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Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Starting Line

I should make a disclaimer that on this dating experiment I will not be rating the men I go on dates with (it seems cruel given the circumstances) but rather simply will rate the dates themselves. I will also pull likes, dislikes, must haves and must nots as I find them. My goal is twenty dates.

Date One: Lets call him Joe A.

Type: Tuesday night, after work dinner date
Transportation: Drive individually and meet there
Average Rating for the Date: 6.5 out of 10

Location: 7
We met up to a local Mediterranean restaurant with outdoor seating. In theory, a good idea, but the place fell into the pitfall of most places with limited seating, where the table puts you further across from the person you are there with than from the stranger sitting at the next table over. This is annoyingly distracting to me, both because I'm an incurable eavesdropper and also because "get to know you" conversations are sufficiently awkward when only two people are involved. So my date and I, and the couple next to us sat eating dinner and pretending not to hear everything the others said. The food was good, although the meat on my plate looked a bit like large animal droppings on top of rice which didn't help me up the attraction factor I'm sure.

Etiquette: 9
My date insisted on paying for dinner which surpasses the baseline requirement for first dates of offering to pay for dinner. The little conversation that there was, was kept neutral and no inappropriate questions were asked. More importantly for a touch-a-phobe like myself, personal space was respected although the motive (whether it was out of respect or just lack of interest ) was sketchy.

Conversation: 5
Well, there was some of it.  I am many things but a natural conversation starter is not one of them.  It's like using green wood as a fire starter. Mostly topics were initiated by me, which gives you an idea of how everything played out.

Beginning, Flow and End: 5
One word: Awkward.
For starters, it did not help that Joe A. seemed to not recognize me as I walked up the street to the restaurant, so I had to wave in his face as he passed me. Throw in a scattering of awkward silent moments while we ate, and then a very baffling invitation to his apartment after dinner which I deflected with inviting him to walk down towards the beach instead, and we had quite the formula for discomfort. For the grand finale he walked me to my car where we stood awkwardly (redundant adverb, I know, but accurate) for a couple of minutes until I offered to drop him off at his car. I should mention my car was uber dirty, I mean work binders, papers, empty water bottles,  sweaters, fast food wrappers dirty. I double lane parked next to him and waved him off into the night.

Lesson learned: Keep my car date ready

One of my friends had warned me about dating.  She had said she would rather go back to any guy she had had a relationship in the past rather than begin dating. Despite her warning, I was inevitably excited about beginning the process.  I expected it to be awkward, but it wasn't until I parked my car and my stomach turned into itself that I realized how nervous I actually was. Dating, I imagine, is like a casting call for a commercial for a product you're not sure you'll want to endorse. Being as this is my first date, I can't help but wonder if sparks are something that we have to create or something that is independent of circumstance. Furthermore, how many "sparks" is it fair to expect, especially for someone as cynical as myself? If a guy is perfectly nice and you find that you like his blunt honesty, is that enough to pursue a second date, or should one hold out for that guy that the movies portray as that poor carpenter/musician/anyone you would never consider dating, but who despite it all sweeps you off your feet in a series of ridiculous lovey-dovey scenes with your favorite love song playing in the background? I don't have the answer. Only experience will tell, so onward we go. One down, nineteen to go :)

1 comment:

  1. how MANY sparks.