That Perfect First Date

What an awful first date.  Well, maybe not awful I’ve had worse.  I wasn’t groped.  He didn’t proclaim he wanted to be with me forever, nor claim to be visiting from another galaxy.  He didn’t say anything offensive . . . . but that’s just it.  He didn’t say much of anything.

When he walked in, I thought he looked a bit like James Taylor – now, not in his younger days.  I did not find him attractive but sometimes personality can turn that, so I forged ahead.  He sat down with barely a greeting and all his attention was on the menu and the wine list.  I knew this was probably not going to work when he said, “What’s arugula?  Is that a cheese?”  And then, “Gruyere?  What’s that?”  I could have run screaming from the room but stayed firmly planted and tried not to roll my eyes.

Even after he had made his choices, he just had nothing to say.  In this dating process that I once again find myself in, I find it so tiresome that most of the men I meet find it incredibly difficult to make conversation much less have anything poignant or witty to say.  I’m here though.  I’m on this date for the next hour or two so I’m going to make the best of it.  I didn’t give up and kept knocking on the door with probing questions.  I can talk to almost anyone, after all.

Eventually, he opened up a bit and talked a little more.  I was still the one doing all the heavy lifting, “So what’s the best concert you’ve seen lately?  Do you have any upcoming vacations you’re looking forward to?” etc.

Although I knew I never wanted to see him again, I considered it a triumph when he asked for my number at the end of the date.  I gave it to him, not wanting to have that awkward moment of refusing, knowing that I could always block him later, if need be.  The dinner had been just okay and although I offered an “ass out hug” as my friends and I call it, he opted for a quick peck and I was back in my car.

Driving home I just felt defeated.  Nothing before and nothing since has ever been able to compare to that first date with him.  He has become the gold standard and no one else measures up.  I felt the sadness and frustration wash over me.

Some first dates are just horrendous.  I’ve had dates where I actually wondered if the guy had some form of autism.  I’ve had dates that included way too much bragging, “So now let’s talk about you.  What do you think of ME?”  And dates who actually ask things like “Does the carpet match the drapes?  And  “So are those D or DD?”  When one guy came at me attempting an oral exam with his own tongue and I stopped him saying I didn’t even know his last name, he told me there was no need to “complicate things”.  What’s most common are the men who seem to have no control over their hands, even upon first meeting, and I am forced to do my best Karate Kid blocking moves – Wax on!  Wax off!  Waaaaaaay off!

Some dates are just okay – dull, lack luster and utterly forgettable.  But when it clicks; when it finally feels right – how wonderful and rare that is.

It’s like trying to use a dull, cheap knife in the kitchen.  There’s no balance, no weight in your hand and it takes twice as much effort to get half the result.  What about those cheap peelers or the apple corer that just bends when you push it in?  Some less expensive kitchen tools will do the job, but not satisfyingly.

When you find something of quality, it just works so well, so easily and just feels good in your hand when you’re working with it.  How about a really great pizza wheel that just rolls effortlessly through even the thickest pie?  Or a rotary grater to shred fresh Parmesan on each plate of pasta just before you serve it?  I also love a really fine rasp for chocolate or fresh lemon peel.  Even good quality measuring spoons that have some weight to them, can go in the dishwasher without having the numbers disappear and are shaped to fit into most spice containers make a big difference.

The same can be said for your baking pans – cheap, light and flimsy or a high quality item your kids will still be using when you’re gone?  And don’t get me started on high quality olive oil and balsamic!

Don’t settle.  You can’t settle especially once you’ve once had something extraordinary.

Hold out for that incredible first date; that gadget, that tool that just feels right in your hand and makes everything smoother and easier.

P.S. Mr. Bland James Taylor did, in fact, text a few days later, “Hey, it’s the good-looking guy from the other night” . . . . . This time I didn’t have to try to hide my eye roll and just hit “block caller”.




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