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The X Factor in Washington DC

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I’m back! It’s me! Alicia! And I can think straight! On with the dates! (The more !!! the merrier, apparently!!!)

Looks aren’t everything. When it comes to being attracted to men, I look for what’s right about them rather than what is “wrong” (to be fair, this is how I seem to approach a lot of my life). I suppose I could and should also note I tend to believe that most everyone looks good to someone, and for that reason I tend to find most people lovely to look at. All this said, my Washington DC date, T, was maybe the most attractive human being I’ve ever gone out with. Ever.

We are talking Blair Underwood and Beyonce got together and had a child, then Nick Cannon and Mariah Carey had a child (has that already happened?), and those two children grew up and had a child who was taught to dress by the most hip-hoppingly dapper individual around. And that child is T. Purrrrr. Okay, shaking myself out of that serotonin induced haze…um, after I look at photos of him again on Facebook…now.

T agreed to meet under two conditions: one, that the movie was going to come out post election (he was working on the campaign) and two, that it would be a relatively short evening so he could return to work or go to a friend’s party. Maybe both. I accepted his requirements via text, and next thing I knew we were meeting at Meredian Pint where the beer selection was astronomically swell and the tables close together.

After a round of beer we agreed to share small plates, and were already far beyond the getting to know you talk of where we used to live and what we do for a living and family history. As we wound through topics great and small, I actually worried for a second that I might have food in my teeth. I admit, so rarely do these dates involve food (and so rarely have I cared) it was almost a red-letter moment. Oh yes! Dating isn’t just fun, but it can be done because you might meet someone who makes you act like you’ve just stepped into your first school dance and you’re not sure where to sit, who to talk to, how to act, or even who you are. Of course, the purpose of taking fifty first dates was to stop having those feelings, so I mentally wiggled out my entire body in order to simply be authentically myself. T was doing just that, talking about his love of cooking, his political work, his musical aspirations and accomplishments, and his friends.

At some point T and I talked dating and relationships on a very broad spectrum. This is standard fifty/fifty talk. I figure I can get away with asking about the datingverse based on the premise of why we’re meeting, though it’s not something I would have recommended for first dates pre-trip. Anyway, while discussing what brought me on the trip (blah blah blah, boy said he was super into me and saw me as a long term partner, broke up with me shortly after, very confusing, blah blah blah), T brought up a concept I’ve thought about but never named: the X factor. I liked it right off the bat since it brought algebra and the datingverse together again.

No, no, the X factor does not have to do with an ex-significant other. Rather, this X is the missing, unknown and never to be known piece of an almost equation for when everything is right about another person, you’re still not into them. The equation looks like this:

That Person + X = LOVE
and even if you subtract X from both sides and have
That Person = LOVE – X
it’s still not balanced because you were looking for X to be part of LOVE all along. They are everything you want, and yet, you don’t want them at all. They’re missing X, and even you don’t know what X is, but it’s not there, it’s not describable, and while maybe you hate yourself a little, you still just can’t be lacking whatever X is.

While T and I were discussing life, the universe, and what makes the world tick-tock, the two guys at the table next to us couldn’t help but notice the tiny cameras we had set up (as happens with every date when you’re making a documentary, you’re filmed the whole time). The men next to us were drinking faster and harder than we were, and it wasn’t long before they were not so subtly murmuring that gee, what on earth could be filming at the moment, followed by crescendoing comments on topics that would make their moms, employers and potential life partners shudder. They finally left, and T and I laughed at their choice of handling the situation. I appreciated that both of us were in some ways just too polite to call them out on their shenanigans.

Rather quickly pumpkin time came and voila, T was up, up and away – though not without a hug, and a follow up text a few hours later inviting me for a second date the next time I was in DC.

Whatever that X factor is for me, T had it in spades.

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