I spent Valentine’s Day exactly the way I’ve dreamed of spending it…with loved ones at my friend’s daughter’s 2nd birthday and a date. Shocking. I know.
On Valentine’s Eve, I met up with someone I’ve been corresponding with online. Our emails have been brief. I’ve been so busy at work, I don’t have time to have long drawn-out conversations with people via email. I’m sure he thought I was blowing him off a few times. But we finally decided on a date–at least one week in advance. “Lock me in for Friday February 13th. 8pm drinks at Amelie.”
I go into dates now with absolutely no expectations. Get in there, cross your fingers he pays the bill, then go home and either cross him off the list or keep him on for another date. I’m starting to side with my friends who believe the strategy is all about volume. It is. I know about volume. All my free time since the beginning of this year and partially last year has been spent dating. I agree you’ve got to put in the effort. Significant others don’t simply fall into your lap. I have been working at this for a very long time.
As soon as I walked into the bar, Dean was sitting front and center waiting for me to walk in. I approached him and he gave me a big hug and grin. “I saved a seat for you.” He patted the seat where he had set his jacket down. The bar was full.
“What about you?”
“No-no. I like standing. Please.” He motioned for the seat again.
There was never an awkward moment. Here’s why: Dean is in sales. He talks a lot. He’s animated, funny. He tells story after story after story. I love that. Plus he inserts random references that speak to his intelligence. “You know what I’m talking about? It’s like being psychoanalyzed by B.F. Skinner.” Who says that? Who says B.F. Skinner versus Sigmund Freud? “Awww, I don’t cook either. There’s no in-between threshold in this gas tank. It’s either full or empty and when I hit empty, it’s time to breakout the microwavables.”
“Oh Dean. You don’t cook? I don’t cook either. What are we going to do?”
“No worries. We’ll just order out. I’m fine with that. Are you ok with that?”
I think I’m in love.
After drinks, we went to another bar where some of his friends were gathered. He introduced me as his girlfriend. Not in an awkward way. Simply, “Hey Jay, I want you to meet my girlfriend Catherine.”
And at the end of the night he pulled me close as I tried to pull away, “Catherine. I’m not a player. I promise you. I really like you. Ok? I want to take you out tomorrow for Valentine’s Day.”
I’ve heard those words before. Again, no expecations with a bit of skepticism. He texted in the afternoon, “I cannot wait to see you tonight.” Then a couple follow-up phone calls to solidify the plan.
We sat at dinner as he played with most of his food. “Are you not hungry? I feel like I’m eating a ton and you’re not eating anything.”
“Aww, Catherine, I’m not really hungry. I sorta ate earlier. I just wanted to make sure you got taken out for dinner on Valentine’s.”
The next morning, I woke up with plans to celebrate my uncle’s birthday in San Ramon. I told him I had to get going. “Are you sure? Because if not, I was going to say we should get breakfast. At least let me make you some coffee.”
“I don’t drink coffee.”
“Well then, let me drive you to your car.”
“Oh, really it’s ok. I’m just a couple blocks away. You don’t have to bother.”
“Nuh-unh, I want to walk you to your car.”
And so we went, hand in hand in the pouring rain down to my beat up Honda Civic.
A text message came through from him today while I was at work. “Baby, can I take you out to a movie today?”
I am thrilled. I deserve this.