Everything (October 2019, Week 1, Day 4)

“Wine is great, thanks,” was what I said though “wine is easier to choose,” is what I meant. Why did dates, especially first dates, have to start in bars? I am far more equipped to discuss which Dewey Decimal number is my favorite and why than I am to figure out which complicated beverage will both taste good and will represent my personality to its fullest. No one – No one – picks a library for a first date. Not yet, anyway.

I’ve only been “on the market” for about four months. I know that there’s the chance that, someday, I’ll get a ping on one of the apps (I’m on four so far – one for each month of my “renaissance”) with an offer to meet up at the local library. I also know that the chances of that are slimmer than the chances of reconciliation with Seth. So, yeah.

Being single is not for the faint of heart. Figuring out what collection of information conveys the right balance of quirk, smirk, and flirt should be something you can study. At least a workshop or a meetup or something. All the advice is conflicting. “Be Yourself!” “Go Aspirational!” “Cleavage over Content!” When all I want is True Love, this part should be easy.

Easy is ordering wine in the inevitable bar on the requisite First Date. So, I do.

This one has potential despite the location. He actually looks like the pictures he posted (win number one) and he was already here when I arrived (win number two). That I need to drink wine instead of something harder is ok, and that he’s managing the order at the bar means I can watch him without needing to be subtle. 

I know that looks aren’t everything. Really, I do. Not everything and not anything have a lot of distance between them, so I look. I look and I notice. I notice how his clothes fit on his body (confidently snug) and that he has defined forearms. I notice his hair (easy style) and his laugh (full bodied). I notice the grace with which he navigates an older, drunker man stumbling away from the bar, and how he takes a moment to make eye contact and check on the man’s travel plans (with an air of being ready to jump in and intervene if necessary). You might not think that last one falls into the “looks” category, and maybe it doesn’t. It’s still part of what I notice in this moment of distance, and it’s definitely part of what has me smiling. So, as I said, I know that looks aren’t everything.

Seth was (probably still is) a looker. That’s what my friends like to keep reminding me, as if I might have forgotten. “A tall, dark, drink of water,” is what Mika likes to call him. She doesn’t seem to like it when I tell her she’s welcome to drink him right up. Perhaps that’s taking the metaphor too far? Or hitting too close to home given her history of flirtation? It doesn’t matter. Seth will forever be my concrete example of “looks aren’t everything,” since looks were where things stopped for him.

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