Where we last left off, N and I had been on a successful first date . But texting in moderation seemed to befuddle him. He either texted for hours, or not at all. He seemed to get the hang of it a few days after our date, because midweek we exchanged a few texts about Rafael Soriano leaving the Yankees (yes, I’m a Yankees fan living deep in Red Sox territory, my life is hard yo). This is the kind of texting I’m open to! Then, Thursday morning he asked if I was busy Friday night. It was a little last minute, but my only plans revolved around streaming The Wonder Years, so I said I was free and asked what he had in mind. This is the exchange that followed:
N: I was thinking a movie.
D: Sure. That sounds good.
Then five hours went by. FIVE HOURS. No suggestion of a movie, a theater, a time. Nothing. Just “cool”.
I would be lying if I said this didn’t infuriate me a little. Even just the shell of a plan shouldn’t be too much to ask for. I don’t think it should be too much to ask ever, but especially by the time you’ve reached your late 20s you should be able to plan a basic movie date. It had been like pulling teeth the last time, and I had been the one making location and time suggestions. This one was on him, he asked me out so he was going to have to do the work this time. So I waited. I’m stubborn like that. Finally, late that afternoon, he asked if there was any movie in particular that I was dying to see. I said no, but prompted him to look up what was playing at the theater in our shared neighborhood. I was hoping he would check out the options and make a few suggestions. It was nice that he was offering to let me pick the movie, but do some legwork dude. Nope. He just sent me a list of what was playing.
I was rapidly losing interest in N. I’m not looking for extravagance, or even creativity at this point, it’s only the 2nd date. And I don’t mind making the plans sometimes. But I want more than this. I want some semblance of Dating with a capital D. This lackadaisical crap that seems to pass for dating these days is not ok with me. I want more initiative.
I suggested two options from what was playing, and since he had already seen one of them our choice was finally made – Gangster Squad. I got to the theater Friday night, and he was waiting with tickets in hand. A good start. I sprung for the popcorn. We were there about 15 minutes early, so we chatted, mostly about sports and our taste in movies. Again, conversation was pretty easy (and free of anything law related this time!), but I still wasn’t really feeling anything more. I was pretty sure this would be our last date.
About 20 minutes into the movie, we had polished off the popcorn. I leaned down to put the empty bag on the floor. When I sat back, his arm was there. I was startled, and actually said “Ohh!” I also got a sinking feeling in my stomach. He clearly felt differently than I did – he was interested. And he was also fumbling. Since he reached across while I was leaning forward, his arm was too low. Instead of resting on my shoulders, his arm was down across my shoulder blades. I didn’t really want it there, but I also didn’t want to make the next 90 minutes unbearably awkward for us both. So I tried shifting, in an attempt to get him to at least move his arm up into the right place. This did not work. So we sat that like for 10 minutes or so, with his arm serving as my backrest. It could not have been comfortable for him, because eventually he whispered “this isn’t working” and pulled his arm away. And went to hold my hand. My hands were clasped together in my lap, so I just pretended like I didn’t see him offer his hand. So he opted to rest his hand on my knee instead. This was getting more awkward by the second.
He tried again a little while later to take my hand, but my hands were still clasped together. At this point, my right arm had fallen asleep, but I was too afraid to unclasp my hands. I didn’t want to give him the chance to snatch one up. I felt bad, but I also didn’t want to encourage him or give him any sort of false hope. He settled for my knee again. I was so uncomfortable. There we sat, watching Sean Penn swear a lot (what happened to his face by the way, he used to be attractive), with N rubbing my knee and me trying not to cry because my arm was doing the pins and needles thing.
He eventually stopped, so I thought he had gotten the hint (I still didn’t free up my hands though). But as we were leaving the theater, he asked if I wanted to grab some food. I politely declined, and we walked to my car. Conversation wasn’t so easy this time, so I took to pointing out some of my favorite local spots (he hasn’t lived in the area long), and then went on a rant about how awful Citizen Kane is (a diner named Rosebud was the catalyst). I was SMOOTH. When we got to the side street my car was on, we said goodnight, and he started to go in for either a kiss or a hug. I didn’t wait long enough to see which, I made sure it was just a hug, thanked him for the movie and for walking me to my car, and said goodnight.
P.S. N is a movie talker. I hate that.
Date rating: 3/10. 1 point because N is truly a nice guy, and 2 points because Ryan Gosling is just delightful. Staring at him for 2 hours is never an unwanted or unpleasant activity. This was definitely our last date.
Lesson Learned: Going to the movies with a guy you’re not sure you’re interested in yet provides too many opportunities for physical contact for my liking.