The second date is much easier, but also much more complicated. Last week was more of an interview, and this is a real conversation..
..which requires that I remember all the stuff we have shared, conceal my fundamental cynicism, and present a charming persona. At least I’ll know whom to join at the bar. This time we sort of “know” one another, but the crushing burden of “what’s next” weights the conversation.
This date is better over a table than at the bar. For two reasons – if the conversation becomes intimate its nice to have the privacy. Or – if the conversation becomes intimate there is a physical barrier!
A recap of the previous face to face is required because I learn he too has forgotten a lot of what was said. I keep telling myself that he is as uncomfortable as I am. Its awkward when he can’t get his fork to his mouth, dribbles his wine and drops (in succession) his glasses, credit card, jacket, your coat – and his pleasant demeanor. I think maybe he can’t handle his liquor – but we only had wine, maybe he has a rare disorder – I think I’ll pass, or maybe it is just nerves.
More details about work (revealing career choices that do not seem to reflect the posted salary level) are reviewed. Fundamental themes are gaily glossed over – I assume because our baggage is so poorly packed its like customs after a holiday at the in-laws. Personal histories are detailed and emotional stability measured – and is generally in short supply in the depressed divorcee.
Opinions on morals and values begin to percolate – especially as they are related to sex. Because trust me – the elephant in the room is “when can the groping can begin.” And honestly, I am just as curious as he is. Who’d have thought at 50 I would be anxiously asking friends “will he think I’m too easy?” Concurrently, we have to establish what kind of a relationship each wants – marriage? booty? date nights? Do we really know, or really have that kind of control?
And, Dear Reader, I have to admit…because I am an intelligent consumer I have maintained contact with the harmonious match websites to maximize my investment. So I have several other fellows on the hook. So now the poor sap across the table is being graded, not only on his own merits, but also against those of his peers. And for all I know, he is making the same assessment.
Next week – I have about a week to decide if the third date will be the charm, or if the process must re-commence with a new candidate.