The buzz is on about 52 First Dates. Which, by the way, I will only refer to as “Operation 52D” from now on. I just like referring to things as Operations.
Can I answer the questions I keep being asked? Ok, here goes:
- Yes, there are responses!
- No, I won’t post them (at least, not without permission).
- Yes, I will write / photograph / interview / postmortem the hell out of the dates.
- No, I’m not worried about finding “The One” and regretting my firm decision to not call for a second date.
I don’t like the presumption of this being some kind of cakewalk. Or, a joke. It’s definitely humorous. And it’s not for or about sex. It’s a realization that I know some of my limits better than most who know me.
One of those limits is my awkwardness in one-on-one encounters. “But, Scott, I never felt awkward when we first met. I thought we got along fine!” Well, that’s ... thanks - I’m blushing! But, I promise my mind was racing trying to keep my limbs from flailing into nearby glassware, keep from getting too excited (or too introverted), and keep a fun conversation. In short, I felt self-conscious, constrained, and pressured.
This rule applies universally: men and women. With no one I know has there been an exception. And, my coping strategy is simple: avoidance.
Which is exactly what I did the moment I started receiving responses.
But. Finally. Tonight, after work, I sat down and forced myself to answer every e-mail in my inbox.
One of the pressures in going out is the (imagined?) expectation of fun. I feel as it’s my responsibility; and, that I fail if there is no mutual excitement. Certainly, I don’t expect the same of others. Maybe that’s unfair?
Regardless, I followed these guidelines in my responses with the intention of maximizing the potential for a fun date:
- Brainstorm! I scratched out was I wanted to do, and then erased what wouldn’t fit in the framework of a first date. Each was harder than it sounds - three or four hours!
- Respect the comfort level: I shared about myself only a little more than was shared with me. My intention was to encourage, so that I could gauge my date suggestions.
- Invite discussion, but keep it light: Short and light responses to all topics raised. Hopefully, this will leave the ice-breaking component of the first date intact.
- Ask for suggestions: I gave my availability, asked for date ideas, and tried my hardest to sound up for anything (well, I am!). Thus, if my gauging was way off, this leaves an opening for fun.
To start with: smart women. Literate, artistic, and educated. Adventurous, too! Unsurprising, given the ad. And, a fact that makes me smile.
A few people who just moved to Seattle; and, are interested in seeing the best parts. I only hope I can well represent this city I’m so fond of.