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Go to a dinner with the new guy you’ve been seeing. You like him, but you’re still not sure where this is going. Except he just kissed you on the cheek when he thanked you again for his birthday gift. That’s good, right? When that other guy walks in, make eye contact and smile. Say sure when he asks if he and his date can sit across from you and yours. It’s not as though you two ever had anything serious. Just two dinner dates that were some of the most fun nights of 2011. Two dates that made you wonder if there could be more, but apparently not him. You’re enjoying your evening with the man at your side, but you can’t help noticing the one-sided conversation happening across the table. You don’t remember him being so obnoxious, and yet you have this feeling of deja vu. During one of his many bathroom breaks, his date says she’s not sure if this is a real date. If it isn’t that’s okay. If it is, that’s great! Either way she’s having a good time. You nod and smile your understanding. That sounds about right. You look at the man next to you. He listens when you speak. He refills your glass without your asking. He holds your hand when the band plays a song he likes. He lets you have the icing on his cake. Your former crush gets up to leave. You say good night. A woman sitting next to you was at those two dinners that also made her think there was more. She leans in and whispers.
“That must have been so awkward for you.”
“Not at all.”
Best date ever.
I’m still riding those giddy waves two days later.
A friend from work has repeatedly told me that I needed to meet her brother. He’s home from med school for the holidays, so she’s excitedly arranged for us to meet tomorrow night.
I know nothing about him except that he’s her brother, he’s in med school, and all the other girls he’s dated are “bitchy vain stupid hoes.” For the record, when you’re trying to pimp out a family member, you should probably stick to his or her more positive characteristics.*
Oh, I do know one other thing.
He apparently had seen me a few days ago when he and my friend were shopping. He recognized me from a Facebook search after talking to his sister. (He told her he thought he’d seen me after the fact, and she texted to confirm my whereabouts.) He told her that I look much better in person**, and that I had an “ancient beauty.”
So, there’s a… plus?
I agreed for the sake of my ridiculously long dry spell and my happiness project***. And also my mother who commented (on Christmas!) that I might need to try one of those dating sites.
* Birds of a bitchy, vain, stupid, whorish feather flock together.
**I had hoped so.
**Happiness Project: #19, #25, #30. And for the possibility of #10.
He was really nice, but that’s about it. It was like hanging out with a brother. Still glad we met.
Dr. Awesome asked me out.
I agreed to meet him for lunch. I like the doctor I know. I was curious to see what he’d be like away from the hospital. There were mainly two concerns for me: work and age difference. Work I know I could be discreet with and handle if there were anything to seriously develop. (I share nothing about my dating life as it is.) I don’t even see him all that often at the hospital. I had no idea how much older than me he was. 10 years? More?
He is 43 and divorced for two years with a teenage daughter. The divorce wasn’t his choice. He’s been solely focused on work since then. He said he’s been debating whether or not to ask me out for six months. He had no idea I was 27. He said that I look young, but that I act older than the other nurses my age.
It was a refreshing date in how honest and straightforward we were both able to be with each other in what we wanted and were looking for. We had to be given the circumstances. He was as nice as I thought he’d be. We have a lot in common as far as our interests go, but I could never shake this nagging, uncomfortable feeling.
We finished dessert, and he asked me what I was thinking. I told him that I was uncomfortable with moving forward. I could see that he was ready for something immediate and serious. I was not. He was gracious and said then it wasn’t meant to be. He admitted that he probably would not have asked me out if he had known how young I was. He hoped that things wouldn’t be awkward for me at work now that I knew he liked me. I assured him that things would be as they had been before and that I was glad we met outside of work.
That horrible feeling went away. I felt light again and completely at ease. We talked a bit longer and hugged before separating.
I recently had a dialysis patient who needed some pain medicine during treatment. When I got there I suited up before heading in. I spoke briefly with her dialysis nurse. He was pleasant and let me know how much longer she had.
Later, I was at the station when the ward clerk called my name. “Diana!” I turned to see a guy holding my patient’s chart. It took me a moment to realize who he was since he had been wearing a mask and gown when I saw him last – and I said as much to him before getting report. (That in itself was odd as the dialysis nurses usually called to give their report before sending the patient back down. ) After getting report he asked me, “Is it Diana (English pronunciation) or Dee-AH-nah?” I responded, ” Dee-AH-nah, but no one can ever say it.” “I’m Juan. It’s nice to meet you,” he said while offering his hand. I shook it and went on to see my patient.
Since then I see him at least once during my shift, usually in passing. Just long enough for a smile in greeting, but also strange because there is typically no reason for a dialysis nurse to be on our floor unless they have to do the treatment at the bedside. Very rare. Yesterday it looked like he took the stairs from the floor above me to take the elevators directly in front of my station.
He’s kind of cute.
I’ve always liked John, the night nurse. He’s funny and cute, but was married so our interactions always remained platonic. We joke and kid around much like I do with my own brother. In fact, I’d never noticed a whiff of inappropriate behavior on his part with me or anyone else.
With a recent divorce , he’s suddenly gone from hands-off to totally free. And since then it doesn’t feel so safe… if that makes any sense. I don’t feel like I changed any of my behaviors; it’s more like everything he says seems to have another meaning, and I don’t think I’m reading more into it.
He had me take a picture of him that he said was to send to his sister. His camera phone is kind of crappy, so I offered to use mine. Like most people, he wasn’t thrilled with the photos and commented that he just kept looking fat. He’s not, but – yes- the pictures were not so flattering. He asked me then if I thought he was good-looking.
Another time I was giving him report, and while joking about something he leaned over and squeezed my arm. It stood out in my mind because, while nothing big, I don’t think he’d ever actually touched me before – except to kick me behind my knee to try to make me unsteady. That’s been pretty regular since we’ve met. Like I said, he was always like a brother.
During another shift change he made some remark that I can’t remember now about my mood -
Me: “Hey! Just remember you always see me at my worst: first thing in the morning and at the end of a shift.”
John: “So….we should do lunch?”
It’s been a little weird. He’s newly divorced (7 yrs and 2 kids) and a co-worker. So it’s not that I’m seriously considering starting or encouraging anything. I just miss my old pal.
That and I’m a complete spaz to begin with.
The wedding was beautiful. There was perfect weather for a beach wedding. There was an amazing group of friends and family that were truly a testament to the bride and groom. There were tears shed during their vows and during the bride’s father’s toast. There was dancing. Lots of dancing. And cute groomsmen.
Like my dress, mine was the best. ;) Seriously, this guy was cute, tall, and funny as hell. A few times I caught the potential for douchiness, but it was only a weekend and he was entertaining. I had my first long moonlit walk on the beach with him, including a stop on some large rocks jutting out into the ocean.
After the wedding I stayed a few extra days. I saw the final Hubble mission launch and spent a day at Epcot.
I was not ready to come back.
My unit manager has been periodically mentioning a single neighbor of hers to me since the first week I started working. I’m not one for being set up by people who don’t know me well, so I just laughed it off.
In September she started bringing him up more often and offered up a few details – without my asking. He’s 32 (I’m 25), has curly hair (like me), and is a director of pharmacy in one of the chain grocery stores. I still wasn’t taking the bait.
She would ask me each time she saw me if I’d gone by the store yet to take a look. The answer was always “No” (the store is in an area of a neighboring city that I don’t frequent often). One morning, one of the guys leaving heard her and asked if she was trying to set me up. I nodded, and he said, “Don’t do it.” “You’re speaking from personal experience?” He nodded. “They’re all crazy.”
Yesterday, my charge nurse slipped me a photo of my manager, her husband, and another guy at a Halloween party. This other guy was pretty cute and dressed as a ghostbuster. The nurse said, “Don’t tell her I told you, but she told me he’s got kids.” Why wouldn’t that be a detail worth mentioning?
I went shopping with my sister, and the store we were checking out happened to be nearby his grocery store. My sister decided she would go in and take a look (and get a name). She came out smiling. Her verdict: cute, though probably significantly shorter than me (she couldn’t be sure since she couldn’t get close). She did get his name, and I definitely didn’t pull ahead in our little on-going competition of “whose guy has a better last name?” ( Though, I’m still in the lead.)
It’s not that I’m not interested in meeting someone, but that I don’t really trust my manager to do any matchmaking. We’ve never had much of a conversation beyond the initial interview and some small talk here and there. It also seems like this guy and I are in two very different places. I’m still living at home and have never really been in a serious, long-term relationship. And kids? There’s been an awful lot of thought over something I don’t plan on pursuing.
A few days later my charge nurse said, “[Nurse Manager] wanted me to ask what you thought of the picture when no one else was around so you wouldn’t be embarrassed.” That made me smile, and then I told her that I thought he was cute, but I just wasn’t interested and why. She smiled and said that my preceptor Debbie had been wanting to set me up, too, but that she didn’t know how to bring it up. I asked, “Who with?” Her son.
In the last 10 months, I’ve learned this about her son: He’s overweight and self-conscious about it. He’s got curly hair. By now he’s either finished grad school or will soon. (I forget with what.) He can sing and play the guitar. (She showed me a song he wrote,sang,played, and recorded for her for Mother’s Day.) He’s living at home to save money. (I can relate.) And…that’s about it. Except that his mama is very proud of him.
Debbie and I get along splendidly. We share a similar sense of humor, so working with her is a lot of fun. (She’s been out due to a knee/hip injury this last month.) When Charge Nurse told me of her own matchmaking wish, I replied that it was actually more agreeable to me than the other simply because Debbie knew me much better than Nurse Manager did. The idea of Debbie setting me up with anyone wouldn’t make me as uncomfortable.
And I’m sure that Charge Nurse will relay this to Debbie the next time they talk.
Will lived on the first floor of my dorm during freshman year. He was tall with deep-set eyes and an endearing awkwardness. One night a group of us were walking back to our dorm after leaving the school’s movie theater, and he hung back to poke me between jokes. I remember thinking how childishly sweet he was. A few weeks later he asked me out.
That weekend my roommates went home, and I had a lazy Saturday to myself before getting ready for the night. I was wearing a “borrowed” pink top and black skirt after trying on several outfits, unsure of what he had planned. He came to my door to pick me up wearing dress pants, a button-up shirt, and his short, curly hair slicked back.
We went to Applebee’s where he recommended the chicken-fried steak. I don’t remember what we talked about, but I do remember that there were no awkward silences. We just never ran out of things to say to each other. He seemed completely at ease, so different from the general silence that he exhibited when others were around. The only clue to any inner anxiety came as we got up to leave the restaurant when he removed a large pile of napkin shreds from his lap and placed it on the table.
Once in his car, he offered me some mints while we headed back toward campus for a concert. He admitted that it was a concert he had to attend as a music major, but he promised that it would be good. We arrived about fifteen minutes early, so he pulled out pen and paper to challenge me to a game of tic-tac-toe. We managed to squeeze in several games before the lights flickered to signal the beginning of the concert. It was lovely, and I sneaked a few glances at him to find him completely engrossed in the music.
At the end of the night, he walked me back to my door. I hugged him and thanked him for showing me a good time. It was the best date I’ve ever had with someone I knew deep down I wasn’t interested in dating again.
He and I remained friends after that one date, and I remained slightly frustrated that he couldn’t let everyone see the charming, funny guy underneath the shy exterior.
Will later dated another friend for almost two years. He originally intended to go to law school but then ended up at a NY culinary school instead. I was happy to hear the news because it seemed perfect for him. He’s now engaged to a sweet girl and working at a fabulous restaurant in Atlanta.
I still listen to the cd of classical music he gave me for my birthday that spring. I haven’t seen or spoken to him in several years, but I occasionally look him up on Facebook to see how he’s doing. He deserves the best.
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