My First Dating Experience--Dan
I met a man on my commuter train today. His name’s Dan. We’ve taken the same train for months now. Eventually, we got the courage to say a polite “Good morning” to each other when we met on the platform.I think he wanted to talk sooner, but I had my “one year rule” in place.
After my first divorce I started dating right away (that is, as soon as my attorney told me I couldn’t be charged with adultery).
You know the old adage--fall off the bicycle—get back on and ride again, honey…
There were no children from that marriage. And that’s what has slowed me down this time. I didn’t want my son to be raised by someone else, while I was out getting my ‘freak’ on, so to speak.
So, I held Dan at bay, knowing that he was interested in me. I don’t think I much cared whether he would be available when I was done with my one year sabbatical. I don’t know if I even liked him. I chose him because he was available, and…well, day one is day one.
On the platform this morning, I smiled particularly brightly at Dan and stood next to him. It had been a cool spring so far in Chicago, and today was no exception. We were all tired of the winter gear, and looking forward to summer’s rays.
Yes, warmth was what we all needed—at least that’s what I chose to believe when I decided that Dan would be the first man I’d attempt to get know, now that my sabbatical was over. So, as I devised my plan of attack, I knew I needed to convey to Dan that I was not only warm, but also sexy and friendly.
He was dapperly dressed as usual in a light-weight beige overcoat that was neatly belted at the waist. It appeared that he had chosen an equally well-tailored blue, fitted dress shirt and blue pinstripe dress pants. I could tell by the fit of his coat that he was in good physical shape, even though his overcoat had a bit of padding in the shoulders.
Dan had soft brown eyes that moved in concert with his almost perfect smile. It was apparent that his looks were important to him. Every time I’d seen him, his hair was immaculately styled. The cut accentuated the best features of his face--his expressive eyes and his prominent chin.
Overall, he was fairer skinned than I usually preferred, ivory colored. Still there was no doubt; he was definitely respectable eye candy.
We exchanged our usual greeting. Then, with the most careful timing and intonation I asked, “How are you today?” Startled, he turned to look me in the eye and said, “Fine”.
I was thankful that I had startled him. His reaction told me two things. First, it was obvious that he had assumed that I wasn’t interested, since it took me so long to respond to his advances. And, the way he looked at me told me that he was curious about why I had finally approached him.
When he turned toward me, I made another good discovery--after months of seeing him on the train, I had never noticed if he wore a wedding band. Fortunately, when he turned to speak, his left hand was exposed.
He was not wearing a wedding band. And, there wasn’t a ring line where a wedding band had been.
So, I boldly handed him my business card and said, “Call me if you want to do lunch sometime.” Confident now, I looked into his eyes and gave him my best sweet/sexy smile.
He responded by almost dropping his newspaper! I grinned as I helped him catch one of the sections. I knew then that this wouldn’t be a match made in heaven--he was much too awkward and clumsy for my tastes. Still, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Besides, I was determined to pursue this because, well, I had to start somewhere.
The train was coming, and as is usual with most commuters, we parted company, mumbled a polite “Have a good day” and took our favorite seats.
Dan called me from his office, about an hour and a half later. I could tell that he was nervous, and had timed the call so he wouldn’t look too eager.
"Cherilyn Davis,” I answered.
“Hi Cherilyn. This is Dan. The guy you met at the train today.”
“Dan—how are you?” I said sweetly.
“I hope I wasn’t too forward, Dan,” I started. “It’s just that we seemed like two professionals who could possibly network. Besides, how much time does one have on a train platform to get to know someone?”
“Network?” He seemed puzzled.
“Yes,” I said, delighted that I made him lose his composure again. You see, I have learned that most men have a “canned” response to dating, especially if they’ve dated a lot. They almost always know how they will answer the standard “get to know you” type questions before they’re asked. I think that catching them off-guard reveals more of their true personality much sooner.
I was glad that I hadn’t lost my touch. “After all,” I continued, “I just assumed that a handsome brother like you would be seeing someone.”
I could hear him smile through the phone. “Well, actually I was. We just broke up a couple of weeks ago.”
“Sorry to hear that.” I smiled. I didn’t believe it for a second.
“It’s all good,” he responded nonchalantly.
“So, Dan,” I continued, “What do you do for a living?” I was eager to keep the conversation moving so that I could learn more about him.
“I’m a programmer…Unix. Database.”
Hmmm, nice money, I thought. “Oh,” I said, “Sounds like interesting work. How long have you been doing that?”
“About 5 years. What do you do?”
“I’m a project manager—technology too.”
“Oh, okay,” he responded.
I’m starting to lose him, I thought. Getting too personal too fast is always a mistake. Maybe he heard the “possible baby’s Daddy” change in my voice as I thought about our combined incomes…
“Sherry. I’ve got to go. My boss is calling me. I’ll give you a call later on.”