Two years ago I ended a 10-year long relationship then embarked on a “Rumspringa” back into the dating world. This entailed a quick succession of dreamy-eyed musicians – none of whom lasted longer than a month. I then fell ass-over-heals into an unrequited love-scenario with 007, aka, an emotionally unattainable James Bond. So now the notion of “true love” leaves a devastatingly foul taste in my mouth. I should lead all of my first date conversations with this. Yep, hot mess  = me.

Tonight, I have a “tea” date with a tall, dark, and handsome local who rides his bike everywhere and has some sort of governmenty administrative position for environmental data management imputing – or some such thing. The tone of his texts are sweet, chivalrous, and contain just the right amount of whit. 

So basically, I have a date tonight with the reincarnation of St. Frances. I’m really hoping to discover something a little less “saintly” about him. Not that being a “bad boy” is a prerequisite for me or anything, I’m just, well, nervous AF. I mean I don’t even own a bike. 

Also, I keep wondering why my condominium complex doesn’t have a compost bin…but not enough to attend a board meeting or anything. And, if I composted myself, this would likely require freezing it and then sneaking into a neighbor’s yard at 2am to frantically dump the sacks of compost into their bin which would probably get me arrested.

So I am going on a date with someone who is a better person than me, and I am nervous…and when I am nervous on a first date, some sort of variation of this sequence of events inevitably goes down:

I’ll be ordering my tea and will mis-read a very elementary word on the menu in front of the waiter and my date. I will then realize that what just came out of my mouth, was not the name of the tea. I will stare, in horror, at the menu again and pause for an excruciatingly 5 seconds while the blurry hieroglyphics turn back into English. During this time, my blind date will be silently download the fact that he is on a date with an illiterate. 

At this point, I will try to recover by developing anxiety-induced Tourette’s. Likely this diatribe will start with something like, “So, online dating. It’s tough out there, am I right? I mean, when I started hitting the apps 2 years ago I was a bright-eyed bushy-tailed romantic assuming that when people wrote that they ‘weren’t looking for hookups’ on Tinder, that they actually meant it. Word to the wise, if you’ve joined tinder, you’re looking for hookups. ‘I’m new in town looking for hiking buddies,’” I’ll say with air quotes. “Translation, ‘I’m new in town looking for fuck-buddies.’”

At this point, my hypothetical date will look genuinely shocked and will inform me that he is on Tinder, is new in town, and is legitimately not looking for hookups. 

“I mean, yeah, of course,” I will stutter. “But make sure you know Tinder lingo or you will be in trouble, haha! It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out what a ‘unicorn’ was, I’ll say brazenly. Two years ago I was like, hmm, this guy loves unicorns. That’s weird but kind of cute. And hey, I love unicorns too!”

“I texted him that I also loved unicorns,” I’ll tell my increasingly fidgety date. “He immediately invited me over to hang out with him and his girlfriend. I was like, why does he have a girlfriend if he’s on Tinder? Oh, s#*t-f&@k-balls! That’s what a unicorn is. Yah, no thanks. Threesomes are not my area of interest.”

My date’s face will have turned pale and he will be avoiding eye contact. This is when I will realize that I have just sworn like a drunken sailor and have mentioned threesomes in the first 5 minutes of meeting him. 

I will then frantically attempt to resurrect the situation. I’ll recall my friend Katie informing me the day before that I should subtly flirt without being too overt about it. “You need to learn the knee-grab maneuver,” she had instructed me. 

“During an animated point in the conversation, you lean in excitedly and grab his knee, then let your hand linger there for a second. Basically, this relays to your date that you are sassy and flirty but in a non-slutty way.” 

Back to hypothetical date scenario. The conversation will have turned to something dull like number of siblings or childhood pets. Given that being smooth is not always my strong suit, I will be nodding without listening. I will then decide that this perfectly inappropriate time to execute the knee grab, is a perfect time to execute it. 

This is how the scenario will likely go. I’ll reach for his knee. My hand will slip on the table, and it will then be a straight up “assaulting a stranger” scenario.

So, tonight, if my blind date checks his watch after 20 minutes and leaves with an excuse…it will probably be because I went in for a knee grab which accidentally turned into a crotch grab, and he has determined that I am both psychotic and a sex addict. To be clear, I am neither of these things. 

Nutty? Yes. Looking for hookups under the guise of “new hiking buddies?” Actually, no. I’m legit looking for a hiking buddy who is equally as nutty as me – or at least finds my nuttiness endearing. And beyond this, well, I guess that’s the beauty of the unknown. 

One swipe right can determine a lot…or it can determine nothing other than an awkward tea date with a botched knee grab and a story that will make your friends laugh until tears stream down their faces. They will squeal, “You are a sack of nuts, girl! For real! But that’s why we love you lady. Keep swiping, you’ll find your prince.” Well, the jury is still out on that one.

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