Saturday, April 29, 2006

Very first internet date...

Fast forward to Good Friday and life is looking good... Four days off work, a cupboard full of Easter eggs, and a hot date with someone I'm looking forward to meeting.

I potter around the house until it's time to get ready, at which point I take my time. I have a good long shower and choose an outfit and jewellery and put my makeup on. Now this is a part of the date I really like, where you're making a special effort to look (and feel) good while fizzing with the anticipation of what's to come.

Fully scrubbed up, I drive to Ponsonby, allowing myself enough time to get there and be on time, but not enough time to get there too early and be the one sitting there like a wally waiting for the other. I sit in my car for a couple of minutes, trying to calm the butterflies (and further reduce my chance of being the first to arrive) until I finally step out of the car and head towards the cafe. I walk in and look around - he told me he'd be wearing a red shirt. Can't see any red sitting out on the patio, or at the bar, or at any of the inside tables - damn! I beat him here... I decide to head to the toilets to regroup and fill in time - and bump into a tall fellow in a red shirt on the way there.

Caught a little off guard, our initial hellos are slightly awkward and we make our way to a little table beside the window looking out onto the street. We start talking and I think we're both nervous. Conversation stops and starts and we look out the window in silence as we think of the next topic. I drink my juice, he's drinking beer. This soon gets sucked down and for the next hour or so we sit nursing our free water which the styley waiters frequently come round to top up - we're not going to be their biggest tab of the night, that's for sure!

During conversation he tells me some interesting tidbits about himself, but holds back on all the details. For example, he tells me his brother married one of his girlfriends, someone he saw for two years and lived with for one. I'm curious to know how that panned out - did they break up and then she got together with his brother, or did she break his heart and switch immediately from one to the other? I decide it's bad form to grill him about something that must have been painful on some level, so I let it pass - but I want to find out more.

After stretching out our drinks as long as possible, he asks if I want to carry on and do something else. I say sure so he asks me what we should do - which I hate being asked, I'd far rather the guy take the lead on a first date - but I suggest we take a walk outside. It was an unexpectedly nice day, sunny with an edge of crispness. The sun was just beginning to disappear and we walked up Ponsonby Rd towards one of the parks, where I learn yet another intriguing nugget about Tim - he's been arrested once, but got off whatever the charge was with diversion (NZ's 'clean slate' policy for first time offenders) . He doesn't offer any information about what it was he was doing but I conclude it's probably minor.

We walk a little and then decide to get something to eat. We take his car into town and hit Tanuki's Cave, an awesome yakitori bar in town. We walk down the stairs and it's got this great atmosphere - small room, dark and cosy. The Japanese staff all yell out a greeting in Japanese as we enter and I figure this is just the thing to put us at ease and open up a bit.

We sit side by side up at the bar and order some skewers. I love this place (even though it's the first time I've been in) and stop worrying about things. The food arrives and is delicious and we happily dig in with our chopsticks. We eat leisurely, talking more about bits and pieces. As we finish up our meal and go to leave, I figure our evening's coming to an end, which I think is fine as we've pretty much exhausted conversation. But Tim suggests we find something else to do and I can't figure out a nice way to wrap things up so agree.

We walk up to the movie theatres but nothing starts for an hour or more. We try the smaller arthouse theatre by the library but they only have one screen and likewise don't have anything starting soon. We walk around aimlessly for a bit, then head back to his car. At this point I'm thinking, surely now we'll wind things up, but no - Tim suggests we find something else to do and I'm still too polite to suggest otherwise. So we end up back in his car and on our way to Mission Bay, which admittedly is a pretty romantic date location. We wind up at a near empty cafe and get coffees.

By now we're really scraping the bottom of the barrel conversation-wise, and mostly sit quietly, people-watching. There's a constant stream of people walking past us on the main drag, plus there's an asian couple sitting at one of the outside tables and the guy is fiddling with his digital camera and taking photo after photo of himself. So it's a great place to people-watch, but at this point we're 5+ hours into our date and I'm ready to head back home, crack open an easter egg and curl up on the couch to watch a bit of telly.

I wonder what Tim's thinking of all this. Is the silence as awkward for him as it is for me? But it seems not, he makes some comment about how fun it is to people-watch, and I agree - and then he suddenly says "oh no, you're not bored are you?", as though it had just occurred to him that I might be. I give him a little smile and say "no, not at all" but I don't know how convincing I am.

Finally, we make a move and leave the cafe and there's no suggestion of going anywhere else - he's taking me back to my car which is still in Ponsonby. I'm relieved, not because I had a horrible time (I didn't) but because I feel a little drained after 6 hours of date-anxiety (am I boring him? Oh my god, we're not talking - what can we talk about now?) and I'm more than ready to call it a night.

As we drive back, I think about how to end the night and decide to go for a warm kiss on the cheek, or maybe a quick smacker on the lips if the approach goes well. But as he pulls over in front of my car, he beats me to it and leans in and gives me a real kiss. It surprises me but I'm not unwilling, and the kiss - my first in quite a while - is very, very nice. Warm and soft and lingering and all around lovely. I pull away and smile at him, finger his gorgeous curly hair for a second. Out of nowhere he says "I'm quite shy", and I'm not sure what he wants to say with that. We kiss again, and then I pull myself away and say good night.

I have a lot to think about as I'm driving home and dissecting the night. I worry about the disrupted flow of conversation - things were so much better by email and text, we were zinging all over the place! I'd thought it would be more effortless than it was, and I worry that running out of conversation on the first date doesn't bode well for the future. But then I think of his admission that he's shy - I am too - and I think that maybe it's just a matter of getting to know each other better and feel more comfortable.

I think about the kiss too. It was really a great kiss and already I want more of them. I get home and as I take my cellphone out of my bag I see I've gotten a text message from him. I look at the time and realise he must have sent it right after we said good night. It says your lips are delicious, and good night, and to drive safe. It makes me smile and it makes me decide that this is definitely worth a second chance...


At 29 April 2006 at 10:59 PM, Blogger Erin said...

Your blog has got to be one of the most interesting blogs. Seriously. Don't even bother reading mine haha don't have the time to update... or rather I should say I've procrastinated.

Hope everything goes well. Guess we'll find out...

At 29 April 2006 at 11:09 PM, Blogger brunette babe said...

Thanks! Spread the word - I need an audience :)

You may be too busy to post but your blog looks COOL! I'm an html dummy so just figuring this all out...


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