It's been a shameful five months since I posted. After a few months of torturing and teasing, spring finally gave way to summer in Chicago -- and it's turning out to be a busy one for me! I'm trying to schedule a dinner for my new Meet Up group in July, and I literally have only one weekend to fit it in. I'm going kayaking on the Chicago River, having dinner at ING and Moto, swimming and cooking out for the 4th, spending a week in Hilton Head, hosting my two oldest nephews for a long weekend, and spending a day tubing in Indiana -- and that's only the beginning. There's also work, which I have to figure out how to fit in somewhere, since there is always so much of it to be done. And then there's the scariest thing of all: dating.
I haven't really dated since I was 25, which (let's face it) means I have never really dated. Dating in your twenties, as a student, means falling into relationships with guys you happen to know and like. Dating in your thirties, as a professional, is apparently completely different. I say apparently because I don't know the rules, and I have no idea what I'm doing. So get ready to be entertained.
Fair warning: if you're a guy I've gone out with, you might want to stop reading here. And if you're a guy I'd like to go out with, then I want you to stop reading here.
Here is how post-divorce dating-in-your-thirties starts when you have no idea what you're doing:
You start a Meet Up group, which thankfully doesn't turn out to be a complete disaster involving you sitting alone at a table for ten wondering where the other nine people are. In fact, most of the people who show up turn out to be pretty cool. And they come back to the next meet-up. Which is also cool. One guy in particular seems like something of a loner at the first event. Kind of quiet. A lurker. But he comes to the next event, and you have settled into your role a bit and are rocking it as the Meet Up host, chatting everyone up. He's only been in Chicago a few months, and he's been to a ton of places, so you suggest that you should join him on one of his food forays sometime.
Be advised: you just asked someone out on a date.
But of course, no one so advises you. You and The Lurker meet for a casual dinner after work one night, and he's an hour late. And you have serious timeliness issues. But he's new to town, he got lost and he's embarrassed -- and it's not like it's a date or anything, so no sweat. You have some bbq, go for a beer, and generally have a great time. The next week you decide to get together again.
You're a little nervous about this whole thing, not sure what the deal is, if he likes you, if this is just a friendly thing, but you're sure it must be. Because you're not dating yet. That is, until you're sitting outside on a Thursday evening, sharing chips and salsa and beer (salsa because this lunatic doesn't like guacamole), and he asks you when you last dated. Other than this, that is.
Guess what? Apparently, this is a date.
It turns out that dating can sort of fall into your lap if you're not careful. (And, if you're dating, you should definitely be careful about things falling into your lap.) But truth be told, I like The Lurker quite a bit. I won't go into details here, which wouldn't be fair. But we've continued going out, and I have fun with him.
This is how post-divorce dating-in-your-thirties continues:
Another guy from the Meet Up group asked me out. This time he was pretty clear it was a date. I texted two friends to find out if it was okay to go out with two guys from the Meet Up group (like I said, I have no idea what I'm doing). One wisely asked if I'd read the Twilight books. The other said hell yes. I went with hell yes.
He was nice. Not unattractive. And had freakishly small hands. I don't mean that in the "you know what they say about a guy with small hands" way. I mean in a Seinfeld episode way. I couldn't look at anything else. I also couldn't get out of there fast enough. On a Saturday night at 8 p.m., I told him I had to go home and work. Yes, I actually said that.
Also, I met a guy on a plane. He was cute, we chatted, and I stopped at least fifty people behind me waiting to get off the plane to introduce myself and give him my email address. Yes, I actually did that. Because why the hell not.
I had an epic five minute date at a bar today. First clue: my best girlfriend met him on match.com, but nothing panned out for them before she met her boyfriend. She figured we're both single, so why not. Second clue: he's a musician.
We were arguing withint ten seconds of his arrival. And I mean that literally. I was like, Music Guy, we are clearly just not compatible. I mean, we have never met before, and we are arguing. He took it personally. Which I guess I can understand There probably aren't a whole lot of women who will call a date within thirty seconds. But really, why waste your time when you are literally fighting ten seconds after you met!? No thanks.
I was badass, but I call it like it is.
I'll tell you later how post-divorce dating in your thirties ends. I'm not there yet.