aaaauuugggghhh!
As it happens, just as my upper lip is beginning to sweat from the stress of worrying over all the possibilities, I see two things at once: the two comfy velvet easy chairs by the fireplace have just opened up, and a tall man is about to snag them. I dash over to the prize seating spot and plop my purse down on one chair just as the gent drops his newspaper on the other. Grrrrr. Now I’m going to have to confront this random dude over the fireplace seats. It’s almost as bad as facing down another car for the good parking spot. And I hate confrontations.
I turn, ready to assert my territorial rights, and burst out laughing. There before me, fighting for the good seat, is my date, pink shirt and all. Of course I recognize him! And a split second later, he realizes it’s me, too. “Claire?” He asks. I nod, and we shake hands. He then gestures very gallantly and theatrically for me to sit down, as if he hadn’t just been ready to kick me to the curb over that very same chair. I smile, and take my seat.
So it’s off to a good start.