Date Number Four: Mr. Happy
It started with an email titled "Happy 6th of July."I feel I should stay in contact with you. I feel like there is some kind of connection we have between us I just can't put my finger on it yet :)" (sic)
And so I wrote him back. I know, I'm a sucker. But, he was sincere, and so I thought, what the heck?
In his reply, he asked me if I'd like to try it again. I said yes. So, unlike last time, he set the date, time AND place. Outback on S. Virginia that Friday at 6 p.m. I told him I'd be there.
He left nothing to chance this time. He confirmed again via email later in the week and a phone call. I found it charming and not in the least bit stalkerish.
I got to the restaurant about five minutes early. I went inside, and peeked into the bar area, just in case he decided to grab a beer while he waited. Didn't see him.
I sat down and waited. The host came over to me and asked if he could help me. I said no, that I was waiting for someone. He asked if I had looked in the bar. I said yes, but then realizing that I might not know exactly what this guy looked like, I took another peek. Nope. No one that resembled his online pic.
Not ten seconds later, some guy approached me from behind. "There you are! I have a table." I was taken aback - what is this thing that guys do with grabbing a table first?
I don't get it - this isn't the first time it's happened to me, either, and I find it irritating. It's hard enough meeting someone for the first time, but then I'm supposed to "guess" that he's already seated - and then walk through a busy restaurant looking for someone who resembles an online pic?
I tried to quickly brush off my irritation, because I didn't want to be pissy on our first date. I could save that for later.
Thankfully the waiter came over quickly, and I ordered a Corona Light. I figured the alcohol would calm me down.
Mr. Happy was nice, despite his getting a table without me. We talked and joked and honestly, I felt comfortable. Or as comfortable as one could feel on a first date.
I felt that our conversation was pretty equal - he'd ask me a question, I'd respond. I'd ask him a question, he'd respond. We had some back and forth and some delightful banter - so unlike Mr. River Rafting who hogged the conversation.
After dinner, he paid and we got up to leave. As we walked outside, he said, "Come over to my truck, I have something to show you." I said something like, "you don't know how many times I've heard that line..." and laughed.
I walked with him to his truck, and he said, "Tanny!" I was thinking, huh? What's a Tanny? Then a dog peered over the top of the truck bed. He said, "You said you liked dogs, so I brought Tanny with me so you could meet her."
His dog is part pit-bull and part Sharpei. I've got quite a aversion to pit bulls, mostly because I have cats and I worry that a pit would tear one of them in two. But, this dog seemed really sweet and very, very shy. I could see the Sharpei part of her in her face. I petted her, and she responded.
He and I talked while she ate his leftover steak. Then, he said, "I have something for you." I was going to joke about how many times I've heard that line, but stopped myself when I saw him reach inside a cooler and bring out flowers. White roses to be exact.
He handed them to me, and I thanked him. I told him they were really beautiful and I appreciated the gift. Then he looked alarmed and said, "Well, now, I don't know what they mean - so don't read anything into them! I just thought they were pretty and you said you liked flowers."
He walked me to my car and we hugged. He didn't say anything like "I'd like to see you again," or "I had a good time." He just said good-bye. I thanked him again, got into my car, and after I put my flowers in a safe place, I saw him driving away with Tanny.
I looked at the clock. Seven-thirty. I drove away feeling like I still had the whole night ahead of me, but I didn't know what to do with myself. So I drove home, unsure of whether or not he even wanted to see me again.
I guess only time would tell...