I was admittedly a little concerned I hadn’t heard back from Gregory. I know some people tend to reduce their communication pace after a date is booked, but to not reply to a text at all? While I told myself everything was fine, the cynical I’ve-had-the-worst-luck part of me was stomping her mental foot deep down. I wasn’t sure if this Tinder date was going to happen.
But my burner app had been flaking out and I’d been receiving sorry-the-server-is-down notifications, so I suspected it was that. I didn’t want to text again on the burner app, since if it didn’t work the first time there was no guarantee it would work the second.
I went back to Tinder.
My previous text was sent Tuesday night at 10:45. Wednesday at 5:30 pm I couldn’t take it anymore. I sent him a note on Tinder which said “Hey Gregory, I’m having issues with the app I use for texting and didn’t want to spontaneously call 🙂 – we good for tomorrow? Did you have a place in mind?”
He replied at 7:10 “Yes, and no place in mind. What part of the city will you be in?” I answered and we established my area was convenient for him. He said I should pick what I liked best. At 9 pm I replied with a place and a time and asked if that worked.
Next morning, the day of our date, there was no response. I went back into Tinder and saw that my message didn’t show as delivered. Fuck. So he thought I was the one that didn’t reply to him!
I tried again and he replied quickly. That was it for our communication for the day.
Sometime that day, I got a text from my Mom that made me laugh out loud. I’d told her about the date and showed her his Tinder profile page. Without telling me, she did some internet sleuthing and she texted “You might like this guy. I checked his LinkedIn and Facebook.” She went on to say she had some guesses about him which I asked her not to share. I didn’t want any preconceived notions in my head.
I know I’ve been burnt a bunch because a part of me wondered if he would show up that night. I had no reason to think he wouldn’t; I chalked up the lack of response to his being a normally busy human and to my burner app hiccup.
We’d arranged to meet at 8:15 pm. I was a few minutes early and picked a two-person booth. At 8:20 I opened up Tinder and just as I told him I had arrived and where I was sitting, he texted he was parking. Phew.
He was as tall as promised and as I stood up to say hello he greeted me with a hug. He was in a blazer and funky collared shirt, and jeans. I liked how he felt, and the warmth in his eyes. We immediately started talking – the conversation was effortless and ran the gamut of topics. There were no awkward pauses, no interview-like questions. We simply clicked. I liked that he asked me if I’d eaten (I had, but was fine to snack on something).
We ordered a bottle of wine and he ordered a large appetizer for sharing.
He is obviously successful in his job but seems down to earth. We have a lot of common interests and approaches. I describe myself as someone who likes opera and sports, and lobster or nachos from a dive bar. He’s the same. He has children in their twenties and spoke of strong relationships with them.
Time flew by. He was flirty and complimentary but not overly so. He asked me questions about my life, as I did about his. I liked everything I heard. The only thing in the back of my head was the knowledge he’d been out of his marriage of over twenty years for one year only. We hadn’t spoken about whether he was actually looking for a relationship.
But I told myself to just relax. I didn’t have to ask him, I’d simply enjoy the date and see whether I even cared.
He reiterated at one point his comment about people becoming hotter or grosser when they spoke. I asked how I was doing so far, and he said “you’re really hot.” I loved it. Later in the evening, he reached across the table to envelop my hand in his. I liked it. It didn’t have the electricity of John, but given Gregory didn’t seem to have any of that insecure crazy, either, I’d take it.
I found myself wondering what it would be like to kiss him.
When the wine was done and the hour was getting late, he said, “This isn’t meant as a come-on, but I’d like to walk you home?”
“Of course,” I said, laughing.
He held my purse for me as I put on my coat and we walked into the crisp night air. A short walk later we got to my front door. It was cold and I didn’t want a fast goodbye so asked him if we could say goodbye inside since it was so cold. “Absolutely,” he said.
He followed me willingly across my threshold and into my kitchen.
Image from the 1949 movie “The Great Sinner”