After a heart shattering break-up, I swore off dating forever. But then I put down my Ben & Jerry's and leapt back into the dating pool. It's a daunting game out there, and I say it all comes down to chemistry.
Or does it? Maybe we have hang-ups or maybe we're just too picky. In 100 dates, I hope to figure out what it is that makes me - and you - 'click.'

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Day 2: Drinks with a friend

It’s an uncharacteristically sunny March day in Amsterdam, so when D. calls to invite me for a beer in the sun, I couldn’t turn him down. We meet at a casual after-work bar and watch the sunset over a few Heinekens. I know D. already, he’s a mutual friend who I run into here and there, but we’ve never had a one-on-one. Qualifies for Date Two, I think.

D. is tall, jovial, and as thirsty as I am, making for a lively conversation. We’re both freelancers, so it isn’t long before we’re talking business and I’m pleasantly surprised with some of the professional insight D. shares. Instead of secretly composing this 100 Dates post, I’m actually writing notes with tid bits of advice D. is dropping in my lap. Being ignorant to my work woes, I’m sure D. didn’t realise what a boost of confidence he had given me for the week ahead – though I’m sure the beer did it’s share as well.

As the pub turns baren around us, I start to feel an awkward moment materialising. I just know D.’s going to say something serious or (worse) heartfelt. Then, almost on cue the bartender offers us a plate of bar snacks on the house – perfect way to soften the mood. While we put away the greasy finger foods, I take a moment to reflect on our date. Why is it that as soon as I feel a heartfelt confession coming, my flight instinct takes over. I’m on a date, am I not? Isn’t this the point, to get the guy to like you?

For some reason, that’s the opposite of how I feel. Sure, I want the guy to like me, but not like me like me. Between bites, I look at D. and wonder what my problem is. He’s successful, funny, closer to me in age than S., and actually interested in what I have to say. But again, that chemistry thing isn’t happening. Maybe I’m being picky, or letting superficiality get the best of me (that’s a big nose, buddy) but I just don’t feel something special.

Then again, maybe the idea of a ‘spark’ is like a night in shining armour – it doesn’t exist.

These thoughts mill around in my head when we get another round. The conversation picks up again and we launch into friendly gossip about our mutual acquaintances. After a few minutes (or a few beers…) D. starts fidgeting and getting a little serious. After a confusing round of apologetic excuses he comes out with it, “It’s okay of course, I don’t care or anything,” - oh goodness, here it comes – “You’re a lesbian, right?”

Wow. Not what I was expecting. I do my best to convince D. I am indeed not a lesbian, despite his supportive “It’s okay if you are.” According to D., I’m “a lot like him,” and while I’d agree we have similar jobs, and tend to rely on sarcasm/humour as a deflector I do draw the line at a mutual romantic interest in women.

The final sips of our last round go down, and we pick up to leave the bar. I’m by no means offended at my sexual “enigma” as D. calls it, but I think we’re both ready to head home now. Our goodbye is short and sweet (think slap on the back, nod of the head), and we head off to our respective homes.

Wow, I think later, lesbian, eh? What was I saying about a boost of confidence? Where's the chocolate ice cream...

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha!

    First, you have a hilarious writing voice Ello.

    Second, I don't think being mistaken for a sexual "enigma" or a lesbian is an insult when it's coming from a guy. It just means they can't/don't know how to read you, which can be a good thing. It seems like that was what you were trying to manifest after your heartbreak, and you were effective. Call being an "enigma" body armor. Sometimes you need it and sometimes you don't.

    What's funny to me is that if the opposite sex doesn't get a sexual vibe from you in their direction, it seems many almost automatically assume you must be "batting for the other team." But what I think happens more often for people who put up armor after being wounded, is that they become almost "asexual" and don't give off /any/ sexual vibes. Nobody ever seems to make that assumption though.

    Either way, put down the ice cream if you're not eating it for the sure joy of it melting in your mouth. You're a firecracker, lady. Keep dating!