Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Date That Wasn`t (Part I)

Day 32
333 Days Remaining

Long, long ago, before I was ever married, or a Christian, or any of the many things that I now am, I was young and naive.  And I met a man.

This man and I began a relationship, and the relationship was not a good one.  He didn't always treat me the way a man should treat a woman he cares about, and - despite my attempts to hang on and to change him into the person I wanted him to be - the relationship ended.  And that was that.

Until Facebook.
The world has gotten smaller
A few years ago, after nearly two decades, this man and I found each other on Facebook.  I can't remember who found who first, but regardless, I had long since let bygones be bygones, cultivated myself some self-esteem, and moved on, and - as I so often do - I was willing to put the past in the past.  He lived out of town, so it seemed fairly safe to conduct a long-distance tentative friendship.

A few months ago he came into town and wanted to take me out for a fancy dinner, something I very rarely get to do.  I accepted - HB had just moved to Vancouver and I definitely needed some cheering up - and he took me to a very lovely restaurant, where we shared a few glasses of wine, a delicious meal, and some nice conversation.  In the course of this conversation, he apologized for the way he had treated me in the past and asked for my forgiveness.  I gave it and was grateful that he seemed changed and as though he had grown out of the selfishness of youth into a generous and interesting man.  We had coffee together the next day, and he expressed interest in pursuing a relationship with me, but I made it clear that I was still completely immersed in HB, despite his move to Vancouver, and that my heart had no room for anyone else.  He accepted that, went back to his own town, and I felt as though we had accomplished something.  Let's call this resurgent from my past "Aries".

Does "dinner for two" always imply romance?
Aries was planning to come back in to Victoria again this month, and contacted me to ask if we could go for another dinner.  I agreed, having enjoyed the time we had spent together, and always happy to have the chance to be treated like a queen (Aries was insistent that I deserve to be treated as such, and as this is and has been such a rarity in my life, I can be honest and say that I love the idea of it).  Then this whole Dating Hiatus came up, and Aries emailed to ask how that affected our potential dinner.  No worries, I reassured him; appointments which were already made could be kept, as long as he understood that it was not a date; there would be no funny business, and that as soon as I worked out my Guidelines we would see how he "fit in" to my sabbatical.  I wasn't worried that he was looking for more - or, at least, that he would push for more - as I had made it abundantly clear that I was not interested when last he came to town.  He made a few jokes about how he should be the exception to the rules, but I was firm...although it niggled that there seemed to be some honest expectation behind the humor.

Yesterday, we had our "non-date".

I have to admit that in the few days leading up to our dinner plans, I was feeling increasingly uncomfortable about dressing up to go out for dinner with Aries.  No matter how firm I was in my statements, he still seemed to brush aside my concerns and reminders as though they shouldn't apply to him.  Part of me felt as though I should cancel, but I didn't want to disappoint him, and I knew I was strong enough to say no, should he try anything.

Aries was going to pick me up directly after my classes, so I had to bring my evening clothes with me to school.  I grabbed some lovely heels and a halter dress that I had last worn a full year ago and jammed them - along with a strapless bra and my makeup bag - into my backpack.  At the last moment I thought I should probably have something to cover me up, so I also threw a wraparound cardigan in the bag.  I didn`t bother trying anything on; it felt as though if I tried too hard, it would somehow turn this not-a-date dinner into something uncomfortably like an actual date. I had no interest in spending hours debating which dress was better or what color of lipstick to wear or how I should do my hair (this is coming from someone who spent way too much time and money on a) a haircut; b) hair straightening; c) eyebrow wax & tint; d) a new outfit; and e) a bikini wax, all for a less-than-24-hour visit to Vancouver to see HB a couple of months back).  I suppose I have my priorities (and for the record, it rained, so the hair was a washout.  Literally).
After class, I undressed myself in a cramped bathroom stall and wriggled the dress - yeah, a bit tighter since last year - over my head and smoothed it over my hips.  I stuck my feet in the heels and tottered out to regard myself in the mirror, realizing at once that I had not given any consideration to what kind of underwear I should wear with a dress this form-fitting.  The underwear I had taken from my drawer that morning had some kind of lacy frill along all the edges.  Said lacy frill was now creating strange and unattractive bumps around my hips through the smooth lines of the dress.

I stared at myself in the mirror.  I knew I shouldn't care what I looked like - it was just dinner with a friend, after all - but I just didn't like those lumpy-bumpies.   There was only one thing to do, and it certainly wasn't something that I would normally do...but I had to.  With a sigh, I wriggled out of the underwear and stuffed them in my backpack.

So there I was, ready to head out on my non-date...panty-less.  This non-date could appear altogether too "date-like" - especially with a man who quite clearly wanted to push the boundaries with me - if I let it slip that I wore nothing under the dress. 

I shook my head at myself and thought, Whatever you do, do not let him know about this.

...to be continued...


  1. Funny! Funny! Funny! This made me laugh! :)

  2. Thanks, Kim! Please share if you want!