Friday, December 31, 2004

A good date

Not the first good date, but a good one. The guy was super cute, medium height. Skinny in an awkward, adorable, I-want-to-touch-him way, with super-hip black rimmed square-ish glasses. A prominent nose, angular features, and shaggy short brown hair. A total urban hipster, but completely sweet and unpretentious. In fact, an artist! I’ll call him "Archie" because he wants to go back to school for architecture. The truth is, I didn't feel a lot of chemistry, but since I found him awfully attractive, maybe it's not an issue.

We had plans to meet at noon in Dupont Circle. I knew I would be late so I called him to reschedule for 12:30. He suggested Teaism and that was a good idea. I managed to putter, talk to Heather and Cyndy, and had to rush out despite the leeway I'd given myself. I called my mom on the way since she had sent me a sad sounding email the night before. I worked my dime-store psychology magic on her during my ten-minute walk to the train. I got to the place only five minutes late. I poked my head in and didn't see him, so I went back outside and sat on a bench. After about 20 minutes I started to wonder where he was and contemplated calling him. Then, he came out. We recognized each other immediately and avoided the awkward handshake thing. He was really sorry about missing me. I assured him it was no big deal. He said, I feel really, really bad about this. I said, "don't worry about it. It's a really pretty day and there are those cute dogs. It's December 31, the sun is shining and it's 60 degrees." There were three really cute dogs someone had parked outside the café and I was enjoying watching them. The time had passed quickly.

He asked me what I would like to drink and I said I like the sweet green tea (as soon as I knew we were going to Teaism I started fantasizing about it). He said, I'll get you one and jumped up and went back inside before I even had a chance to stand up. He left his NYTimes, which I started to read. He'd doodled all over it and I tried not to examine the doodles--it felt like invading his privacy. I opened up a page and read an article about Jerry Orbach and it made me sad. (Jerry, I will miss you so much.) Archie came back with my sweet green tea and we decided to walk around since it was so pretty. We started walking and I started talking. He asked me lots of questions, where had I lived, where were my parents from, where did I go to school. I did reciprocate, but my answers (surprise, surprise) were usually a bit longer. He steered us down to the circle where there were plenty of open benches and we sat and continued to talk.

Somehow I got on the topic of growing up Jewish in the South (Knoxville, TN, where I attended grades K-5). I don't think I've ever covered this territory on a first date, but given that I knew he was Jewish, it seemed natural. I guess that is a big benefit of Jdate©, at least if you actually meet someone Jewish there. We were a bit in a conversational rut on the Jewish thing, when Archie asked me if I liked art. Well, I do, though I'm no expert. He'd just seen the Calder/Miró exhibit at the Phillips and I have seen it too. We talked about that, and a couple of other local exhibits (the Dan Flavin at the National Gallery and the Ana Mendieta at the Hirshhorn). I expounded a bit, but he seemed interested and had interesting things to say. It was a good conversation. Then I vaguely remembered he was an artist and I asked him if he had studied art. He had, and got a BFA, specializing in furniture design. I thought that was really cool. He even has a little business making and designing furniture. He's worked as a carpenter and a welder. He wants to go back to school for architecture. Now he has three jobs, REI, architectural drafting and his furniture business. I mentioned IKEA and he didn't slam it, even said some of their stuff was good (so I don't have to be worried about him seeing my 99% IKEA house (Heather says: but you really can't tell)). I told him about my bench and my kitchen cupboard painting adventure (a long walk for a short drink, but a good outcome). I had tons to say and he did too, but then he had to go and he offered to give me a ride home or wherever I wanted to go. I accepted and we continued to chat happily in the car. I told him about my trip to Peru in some detail (though not this much). He dropped me off and said he had a really good time. I said I'd had a good time too and I managed to make the goodbye reasonably short. I think we will see each other again, but we did not make a definite plan.

When I checked my phone after Archie dropped me off, there were calls from last night's date (I'm not defensive) and the third date guy (details pending), aka Ethan. I haven't been this popular…ever!

And so, is there a problem with Archie? Well, not really, except, he's young, 27. And does that mean we don't want the same things? I dunno. It does matter and that's what I need to remember. But I really like him and want to see what happens. It's completely easy to see being friends with him and that would be GREAT. If it doesn't turn out to be more, then I think I will be happy. I spent a really nice time with a really interesting guy who made me feel happy, comfortable and interesting. It wasn't a hilarious good time, but it was fun and engaging. Maybe hilarious will happen later when he's more comfortable with me--or we're more comfortable with each other.

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