So last night, I went on a date. I think. See, this is my problem. I don’t date. I’m bad at it. I was in a relationship for SEVEN years with my high school sweet heart so we missed out on all the normal social development that happens to young adults when they are trying to look for a potential mate. We thought we had that part of life all pinned down. But sometimes, life doesn’t always turn out as you schedule and now I’m single. And being (happily and healthily) single means that every once in a while, you go out with someone of the opposite gender to have drinks and dinner and a chat. It’s like a job interview, but you don’t bring your resume.
Well, this maybe-date of mine last night was great. He came from work (so did I). He’s a banker and this fact in itself was cause for stress for me already. It felt cruel to greet him and ask “Sooo, how’s work?”, knowing full well that the economy is about to implode on itself at any second now (FYI: we managed that exchange OK – his bank is solid and no one is getting laid off, thank goodness!). Anyway, as I was saying…he’s a banker and a banker in London dresses like a proper adult: in a black pin-striped suit, in black shoes, and an ironed white shirt. Until last weekend, when Cynthia asked for it, I didn’t even know I owned an iron! I think the mere fact that he was dressed like a real adult scored him points even before we sat down to eat! And here’s the fun (ironic, serendipitous) part. He’s from Argentina. We ordered Argentinian wine. And what did we talk about? My trip to Argentina! How easy that our maybe-date was already themed for us!
We went to the Troubador – this gorgeous old pub/restaurant/brunch place that I had been to before but on a Sunday morning. Last night it was candlelit and bohemian. We had wine and a platter to share. And we talked about travel – adventure travel! The crazy kind where you buy a one-way ticket into one airport and then wing the rest! The kind where you wander a city, a country, a continent, with no real agenda. We talked about taking off for three months just because. We talked about Argentine tango and Brazilian carnival and house music in Berlin and food in Bangkok. We planned trips to Mozambique and Morocco and the Amalfi coast. And we’re going to hit Asia – renting huts on the beach and getting massages and eating fabulous feasts of tropical food for $20 a day. Two hours of travel dreaming, pretending and planning. And it was great fun!
The thing about having a date night in London is that it’s always bound to be a surprise. This place is the most hyper stimulating environment I’ve ever been in. It’s like an extended stay in the craziest souk in the world. There are just so many different types of people here, from every nook and cranny of the planet. If you’ve got an accent fetish, this is the place to be. Londoners are hybrids – in between countries, loves, destinations and they always have an interesting story to share. There isn’t a day that goes by where I am not fascinated by something different – whether it’s a new expression that I hear or a great new restaurant that I visit. There is always something to discover here.
I don’t know what will come of this maybe-date. And I call it a maybe-date because it was never meant as an outward invitation to go and do something romantic. We met through friends and just wanted to catch up. And doesn’t that make more sense? Let’s set some time, catch up, hang out, have something to eat and then maybe do it again if it’s fun. Really, maybe-dates are the way to go! You can’t ever think of these things as “date” dates (except when you gossip about it after with your girlfriend because it’s more fun to add intrigue to everything when you’re gossiping with your girlfriend). Instead, you just keep open about meeting a new friend, an interesting person, someone different to learn from. The most beautifully surprising part of it all is that each time I go on an a maybe-date, I am always struck by how genuinely decent and great people are. There are some great human beings out there and some of them can even be MEN! Who knew?!
Needless to say, I do think that at the very least, he will be a great friend. Maybe he can even teach me some Spanish!