A good date is like the perfect glass of wine. It’s balanced, smooth, pleasurable, and usually feels effortless.
A bad date on the other hand is akin to the bottle of wine everyone can’t stop raving about, except when you take a sip you realize there are too many tannins, the finish is disruptive, it’s too bright, and too crisp.
Wine, like love, is subjective. One person’s Prince Charming might be another person’s toad.
For a few weeks a friend had persistently attempted to set me up with her close friend. Although I was certainly not accepting any new suitors at the moment she somehow convinced me to give him a try.
I knew he wasn’t exactly my type when, on the day of our date, he sent a text asking if the high-end Japanese restaurant we were going to was anything like Panda Express. For the record Lushies, it’s not.
Ignoring all red flags I got dressed and headed out. Maybe I’d actually have fun, I thought as I sat at the bar waiting on him to walk through the door. Love, for all of it’s troubles, is embedded with hope. The odds can perpetually be out of your favor but somehow there’s always the expectancy, no matter how small, for something better.
When I was in my 20’s dating was fun and I was full of blind hope and optimism. Everything was free, superficial conversations didn’t bother me, I wasn’t taking any of my suitors seriously, I could get tipsy before heading out with my girls, and there was usually food.
At 30 I can buy my own food and I’m taking the men a lot more seriously. There’s still hope, yes, but I’m much more selective. My days of forcing a fit with men to avoid loneliness or, let’s be honest, boredom are over. With age comes discernment and as much as I’d like to let loose and have fun on a date with a guy who I know I don’t like, that just doesn’t bring me joy anymore.
But back to the date. He walked in tall, dark and sort of handsome. Hope surged through me. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad, I thought as the hostess showed us to our seats.
I wish the rest of the story could be like that lovely glass of wine I mentioned above. I wish I could tell you it was the best date of my life. But it wasn’t.
At one point he asked me to define the word ‘frugal’ and in the same breath told me that he was going to ‘pursue’ the menu before deciding what to order. I hinted that he meant peruse to which he grinned innocently and said, “Right, that’s what I meant.”
It was then I decided I’d need a glass of wine, stat. Flagging down the waitress I decided on Albariño, a light and crisp Spanish wine that goes well with smaller plates and seafood. Personally, I find white wine to be a necessary companion in situations where I need to be alert or cheerfully ignore stupidity – and maybe you should too. Especially if you’re dating.
We continued our conversation. He frowned when he discussed his previous marriage and his criminal ex wife. He broke into a smile at the mention of his born-again Christian sister and his 4 year-old daughter.
I was in the middle of telling him about a recent trip I took to Asia when he mentioned he didn’t have a passport and effectively, had never left the U.S.
The more I sipped the more I realized how little we had in common. What’s more, I got all the clarification I needed when I asked him his age.
“25,” he replied.
I exhaled deeply and took a gulp of Albariño to stop my word vomit from rising up. What would I do with a 25-year-old man except be thoroughly annoyed?
As I licked the Yuzu sauce off the corners of my mouth my mind drifted back to my early to mid 20’s. In a lot of ways the things that happen to me are the same, it’s me who’s different. I’d grown enough to look past my loneliness and tell myself the truth. This wasn’t the man for me.
Plus, I have no desire to date someone with 25-year-old problems. 30-year-old problems are enough.
The rest of the night consisted of me sipping Albariño and stuffing my face full of yellowtail with jalepeno and spicy tuna while he talked.
As we parted ways that night I thanked him for dinner, the taste of the sushi he never ate and the Albariño I drank lingered on my mouth as I walked away already knowing that I’d never see him again. He simply wasn’t the person for me.
30 year-old Danielle was perfectly fine with that.