Despite some questionable messages from questionable people, I have managed to go on a spate of good — and even great — dates in the past couple of weeks. Yes, that’s a thing that occasionally happens in my life!
Last year was … well, let’s call it a year of growth. Necessary growth, but there were times the growing pains came upon me so swiftly, so damn unexpectedly, that they knocked the wind right out of me. I remember when I was younger, going through my final growth spurt (which left me at a towering 5’2 and 1/2″), I would be walking along just fine one minute only to be doubled over in pain the next. That is a pretty accurate summation of the past year. If nothing else, 2014 really honed my instincts. Seriously, they are spot fucking on at this point. I spent a few months trying to ignore them (which resulted in shower-barf inducing anxiety), followed by an attempt to reason with them (which resulted in fleeing to the suburbs with tiny tubs of ice cream), and then finally acceptance (which resulted in a couple of uncomfortable conversations but at least I fucking acknowledged them). It was all a tad emotionally exhausting. Don’t get me wrong, I feel more complete having gone through those experiences (if not taller — I’ve long given up that dream). It’s just time for something different.
Different definitely describes how I’ve been approaching dating recently. One of my better recent dates included stops at a gay bar, male (suggested by him) and female (suggested by me) strip clubs, and an attempted drag show that was cancelled due to flooding (just think of the solid water-related dirty jokes we missed!). I realize this might be a bit non-traditional for a first date, but it was really fucking fun. Maybe first dates need more naked dancing strangers? Then again, maybe not. I shudder to think what Tearful Tom would’ve done. Do you have to tip more if your date cries on the stripper?
I’ve also been grabbing drinks at more ‘appropriate’ venues with all sorts of interesting people, and during all this I’ve noticed a bit of a shift in my attitude. One of last year’s men told me he could tell how nervous I was on our first date. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but I don’t have those intense nerves now; I’m just not as caught up in making a good impression. It’s not so much that IDGAF; it’s more that I am just as interested in finding out if they’re a good fit for me. So I’m going to keep going on inappropriate first dates when they feel right, falling over chairs, and getting my ass kicked at pool in my hometown. I must be doing something right, since they’ve all led to second dates.