We had already gone out twice.
We met for drinks at 7 in our neighborhood bar. The first time I looked at my watch, it was midnight. What a novelty, to spend that much time just talking with a man and not feel even a little bit bored.
The next week, we had lunch at the neighborhood Mexican restaurant, and went for a walk. Same thing: talking, for hours, not bored.
We had both recently ended toxic relationships. These first two get-togethers ended with hugs, nothing more.
I was getting a little worried that maybe he just wanted to be friends.
We were emailing each other, and decided to make dinner on Saturday night at my house. I’d made sure my roommate was not going to be around. But I didn’t want to presume and be wrong.
So I wrote, “This is a DATE, right?”
Tom and I still use that line on each other.
After 15 years, a DATE isn’t exactly the way you think of your time together. But since we have to live apart during the week, the weekends feel a lot more celebratory.
Tonight we went out for dinner. I wore makeup and some snug black pants that he calls my hot pants.
He held the door for me. We had fancy cocktails and tasted each other’s drinks. We shared an appetizer and conferred on main courses and swapped bites.
We lingered over conversation. We laughed a lot. We talked about big sweeping topics – the way our mental lives have changed since childhood, and the way our thoughts keep changing.
Towards the end of dinner, a song by Vance Joy came on, “Fire and The Flood.” I listened as he sang it. He said it was about me.
Everything is fine
When your head is resting next to mine
Late at night, when you can’t fall asleep, I’ll be lying right beside you counting sheep
We were among the last ones out of the restaurant.
This was a DATE.
And he still doesn’t bore me.
Today’s penny is a 2000, the year we had our first date.