Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Best Date Ever

I’m on the way to the airport when she calls me. I’ve been waiting for her call. I try to conceal my excitement.
“Hello?”
“Hello. Are you back yet?”
“I’m on the way to the airport right now.”
“You sound like you’re ready to come back.”
“I am.”
“Okay. Well I’m excited about tonight.”
“Me too.”
“So should I pick you up at work at 8ish?”
“Oh no. I changed my schedule around for an audition I have later. I’ll be available after 4:30.”
“Wow. Okay. Now I have no idea what to do. (pause) Dinner?”
“Dinner sounds good.”
“And then the film.”
“Yes. Why don’t you think about where to go and get back to me with details.”
“Right.”
And that was the way it started. While I waited for the plane to take off I left her a voicemail with my three recommendations for dinner—Momofuku, The Spotted Pig and Mary’s Fish Camp—all good places for a first date. I flew back to New York and as soon as I got home, I showered and changed. I get out of the shower and there’s a message from her.
“Bernard…alright so of the three options that you gave me, my challenge to you is this: pick the one that best fits the movie that you would like to see. Got it? So we’re going to have like a theme evening. I’m very excited about this. I know that I’m leaving all the decision making up to you but I have a feeling you enjoy that. So. Call me back and give me the verdict and I’ll meet you there. Okay. Have a good flight. Bye.”
That’s an intense message. I’m already a little off balance with the lack of firm plans and now she’s giving me an assignment? The three films I was pondering—Yes, Mad Hot Ballroom and My Summer of Love—are all stretches for any of the restaurants. I was totally in the mood for Momofuku’s soft shell crab buns but that restaurant cannot reasonably be connected to any of the films. So the only combination that works is Mary’s Fish Camp and My Summer of Love—both of which were created out of failed lesbian relationships, so there’s my theme. I call and leave a message informing her of my decision. I tell her when to meet me.
I get to the restaurant, only to be told at the door that it doesn’t open for another half hour. So I sit. She’s running late…usually a source of irritation but for some reason not today. I’m a nervous wreck. Eventually she shows up wearing a cute outfit, which runs counterpoint to my t-shirt and jeans. I feel underdressed, which almost never is the case. She and I start conversing which is easy enough. She’s naturally funny and super cute. We eventually sit down and order like maniacs—three appetizers, three entrees and one bottle of wine. We’re committed to spending the evening together. Conversation vacillated between the serious and non-serious, and the pauses were filled with flirtatious glances. Then she set the bar with something that loomed over the rest of the date.
“I know I shouldn’t say this until later, but this is the best date I’ve ever been on.”
I agreed and was a little taken aback by her willingness to vocalize what I was thinking. Then she decided to shift gears and threw down a warning.
“I feel that before we get too far, that you should know that I’m damaged goods.”
“Oh?”
“Yeah, I just got out of a relationship.”
Of course. Here I meet an amazing woman who wants to go on a date with me and there was the other shoe. But there happened to be yet another shoe I was totally unaware of.
“You’ve met her. She works with me at the coffeehouse.” She describes the woman. I’m nodding.
“Oh yeah.” I take a large swig of wine. Her last relationship was with a woman. I soldier on, but this recent revelation doesn’t leave my mind.
Eventually we left for dessert at a little place in the Village called Bruno’s, which was lovely and amazing. I really wanted to kiss her at this point in the evening, but wasn’t sure how to do so. Do I just lean over the table and hope that she meets me in the middle? Or do I play some coy trick to get her to lean forward and then when she does, kiss her? This dilemma set my mind in an awkward direction and I didn’t end up doing anything.
Now we stroll to the movie theatre. I mention Emily Watson and she, without any warning, says, “You’ve been a good girl Bess.” Which stuns me. It’s an obscure reference to Breaking the Waves, Emily Watson’s first film performance and some say her most daring. I just look at her. “Wow. You went to the bottom of the ocean on that one. I am mightily impressed.” She smiles. At this moment I realize that I’m screwed. I, at that exact moment, officially liked her.
The movie was wonderful, although awkward now that I know that she’s just come out of a lesbian relationship. In the middle of the previews, I grabbed her hand and lay it on top of mine on the armrest. At one point shortly after this, this position became very uncomfortable for me. She could tell, and switched arm positions. She was now on the bottom. It was a simple gesture, but it indicates something amazing about her. In most initial phases of any intimate relationship, both parties go through a testing period when you try to figure out what each of you want from the other in terms of physical contact—when you want to grab your hand, when I would like you to touch my back, when is it appropriate to kiss you. With her that phase was almost non-existent. She got what I wanted. It was miraculous.
After the film, we tried to get served at a bar, but it turns out that she didn’t have her ID with her. So after a couple moments of curious tension, she pounced.
“Do you have wine at your place?”
“Yeah.”
“Would you be willing to share it?”
“Oh yeah.”
“Let’s get a cab.”
And that’s about all I can share with you. But know this: it was the best date of my life.

4 Comments:

Blogger SquirrleyMojo said...

Funny, when I began reading this, I thought you were a woman too; you must have an appealing "sensitive" side, no?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005 4:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Margo said...

whatever squirrel.
b, that is a great date/story/love sceen. And I'm so happy for you. What a perfect evening. Cheers.

Monday, July 18, 2005 3:16:00 AM  
Anonymous margo said...

scene, i meant, scene.

Monday, July 18, 2005 3:18:00 AM  
Blogger not neat freak said...

This was a great read.

Sunday, July 24, 2005 5:09:00 PM  

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