Saturday, February 2, 2008

In case you were wondering

Looking over the past month of blogs, I realized that I had said nary a word about anything that's going on in my life — unless you count snow and cold. Please forgive my negligence.

To make it up to you, let me tell you that I went on the first real date I've had in my entire life last night.

"Surely," you think, "this is an exaggeration." You list boyfriends or girlfriends you have known or heard mention of and conclude, "How else did she end up with them?"

But as my friend Jayney says, "Kiapita just kind of has these friendships with weird unspoken tensions and they go on like that for a while until one day they start making out on the couch." The "they" here refers, of course, to the "weird unspoken tensions."

A few years ago, I decided that this approach wasn’t exactly getting me where I wanted to be. I proclaimed a “dating sabbatical,” but it would have more appropriately been called a “friendships-with-weird
the-couch sabbatical.”

The sabbatical was only supposed to last 12 months, but then I rather began to enjoy not being in dysfunctional relationships. (This is no reflection on the people I dated; I can confidently say that I was the source of the dysfunction.)

So the sabbatical turned into 20, then 30, then 40 months. And during this time I decided that, should I ever begin dating again, it would have to involve going on real, live, actual dates.

So what, you ask, is a "real date"? A "real date" is one in which one person asks another person — where the people are not already romantically involved with one another and are both of sexual orientations that lend the possibility of them becoming attracted to each other — to engage in a mutually agreeable social activity in which they will:
(1) learn more about each other (personality, likes and interests);
(2) enjoy themselves, if at all possible;
(3) determine if they would like to go out on further dates.

Also, criteria (4): Both parties must be aware it is a date.

If you’ve read Bridget Jones’ Diary, you may think that Bridget went on real dates with both Daniel and Darcy, but I wouldn’t agree. First of all, she shagged each of them on their respective first “dates,” and for me this violates parts (1) and (3) of the definition — (1), because she’d already decided that she’d learned as much as she needed to know and (3), because she had decided ahead of time, in each case, that the first date was just a formality in a courtship that would lead to marriage. (She was, thankfully, wrong in the case of Daniel.)

I don't take much stock in horoscopes, but it is true that I have always demonstrated the Libra trait of desiring fairness in all things. This, of course, leads me to wonder if I am being fair to all people in my romantic life by qualifying yesterday's event as "the first real date I've had in my entire life." And this, inevitably, leads to a review of all events that might have qualified as dates:

→ 1991-ish: Going to Pizzeria Uno after school with my friend “X,” who was ever the gentleman and always paid. After "X" asked me to prom, it occurred to me that he may have considered these events to be dates, but I was clueless at the time. This is probably one of the factors that led my dad to conclude that I was a habitual breaker of young men’s hearts, but I never did it intentionally. I was just self-absorbed in a typically adolescent way. Verdict: Not a real date.

→ 1993-ish: Going to see Lolita with “Y,” with whom I later became an item. Meets criteria 1 and 2, but I’m not sure about 3 or 4. I think she might have had a girlfriend who was not me when we saw Lolita, and that the only reason we were alone was because the rest of our friends had not shown up to the theater at the mutually agreed upon time because the weather was sucky. Verdict: Not a real date.

→ 1997-ish: Heard a rumor that “Z” had a crush on me. Thought she was cute, so I asked her out for coffee. She spent most of the time talking about how much she enjoyed getting drunk. Then, at the very end, she told me she had started seeing someone over the previous weekend and was, therefore, no longer available, but she’d thought it would be nice to have coffee, anyway. Needless to mention, this news came as somewhat of a relief. Verdict: Would have been a real date had it occurred a week earlier but, no, not quite.

→ 1998-ish: I got asked out by a cyclist who shopped at the grocery co-op where I worked, and I would have gone, but he’d made the mistake of asking me if I wanted to go for a beer, and I didn’t like beer at the time, so I said, “No.” Verdict: Being asked out on a real date does not count as going on a real date.

→ 2007: Does it count as a real date if you are moving halfway across the country in three weeks? Alas, probably not.

Here, you are probably expecting me to divulge details of yesterday to explain why it was a real date. But you’ll just have to trust me. A lady does not betray a gentleman’s confidence.

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