Sunday morning I went out on a first date...a breakfast date at 9:45 in the morning. For the record I usually HATE breakfast dates. I am in no way shape or form a morning person and I frequently have late night plans on Saturdays (this last Saturday night I was out until the A.M. hours at my friend's birthday bash). The very idea of having to be somewhere before 11 A.M. on a Sunday does not sit well with me...having to look good and be sociable before 11 on Sunday is even worse. But the guy I had a date with IS a morning person...in fact he gets up at 5:30 in the morning regularly so he can get in some gym time before work. I go to the gym 5 to 6 times a week but never before the sun is up...although when I worked out at a 24 hour gym it wasn't uncommon to see me there after midnight. Anyway, Sunday morning was the only time he could meet this week so I reluctantly agreed. I was late of course but he was very understanding. We sat down, got our coffee and started to chat. He began by telling me about his son's soccer game and then started talking about the last Clippers game. The only thing I know about soccer is what I've read about David and Victoria Beckham in Entertainment Weekly and I barely know who the Clippers are but hey, lots of guys are into sports and I'm certainly not going to dock him points for being one of them.
Eventually the conversation turned to my work. We discussed what motivated me to write and so on and so forth...and then he admitted that he wasn't much of a reader. Not an uncommon thing in LA so I decided to let it pass. We talked about our kids, he has to work to get them to open up to him while my son will tell anyone pretty much anything...not always a good thing. He is a big believer in the public school system while I have pretty much given up on trying to find a good school for my son within LA Unified and am currently trying to figure out which private middle school to send my son to next year. We talked about how he always liked to be casually dressed and I talked about how much I loved to get dressed up. He hates big parties while I enjoy them from time to time. We talked about museums (I adore both art and science museums, while he has no interest in them what-so-ever). We talked about music. I have very eclectic tastes in this area and frequently listen to alternative, rap, blues, classical and pop. He's not a music lover...in fact he doesn't even own a stereo or an iPod. We talked about our family. His parents were uncommunicative to the extreme while I was brought up by over-sharers. He told me all about his childhood dramas while I prefer to hold that stuff back until at least the fourth of fifth date. He started talking about how much he hates the zoo and insisted that we don't really need zoos and that they all should be closed. "Really," he said, "when's the last time you've even been to the zoo?"
"Last month," I said with a smile. "I have an annual membership."
In other words he and I have absolutely nothing in common. And yet I didn't have a bad time. It was a pleasant breakfast and he's a very nice guy and has a good sense of humor but there was no spark and it was hard to see what we could do with one another aside from eating breakfast...except even that was going to be hard since I had no intention of getting up early AGAIN just for an egg-white spinach & tomato omelet.
When we went our separate ways I paused a moment too long as I tried to figure out how to wrap the date up. He did it for me by saying he would call. As I got in my car I secretly wished I had not given him the opportunity to say that. I didn't really want him to ask me out again. I liked him but we weren't a good couple and I did NOT want to have to reject him. It's bad enough that we all occasionally have to break up with people we have a serious relationships with but it seems patently unfair that we should also have to break-up with people we haven't really even gone out with! This guy didn't do anything to me, he seems genuinely nice and he was certainly attractive...why should I have to make him question himself or his appeal? I spent the afternoon trying to convince myself that maybe I hadn't given this guy enough of a chance but by the time evening fell I knew what I had to do.
It was after nine when I got his email. I took a deep breath and opened it up, mentally composing my response before I even read his first line.
Well guess what, he wasn't into me either. He realized that we had very few common interests and after a few rapid fire emails we decided that we might work as friends. FRIENDS! How often do you go out with someone and you both walk away wanting to be friends and nothing more? No awkwardness, no hurt feelings or disappointments, just a mutual acknowledgment that we wouldn't work but liked each other enough to pursue a friendship. It didn't take a few dates to figure out, there were no long conversations about how to proceed. It was great!
In his email he said that in no way did he consider our meeting a failure. I agree. It was by far the most successful unsuccessful first date I've ever had.
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