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First Date

He never asked me to be his girlfriend. There wasn’t a “will you go out with me” or anything like that. I asked him if he still had this Tinder activated. He said he deleted the app. He’d updated his photos before doing so, though.

So that was that? We were together? I was used to blunt declarations. I told him that assumptions are how girls end up in yearlong, neverending situationships. But over the last two years, I know that easy going mentality is just him.

We celebrate the anniversary of our first date. It’s about a month after we met in person and about a month and a week after we swiped right. That month in between was filled with work trips, family trips, a bachelor party, and prior obligations.

For someone who equates dating with searching for a job, that month was crucial. Men ghost. He, in all the thousands of miles between us, did not. I noted that. I appreciated that. A rarity of sincerity was something that made him stand out, among other features.

We went to this restaurant in Decatur on our first date. I arrived first, which is also rare. As someone who lives way OTP, I often try to overcompensate for that fact. People my age don’t own homes in the sticks. People my age also don’t drive to the sticks. So whenever I’m invited to anything inside the perimeter, I’m on time. I don’t need anyone speaking out the side of their neck about the distance. I’m well aware.

I wore a blue dress. He wore a blue polo, jeans, and loafers. We sat at the last booth/table immediately to your left upon entering the restaurant. At the time, I was in my fifth month of being single. The guy before wasn’t emotionally ready to continue a relationship. The one before that was just a valuable lesson learned and a waste of time simultaneously. So I showed up to this restaurant hopeful, but not too eager. Dating sucks. Men suck. I didn’t want to think too far ahead so I just took the moment for what it was.

Dinner was great. He felt familiar, yet I enjoyed learning about him. He didn’t seem calculated. He wasn’t rude. He was different. We sat there for hours and hours just talking about any and everything. And then the waitstaff came over: it was time to go. As we looked around, the restaurant was completely empty, excluding the workers. We were so consumed in our own conversation that we missed the other patrons leaving. The waiter apologized for making us leave, but said that the restaurant at the other end of the shopping plaza was open and we could continue our date there. So we did.

That place was a neighborhood watering hole. Loud music from a cover band blared through the doors. We sat outside on the patio where other folks enjoyed their Friday night. The conversation commensed. Late summer weather in Georgia welcomes roaches. I multitasked engaging in whatever he was saying and keeping my eye on the flying vermin that surrounded us. I kept my cool; he complimented that.

Hours passed by and again, the restaurant cleared out. The patio was empty and it was just us and the roaches. We decided to call it a night as it was well after midnight. The ability to shut down two restaurants in one night was worth mentioning and an honor we still bare.