This is a tale of love, lust, first meetings and first impressions.
I threw myself back into the dating scene on a whim.
Actually it was on a chocolate high and extreme boredom.
I met a guy online and it was agreed that we would meet in town for some day drinking and a bite.
I arrived early because I am neurotic like that. Also I'm a bit of a control freak.
I wanted to make sure I was in charge of our location and that I also had a good vantage point when my "date" arrived. Wanted to be able to size him up before he had the chance to do the same to me.
See? Control freak.
It was a nice day in November so I decided the patio would be a good idea. I stood and surveyed the location after texting my potential "one" that I was already there.
I spied a seat in the corner facing the two incoming streets. Like a mafia boss, I could see the incoming traffic and the front entrance. There would be no surprise attack. The table next to it had just been vacated and there were dirty dishes still hardening in the breeze which would ensure no one else would sit there too soon. I wanted to be able to talk to my new encounter without having to worry about being part of someone else's conversation and vice versa. When my niece and I go to dinner, we always seem to be able to tell when a couple are on a first date or met online. I didn't want to be "that" couple. This could help prevent that situation, especially if shit got awkward.
Or so I thought.
Turns out the table next to the one I just settled into was not vacant.
Or rather; GRAND entrance, Douglas!
A rather large man came bounding over like a huge, drunk St. Bernard. Stopping to sniff the other patrons and greet their hounds. He announced in a very friendly and very loud voice "Oh my, you must REALLY be brave to take a seat next to me, honey!"
He dropped the full force of his weight onto the bench next to me and announced that he was Douglas and who was I? I introduced myself and thought "Oh Dear God. This is not what I wanted. In fact, this is the exact opposite of what I wanted."
I could hear the universe laughing.
Thankfully, I am as adaptable as the duckbill platypus, whatever that means.
I rolled with it. I really kind of enjoy this sort of thing.
More so when I am not on my first date in 4 years, but whatever.
He explained that he was quite drunk and anything was liable to happen.
When I suggested dancing on the table, he referenced his ample stature, the low tensile strength of the table and then said that even so, anything might happen!
He regained his composure.
I got the grand inquisition:
"Are you here by yourself?"
I didn't want to encourage this behavior but didn't want to be rude either.
I also didn't want my date to think I brought him along as a reinforcements.
"Waiting for someone?"
"Yeah, sort of a blind date."
"OOOOOH, did you meet online?"
In the meantime another guy had quietly slipped into a chair directly across from where Douglas had set up camp. Douglas waved his hand in the direction of this slim and obviously introverted individual.
"Me and David met online! But it wasn't eHarmony, honey!" and he rolled into a huge belly laugh.
I couldn't help but laugh right along with him.
David gave me a nod.
He related to me that David was from Ohio and he was from Augusta. David was more used to a small town. I guess this was his attempt to explain David's lack of wanting to jump into the conversation.
Douglas went on that he was tired of living out in the middle of nowhere so they both decided to move into what he referred to as "the gayborhood"
I snickered as he laughed whole heartedly!
He asked about my background and I filled him in briefly and without much detail.
Being a sort of military brat I always fill with dread when asked those sorts of questions because it is never a short answer. And lest we forget that I was waiting for a date to show up.
Douglas was genuinely interested and we carried on a short conversation about me. It was decided that Douglas would be my surrogate father in this whole date situation. If things went well, he would assess this gentleman and then give his approval rating.
If things went poorly, he would say I was with them. He demonstrated this by grabbing my whole person and sliding me over next to him. It was a bit of a shock but quite funny.
If things were going well, he would use a code word.
I received a text that my guy was parking and would be there in just moments.
We had to think of something quickly and then I had to gently cut the cord from Douglas so as not to put off my dude. It was decided that if Douglas found my date worthy of his standards then he would say "banana."
Remember, Douglas was quite drunk.
This was hilarious and I was laughing when, out of the corner of my eye, I spied my date moving toward us.
Douglas did too.
"Is that him?" he whispered the way you would fully expect a drunk to whisper.
Not at all.
I nodded and brushed him off.
My date walked right up and I stood to greet him. Being in such tight quarters, I also introduced Douglas and David. He shook their hands and we all took our seats.
Douglas proceeded to let him know that the service was atrocious and that he had been waiting for not only his drink and shot for about 20 minutes but that there were also some elusive crab cakes waiting in the wings. They were delicious if you ever get them apparently.
We decided to get drinks and Douglas, who had now included himself as a member of our party, informed us that there had been a black guy waiter, another black guy waiter who was not the first guy, a blond chick waiter and now this OTHER black guy who had approached us with menus.
I looked at the menu praying that Douglas would not make this any more awkward than it was fast becoming. Douglas was a wild card, to say the least.
My date seemed to be taking it in stride and was engaged in conversation with Douglas.
David remained silent the whole time.
He also seemed a bit annoyed with the whole situation.
I could hear Douglas asking questions about my date's watch and other silly questions while I tried to bury my head in the menu and pretend this was not happening but also trying to enjoy the surrealism of it all the same.
I suggested we grab a drink and perhaps get food elsewhere.
Was my getaway plan too obvious?
My date was okay with the idea but suggested perhaps we go inside to the bar since the sun was going down.
His getaway plan, perhaps?
Douglas agreed that we should go in to the bar because the service would be way better. So it was agreed by all; my date and I should go inside.
As we gathered our things, Douglas says, "If you decide to get dessert, I think you should try the bananas foster!" and then he looks directly at me.
I laugh and reply, "Is it good?"
He replied, "Oh honey, it's VERY good!"
We went inside to the bar and had a great time.
Douglas and David made several appearances at the bar because of the poor patio service. At one point my date bought us all a round of shots.
We ate food. We made out. We talked and talked.
It was a great five hours with my date.
He paid for Douglas and David's next few rounds.
They bid us farewell when they left the bar to go home.
We left shortly after.
Events could have gone horribly awry but instead I got a second date.