I haven’t dated anyone for 18 years. (I even had to check the math on that – really, that long?) The internet was in its infancy – there wasn’t a Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or online dating. I was barely of legal drinking age. I didn’t think I’d ever get married, and I wasn’t sure that I’d ever have kids.
Mike and I started dating in college, and until August 2011, we didn’t have any breaks or time away from one another. It was just us, together, through thick and thin, for better or worse, through sickness but not alcoholism…
Now my kids are my first priorities. I’m not a college student, but I teach them. I’ve grown a lot. I’ve changed a lot. I’ve been through a lot.
So fast forward to yesterday. I must have been exuding some sort of crazy-ass pheromones. First, the Starbucks dude gave me a free pastry (he didn’t give anything away to the three women who were in front of me in line) and a wink and up-sized my latte.
And then (I think) I was (sort of) asked out.
Background: I’ve never been good at flirting or knowing when a man was interested in me. Before Mike, I only dated a handful of guys. I was a late bloomer for sure, not having my first boyfriend or first kiss until my senior year of high school.
Ethan and I attended mass on Sunday morning. During communion, I noticed K, a good-looking and very recently divorced dad, walking back to his seat a few aisles away.
(Sidenotes: his son is E’s “arch enemy” and his daughter is one of Ethan’s crushes. I’ve talked to K on occasion – wouldn’t say I know him well, but I have caught him looking at me at school meetings and other events. I brushed it off as coincidence or my crazy imagination. One last note: the mom-friends I went out with last weekend, three of the four of them said separately that K and I should date. I laughed it off, but the comment stuck with me.)
So when mass ended yesterday, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, that K was looking in my direction. I concentrated on Ethan and getting him down the aisle so we could get his stuff for his extracurricular meeting post-church. But then I noticed K alter his gait when he got close to our aisle. It was like he was stalling, waiting.
“Hey,” he said casually, raising his hand and smiling. He gently tossed Ethan’s hair and asked him about his weekend.
We continued with various pleasantries and small talk – the weather, his new condo, our kids – through the church and into the lobby.
“I’m starving. My stomach was growling all throughout mass,” he said with a laugh. “Thinking about going and grabbing some lunch somewhere…”
And that’s when I turned into a ridiculously awkward idiot. I think.
Was he kind of hinting at going to lunch? Was he looking for a lunch companion? Or was it just a continuation of the small talk? If it wasn’t for K adjusting his walking speed to “meet” us at the end of our aisle, I probably would have not paid attention to the comment, but…
I panicked. Said something like “yeah,” steered Ethan into a side hallway, then ducked into the women’s bathroom. I’m super smooth.
I either lost the chance to go to lunch with K and get to know him better OR acted like a complete buffoon by reading too much into nothing.
Regardless, I really need to work on my social skills with men. Geez.