Three Dates, One Weekend: Date #1

So when it rains,it pours.  I have had one date in the last year, and now I have three in one

Young couple holding hands with sun-flare.

Young couple holding hands with sun-flare.

weekend!  Apparently getting brutally honest in my dating profile about what I’m looking for and what I won’t tolerate was just the trick to attract some potentially good matches.

Date #1:  Friday Afternoon Cocktails

I met Ken at a waterfront bar and restaurant.  It was blazing hot outside, absolutely sweltering.  I had just come from a business meeting and had on a dress.  (A dress made out of a non-breathable fabric that had my ass sticking to the leather seats in my car thanks to profuse sweating.)   I cleaned up pretty good for this one, and felt pretty good about my overall appearance.

His pictures had not been very clear on Match.  They were all kind of distant shots of him so it was hard to tell what he really looked like.  YES he was very nice looking in person!  I was pleasantly surprised.

We sat and talked over beers and an appetizer for almost two hours.  The conversation flowed, we had a lot in common, especially in our love for the beach.  We laughed a lot.

He has been married twice, and has no kids.  Has all the things on “The List,” with one technical problem.  He still lives with his ex-girlfriend.  Apparently she has two small daughters and he felt obliged to let them live there so they can finish out this next school year.  He volunteered this information up front and was very candid about it.  He said they just live under the same roof but otherwise do not have a romantic relationship.  I think that’s a little odd and might bother me if we move forward.  I guess I’ll just have to wait and see about that one.

When we finished our beers we went walking on the waterfront.  He held my hand and we had a nice chat strolling along the docks.  Then we both agreed it was entirely too hot to be out there so he walked me back to my car and we parted company.

A little while later I got this note from him:

Thank you for meeting me. You are engaging, attractive, and intelligent. I hope I can see you again. I stopped by <bar name omitted> to watch the storm come in. Looking out over the river as the lightning flashes, thunder and cool breeze roll over the deck. Thinking of you.

This one shows some real promise!  I have dates two and three later today, one for lunch, one for dinner.  I’ll be back with a report about those!

And the Dance Continues…

So I have been on Plenty of Freaks for two weeks now.  I have had all kinds of interesting people contact me.  Most have been very nice and respectful, and took no for an answer pretty well whenonline-dating-header2 I said “No thanks.”  I have met a two people in a public place to see if there was any chemistry.  I’ll tell you about them here.

One was Kevin.  He was a LOT fatter than his profile picture, but only in the gut area.  Men are delusional about that, just as we women are about the size of our asses.  They’ll look at an older picture and think, “Hey, that’s me!” when in reality today there’s the equivalent of “me plus another 30% of me.” I didn’t hold that against him.  He commented on his size, and said he was exercising and working on losing weight.  So he was at least aware that he had entered the furniture stage of life (his chest had fallen into his drawers).

Kevin was very very nice, and the conversation flowed well for over two hours.  We made each other laugh, we were on the same page politically, and had a lot in common all the way around.  He did mention a few things about his relationship with his kids, though, that really bothered me.  He said that his daughters “do not choose to spend time with” him.  The last person who had a tense relationship with his kids was the ex-almost-husband, and as it turned out the problem was not just the kids–it was also him.  So, I’m not sure what to make of ol’ Kevin just yet.  Not sure I will see him again.

And then there was Paddy, whose pictures did not do him justice.  He was nice looking in his pictures but about 110% cuter in person.  We met at a favorite restaurant/pub of mine and sat in a booth, so he was directly across from me and I couldn’t help but notice how handsome he was.  O.M.G.  Black hair with just a touch of gray, wicked green eyes, very muscular but not pumped up.  I don’t like my men to look like the Michelin Man, but some muscles are preferable to doughy tissue.

As soon as we met I said, “Hey, I have a strange question for you.  You’re not married, are you?”  After my last meet and greet with the married lawyer, I decided I better just come right out and ask this question from now on, just to save time and cut straight to the chase.   He assured me that he was not, and that the divorce was finalized several years back.

Between the tour I gave him of my town, and the time at the pub, we spent five hours together and there was never a lull in the conversation.  It was truly wonderful conversation, lots of laughs, lots of things in common, and a mutual enjoyment of good beer (but not too many!)  I was so comfortable with him that on the tour (I was driving) I brought him out to my house to show him where I lived.  I was just going to drive by and noticed my son was at home so I pulled in and brought him in to meet the boy.  And the dogs.  I figured we might as well put him through those tests immediately.  He did fine.

(Later that evening, my son asked me this:  “How old was that guy?”  I said “He turns 45 next week,” and he said, “Oh, he looks like he’s in his 20’s.  I thought you had turned into a cougar or something.”  I was tickled and giddy the rest of the night.)

Anyhoo…. the time we spent talking at the pub was interesting because I just couldn’t get a read on how well he was enjoying himself.  He seemed happy but the little worry wart in the back of my brain was already wondering, “Will I see him again?  I’d like to… I wonder if he’ll ask me out again?  Oh crap… I bet he won’t….”   I told that little nagging doomsday bitch to shut up as often as I could.

So eventually, he did mention that he had Saturday off from work, and asked if I wanted to do something.  Great success!   The best part was when we parted company.  He was the most perfect gentleman I have ever seen, because he asked me if I would like a goodnight kiss!  No planting one on me when I wasn’t ready, no sliding his tongue out at me on the inbound approach… just a polite question.  I said yes.  The boy has very fine kissing skills!

Saturday came around, and I drove to see him this time (we live about an hour and a half apart). I got to see his place.  It was clearly a bachelor pad, with no signs that a woman had ever lived there (or if she did, she took everything with her when she left).  He had a full slate of activities planned:  a trip to the aquarium, a video game/bowling center that I had previously mentioned I liked, hitting some golf balls, a stop at a local beer shop with live music, and takeout food for dinner.  He then kept telling me if I saw something in the plan I wanted to change to just speak up.  I was quite thrilled with his agenda and didn’t deviate from it at all.

Once again, he was a perfect gentleman.  Although we practiced kissing quite a bit more, he did not try to escalate things beyond that.  I appreciated that, in spite of the fact that the chemistry was definitely there.

So….Paddy is funny, handsome, extremely smart, polite, fun to be with…I must confess that the doomsday girl keeps screaming at me… “WHAT IN THE HELL IS WRONG WITH HIM?  THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING!!!!”  I shall proceed cautiously, with my eyes open, and try to enjoy whatever happens next.  Trust no longer comes easy for me, given what I’ve been through.  But, maybe that’s a good thing?  My mother always told me I was too trusting.  And I guess I am and always have been.

I’ll keep you informed of the latest developments…thanks to all of you who offer encouragement, advice, support, etc.

eHarmony Guy: Date #1

eharmlove

This is not a photo of my actual date.

Well, I had my first date with the guy I met from eHarmony.  I don’t want to use his real name and I don’t have a clever nickname picked out for him yet (never fear, I’m working on one).  So I guess for now he’s “that eHarmony guy.”

Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first.  There are two negatives I see.  One is he lives 100 miles from me.  Now I don’t really mind, since my job affords me a lot of flexibility and my son is almost 18 and can stay by himself overnight.  I can make that distance thing work.  But, it is a hassle when you’re first dating because it’s too early to start sleeping together and staying over at each others’ houses.  So, I went to his house and that was a 100  mile trip.  Then it was 100 miles back home just a few hours later.  That’s a long drive by yourself late at night.  And doesn’t lend itself to impromptu dates or spontaneity.

The second… based on something he said on his eHarmony profile, he finds profanity to be a real turn off.  Meanwhile I find it to be an important part of my daily vocabulary.  I was so careful last night!  I really tried to avoid blurting out anything stupid.  I mean, I don’t walk around just spewing curse words at random, but I do enjoy the well-placed obscenity here and there.  I’m not sure how this is going to work.  Hopefully he will think I’m cute enough that my use of the f-word at times will seem charming?  (I won’t hold my breath on that one.)

Okay, so those are the bad things.  Minor stuff, really.

Now for the good things, which far outnumber the negatives!  He’s a retired executive with a Duke University M.B.A. and a very successful career.  Ex-wife has been gone long enough she’s not lurking around to cause trouble.  Kids are about 30 years old so they are grown and gone, but not so old that they’re too close to my age.  (He is 18 years older than me, and I didn’t list that under the negatives because I just don’t see it as one.  But, given that age difference, it would be possible for him to have kids close to my age, and that’s never a good thing).  He’s tall and built like a brick house from playing tons and tons of tennis.  Even has a cute butt, which is rare on a 65 year old man I must say.  He has a full head of pretty silver hair and very striking, classically handsome features.  He loves the ocean and the water and that makes two of us!  And get this… my second marriage lasted about five days before I knew I screwed up.  Thank goodness it wasn’t legally binding, as you’ll recall.  Well, guess who else had a second marriage that was about as successful?  Yeah, eHarmony guy!  I mean, I’m sorry he had that happen to him but we do have that in common.  Nothing like thinking you’re on the road to relationship happiness and finding out that the person riding shotgun with you is nuts, now is there?!?  We’ve both been there and done that!

Anyway, so he has a lot of really good qualities and seems to be genuinely interested in finding a meaningful relationship.  So far, so good.  Now, about that date.

He took me to a Japanese fusion place that did not disappoint.  It was very upscale with outstanding service and amazing food.  I was well-fed on a hot pot of lobster, sea bass and prawns.   Next, he wanted to take me to a movie, and gave me two choices:  “Wild” with Reese Witherspoon or “50 Shades of Grey.”  He said those were the only two movies he hadn’t seen and was really interested in seeing.  After hearing what “Wild” was about I opted for “50 Shades” although I was a bit hesitant to see that kind of movie on a first date.  Admittedly, my concern was that something that risqué might make “Hot ‘n’ Horny Me” show up afterwards.  That would have been unfortunate, as I was determined to move slowly!

Well, the movie scheduling deity was in my favor because as it turned out there was no showing of “50 Shades” when we arrived.  The only movie available to see on our timetable was “Wild” so we went with that.  Once we got settled in to our seats we linked arms and that was kind of nice.  And sweet.  Ever-so-romantic but quite innocent.

Afterwards he wanted to watch the Carolina/Duke basketball game on tv back at his house.  I told him I would stay and watch a few minutes of it, but I had 100 miles to drive home and I didn’t want to get home too late.   He seemed genuinely concerned about my being on the road so after just a few minutes he suggested I get going so I wouldn’t be out driving after midnight.  I wasn’t sure if that was genuine concern or if he was really tired of me and wanted me to leave.  But, he walked me to the car and gave me a goodnight kiss.  And my my, it was spectacular!  The boy had game!

Highway-to-Monument-Valley-Photo-by-David-CardinalI drove home all happy and I daresay slightly giddy.  I also pondered the week behind me.  I felt relieved to have finally ripped off the proverbial band-aid where Six Flags was concerned.  It made it possible for me to approach this evening with an open mind and no thoughts about what might be possible elsewhere.  That was definitely a long overdue occurrence.  I feel that I’m no longer looking in my rear view mirror.  Instead, my eyes are focused on the road ahead, and the possibilities are infinite and bright.

This morning I got a very sweet text message from eHarmony guy.  He spoke very highly of the kiss, and said he “felt the chemistry.”  So it looks like we might just see each other again.  We both have busy travel schedules for the next few weeks so I’m not sure how we’re going to work out dating but I’m sure we’ll think of something.  Until then….

 

To Sleep With or Not…?

I am intrigued by the number of people who offer me advice on whether or not to have sex with someone on the first date.  It is not in my nature to ask friends things like, ” Should I screw my date tonight?  I’ve never met him, but I was nonetheless thinking about good old fashioned monkey sex with a stranger.  Do I have your approval?

Even though I don’t ask that question, people still volunteer their opinions to me.  The truth is there’s really only one opinion submitted:  “If you like him, don’t have sex with him.”   Last weekend I had someone actually say (again, unsolicited):  “If you really like this guy, don’t have sex with him.  If you don’t really like him or think you won’t want to see him again, go for it and jump in bed with him.”

This sounds like some namby pamby crap I’ve heard before.  Yes, I heard it… in Sex And The City.
imagesCharlotte York: Wait a second! I thought you were serious about this guy, you can’t sleep with him on the first date.
Samantha Jones: Oh, God!
Miranda Hobbes: Here she goes again with ‘The Rules.’
Samantha Jones: The women who wrote that book, they wrote it because they couldn’t get laid. So they constructed this whole bullshit theory to make women who can get laid feel bad.

Steve Harvey (a game show host) says that a woman should wait 90 days before being intimate with a man.  It supposedly takes that long for him to build emotional commitment with her, and, I find that disturbing.  You’re telling me it’s a game?   “I’ll wait 90 days to have sex so you’re invested in me….” sounds manipulative and very much like someone in search of an M.R.S. degree.

Seriously, if that really and truly is how this dating thing works, then stop the ride because I want off now.  Why it is that in 2014 a woman still has to be coy, hold out, and play games or else she is described as having no self respect?   As women we have worked hard for equal pay and equal rights, and I find it hard to believe that any man worth having around would judge a girl as unworthy of his ongoing company because he asked her for sex on the first date and she gave it to him.

I’m not suggesting that sex should happen on the first date, I’m just saying that if two people are attracted to each other and having a good time, unless maybe you have some religious restrictions on sex out of wedlock, who is to say it’s a bad idea?  According to this study, 55% of singles out there have sex on the first date.   (Maybe it’s the other 45% who are having successful relationships by keeping their legs crossed?  I really don’t know.)  What I do know is that sexual incompatibility is a major reason that  relationships fall apart.  It is logical to me  that to head that problem off you would want to test compatibility sooner rather than later.  Not because you are easy, but because life is too short to spend three months teasing someone only to find out that you can’t find common ground in the bedroom.

I confess…I’ve “given it up” on the first date in the past.  Not every first date, but yeah, I’ve done it.  And I’d say more times than not I did hear from them again.  In one case I almost married the guy over two years later.  (Yes, I know that’s a bad example, but it disproves the theory that sex on the first date makes them run away!)  Any guy who is going to “hit it and quit it” just to see if he can is an asshole anyway, and not someone I’d really want to keep around in the first place.  Samantha Jones made a very good point:  “A guy could just as easily dump you if you f*!k him on the first date as he can if you wait until the tenth.”  

But even wiser words were spoken when she said this:  “The right guy is an illusion.  Start living your lives.”  

A First Date Menu

first-dateI love to cook and I love to have the first or second date with someone around a meal of my choosing.  I’m pretty skilled in the kitchen and so it’s my chance to show off one of my strengths.  It’s also my chance to see if they know how to use a knife and fork, and, if they appreciate good food.

Here’s my favorite first date menu.  Hope it works for you:

Shrimp kabobs

  • 1 pound of FRESH shrimp, jumbo size, peeled and deveined.  Do NOT get frozen shrimp.  You might as well just substitute in chicken breasts if you’re going to do that.
  • Three cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced
  • 1/4 cup of Persian lime-infused olive oil (available at www.beaufortoliveoil.com)
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. Fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of Sriracha Sauce
  • The zest from one lime, finely minced

Combine all these ingredients in a ziplock bag and leave them for at least four hours.  Overnight is even better.

Then get

  • 4 slices of thick cut bacon, cut up into 2″ long pieces
  • 1 large vidalia onion, cut into 2″ pieces.
  • 4 to 6 wooden skewers.
  • Pam or other cooking spray

Soak wooden skewers in water for an hour, then spray with cooking spray.  Thread a piece of onion, then a shrimp, then a piece of bacon, and repeat until you’ve threaded up all the goodies.

This is best served grilled over charcoal, but for heaven sakes do NOT get the shrimp overdone or you’ll be serving your date little rubbery things to eat.  Get the bacon nice and hot and you’re DONE.  About 3 or 4 minutes on each side and if the shrimp are nice and pink then they are done.  Onions will still be firm to the tooth, but that’s okay!

 

Fresh Salad with Homemade Dressing

Do not skimp on salad stuff, and do NOT use storebought dressing.  Nothing screams “I’m lazy” like that Krapt in a bottle.  Homemade dressing is super easy to make and tastes much better than the junk in a bottle.

For the salad, get some nice mixed baby greens, some shredded carrots for color, a fresh cucumber diced small, and some good heirloom cherry tomatoes sliced in half.  I love Trader Joe’s for salad stuff, if you have one near you that’s the place to shop.

For the dressing, it’s easy.   I swiped this ingredient list off of www.rachelray.com but there are a ton of simple vinaigrette recipes out there online.

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small shallot, grated
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the first five ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together thoroughly.  Then slowly whisk in the olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Just before serving the salad pour the dressing over and mix to combine thoroughly so the dressing coats all the lettuces and veggies.

Finish it off with some freshly grated parmesan or some nice feta cheese.  Avoid blue cheese because you don’t want everyone to have funky breath later in the evening if you get lucky (you’ve already got onion and garlic… stick to that for your breath enhancements).

For dessert… well, I’d have some really good ice cream and fruit waiting.  Whether you eat it out of a bowl or off his chest is entirely up to you.  Bon Apetit!