Alicia here. There is perhaps, too often, too much seriousness placed on a second date. The holy grail of dating is to get past the initial awkward meeting. Many people seem to think that second date is a time to decide if this is the person they’re going to be in a longer-term relationship with. I in fact know a guy who went on a second date with a lady who proceeded to basically interview him over bowls of soup and a shared salad. She told him she was deciding between two men to pursue, which gave an air of competition to the whole conversation. My friend wanted to win! Glory would be his! And sure…the girl too. It wasn’t until after the second date while pondering why she didn’t call him that he realized something important: he really didn’t want want to be involved with someone who felt interviewing people was a gateway to a deeper connection. I’ve digressed.
Admittedly, my experience with second dates in the past year has been slim, but I feel the whole deadpan/interview-style isn’t the best method of dating. Why not have fun – and call the person if you still like them the next day?
For our second date, Brian and I batted around silly ideas like two cats with a ball of yarn. How could we outdo our remarkable first date? Talks of strip clubs followed by visiting a church or synagog were eventually vetoed, and we decided to meet up for a drink. Except, I had book club and he had a hockey game. My friends and I were loquacious about our literature and Brian’s hockey game was an hour earlier than he imaged it would be. So when I knocked on his front door he told me we had about thirty minutes before he had to leave. Further prodding got him to reveal we’d have forty five minutes if I gave him a ride.
First though, he invited me in to meet one of his housemates. Stepping inside a date’s home is one of the most intimate acts you’ll ever encounter. Their taste is on display, from what lines their bookshelves to what hangs on their walls, and if you’re lucky, you get to see pantry items as well. I laughed my way through a conversation about making potential dates fill out questionnaires while simultaneously taking in the retro-fridge, the 50’s mod paint job, and the inherent neatness of the home.
I felt special, but jaded. Was Brian introducing me to people he knows because he wanted to, or because it was merely polite, or because he thought it would make me feel especially comfortable with him and thus sleep with him? I thought back to how sixteen year old me would have felt only special, how maybe even nineteen year old me felt the same way, and twenty-two year old me. When exactly had the jadedness crept in? And who exactly invited it?
Forty-five minutes with Brian over a Pimm’s cup (me) and meatballs (him), plus a quick drive to the ice rink, was not long enough.
“You could come in a watch,” Brian said.
I laughed. “That may be the only thing we could do to top washing our hands together.” There was an awkward pause before I continued. “Actually, if that’s the case…I say heck yes.”
I parked Huckleberry Fit and we went into the rink together. Brian briefed me. “Um, well, I’m number 24. And my team has a lot of nicknames for me. Yell any derivative of my name if you want to cheer. And here’s my jacket. Just…if you decide to leave can you leave it for me?” The weirdness of the whole situation made us both laugh, and then I sat down on the bleachers and waited for the game to begin, amusing myself by taking photos and writing in my journal.
One other person came into the rink to watch – a man named Ramon Gonzales. He didn’t know anyone on any team – he just liked hockey. Eventually, Ramon handed me a piece of paper with his Amazon website (read his poetry here). He talked my ear off, cheered louder than me, typed furiously on his computer and eventually slipped me a puck before he bid me farewell.
Brian came off the ice, supremely sweaty and definitely modest. Jaded or not, I liked him even more.
I have to admit – it was still weird to be dating without Megan tagging along.