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  • Writer's pictureAndie Kantor

First Date

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

I arrived early Friday night, parked across the street, and walked in through the back gate where there are still tar pit excavation sites. Trying to find the entrance to LACMA proved difficult, as there is a whole lot of construction going on. I wandered around, meeting wall after wall of signage exclaiming how great the museum was going to be soon.

In the car, I’d been so nervous I was shaking, but the frustration of not being able to be on time overrode that. I was still nervous, though. Here was a guy who I had a VERY high percentage match from OKCupid (99%, in fact), who was clever and engaging over text, who had caught my attention so much that I had postponed a date with someone else I had scheduled for that night.

I was now late, frantic, and hoping he’d pick up his darn phone. He called me back, asking me what I saw, and telling me he’d come find me. A minute later and he said, “I see you,”

He came up to me smiling, handing me a white calla lily at the same time I went in for a hug. Awkward. I found out later that he’d hiked over to the Farmer’s Market and then back to get it for me having arrived much earlier than I had. He was cheerful as he led me back to LACMA and over to where to get tickets.

Dave kept the conversation light and fun, asking if it actually was a Chewbacca bag I was wearing (yes) and commenting on the band playing. Apparently LACMA hosts musical evenings; there were tons of people with picnic dinners holding full plastic wine glasses, ready to listen.

We rode the long escalator to the top and entered the museum, chit chatting about different pieces of art, giving and getting opinions. His voice was reassuring and there were some long pauses that weren’t the awkward kind of silence that causes discomfort, but more like that comfortable silence of old friends. In between comments about the art we asked and answered get to know you questions and shyly joked around. Well, I felt shy. He seemed pretty confident.

During this entire date I’d managed to somehow stay present, in the moment. I have no idea what we talked about, but the date ended up lasting over seven hours. We found ourselves at the Farmer’s Market eating Trejo’s Tacos for dinner, and the conversation just got better and better, deeper and deeper. Staying present allowed me to focus on what I liked about him–his smile, how he kept accidentally brushing my arm with his, how he opened every door for me.

Driving home, my phone rang, “How long do I have to wait to tell you that I want to see you again,” he asked. After the last few dates with the men who hedged around this, I was floored at how straightforward Dave was. “Well,” I mumbled, stunned. “I’m free tomorrow.”

And then he said “great, what time?”

I have no idea if my attempts at mindfulness had anything to do with finally meeting someone who maybe likes me and is clear about it, but there was definitely a change in me. When I left him, I wasn’t wondering what he would do next, if he would call. Instead, I was floaty about how the evening went, and tired because I was up later than normal. I was able to focus on the drive without stressing about what Dave thought about it, or what he would do.

Oh, we ended up having a six hour date on Saturday. And drinks the next Tuesday.

I like this guy! I can’t wait to see where this goes.

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