Friday, September 23, 2005

Date night

If I were to write about my actual state of mind you might think I've gone completely around the bend. Instead, I think I'll try a little experiment. I shall write about the way that I would like to feel.

But first, a little update. After Tim sent me a text message yesterday, I didn't hear from him again. Which was fine. We'd made a plan, he picked the restaurant and that was all I needed to know.

Today, I looked at the menu for the restaurant. In my conversation on Wednesday with Tim about where to go we discussed prices. He said that he didn't want to pay more than $20 an entrée. I wondered why we were talking about it, but I agreed with that price range. If he's taking me out, I don't want him spending tons of money. It makes me uncomfortable. If we're splitting the check, I don't want to spend that much either!

At the restaurant he picked, there is not a single entrée for less than $20. This is definitely have-Dad-take-me-out-for-a-fancy-dinner or celebrate-something-important or cheer-yourself-up-after-major-disappointment territory.

I saw the menu and I freaked out.

Then I called Pele and I freaked her out because I was so freaked out.

Why am I freaked out? Not because of the prices. It's for a whole host of symbolic non-reality based reasons. But it's silly. We had such a good time together. I was so comfortable with him. It's not like we're getting married tonight. It's a second date. At a super fancy restaurant.

Perhaps you think that I don't like fancy restaurants. Nothing could be further from the truth. I also love hole-in-the-wall diners and ethnic restaurants. Due to frugality and friends of modest means, I tend to go to less expensive places. If anyone wants to go the Eden Center, they better call me first. But I love fancy restaurants.

I never feel that money spent on good food is a waste. When I was little, and we lived in Knoxville, my favorite restaurant was a French place called The Orangery (they appear to still be there). I remember ordering Cornish game hen and feeling very grown-up trying to get the meat off the tiny bones with my knife and fork. I would wander around the place--it was dark and they had tchotchkies all over--and talk to the other diners and make friends (I was rather bold as a child). I loved the hushed atmosphere, the linen tablecloths, the candles and the unobtrusive service. And the food. We didn't go there often, but if my parents asked me where I wanted to eat, that's what I would pick. I think Mom preferred Buddy's bar-b-q. I don't blame her, that place was fantastic. She was charmed, though, that her little person's favorite night out was at a subdued French place.

And it's not like I don't let boys take me out. They can take me out all they want. The last real boyfriend I had (third DC boyfriend, not featured in the blog) took me out to dinner all the time, even though I made more money than he did. I tried to pay many times, but he would never let me. Sometimes I covered the tip.

Enough avoiding. How would I like to feel?

Tonight, I have a date with Tim. I talked to him for the first time on Saturday and we were instantly at ease with each other. He was friendly, attentive and fun to be with. He's attractive and clearly attracted to me. When I asked myself if I wanted to kiss him, the answer was a resounding "yes." We spent eight (plus) hours together and it was easy and fun. The tv test didn't even come into play.

We joked around and he teased me just the right amount. He did not take me too seriously. He was open and honest and let me know that he was separated-but-not-divorced. It freaked me out, but he didn't get defensive. He was ready to listen to whatever I had to say. He answered all the questions I asked and probably would have answered more.

He asked me for a second date on Saturday and he asked for my number. He's called me twice to make plans. He decided what we would do. That makes me happy because I didn't want to decide. He is patient with me. He wants to take me out to a fancy French dinner. That is fantastic! I love fancy French restaurants. I have ever since I was a child.

I'm just going to read this over and over and hope I will stop freaking out.

It doesn't have to be this hard. It's not this hard. It's simple. I'm going out to dinner with a good guy who I like. I'm going to give myself a chance to find out how much I like him. If it's a lot, and if he's interested, then we'll go out again. We both get to change our minds. I'll go slowly. I'll give myself time to get to know him. I'm going to stop worrying about it. I'm going to stop operating on a symbolic level and start grounding myself in the here and now. Right here, right now, all the crazy thinking stops.

Grateful for: no more crazy thinking.

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