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Nicknames and Dating

Screen shot 2013-07-06 at 1.59.43 PMAlicia here. Singles tend to play this game unofficially called, Nickname Our Dates.* The reasoning is twofold: First, it helps our friends/family/therapists/dental hygienists keep the potentials in some sense of order. Saying “Bob called,” gives them nothing to work with. Saying, “Bob, the guy whose room is decorated in photos of horses he got from old calendars,” is long winded. Saying, “Horse-Decor Bob,” is clearly the just-right ticket. The second reason singles play this game is to keep the dates straight themselves. Look, it’s either make a spreadsheet or it’s make up nicknames.** And unless you’re a statistician or a jailer, you probably aren’t keen on more reasons to look at cells.

A few days after my almost mortifyingly bad first date (where I was the laughing stock, not someone else), I had to get back on the dating horse. Why? Well, mostly because I had scheduled another date with an up-turned nose, freckled guy I’d already nicknamed Dr. P – he was working on a post-doc degree at Stanford in something related to math (I bet he had a spreadsheet he enjoyed using!). We agreed to meet in San Francisco for a drink at a dimly lit bar with table cloths.

I waffled before leaving my apartment, working on a project for a client obsessively instead of getting out of the door on time – which meant I had to drive to the city instead of take public transportation. It’s not hip in SF to drive (though if you live in the East Bay it can be sort of unhip not drive) and I was concerned Dr. P would think I was lamesauce if he knew I had shifted through a number of gears to meet him, so I planned to not mention it.

He showed up freshly showered. Literally, his hair was still wet and he apologized for being a few minutes late, citing getting home from Palo Alto late. I had a beer waiting for him (because I’m nothing if not excited about having a beverage waiting for me when I arrive some place tardy) and after about twenty seconds of pause, we were off and running on the talking brigade.

50/50 was once again a hot-talk topic, but I was able to get Dr. P to tell me about some of his bizarre dating escapades too, so unlike my last first date, the chatter never felt one sided. We then discussed his education history, and took a break from one another to order another round before he stepped away into the bathroom. Upon his return, he let me know the men’s bathroom was actually really interesting because of the different type of urnel cake sitting in the bottom of the toilet.

I probably should have paused, or been weirded out. But me being me, I said, “Oh wow, really?! This I have to see.” And up I went into the men’s bathroom (and yes, I even Instagrammed from there). Our date ended with a hug, and Dr. P even texted to make sure I’d made it home safely and to thank me for coming out. As he walked away, I silently visualized waving pom-poms around yelling “Go Team!” Yep, I was thankful I hadn’t lost all of my ability to go on a date.

In fact, I smelled a second date on the horizon.

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*(We all played this in the college dorms, too, only we tended to nickname people in the hall rather than who we were going out with.)

**Yes, people to do this. More on the spreadsheet phenomenon another day.

 

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