The few moments right before you meet someone for the first time, feel like someone has set loose a jar of gypsy moths inside your chest. Soft, fluttery wings that beat against your belly..your skin..You may even hold your breath as you turn that corner, cross that street, open the door to the restaurant and Walk inside.
That Thursday night, I stepped into the little wine bar, shook the snow from my hair and scanned the dark room. Please, I thought…please let him be at least mostly normal. My eyes fell on a man at the end of the bar who sat sipping a glass of red. Ok, I thought…this looks promising. Nice outfit, handsome guy, likes wine..very promising indeed.
I walked up to him. “Shawn?” (so not his real name) I asked. He smiled. We exchanged pleasantries and he took my coat for me…and then things got weird..really weird. By the end of the night I had realized a few things.
1. Shawn was a very nice man.
2. Shawn liked wine. A lot.
3. Shawn also liked kareoke. A LOT.
4. Shawn also probably liked men.
Exibit A-F: Taking my coat from me, Shawn gave a little gasp of delight (I know, I know..but seriously that’s what it was) and exclaimed, “Oh, my gosh I just LOOOOVE that winter white! It is just so fresh. Not many people can pull that off in January, but you look gorgeous.” I sat, slightly stunned, and took a second to process what he had just said. Then took a half a second to decide that it was time to order a glass of wine…or maybe a bottle. He seemed nervous, ordering glass after glass, chatting with the bartender (whom he seemed to know intimately and who kept giving us different wines to sample. Now that I think of it, that bartender was pretty cute) and filling me in on all the trips he wanted to take, his job, his crazy bitch of an ex (think he might still be bitter over that one) and his many awesome gay friends. That last one only cemented what I had earlier suspected after he looked at me, pulled out a pair of trendy black framed glasses and perched them on his nose asking, “What do you think? So Clark Kent right?” I agreed and we proceeded to talk fashion, wine and relationships for the rest of the night. I won’t go into detail about the kareoke bit (he sang an Adele song), but I think you can see where this night was heading.
Right before I was leaving the restaurant (in a cab..safety first!) to head home, Shawn..well..he made a move. I, totally unprepared for this new development, pulled back in surprise. “What are you doing?” I asked him..honestly confused. Plus, all of those glasses of wine from earlier had made everything more than a little blurry. “Um. Trying to kiss you.” He replied, and leaned in again. And then I did it..I giggled and slapped a hand on his chest. “But, but you don’t want to kiss me.” I grinned at him. He stopped, inches from my face. “I don’t?” The poor thing was so perplexed and I just stood there smiling at him. When I saw the cab pull up outside, I gave him a quick kiss on the cheek and took careful steps out the door into the falling snow. I could still see Shawn standing there by the bar..trying to work out what had just happened.
Later, as I got ready for bed, I pondered the chances of finding a man who had a successful career, supportive group of friends, keen sense of style and a love of a good glass of wine…oh and one that also happened to like women. This was going to be harder than I thought! But you know what? As it was my very first date in 7 years, I think it was actually pretty awesome. So thanks Shawn. 🙂