As of now, I have two gents in the running for…exactly what, I don’t know, but so far they’ve both seemed to have stuck around for a bit so we will see what happens.
The first, I shall refer to as Wojo. Wojo is a handsome, late-20s Navy officer who lives fairly close to me by way of being stationed in the area over the summer. We matched on Tinder in mid-December and had immediate conversational chemistry. We exchanged numbers within some days and from there managed to have one phone conversation in the week before Christmas where we scheduled to meet on December 27.
December 27 comes and we agree on 6:30 PM. Yet maybe around 5:30, not long before I was going to get on the road to go meet him, he relays that he might be late – his building’s water is off and he is sweaty from the gym. The gym shower was not an option because it’s connected to his building and the issue is affecting the whole block. He doesn’t know when it will be back on.
So at that point, knowing that sudden excuses like these when you’re dealing with Tinder folk should be taken with a grain of salt, I suggest that we just postpone the date. In my mind, if he’s bullshitting me, then he can go to hell and it doesn’t matter anyway. And if he’s NOT bullshitting me, I’m not going to hold my whole night in the balance waiting for this issue to resolve since he has no idea of knowing when it will.
So we cancel the date and in my mind I’m throwing him halfway into the “discard” pile because I can’t be sure if the story is true or not and hadn’t yet met him anyway so I really don’t care. He informs me maybe an hour later that his water is back on. I offer a curt response but not much else.
Yet conversation picks back up in the ensuing days and we end up making a sushi date for that next Wednesday (January 3). As he lives in the city I work in, but I live in the nearby suburbs, and the restaurant was in the city, I just end up staying at my office in the interim between my work day and the date so as not to have to drive all the way home and come back. And thus, as I was bored out of my mind and restless eventually, I leave a little bit early and get there maybe 10 minutes before him. I grab a high-top table near the bar and let him know I’m there.
When he comes in, I know him immediately because he looks pretty much the same as in his pictures. We warm up to each other pretty immediately and are able to converse with ease. He had never been to that restaurant before, even though it’s a really popular sushi spot in the city, and he seemed impressed with it, so I felt good about my choice.
Wojo was tall, cute, and had nice teeth and great conversation. We seemed to connect. I was attracted to him. Only…when it came time for the check and I offered to split it, he ACCEPTED!!! Ugh.
I am pretty traditional when it comes to the first couple of dates – he should pay. And it’s not so much about the money itself (I have no problem paying my way whatsoever) as it is about what it symbolizes. It’s just hard for me not to assume that a man who lets me pay any part of the check, especially for a first date, is either not at all interested in me, and/or he is dating around so much that it’s fiscally burdensome for him to continuously cover everything, so he welcomes the assistance. Either way, not a good look in my eyes.
So that was a blower. However he did kind of redeem himself by walking me several blocks to my car, even though he had Ubered. It was bitterly cold out and I had half a mind to offer to drive him home since his place was on the way, but I resisted since I had already gotten the vibe, via the check split, that he just wasn’t into me. And thus once we got to my car I bade him goodbye and left him to his own devices.
I wasn’t even 5 minutes into my commute home before he texted me to tell me what a good time he had. Cool…me too, thanks. I purposely remained guarded because I wasn’t sure if he meant it or was just being polite.
Yet he hit me up the next day, when he could. He works at a highly sensitive facility where he can’t have access to his phone during his working day, so I had gotten used to not hearing from him until the evenings.
We were talking on Friday evening when he started throwing stronger hints that he was interested. I expressed surprise and he wondered why. I plainly explained my reasoning regarding the payment of the bill. He seemed taken aback by that and said that I seemed insistent and so he didn’t want to offend me. Okay…I could see how maybe I overdid it a little. I just really like to make a thorough effort to look like I’m serious about paying even though I’m really only half serious. Only a quarter serious, really. Maybe just an eighth.
I gave him that one, but then he went on to say that since I’m “older,” he just figured it was something I wanted to do to express my independence or something. Uh…NO! First of all, NEVER refer to me as “older” again!!! Second of all, NEVER refer to me as “older” again!!! There is in fact an 8-year age difference, but that is not something that ever requires any emphasis. Especially if it entails him singling me out for disparate treatment for as opposed to a woman his age. Anything you would do for a 20-something date, please feel free to do for me as well. Thanks.
All in all, we had a laugh about it and he was a good sport. He didn’t seem offended or to take it hard about me calling him out for not paying, and we scheduled a date for that coming Monday evening which we both knew would be on him.
There’s a restaurant that I hear about from time to time that I always wanted to try, and so I suggested it and he agreed. I knew it was more on the upscale side, but it wasn’t until I had already made us a reservation and went to explore the menu online that I realized just how upscale it was. There were no prices listed on the menu whatsoever, and from my ensuing research I realized that this is one of those really fancy places that specialize in multiple course meal “experiences” and all that jazz. We would not have gotten out of that restaurant for less than several hundred dollars. Reservation canceled.
Even ordinarily, I would not feel comfortable for someone of more modest means (he’s a military officer so I’m sure he’s doing well for himself, but it’s not like he’s a millionaire) to spring for such expensive dining for a second date. But then, on TOP of that, given that we had just had a discussion about how I expect men to pay on first dates and this was essentially his “make up” date, I felt like it would send the wrong message. I would definitely look like I’m a total gold digger and/or trying to take advantage by knowingly having him take me to a restaurant like that. It would just be super tacky.
I ended up explaining my inadvertent poor choice and then suggested another one I had in mind that is still nice, but definitely a couple notches down in price from the original pick. He was good with that. But then come Sunday I looked up the second place and discovered it wasn’t open on Mondays. I immediately informed Wojo and just told him to pick somewhere in his area. He lives in an popular yuppie-ish area that offers many different great places to eat.
We met out this past Monday night, in the middle of an ice storm. Dinner was lovely and conversation was just as great. And he paid, like a good boy.
After, even though we were only several blocks from his place, I drove him home because the sidewalks were downright dangerous to walk on. We – or he, rather – had several close calls on the way to my car.
When I pulled up near his place, we hugged goodbye and then he kissed me. A sweet, brief kiss. Apparently he got out and fell not so long after because he texted me as I was not even off the block yet to tell me hopes I did not just see that (I didn’t).
He’s been in contact since then and we have a date set up for next Tuesday.