Ah, dating; when two people share drinks or a meal and try to only reveal about themselves the things they think are most attractive. But this wasn’t date one for L. and I. It wasn’t even date two. But it was date one of the decade so it was new and familiar all at the same time.
The last time L. and I went out it was 2008 and I was 22. I didn’t feel young but maybe I acted that way. I remember being quiet and listening to him ramble on and on. This time I cut in with anecdotes of my own that made him laugh and caused the conversation to twist and turn down interesting avenues. Last time he ignored my protests against sake and ordered the bottle anyway. This time when I said I wasn’t a fan, he asked if wine was okay and which one did I prefer? Last time he was bitter and angry about his business. This time he laughed about it and sounded optimistic.
The meal was incredible. He humored me as I went on about how I loved the spicy tuna because of the combination of textures inside the little roll, and wondered aloud if shiso is part of the mint or basil family. He even plucked off a piece and tasted it when I prompted him. “Citrusy, right? Complements the lobster so well.” He just grinned. He has a car. He has a dog. He lives alone and runs his own successful business. It was as if someone sent him down in a freshly wrapped package and presented him to me with bows on top. Ask and ye shall receive, Lauren.
So why, for the entire duration of the meal, did I stare at his face and think, Do I want him to kiss me? And the answer was no. Here was this seemingly great guy who was doing everything right and when he asked if I wanted to get a drink after dinner I said no. “I’m such an old lady, I should really get home,” I answered. He walked me to the subway and hugged me goodbye.
He texted later. “Really good seeing you. If you want, we should get together again.”
“It was really good seeing you, too. I’d love to get together again.”
Just don’t try to kiss me.