My cousin, Elle, is a marvel. While staying at the loft she shares with her manfriend, Joe, they had a small get-together – and hallelujah. For one, Noah had made enough spanakopita to feed a family of raccoons and their extended relatives who were visiting from the next hill over, and we needed some help dining on that deliciousness. For two, Elle and I had spent a good majority of the morning on the prowl for a Rhode Island date, and were getting nowhere at breakneck speed. (Future tips for men of RI: answer your online dating mail!) However, at the get-together, a friend of a friend of Elle heard about fifty/fifty and my dating woes, and texted a friend she knew in Rhode Island…and within half an hour I had a date. Bam!
I remember back in Montana when the concept of an entirely blind date made my stomach twirl in anxiety. Such a difference practice makes! When I arrived at the hipster-chic coffee house we’d be sipping hot beverages at, I felt remarkably calm. Megan set up, we checked light-meters, and I instagrammed to pass the time. I smiled at every person who walked in the door since I had no idea what Brian, my date, actually looked like, and eventually one of the guys smiled back at me.
Being a chatterbox, I started talking right away. How did he get here, what did he want to drink, this is Megan, sign this piece of paper, thanks so much for coming, Star Wars reference about it not being a trap, and then we were doing the whole getting to know you, getting to know all about you song and dance. Minus the singing and dancing, plus questions about education, family, and employment. Blind dates without the help of the internet are peculiar for this exact reason: you have to talk to someone with absolutely no context other than what they give you in their appearance (his: beard, black shirt, jeans. Bit of a challenge on that one).
Somehow the topic of high school crushes came up and I asked if Brian had ever had the satisfaction of hooking up with a teenage crush as an adult. “Oh, going retrosexual?” he said.* “Definitely. That’s the best.” He recounted a few moments with a girl he’d only been on a dreamboat with in high school, and a fondness glazed his eyes while he talked about what it was like to finally get to be with her.
As the glaze wore off he looked over at me, and recalling the situation – namely that he was on a date – gentlemanily guffawed and said perhaps he’d said too much, having just replayed both a fantasy and a reality with another gal. Smiling, I simply told him one of my own tales of retrosexuality (probably with the same glazed look in my eye).**
I realize on a lot of these dates we wind up discussing past relationships; partly because of the nature of the project (any guy that has read the Kickstarter page has at least a working knowledge that I have a past relationship and tends to have questions) and partly because…well, why, I’m not quite sure. Maybe it’s because dating is something most of us have in common, something that if we’re on a date, we know we can talk about. It’s made me wonder if the old adage that it’s verboten to talk about past relationships on a first date is woefully out of date. Regardless or right or wrong, I’m guessing I’ll be talking about past relationships for the next twenty or so dates to come.
*Retrosexual = new favorite term for discussing dating/hooking-up with past crushes. As far as this term being widely used, I have found zero information to support that (and in most cases, it seems to be used for someone who embraces eras gone by though not in a dating context).
**Always match awkward with awkward.