I liked Mr. Nebraska enough to introduce him to the girls.
It’s a monumental step as he’s the only guy I’ve introduced to my girlfriends in the last 6 months. I dislike mixing my friends with my online dating escapades, even if the girls and I talk at length about my experiences. Mainly, I vent; they listen; and together, we commiserate.
I thought Mr. Nebraska was different because I thought we were heading somewhere. You already know it didn’t go anywhere. I started talking about him when discussing the end of our thing before anything really began. I met Mr. Nebraska on OkCupid shortly after breaking up with my ex-something, Bearded Hipster.
Our first date wasn’t very special. We met at Black Hole (coffee shop located in the neighborhood area of Museum District) and he was late. My first impression was that he was so tall and so lanky! He smiled sheepishly at me and apologized for being late. He told me he didn’t know if we were actually going to meet since we’d made plans several days ago and neither of us had really contacted each other since, but that he was thankful I had sent him a text this morning telling him I was on my way. I was not dazzled, but I was slightly charmed at his sociable honesty.
Our second date was a week later when we brunched at Canopy (cute lunch/brunch spot at a small strip in Montrose). This time I was late and he was waiting for me at the bar area. The beginning was sweetly awkward since we didn’t communicate much through text and ended up trying to catch up on what had happened in the past week instead of looking at the menu. I think we sent the poor waiter away with the common saying, we need more time at least 2 or 3 times. I was even more charmed when we went across the street to Diedrich (decent local coffee shop in Montrose) and drank some coffee while sitting outside chatting about random, intellectual topics. We were in the middle of discussing something engaging when a scavenger hunt group approached asking us to pose for a picture. Specifically, they wanted us to pose like the iconic picture of a sailor locked in a passionate embrace with a nurse from 1945 at Times Square in NYC. They assured us, we didn’t actually have to embrace, just to make it look like we were. I shrugged my shoulders, saying I didn’t mind and neither, apparently, did Mr. Nebraska. He swung me down and lowered his face and I felt my heart skip a little as he drew closer. He was close enough that when they snapped the picture, we looked as if we were truly kissing. But we didn’t (although I wish he had, and he told me later, he wished he had too).
Our third date was more than a week afterwards at Provisions (the less fancy, less expensive part of the restaurant, The Pass & Provisions). He was waiting inside for me as I ran across the street in my heels because I had just received his text that he was here. I walked in and saw him exactly where he said he would be and he smiled broadly at me and as I saw down, he told me that I was definitely the late one this time. I supposed I deserve it for calling him out for being late the first time. We again meandered over the menu, sending the waiter away because we needed more time. We always had enough to talk about, the conversation flowing evenly from both of us without it feeling unequal. We then ditched the somewhat fancy eatery for Cecil’s Pub (a dive bar with pool tables) to drink a couple of beers. We played some pool, he won and I lost (as I’m pretty awful at it). We stopped after a while and sat down together on a bench. I don’t remember what we were talking about, but I remember that I was leaning against him when he looked over at me. I knew at that moment that he was going to kiss me even before he lowered his face. I closed my eyes as our lips touched for a brief kiss.
From there on, we started dating in earnest, seeing each other once or twice a week for about 2 months before things went sideways. Mr. Nebraska chose his girl, and it wasn’t me. Still I’m not going to downplay how I felt about him. I liked him a lot, if I didn’t I wouldn’t have introduced him to the girls. I assumed he liked me too because I met his friends at one of his favorite spots, Big Top (dive bar, located at the edge of Midtown, with live music at night). He and I went about each step of the dating game in an appropriate fashion, without any mishaps. Perhaps, that was the problem–we didn’t make any mistakes. We never disagreed; we never fought; we lacked passion.
That’s what we needed–a healthy dose of infatuation–at least, at first.