Thursday, March 3, 2011

First Date: A Cozy Night at the Wine Bar and a Sweet Surprise, Meet "Southerngent"

The workday was a crappy one: job stress, kid drama and a forgotten lunch appointment.    After getting a tongue lashing from the boss and dealing with the other issues of the day, the last thing I felt like doing was going on a date and trying to be charming.    I picked up my phone twice during the day thinking of texting him with an excuse to cancel, but talked myself out of it both times.
“Southerngent” and I had several conversations in advance, mostly just friendly chats.  From his online profile picture, he seemed really approachable, open, maybe a little wounded.   Transition was written all over his face and I feel a little mom-like maybe needing to invite him to orientation into the “newly divorced club”.  
My nature is so nurturing that my first impulse is to get him a tall, cold glass of milk with a side of warm chocolate chip cookies oh yes that should do it.  This should make him feel better about being back out there in the harsh dating world again - a warm and full tummy, right?  Er… scratch that, he probably wants a tall cold drink of water and hot monkey sex to cure what ails him, lol.
Dating in middle age is quite tricky.  People at this age are either still licking their wounds from the aftermath of divorce - fighting over such minutia like the tacky candlesticks that neither one really wants, but neither one wants the other to have.  Or, if one has been dating they are often damaged and every person they meet is just another to potentially rip their beating heart out of their chest and eat it with their bare hands.
I reached out to him first which is really unusual for me, not sure why really.   There was just something likable about him, not to mention that he seemed intelligent and handsome.   Our conversations  were easy and casual, covering subjects like writing, movies and our children.  Every time we talked, it flowed smoothly but was mostly short and friendly.   I probably took on more of the role of friend and mommy and put the sex kitten side of me on the shelf.
I debated if I should go ahead with the date anyway and I felt so comfortable with him that I truly wanted to meet him.  Although a comfy pair of sweat pants and a glass of wine sounded better than getting dressed and going out, I decided to keep the date with him.   I was honestly a little concerned that I would make a bad impression on him because I was in such a crappy mood but decided to keep my plans with him.
After applying a little makeup, hair and a cute outfit, I felt a little more in the mood to meet Southerngent, besides it was just for one drink and I tried to convince myself that maybe I needed a break.    The drive to meet him at the wine bar went quickly and once I opened my car door, I spotted him outside waiting for me.   He recognized me right away, recognizing me by my long hair, I’m sure.   The expression on his face immediately changed to a big smile and his arms opened up to hug me right away.   
He was more handsome than I pictured.   His salt and pepper hair set off his blue grey eyes perfectly.   His face was striking, chiseled yet exuded warmth.   When he smiled his eyes sparkled and I immediately felt at ease.    I hadn’t really been concerned with creating a physical attraction while preparing for this date.   So, I was a little surprised with feeling it instantly, and sensing that it was mutual.    

We walked into the cozy environment of the wine bar, surrounded by gorgeous cherry shelving storing wine bottles on their side.    On the way to the sitting area, I felt his hand lightly on the small of my back guiding me gently to the intimate seating grouping.   I chose the small leather loveseat and was a little surprised that he chose to sit right next to me instead of choosing a nearby chair.
The bar was dimly lit, relaxing and the jazz playing only made me feel more at ease and comfortable.  The conversation flowed easily and his eye contact let me know he was attracted to me.    He ordered a tall beer and I ordered a girly martini.  
This in person conversation was so different than our phone conversations because we were both feeling sparks.   We talked about travels, music and his childhood memories summers in the south.    The way he described spending time on his Grandfather’s lake in the summer and being surrounded by a close family made me yearn for memories like that of my own.   He is a man who came from a loving environment and then unfortunately found himself in a marriage that didn’t fill his emotional needs as the years went on.   He is a doting father, a caring soul and the sort of man who would go out of his way to not harm anyone.
The martini helped me put my day behind me and be in this moment with this incredible man.    Between sips of the drink, laughter and the jazz, it felt so good to be sitting next to him.  During the evening, he casually touched my leg or my arm in a subtle way, giving me more clues that he was feeling attracted to me.  He loved my hair and found a couple of excuses to touch it without being obvious.   We shared long moments of eye contact and if we weren’t in public, I would have wanted him to kiss me.   
When we talked it was peppered with indirect references of spending more time together.    We had to end our evening soon, but it was clear that we both would like to see each other again.   Unfortunately, we are in opposite places in post-divorce recovery.  I’m ready to meet someone and I question if he is.  So, although he is a great man, I do have to be a little careful to not jump in too fast, because I easily could. 
He walked me out to my car and sweetly asked me if he could kiss me.  I playfully told him that he could and when our lips met, I think we both felt something pulling us together.    Our kissing started softly and gently, but became more intense.  We kissed for several minutes, practically ambivalent to the inadequate privacy that the sunset provided.     
Saying goodnight took a few episodes of kissing and when we eventually stopped, I noticed that there were some men in a nearby office watching us.  I felt a little embarrassed because we had been kissing passionately for several minutes before I saw them.     When I told him about it, he only pulled me closer and kissed me more in a sweet protest.    We both laughed and he earned extra points when he asked me to text him when I got home safely.  
I was so pleasantly surprised with this first date and felt really happy on the drive home.    He is a total gentleman and someone I’d really like to spend time with but question if the timing is right for him.  But for now, I’m going to savor this surprisingly wonderful first date and get to know this incredible gentleman.


The Single Mom