Detailed and very long.
About a month ago, I asked a girl I sort of knew from the university crowd - Exotic - to come out with me. I'd only talked and flirted with her a couple of times, once at a dance and once at a party, and wanted to take it further, but I had few opportunities. With graduation out of the way, I only had a few days left in Portland and figured, what the hell, the only way I can get a hold of her is facebook chat. So that's what I went through. We talked a little before I told her that I was intrigued by her and wanted to take her out. She said it was poor timing because she was busy that evening and was leaving the following day to visit her family for a week, and I already knew I would be leaving within the next couple days.
However, she seemed very favorable, asking "So what can we do about this?" and so I told her to give me her number - I would let her know when I would be in town next and, if she was still interested, we would go out. She agreed.
Randomly I decided to go back to Portland the day before yesterday and hang out with a friend, and took the opportunity to contact Exotic. The text conversation went as follows:
Me: Hey it's Dasani. Short notice but i'll be in town for a couple days, and if you're interested, I want you to come out with me
Exotic: Oh Hey! Yeah sure, that would be awesome. When will you be in town?
Me: I'm coming in tonight. Free tomorrow night?
Exotic: Sure, tomorrow night is fine.
Me: Great, I'll call you around 6:30ish. [I stopped by phone from making a pocket call before sending this message, it does that] I think I just pocket called you, ignore it haha.
Exotic: Alright cool. Nah you didn't pocket call me. I'll talk to you then.
Went down and had a great time with my friend, set something up with an old FB, set another thing up with a current FB/Prospect for right before my date with Exotic, and felt good about the situation.
I realized I had not planned the date at all, and started getting ansty, so I called a friend who happens to be a ladies man. A classy one at that. The advice he gave me I summed up in an e-mail to myself:
1. In order to feel comfortable setting up an interesting date, you should have been to the venue or have done the activity prior to setting up the date. Know a few good places to go dancing or listen to live music so that when it comes time for the date you dont fall back on dinner and a movie (you do that because thats what you're comfortable with, not because you have no ideas. You get scared of trying to take her dancing or to a bar because you dont know anything about those places and you dont want to fuck it up on the date. So go BEFORE the date.)
2. Hikes are great dates. According to [advisor], "You can learn a lot more about someone on a hike than on any other type of date. Keep it at 4-7 miles round trip and no more than 1500 feet of elevation change." Get multiple sources for directions for trailheads so you don't get lost or have trouble finding it. (on that note, maybe get multiple sources for directions to wherever you're going, just in case.)
3. Learn how to mix some cocktails and keep the ingredients at your house. [advisor] likes something with a slight cinamon flavor that leaves a little spice on their tongue. "deal sealed."
4. Plan the date before the day of. On that note, have some predone up dates you can use (like the nickel arcade date, which is a pretty solid option).
It was too late for a hike and the weather was poor. I didn't know of any places for dancing other than bars and clubs that I wanted to avoid. What I ended up deciding, with the help of [advisor] and Yelp.com was to take her to a bouldering gym, then to a bar that conveniently had a live band every Tuesday, then back to her place for a movie (her place because I no longer have a home in Portland).
I texted her, several hours before I said I would:
Me: Have you been to that bouldering gym before?
Exotic: Which bouldering gym! lol
Me: [Place]. I thought it would be cool to go. Sound good?
Exotic: Yea sure, why not. What time?
Me: I'll pick you up about 7. Wear shorts, regular workout stuff, and bring a change of clothes. Whats your address?
Exotic: Alright! [Address] sounds like fun.
Me: Oh and grab a bite to eat, we can get something after if we want.
Exotic: Cool. I was actually going to eat something anyway.
I got my directions and then went out to an early dinner with another girl I had set plans with. She's an interesting one, but this post isn't about her.
Came back home, got ready and left to grab Exotic. When I got to her place she was ready and waiting for me, looking cute in her little exercise shorts. It was pretty obvious we were both a little nervous from the way the conversation gushed about trivial sorts of things that neither of us really cared about, but we progressed in comfort and I think really enjoyed ourselves on the car ride over. I lamented not having hugged her when I arrived, but it just didn't feel right.
I missed the exit and we got lost-ish for about half an hour, but it was good because we got the intial jitters out of the way while driving around searching for the gym.
We got there and snagged the only available parking place and went inside. I paid for both of us, she made no objection or comment about it (which I was pleased about, I hate it when I go to pay for something and girls object. As much as the community has drilled it into men that we shouldn't pay for shit, I still feel like a dick when I take somebody out and ask them to spend money that they wouldn't have spent had they not been out with me.)
This was the best idea for a date I've ever had. We didn't have to talk much or force conversation, because most of what we were doing was laughing at each others general ineptitude on the rock walls or gawking at the experienced climbers performing amazing feats. It also made a great opportunity to touch her because she's weaker than me (at 5' 2" it's no wonder), so I would support her back from under her while she made tougher reaches and "leaps of faith" as we were calling them.
We took a break after a half hour or so and chatted about each other, getting some much needed verbal rapport while our fingers and forearms recovered, then got back to it. After a few more climbs (and one in particular where I just managed to hold on after a near fall, completed the climb, but broke my will to continue in the process) we were both too tired to continue and I suggested we change. I had left my clothes in the car, so I ran out and grabbed them as well as stuffed a couple of condoms into my pocket - the date felt very on. We changed and got back into the car. I SOId, telling her I had been worried she wouldn't want to go climbing and I found her sense of adventure very sexy.
I told her I had done a search for bars in the area so we could grab a drink and found one that had sounded like a gem, so we went.
Neat little bar. Dark with just the right amount of dinginess, the whole crowd was older than us (40+ probably), and there would be a live band starting in about 40 minutes. So we had our first drink and chatted away, and got deeper with our rapport. I discovered her passion for psychology and particularly psychological disorders such as autism and listened to her stories of the internship she's working. I enjoyed talking with her very much, and it helped that we had a running commentary about the band members as they set up. There was this huge black guy on drums with a voice like poured honey, my favorite line from myself, spoken in my best attempt at a seductive black man, "Ladies and gentleman, I like to call this next song...you gon' get loved...tenderly."
The band was really good, jazzy sort of song with three different singers that would interchange (including the tender lover) and it made for a great opportunity to touch her a bit more intimately. The music was too loud to talk normally so we would lean in, our thighs and arms resting against each other while we talked in each other's ears. At one point I put my arm around her to pull her in and she came in without me even pulling, then seemed to catch herself and let me pull her in to talk. As it progressed our cheeks would touch as we spoke.
After two drinks and six or seven songs, we decided to go. It was a good ride home, and about 30 seconds from her house I said we should grab a movie from redbox and watch it. She agreed, so we went and got one just down the street from her place.
On the way back she asked me where I was staying while I was in Portland. This was the one question that, in the back of my mind, I knew I did not want to come up.
Earlier in the day the roommate of the friend I was staying with made an awkward comment to my friend. It sounded somewhat boastful and uncertain, like he wanted to fit an image that wasn't him, "Hey man, I hope you didn't hear me the other night." The obvious message was that he had a girl over and wanted us to know. I asked him who the girl was. Lo and behold, it was Exotic. I made no comment and decided it didn't matter to me. Girls hook up, it just so happened that I was staying with the FB of the girl I was taking out on a date.
Stranger things have happened to me, I'm sure.
At any rate it had crossed my mind (however briefly) that it might be uncomfortable for Exotic to find out that, not only did I know that she was fooling around, but that I was staying with her FB. Of course I didn't mention to the guy that I was taking Exotic out. I told her the truth, calling it my friend's house not her FB's, to which she said "Oh...I was actually over there hanging out the other night.." I figured, whatever, the fact that she's sleeping with somebody else means she isn't a virgin and I'm more likely to get in her pants, right?
We sit down to watch the movie and I pull her over to me. She seems...reluctant is the wrong word, but non cooperative and non responsive. She let me pull her over, but she didn't adjust herself against me or make it easier for me to adjust her. I soldiered on none the less. She wanted me over to watch a movie with her around 11:30 after a couple of drinks, why wouldn't she be interested in hooking up?
A half hour or so into the movie I was bored and decided that now would be the time to make a move, despite the general lack of new signs that she wanted it.
"Exotic, do you want to kiss me?"
"Uhh did you just say that? Haha, um I've never been asked like that before..uhh I don't kiss on the first (she was about to say date but stopped herself) hang out thing getting to know each other deal."
"You didn't expect that huh?"
"No, not really."
We continued watching the movie and making commentary - it just sucked. I tried to convey that it didn't matter to me that we weren't hooking up, but I was so shocked at her rejection that I recovered POORLY and I'm sure couldn't have fixed it. When it came time to leave I lingered around looking for a hug, she didn't walk with me to the door (it was in the same room but she was cleaning up and unplugging her laptop while I was moving toward it), and I didn't want to just walk out without giving her one because I was afraid that would look like I was pouting. She finally came over and hugged me - a very friend feeling hug, short and devoid of feeling. And I left.
I was distraught and more than confused. I cannot accept "I don't kiss on the first date" as a sufficient reason. I thought every sign was there, everything had gone so well up to that point. I went back to my friend's place (it was now almost two am) and found the door locked, didn't want to wake anybody up so I called the old FB. Spent the night with her, but sleeping with her was bland, unexciting and ashen after what felt like a horrible failure and a blow to my self esteem, as well as a confirmation of some of my worst fears and insecurities about myself.
It wasn't until today that I remembered what I have settled on to be the reason for our not having hooked up. That small detail about where I was staying.
How uncomfortable for her. I know nothing about her relationship with her FB but perhaps he wants her, emotionally, but she isn't interested and she doesn't want to destroy him by having me accidentally reveal that she and I hooked up. Maybe she didn't want to feel like a slut - it being easy for her to sleep with a new guy while seeing the old one, but when confronted by the actual reality of both of them knowing each other, and probably seeing each other, could have triggered her ASD. It could be any number of things, but I do believe that it was that single complicating factor, coming out between us so close to the end of the evening, that screwed me over.
I texted her today, hoping to recover if there was any need to do so:
Me: How are your arms? My fingers have some nice red almost callouses
Exotic: Haha...my shoulders are feeling it for sure. My hands are definitely going to look ugly.
Me: Peasant hands haha. I wanted to apologize got my reaction last night. You have every right to say no, I was just confused and... bad at recovering.
Exotic: No worries at all. I'm sorry for the way I responded. All in all though, I had a great time.
Me: Me too =) that bar is a gem. I'll let you know when I'm back in town
Exotic: Yeah for sure! May have to do the bouldering thing again.
Me: haha we could use the practice.
So it feels like it's genuinely still on, unless I've missed something and am not overly optimistic in thinking it was that one factor, not the lack of interest or chemistry, that kept us from hooking up (though perhaps a better man could have pushed through it all). I'll contact her for a second date the next time I'm in town. My lack of availability has to be SOMEWHAT sexy!