A while back, I began messaging a woman I met on one of the dating apps. I’ll tell you a few things about her: she was several years younger than me, very pretty in a librarian sort of way, Korean, and one of her names was Kim. I can give you all that and not give you anything, because I just described about 10% of the Korean population and hundreds of women in my own county in New Jersey, USA. She was born in Seoul, South Korea and came here for university and never moved back. Her family is still there. She married a white man after dating him for several years. Their marriage lasted several more years, but finally ended in divorce. She had no children. All this I learned in those early days of dming on the dating app.
We soon exchanged phone numbers and began texting. She wasn’t what I called a ditherer and wanted to arrange a meetup fairly quickly. We arranged to meet on a Saturday afternoon at an upscale, chain restaurant (a Houston’s to be exact) at the ritzy mall located roughly equidistant between our two homes. This was what I considered a no pressure first meet-up. I dressed casual, but neat, shaved, practiced a smile in the mirror and drove on over. She texted me to say she was there already and sitting at the bar. I walked into a bustling restaurant with every seat taken at the bar. Finding the person I’m meeting is always a bit of an anxious moment for me. I’m fearful I’m going to tap on the wrong woman’s shoulder. If I’m not wearing my glasses, everyone gets a little blurry. I have chosen wrong before.
Fortunately, I managed it well this time. I’m always reminded at such moments of the ancient knight telling Indiana Jones he has chosen the Holy Grail wisely in The Last Crusade. We did the awkward hello shuffle and moved to a just-vacated table along the bar, taking seats opposite each other. She ordered a white wine and I ordered myself a Dark n Stormy (A Dark ‘n’ Stormy Recipe). She looked exactly as she presented herself. She still had an accent, but I didn’t have a problem understanding her. She pushed her glasses back up her nose every so often. I found it cute. We ordered some light lunches and we passed a pleasant 90 minutes or so. We shared the bill (more on my philosophy about that at a later date). I walked her back to her car, hugged her and gave the usual, That was nice; let’s do it again. There are three ways dates usually go with me; 1-I’ve fallen head over heels; 2-Where’s the exit?; 3-You’re perfectly fine, why am I not in love? Ms. Kim was firmly in the last category.
A day or two later, we made another date for a dinner at a nice restaurant by her. She lives nearer the city with a hipper population than me. In my mind, I was thinking maybe she’s into me. Dates nearby homes lend themselves to her nonchalantly saying, Wanna come up for a drink? whilst gently biting her lower lip and pushing her glasses up. By the end of the week, she changed her mind and opted for a place near me. Still I imagined biting my own lower lip and inviting her over to my place. Terrific. The day we were to have dinner, she texted to say she wasn’t sure I was worth the drive, so she was going to cancel our date. It was about a 25 minute drive. I may have low self-esteem, but surely I’m worth a 25 minute drive. Hmmm, I wasn’t expecting that. I wasn’t completely invested and took the rejection fairly well, but the bluntness shook me a bit. I’m not the type that needs a whole interview on why you’re saying goodbye, but admittedly I was a little curious. I stifled my need for answers, kept my dignity, and filed her away in a dark, forgotten recess. Two weeks later she texted, Hello, James.
#middleageddating #lastfirstkiss #love #aging #autobiography #memories #writing #nyc #bergencounty #nnj #biography #covid19 #coronavirus
*image from pngkey.com