Sunday, May 26, 2013

THE (UNEXPECTED) PERFECT DATE

It was 11 o’clock on a Saturday morning and I was meeting the owner of a business establishment to discuss getting funding for a project I was working on. Earlier that morning, I’d gone for a run, had a long hot shower, combed my hair and put on perfume, so you could say I was feeling pretty awesome. 

I wanted to make a good impression ; after all, this funding was important to my project. I was dressed in a bright fuchsia dress that showed off my tanned arms, nipped in at my waist with a floral belt, then flared gently out. Pearls adorned my neck and a pair of white rosebud earrings peeked from underneath my long straight hair. I had on a pair of cute leopard print flats and was carrying a black tote bag.

When he walked in, what startled me was how ordinary looking he was. He was the same age as me and was dressed very casually, (a t-shirt, shorts, and flip flops) almost as if he seemed  he didn’t care what he looked like. For someone of his status, he certainly didn’t quite match the image I’d had in my head.

We started off on a rather formal, distant tone. Business was business ; after all, that was the purpose of this meeting. However, as we talked other bits and pieces started trickling in ; church, 9gag, our families, who our favourite avenger was, hopes and dreams, pokemon, our childhood, what we wanted for our future.

Without realizing, what was initially supposed to be a brief appointment between complete strangers led to us sitting there for more than 2 hours. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so comfortable, so fast with anyone. 

He asked me to join him for lunch. I had a training run planned that afternoon ; these are incredibly important to me. However, I was so intrigued that I agreed. We went to Bangsar, a trendy upscale area where the creme de la creme of society gather to see and be seen. When we came to the front doors of Antipodean, a posh eatery with an equally impressive pricetag to match, I cringed thinking about the beating my purse was about to take . Regardless, we ventured in and were soon seated facing each other.


It felt so surreal ; what was happening to me? Sitting there with this guy who, mere hours before was a total stranger. I hate people watching me eat. I hate being one-on-one with a person I’m not familiar with. It makes me feel so awkward and self-conscious. What was I doing here, I wondered. Nevertheless, all my inhibitions were put to rest. Conversation flowed easily over lunch and I felt completely at ease with him. 

When the bill came I reached for my purse at once. I don’t expect anyone to take care of my expenses and this was no different. Too late, he'd already put down the notes and sent the bill back with the waiter. I handed the money for my meal to him, firmly insisting he take it. He just smiled and waved me off, rejecting my protests at him paying for me.

After Antipodean, he suggested going to a bookstore to hang out. A recent incident surfaced in my memory :

*** I was with my friend Joshua who was telling me I needed to start seeing people and was giving me a few suggestions for a good date, all of which I disliked. A bit bemused that I’d turned all his ideas down, he then asked what appealed to me.

I told Joshua that I’d love to visit a bookstore. He looked at me, laughed, and told me that no one in their right mind would go there, that I was crazy. ***

So I’d been called crazy for wanting to visit a bookstore on a date. Yet here I was, being led to one my favourite places in the world by this guy. Again, I wondered at what was happening to me. I waltzed between the shelves, picked out a few books, then chose a quiet spot at the back of the store and sat down with him on the carpeted floor. We sat there in silence leafing through the pages. Soft classical music wafted through the air. Occasionally we would make a comment about what we were reading.

We hung out a bit more after that, looking at quaint home deco items and quirky kitchen appliances. Somewhere amongst pots and pans, amongst teapots and tableclothes, he asked me to attend evening service at his church with him. 

Coming into God’s presence, singing His praises, feeling His spirit and love enfold me - church has always been a place close to my heart, so I didn’t even have to think before telling him yes. 

The service was wonderful and I was glad I went. As he drove me home, I was pleasantly mulling over what I thought was one of the nicest days I’ve had in a while ; I didn’t think it could get any better. 


Of course, life couldn’t resist the chance to one-up me again.


We were a couple of blocks away from my house when we saw the puppy. With its beautiful spaniel head resting between its paws and its little pink tongue hanging out patiently, it gave the impression that it was expecting someone. I pointed it out to him, explaining that it was a stray that had somehow ended up in our neighbourhood and we were hoping for someone to adopt it. Turning to me with an amusedly quizzical expression on his face, he told me that he’d been looking for a puppy for his family as their faithful dog had just died. 

We got down to take a closer look at it. It ran between our legs, bumping our ankles with its tawny head, nuzzling our fingers, and happily allowing us to pet it. We laughed and fawned over it, stroking and fussing over this adorable little being. As he dropped me off at my front door I ended up saying goodbye not just to him, but also the furry passenger in the backseat going home with him.
***

From what was initially a brief meeting with a complete stranger, to spending a whole day with them - a lunch date, a visit to a bookstore, looking at kitchen appliances, evening service at church, and helping them adopt a puppy. It had been an unexpectedly delightful day.

I may not date a lot at all and it certainly did not start out that way. But as far as I’m concerned, this was pretty damn good as first dates go. 

                        

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