Now where did I leave off. Ah. Mara had just Facebook-stalked Anthony and we learned he's originally from Minnesota, owns an adorable black and white puppy, and is finishing up law school this fall. Oh, and he's in his late 20s.
I wasn't sure how long to wait before texting him. Some people go for that immediate, Hey remember me? It's been so long! text that gets sent almost as soon as you lose sight of the person. I can't say I've ever seen that work super well in a girl's favor. Maybe a guy's, but never a girl's. We have to remain coy, aloof, ungettable--until they actually want to get us that is.
Oh the dating mind games we play.
My friends made me promise to wait until at least 7:30 p.m., so roughly four hours after he'd given me his number. I could wait that long. I kid you not--I spent like an hour playing around phrases and lines to mold that perfect first text to send. When 7:30 finally rolled around, you know what I sent him?
Hey, it's Halle!:)
There's an hour of my life I'll never get back.
And the worst part about being the first person to initiate texting? Other than being the first person to initiate texting? Waiting for the reply. You start to second-guess your use of smiley face versus a winky face. Maybe I should have thanked him again for the beer? Maybe I should have said something about how I'm glad he broke policy?
And down the rabbit hole I spiraled.
Thankfully, I didn't have to spiral for too long. Within an hour or so, my phone buzzed.
WOW, are you a distraction at work, Halle:)
I read his message and my stomach fluttered. Ha, guilty. I waited 10 or so minutes before responding, apologizing for being such a distraction and then asked him how his shift was going. We chatted into the next morning before he finally asked me out.
What does your week look like? Do you want to grab a drink sometime? I HAVE to see that smile again :)
So we set a time and place, and didn't text again until the day of our date.
Sidebar: I actually like it when you set a date with a guy and then just stop talking until the actual date. It's a nice change from getting to know a guy through texting alone. Plus you'll figure out if this is a guy who can hold a conversation much faster if you wait rather than if you're in constant contact via texting. After all, who wants to date someone who can't keep up their end of the conversation?
However, the day of the date, I did check in with Anthony to make sure 6:30 p.m. was still a good time for him. I was going to have to rush home from work to make it on time, but I didn't care. I decided to loosely curl my hair and wore ripped jeans with a pinstriped loose crop top and military jacket. A little girly but with some edge.
I arrived to the bar early, something I regularly do on first dates. It's just nice to get settled and have some time to collect yourself before the guy gets there and immediately sends your nerves into overdrive. I settled into a booth near the back and ordered a beer. Ironically, the bar carried the beer from the brewery that Anthony works at, so I ordered my favorite Fulton brew--a Lonely Blonde. (The irony of that beer name cannot be lost on anyone.) I shot Anthony a quick text letting him know where I was sitting, and then I waited.
As soon as I saw him walk in, my stomach jumped. He was just as cute as I remembered. He was wearing something similar to what he would wear to the brewery, nice shorts and a t-shirt that was just fitted enough to show off his biceps. I rose and greeted him with a hug before we settled down into our chairs.
The waitress approached with my drink, and he ordered the same. Ironically, though he works in a brewery and ordered the same beer as me, he's not much of a beer drinker. Too much time spent with hipsters in breweries, I guess.
We gradually eased into typical first-date conversation. I asked him where he was from, how he likes law school, why he decided to go to college where he did. In turn, he teased me for loving antiquing and asked me questions about my home state of Nebraska, which (like most people) he'd only ever driven through.
One drink turned to two, and we slipped into a comfortable, flirty têt-à-tête. I don't know about you guys, but I love a good sarcastic guy. As we both reached the end of our second beer, he asked if I needed to leave soon.
"Do you have to head out soon, or can we keep hanging out for a bit?" He asked, slightly tilting his head to the side and staring at me with those piercing blue eyes of his.
"I don't have anywhere to be anytime soon," I replied with a smile.
"Awesome. Do you want to grab another drink somewhere else, or...?"
"Well, it's pretty nice outside. Why don't we just go for a walk around here?"
"Let's do it," he grinned.
He pulled out some cash to cover the drinks, and I shot him a look.
"What?" he asked.
"I can get mine," I said, reaching for my wallet.
He laughed and rolled his eyes.
"I asked you here," he replied, rather definitively.
I raised my eyebrow at him and shot him a coy half-smile, but allowed him to pay my tab. Then we headed out the door, and about 10 feet out the door, he subtly but confidently slid his fingers through mine. Suddenly we're holding hands. I kept thinking to myself, Damn that was smooth. It really was.
We wandered through the neighborhood for about another hour, holding hands and laughing. He told me about his siblings and his dog. I was surprised at how comfortable I felt around him. Earlier inside the bar, my teeth were chattering I'd been so nervous. But once we were outside and moving around, I felt very calm. Besides, he's the type of guy that makes you feel comfortable around him because he's clearly so comfortable with himself.
Eventually, we sat down on a park bench and continued to talk. As the sun started to set, I mentioned that we should both probably be heading home. I had to get up for work at 6 a.m. the next morning.
He conceded and walked me back to my car.
"So when can I see you again?" he asked as we arrived at my car.
"Well, I'm leaving for Colorado this Friday," I replied. "And you're leaving for Vegas on Thursday." (This had clearly not been discussed at all prior. Not.)
"Then I'm back from Vegas for a day before I leave for Colorado for a week."
"I still think it's hilarious we're both flying in and out of Denver one day apart," I laughed, pointing out the obvious irony.
"Yeah, that's crazy," he laughed as he ran his fingers through his hair. "So maybe we can grab a drink or something after you get in from your flight, the day before my flight leaves?" (Such a small window of opportunity.)
"I think that would work," I replied, grinning. "I'll double check when my flight gets in and let you know."
"Sounds good," he said as he took a step towards me. He pulled me in for a long hug and then leaned in and kissed me.
We parted ways, and I sat in my car with a stupid grin on my face for like five minutes.
That's where I'll leave you guys for now. Just know, the story isn't over yet.