I dragged myself out on a date the other day in an effort to get my heart out of the perpetual pity party it's been having with itself ever since I've decided that it would be wise to move on from Mr. January. I figured the best way to move on is to start liking someone else - and how can I start liking someone else if I am not meeting any new potential prospects.
When I met this particular guy, let's call him Princeton for his alma mater, he didn't exactly push all the right buttons for me. I decided to give it a go, however, when he proposed we go to a dinner at one of the hottest restaurants in town. I've been dying to go there all summer but didn't have anyone to go with so, of course, I jumped at the opportunity with both feet.
I agreed to meet him at the restaurant and, indeed, he was already there, talking to a bartender, when I arrived. I mentally petted myself on the back for dressing it up a bit that night - a flawlessly-fitted charcoal gray pencil skirt, a sexy top and tiny little heels - the crowd at the restaurant was older and definitely classier than your average neighborhood bar and I blended right in.
We grabbed a table and started off with martinis and appetizers. He was intelligent, talkative, funny, incredibly successful. I couldn't really figure him out but I thought I'd wait to finalize my opinion about him. At that moment the octopus appetizer was much more intriguing to me than the man who ordered this appetizer.
"My sister is also going for a degree in architecture. She is starting this fall... You know, I never thought architecture was so artisitc, I thought it would be much more math oriented," he said, upon finding out what I am getting my Master's in.
I glared. There is nothing more that I hate than people making rush assumptions about something they know next to nothing about - his sister didn't even start grad school, how would he know that the grad program is "artistically oriented".
I politely explained that, in graduate school, there is much more emphasis on the technical and practical side of things, much more so than in the undergrad - there is certainly a fair amount of calculations involved in sizing the mechanical equipment, columns and beams, thicknesses of walls, etc etc. Somewhere along the line, our conversation turned into me feeling invalidated for the work I do and I felt that I had to explain and educate.
"I had to interview an architect for the next issue of the magazine I work for - I thought it was an incredible opportunity to get to meet him and ask him all these questions... I would love to interview other people as well, now that I've had a taste for this interviewing process..." I told him.
"Really? Why do you say that?" he asked. I think he meant well - he was genuinely interested in what made me passionate about my work - but the way he stated it blurred the line between him being interested and him coming across as a snotty douche.
Well, so be it, I thought. Maybe I could overlook his mannerisms and concentrate on other, more positive qualities - after all, he has a wide range of interests, he is well traveled, he just got a huge promotion, he lives in one of the most beautiful buildings downtown....
Wait, wait, wait a minute.
I realized, as Princeton had paid for the bill and we were walking towards the front door that the list of good qualities that I compiled for myself sounded more like those a boss would look for in his ideal employee. Not once did I think about his eyes, or the way he smiled, or the way he made me laugh. Not once.
I dreaded a goodnight kiss, but luckily I got away with a hug. As I walked away, a pinch of regret I was feeling due to the lack of chemistry on my part finally seemed justified. I want real love and I am ready to take that step and to really open up... but to the right person. And Princeton is not that person.
When I got home, I finally checked my phone for messages. There was one text from Mr. January, asking me how my night was going. Instantly, butterflies and an increased heart rate was all I felt. I guess, I am still not over him after all. Far from it.