Dateline: "She straddles me. I take her top off."
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6:30 p.m. – I’m out of the shower and selecting an outfit. I stick to dark jeans, a dress shirt, and a tie (complete with clip), but can’t choose between a cardigan or a blazer. I put on the blazer.
6:40 – I decide the blazer is too formal and put the cardigan back on. I find it frustrating that it’s been so long since I’ve been on a first date that I don’t know what appropriate dress is.
7:00 – I leave my apartment and start walking to the bar. I figure it’ll probably take forty-five minutes to walk, which leaves me fifteen minutes to get a table. My downstairs neighbor texts me, “Are you coming to my Christmas party tonight?” I tell him I’m going on a date. If it goes well, I’ll bring her to the party. If it goes terribly, I’ll come to the party and get shitfaced. He’s annoyed that I’m going to be late. I’ve chosen hos before bros, apparently.
7:35 – I arrive at the bar, a good twenty-five minutes early. The walk didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would. I put my name on the list for a table.
7:40 – She texts to say that she will be exactly seven minutes late. I reassure her I don’t have a table yet, so there’s no hurry.
8:12 – She arrives exactly twelve minutes late, looking pretty much the way I remembered her looking at the party we met at the week prior. She’s dressed well, in nice jeans, a black top, and a sort of formal, knitted poncho… thing. I’m glad I didn’t wear the blazer. We hug and make awkward chit-chat as we wait for a table.
8:15 – We get a high table in the middle of the bar. She’s unfamiliar with the selection at this place, and asks me to choose a beer for her. I pick a strong one with a higher-than-average alcohol content to smooth our mutual nerves. We move into Date Mode, talking about mutual friends and asking get-to-know-you type questions.
8:17 – She really is stunning. I get the weird tingle behind my ears that I get when I meet someone really exciting.
8:20 – I tell her I did karaoke last night, and sang “2 Become 1” by the Spice Girls (my go-to song). “I hate karaoke,” she says. Uh-oh. This could be a dealbreaker. The tingle goes away.
8:40 – I realize I’ve been drinking a ton of water to counteract my occasional Asian-flush. My bladder is completely full at this point, but we’re in the middle of a conversation, so I decide to hold it.
9:00 – I’m back from the bathroom. We’re onto our second rounds, having recovered from the karaoke revelation. She hasn’t stopped talking, and there have been no awkward lulls. Things are going well.
9:05 – It dawns on me that she’s been doing all the talking because I’ve been asking all the questions. Is she not interested in me? I panic slightly.
9:10 – I decide to take charge of the conversation, and for some reason tell her about the time I agreed to eat my friend’s child’s placenta. The off-kilter conversation perks her up. She laughs.
9:25 – I pee for the third time since we’ve been here, but my water-to-alcohol balance keeps my skin tone normal.
9:30 – The energy seems to be waning. I ask her if she has plans for the rest of the night. (It’s a Friday, and she may have an escape plan.) She says no. Tingle. I tell her my downstairs neighbor is having a Christmas party, and ask if she’d like to accompany me. She agrees, but only if we drink more. I tell her I have a bottle of wine in my fridge.
9:50 – We cab it back to my apartment. I hear my neighbor’s party going strong on the ground floor, but my date and I go up to the second floor to my apartment to drop off our coats and grab wine. She is immediately comfortable in my house and flops out on my couch. We chat some more before going downstairs.
10:00 – We’re fashionably late for the party. I introduce my date to the host and other friends I know there. She’s confident and friendly enough to hold conversations without me babysitting, so I raid the food table and chat with others.
12:00 a.m. – The party is winding down, and everyone's drinking and chatting in private conversations. We’ve been sitting on my neighbor’s couch for a while now, knees touching. She asks if I want to go. I nod.
12:03 – Back upstairs in my apartment. She flops down on my couch again. I sit down next to her. I kiss her. She’s a strong kisser.
12:04 – “I like how forward you are!” she says. She straddles me. I take her top off.
12:07 – We make out, passionately. She stops for a moment and exclaims, “I am not having sex with you on a first date!”
12:15 – We have sex in my bedroom.
3:45 – After an intense cuddle, she decides she can’t stay the night. “I don’t sleep well in strangers' beds,” she says. She starts to get dressed. I’m bummed, but I understand.
3:55 – At the door she laughs at the night ended. “When we first met, I thought you were gay.” When I ask her why, she says, “Because you dress well and have awesome hair.” We make out again briefly before she leaves.
4:17 – I get a text from her: “Got in a cab with a guy who paid my way. Hustling!”
Six Months Later – We’re still together. I’m going to her hometown to meet her parents.