Several attentive readers pointed out that nearly a month passed and I still hadn’t written a follow-up to my post about a much-anticipated first date with “T2.” My love life skews so heavily towards comedy that I thought you might find a cliffhanger a nice change of pace, but apparently not, so here goes.
A lot of people wanted to know if I was nervous. No, I wasn’t. I don’t really get nervous about these things, though I have ample reason to, based on my behavior on one particular date two summers ago. I was just looking forward to it, the best possible mindset to have before a date.
T2 had made a reservation at Georgia Brown’s, a downtown restaurant that serves upscale southern fare. He offered to pick me up and I accepted. I don’t usually do that, but I had a good feeling about T2, and my gut is rarely wrong, whether or not I listen to it.
Moments before T2 pulled up in front of my house, a torrential rain let loose. He came to the door with an umbrella big enough to shelter a family of 6, which meant there might even be room for my hair. We arrived at the restaurant and were shown to our table, one of a series of two-tops with chairs on one side and a long, cushioned banquette on the other.
T2 asked, “Where would you like to sit?”
It looked to me like the person who sat in the chair might be more in traffic, so I said, “I’ll take the chair.” The hostess pulled out the chair for me and I sat down. I should note that T2 and I are pretty much the same height, or at least we were until he took a seat on the banquette and immediately lost four inches.
I tried to keep a straight face but couldn’t, and neither could T2.
“Could I get a booster seat over here?” he said, just one of dozens of lines that kept me laughing all night.
By the time we finished dinner, the rain had abated so we walked around the monuments. DC is a picturesque city under any circumstances, but like most of us, it looks just a little better in the moonlight. Our conversation wandered happily, too.
I could hardly have imagined an evening going any better, which is why I went ahead and told T2 I thought we should move in together.
Oh, relax, people, I did no such thing. I didn’t even invite him to Thanksgiving. But things had gone well enough to make a second date a very good idea. This was fortunate because, in a slight breach of sequencing protocol, T2 had actually invited me on a second date –a Sunday spent admiring the foliage on Skyline Drive –before the first occurred. He had acknowledged the departure from convention but, based on how much time we’d spent texting, he figured he was standing on pretty solid ground. I agreed.
T2 again kept me in stitches that day. He’s one of the wittiest, funniest people I’ve met in ages, and he continued to impress me with his thoughtfulness.
After that date I went off to Texas for the TWA Conference and we had plans to get together once I returned. T2 had known I was a bit nervous about giving my workshop, so he checked in to send encouraging (and hilarious) thoughts.
Safety note: Before I continue with my story, I must ask that you first back away slowly from your cast iron skillet, hammer and any other blunt object within easy reach. In fact, now may be a good time to encase yourself in a protective layer of Nerf.
So I got back from Plano and texted T2. But instead of making plans to get together, I told him I had some misgivings and didn’t think we were a fit romantically.
See? Aren’t you glad you put on the Nerf? I’m the one you want to hit over the head, anyway.
Here’s the thing: I like T2 very, very much. He has qualities that I prize–kindness, thoughtfulness, curiosity, intelligence—and he cares about his family the way I do mine. He’s funny and doesn’t take himself too seriously. But we lacked combustibility, an essential ingredient for me. Some of you will think I rushed to judgment, that friendship offers the best possible base upon which to build a relationship. You may have a point, but it’s never worked that way for me, and I thought too highly of T2 to go on if I couldn’t be All There.
We had a long text exchange and I did my best to explain my inexplicable nature. T2 accepted it with incredible grace and thanked me for my honesty. Then I did something I’ve not done since I started dating again after my divorce: I asked if he would want to be friends. Though I struggle to find time to nurture the friendships I have, T2s don’t come along every day, and I didn’t want to lose him. He politely declined, and I could hardly blame him.
A week later he made my day when he said he’d thought about it and wanted to try to be friends.
We went to a Halloween party together last weekend. He dressed up in disco garb, including a spectacular wig, and it would have been perfect if only we didn’t discover the theme of this particular costume party was sci-fi and superheroes. Oopsie. Then again, I’m pretty sure he could have survived nuclear war in that polyester suit he was wearing, so maybe he had some superpowers after all.
Anyway, maybe, just maybe, I didn’t entirely screw this one up. Whether or not T2 and I had chemistry, we have plenty of warmth, and I’m glad we decided not to let the whole thing go up in smoke.