As I mentioned in a previous post, I had a “date” with this guy I’m going to nickname, “the teacher” for lack of me being too lazy to come up with something more creative. He’s a high school teacher, so that suits him well enough for now.
The Teacher and I had spoken back and forth for a week or two, but never settled on plans for a “date” due to each of us fighting off nasty viruses that have been going around (well, more so being busy on my end). I had semi forgotten we had pending date plans until he reached out to me to see what my weekend was looking like…and then I realized my weekend was getting kind of full and fast.
He suggested we meet for drinks at a brewery on Saturday afternoon, on the edge of town. Sort of a happy hour of sorts, minus the food (though I think there was a food truck somewhere on site).
I wasn’t sure what to expect—well, I should say, I didn’t have many expectations from this, “date” mostly because we hadn’t spent a great deal of time getting to know each other beforehand. We exchanged very basic information about one another (our careers, where we were born, our hobbies, etc), but that is it, so the success of the “date” was truly going to ride off conversation, which can be hit or miss in person.
When I walked into the crowded brewery, I saw him standing against the wall nervously. He looked like the textbook definition of a teacher. He had on one of those sweaters with the buttons and pockets, glasses and a bashful grin.
I greeted him with a one armed hug (those hugs I give to co-workers or distant relatives I barely know or to people when my hands are full), we said our introductions and hopped in line for beer (the line was outrageous). There were people and dogs everywhere. I figured while we stood in line, we could chitchat about various things, just to pass the time, but instead, he stood BEHIND me and said nothing. This was reminiscent of guy #1 from last week. I turned around to him a few times to drop bait in hopes of starting a conversation, but he would mostly respond with somewhat of a short answer and then not follow up with anything further. Conversations to me are like playing catch. To keep it going, you’ve got to participate (i.e. catch the ball and toss it back). In this situation, it was like I’d throw the ball to him, he’d catch it and then set it down in the grass just walk away. This happened about three times until I gave up and just waited in line in silence.
This was going to be interesting, if he wasn’t going to talk…
We finally made it to the front of the line (side by side this time) and ordered our beers. I at least got him to recommend a stout from the menu. That was one topic he elaborated on. I already had my wallet out, because I wasn’t sure if he was treating or not. He wasn’t.
I have a rant about this, but I don’t feel like going into it now…in a nutshell though, I’m OK with paying for myself (or even treating if I’m seriously dating someone), BUT if I’m “invited out” for a DATE (especially if it is some place the guy wants to take me to and it’s early on, like our first or second date), it sort of shifts my expectations for the rest of the DATE, which I’ll now consider a hangout, which to me has zero undertones of romance. Which, I’m good on new friends for now bruh…you see where this is going…
Anyway, the brewery was far too crowded and there were no open seats. With it raining outside a bit, there were no hopes of sitting at the picnic tables either, so we huddled under the very crowded porch where the smokers were hanging out. I hate the smell of smoke. He apologized several times for this, but I rolled with the punches, because he couldn’t control any of it.
Our conversation started out very slowly, but eventually picked up over the next hour or so. Turns out, he’s far more interesting than he originally came across and opened up quite a bit more as the evening went on. He was in the army and did some IT work while he was enlisted. Once he got out, he decided to go get his master’s in teaching and the rest is history. He told me stories about how he’s basically lived all over the U.S. and all of the cool places he go to travel to while in the military and how he is finally starting to consider this area, “home”.
Our allotted 2.5 hour time slot came and went actually quicker than I anticipated and I respectfully announced my exit. I just told him I had another engagement with friends that evening and needed to get going, but that I enjoyed his company. He very respectfully walked me to my car and gave me a hug. He nervously exclaimed that he had fun as well and asked if I wanted to, “do this again sometime”.
Did I feel sparks or an “instant connection”? Not really, but something about him seemed charming enough to give it another go, so we’ll see. We haven’t planned anything yet, but while I was out with baby face, I got a text from him saying that he’d love to see me again (I obviously waited until he was in the bathroom to answer this text message).
I was obviously a bit (*ahem*) “tied up” Saturday night, but reached back out to him with a bit more of a substantial response regarding date #2 this morning, so we’ll see how that goes. Hopefully well. I’m trying to remain open minded.
Tonight (well, Monday–depending upon when I publish this actual post), I have rescheduled dinner (Indian food) plans (was set for last night (Sunday), but a migraine took me out the game for a good portion of the evening) with this other guy, who I barely remember hitting it off with friday (or Thursday) night while out with friends and in line grabbing a cider in another brewery downtown. Let’s just call him, “SamIam“. The only thing I remember about him was that he was quite charming, tall, had a nice smile and worked in IT, but preferred creative writing (just like me). I’m taking it he also enjoys cider???Hopefully he can carry on a conversation sober…