Monday, March 28, 2005

And it begins...

I got nothing. No funny story. No annoyance. Nothing. Ok, a teeny-tiny something--Mark didn't look like his picture, mostly because it was a lousy picture. I had the wrong idea about how he looked from the picture. The picture wasn't misrepresentative, but it was a bad likeness. He was cute, but just not cute in the way I'd expected. He was extremely friendly, easy going, and nice to be with. A medium size guy with curly blondish hair and blue eyes. He had lots to say and I definitely felt a connection. A friendly connection with the possibility for something more. The conversation was smooth, easy, interesting, funny, engaging, low-key. I didn't find myself instantly attracted to him (honestly, a bit of a disappointment--who doesn't want the whole package immediately?), but I could tell that if I grow to like him more, I'll find him more attractive. He's in the "maybe" category for sure. He also--well, I did the other little test where I asked myself if I wanted to kiss him and the answer was, without hesitation, yes. Indeed.

We talked quite a bit about basketball (my current obsession, though you may not have noticed) and sports in general. We talked about my bad dates. He wondered why I'd had so many bad dates. I said it was because I was a sucker for interesting guys. He disagreed. I started to get a little worried--what horrible diagnosis was he going to come up with? He said, "I think it's a certain kind of openness." I heartily agreed. He got it. I'm not too tolerant or too forgiving. My standards aren't too low (if he'd said that, how would it reflect on him? Hee.). I'm open. I give people a chance and I trust my instincts. My instincts haven't led me to the "right" guy, but they have kept me away from harm (e.g. any physical violence, date rape, etc.).

He said that he'd met two of three of his last girlfriends on-line. The second woman he met via the internet he dated for over a year! Yowsa. No wonder he has such a positive view of the whole enterprise. I said, "But I keep coming back to it despite my terrible experiences--that might be a little crazy." He said, "No, I think it's admirable." I don't think I would go that far, but it was kind of him to say. I wasn't surprised that he'd had good luck. He was just so there--kind, open, friendly. Easy to like. He kept agreeing with me--but not in a "agree just to agree" way. When I talked about trusting my gut he said, "That's better than people who just have this blanket suspicion. Like people who move away from DC because of terrorism. Who change their whole lives because of fear." I agreed and said I just couldn't be bothered worrying about those things.

He paid for my beer. He's a writer (freelance journalist—color me impressed). He has ideas. I asked him questions, but he always turned the conversation back to me. It left me with lots more things I'd like to know about him. We had a great easy rapport with no banter or tension. When did that last happen? I can’t remember.

He hesitated to offer me a ride home (because of one of the bad date stories). He said, "I don't want to knock you out of your protocol." I laughed and said I'd like it if he gave me a ride home. It was raining and I didn't particularly want to walk. I already knew it was just fine to get into a car with him. We could have sat in the car for another hour or two talking, but we held it to about half an hour. It would definitely have been longer if he hadn't parked in the middle of the street. He said, "This was fun. We should get together're a music person...we should go see music." I agreed. He said he would check the CityPaper and call me about the weekend. Good plan! I like how little work it requires from me. However, there is a basketball game or two I need to watch on Saturday—I’m sure we’ll figure it out.

I didn’t want to offer to shake his hand and I didn’t want to kiss him, so I just grinned and thanked him again for the ride before jumping out of the car. He waited to see that I’d gotten in before he drove away. A goodnight kiss of some kind had crossed my mind, but I knew if we started kissing, it would derail us. I’m absolutely sure that I need to stay in the friendly mode with Mark for a while. I think it would be very easy to start something up with him. Easy because he’s very easy to be with, very easy to make plans with, very easy all together. I seem to be saying that I didn't kiss him because I wanted to kiss him. Got it?

There were some odd parallels to my first date with Jake. The music thing. The easiness. But Mark did not remind me of Jake. Mark was completely engaged with me, there was not that sense of hollowness or absence that I’d felt with Jake. No immediate detection of potential problems. No immediate need to decide if I want him to be my boyfriend. Everything was so easy—that is a good sign.

A good date. With follow up plans. I feel surprisingly calm. Remember: go slow, assume nothing, have fun.

I'm not saying little flickering images of the future haven't popped into my brain...but when I try to focus on them, they fade. I appear to be incapable of indulging myself in future-type fantasies about Mark. It makes me sick how healthy I've become. Where is the neurotic Jamy of the past? (Oh, she's here, worried to death that DrG and JR are about to start stalking me and feeling guilty that I haven't returned either of Philly's two calls from the weekend.)

Go slow.
Have fun.
Assume nothing.

It turns out, I can't even be bothered to worry about Mark. Why? Because there is nothing to worry about. He will call (or I will call him). We will see each other again. Maybe I won't like him as much next time (doubtful) or perhaps I'll like him even more (quite likely).

Wait, correct order:
Have fun.
Go slow.
Assume--whatever the heck I want to :)

Oh, and relax.

Grateful for: this calm, happy feeling.

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