I may have kept him waiting a few minutes this past Sunday. I probably could have walked just a tad faster, but at 11:30 in the morning and with temperatures already lingering in the 90s, I didn’t want to risk becoming a human Chia Pet. It’s not a good look for me. Ariel greeted me warmly when I finally walked into Boutique Eat Shop on 22nd, complimented me on my black Marilyn Monroe-esque dress, and we made our way to our table. I ordered an iced coffee and the crack-laced French toast (seriously some of the best I’ve ever had) and we caught up on life’s pleasantries.
This was our third date, and though I kept relatively mum about it, our second date was on a Saturday just a week before.
Our plan for the day was to have brunch, check out the Highline (which I had still not walked along), and then go to Chelsea Market. We decided to play the rest of it by ear (Ariel is clearly a planner; I prefer to stroll and stop for shiny objects). Despite the heat and humidity, the day itself was beautiful and Ariel was a perfect gentleman. He had recently broken up with a woman he had met on OkCupid and we spent much of the afternoon dissecting relationships and the meaning of it all (though we never did figure out either).
To escape the sun, I suggested going to see a movie but we couldn’t find a coinciding show time. He said he’d never been to Hoboken, I offered to show him around a bit, and so it was that he ended in my apartment. But no funny business. We continued our chat, noshed on some fruit I had picked up at the farmer’s market, and eventually left air conditioning to stroll through town.
Ten hours had gone by from the beginning of our date to the very end. As funny as this may sound, I don’t remember the last time I spent such a large chunk of time with someone I’ve either been set up with or met online. Though I can in all honesty say that I don’t have any romantic feelings for Ariel (though I wish sometimes that I did because he’s ideal bring-home-to-meet-the-‘rents material), I thoroughly enjoy being in his company. There’s a perfectly good friendship there and I’m happy to leave it at that.
Though sometimes my spirit feels broken, I have to remind myself that I can do this. In the ten hours I spent with Ariel, I was reminded of what it feels like to be this comfortable with a person again and I began to shed some of my insecurities about dating. With just a bit of romance, I’ll one day have my own “Before Sunrise” moment. Now I just want to enjoy the moments that matter.