Thursday, January 06, 2005

Drama or boredom

The third Jdate was with an older man, Ethan. 51. For some reason I thought he was divorced, I knew he had kids. It turned out he was a widower. I was dreading the date. I was sure I wouldn't like him, I'd be bored, or something else would go wrong. I had chatted with him using the instant message (IM) feature on Jdate and it was pretty good. Rapid fire and humorous. He was more impressed than I was, but it was an ok chat. We talked on the phone briefly and made a tentative date. I was supposed to call him the next day to confirm the plans. Well, I was busy as hell the next day and I didn't call him. I figured I would do it the day after. That evening he called at 10:30pm and I didn't answer. He proceeded to call five times and leave one message. It kind of freaked me out. I went to sleep. I was really worried. Really worried. I'd started thinking about being bored and how much of an issue that is in dating, and probably in friendship as well. I'd never really thought of it in those terms before, but now it seemed very clear. I guess it's the flip side of the drama. It doesn't have to be either or, but that's how it feels sometimes. Either drama or boredom. What a choice. What about calm happiness? I've had it in my life, but only once that I can remember, with my old Seattle boyfriend. He was a great guy and we really had fun together. And we liked just being together, no talking, just being together. It was nice. I want that.

Anyway, Ethan called again in the morning and left another message. I called him then and we finally made plans. But I was a little freaked out and I was dreading the date. I foresaw disaster or at least extreme tediousness. I complained about it and I was asked why I was going out with him. I felt committed and I knew I'd feel worse if I broke the date. I sort of steeled myself to go through with it. I was trying to think positive. I veered between casual nonchalance and dread. Our plan was to meet at Union Station and walk to a nearby restaurant. I waited for him and I thought, fifteen minutes and I'm out of here. Then he called trying to figure out where I was. I told him, and then I spotted him, wandering aimlessly, looking for me. He kept turning his back to me so I couldn't catch his eye. I finally caught up with him and he gave me a nice big smile. I liked his looks right off. He was not as bald as he looked in his picture (and no dreaded comb-over). Dark hair, complexion. A very open demeanor. He apologized as he shrugged off his overcoat and put on his sports jacket. We chatted easily as we walked to the restaurant. I had lots to say and so did he. He was interested and a good listener. It was nice. I was already at ease. I didn't think I was going to fall in love with him, but I was already pretty sure I wasn't going to have a miserable time. It was a relief.

He suggested a cocktail, so I had a martini. Then a glass of wine with dinner. That was enough to get me going. I thought, I should really drink more out on these blind dates, at least I'll have a good time. I talked, he listened. At one point, talking about my last boyfriend, I got sad. Ethan said, let's talk about happy things. No depressing things. After dinner, he drove me home. He was worried about me getting in and wanted me to call him. I said, just watch the windows, you'll see the lights go on. I waved to him when I got inside so he knew I was ok.

He called me when he got home. To make sure I was ok and to say he had a good time. He'd asked me out for a second date and I'd told him I wanted to think about it. Now he'd decided he wanted an answer, so I said yes.

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