Context: I matched with ‘Author’ on Tinder solely because he was wearing a suave purple suit in his profile picture, and BP loves all things purple, and I NEEDED to know where he got it from. He traded the name of the website for a date. Just like that, I was scheduled to get margaritas with him at El Centro on a Wednesday after work. Why can’t it always be this easy?!
Hello readers! It’s so hard to believe this is my first official date post after my 3.5 month fling with a gentleman that I’ll call Mr. Medicine. Or, more specifically, 1 month of being head-over-heels in lust, and then 2.5 months of calling one of my friends after every date and telling them I wanted to end it, and them telling me to stick it out, that I was too used to the excitement of first dates, that things would get better.
I tried sticking it out. I did. But as much as I do really like him and care about him as a person, he’s not the right person for me. And while I know this makes me a failure at relationship-building, I’m okay with that. I never claimed to be good at anything other than talking to people through the internet, and mixing a mean margarita.
And, as expected, I was fashionably late to my first date back in the game. What, do you expect anything else at this point? I awkwardly stood half-in and half-out of the doorway to El Centro, waiting for my date to come collect me, because I am three years old and cannot hold my own in social settings. My absence from dating has visibly taken a toll on my confidence level. Luckily, Author sensed the panic in my ‘I’m here!!!!!!!!’ text* and rescued me from my ‘should-I-stay-or-should-I-go’ dance.
*Perhaps due to the number of exclamation points? Hard to say.
I thanked my (very tall, very handsome) date by greeting him with “Sorry, the guy I’m looking for is wearing a purple suit. Have you seen him?”
Luckily, he laughed and led me to a spot at the bar. He asked me if I had been there before, and I responded by immediately asking the bartender for a margarita. Priorities. Author joined me on the tequila train, and we launched into a very easy conversation about our respective 4th of July weekends. I was reassured – getting back into dating was just like making friends! I make lots of friends! I could do this!! Until we hit a snag in the road:
J – So, where do you work?
A – I’m actually just applying to grad schools right now, I left my job working for a political campaign after a month.
*Unemployment – not good. Am I going to have to pay for my drinks?? Commence panic mode.*
J – Oh, but you graduated from college over a year ago, right? What have you been up to in the interim?
A – I’ve actually had 3 jobs, but none of them were for me, so I left all of them.
Suddenly, the voice of my high school career counselor started bleating from somewhere within my mind. “NEVER LEAVE YOUR JOB BEFORE ONE YEAR IS UP!” she trilled. “YOU WILL LOOK FLAKY AND NO ONE WILL TRUST YOU!”
I drank deeply from my (second) margarita, collected my thoughts, and pressed on.
A – So, are you from the area originally?
J – Yep! From Vienna. But I live in Clarendon now. How about you?
A – Oh, cool! I’m from Cleveland Park, so also nearby.
J – Nice! Where are you living now?
A – …Cleveland Park
A – …haha, yeah, I guess it’s not the sexiest thing to tell you, but I live on my parents’ couch.
Readers, I don’t have a ton of requirements for the guys I date. I really don’t. But a job and a place of their own are two very critical factors. So, my mind made up that this would be our last date, I let my inhibitions go.
He took this as a challenge. A battle of wits, of sorts.
J – I blacked out EVERY DAY last weekend!
A – I lived out of my car for 2 months before telling my parents I quit my last job!
J – My mom is pressuring me to get married young!
A – I hate animals!
J – I hate children!
And then, just as I was pulling ahead, he whipped out the trump card.
A – I have to get home soon, I’m working on my novel.
LOL. Ok, bougie, I’ll let you get home to work on your novel. He asked for the check, and I made an extra big show of fumbling for my wallet, allowing him plenty of time to locate his credit card and say “Don’t worry, I’ve got this.”
And, readers – for the first time, I was worried. I thanked him (Or his mom? Or dad? Who knows whose card that was), awkwardly side hugged him, and bolted back to the Metro. And amazingly, while the date wasn’t great, my only emotion was happiness – to be back in the game, to have new stories to tell, and to have my shit paid for once again. It’s so good to be back, guys.