Strangely enough, I met this one out in the real world, not online. I went to a Tab Benoit concert one night with one of my best friends and her circle of hens. I'd never even heard of this Tab fellow before, but it was my weekend off and I was ready to go out. So we went.
From what I remember, the concert was actually pretty good. Tab's got some pipes on him. Plus he's not too hard to look at. At one point, my friend and I were standing up at the back of the room, doing the middle aged lady shuffle (kind of like Billy Crystal doing the White Man Overbite except with less teeth). I kept seeing this tall, dark drink of water lurking off to the side...we made eye contact a few times, did the "oh dear god I hope he's not looking at someone behind me" bit, and then eventually he ended up next to me. It was too loud to have a normal conversation, so we moseyed over to the bar...I remember he bought me a drink (or two) and we had a semi-lucid conversation.
His name was George, he was divorced and had two kids. He lived in a city not too far from me, worked in the financial biz, yada yada yada. My girlfriend was playing wingman/designated driver that night, making sure that the Delicate Flower known as Jenny was kept safe. Soon enough it was closing time and my friend dragged me out of the bar, still yapping with my new find. George and I exchanged numbers...and a couple of nights later I was having the dreaded "Hey I don't really have a good mental image of what you look like but life is short and I remember you were taller than me so what the hell" phone conversation with George. He was very pleasant, had a nice deep voice. His kids were the same ages as my two older ones and he had a looney tunes ex-wife (I soon realized that pretty much every ex-wife is referred to as crazy, or psycho). We talked for over an hour, and truth be told we had a very nice conversation.
Plans were made for a dinner date, at a middle ground restaurant. It was on one of my formerly free Thursday nights, the kids were with Big Daddy. I was super nervous getting ready for this one. That bar was dark...what if I missed something about George? Like big man boobs or black teeth? And worse yet, what if he was thinking he'd met some hot mama...not a pale, freckled chick with a crease in between her eyebrows so big it looks like a butt crack? But the time grew closer, and before I knew it I was walking up to our little dining table.
Phew. He was, in all truthfulness, very good looking. Dark hair, dark eyes, very tall, nice big hands. We had a really nice dinner, and fun conversation. I was giddy with excitement over this one. When it was time to wrap things up, we walked out to the parking lot together and giggled when we saw that our cars were right next to each other. The desperate shrew inside my head was screaming IT'S A SIGN! but I kept the shrill proselytizing to myself. The goodnight kiss was very, very nice. We made plans to see each other again, the very next night. We had our kids on the same weekends, and we just happened to have a free one coming up.
Our next date was dinner and movies, dinner at a little Mexican place he liked and movies at (saying this like an excited, ramped up 15 year old girl) HIS PLACE. When I got to the restaurant, George was waiting there for me. We were perusing the menu when he suggested that we split a dish. For those of you who know me, it's ok if you're laughing. Let's let the other kids in on it, though, ok? Jenny likes her food. I don't like to share. I don't think it's cute or romantic pull out the old Lady and The Tramp/spaghetti card. Back then I was working out like a fiend and sometimes I would lick my plate clean at dinner. That's just how it works. Keep in mind, also at this time I was tiny...maybe a size 6. George had no idea what kind of food issues I was hiding under these little Long and Lean jeans. But I relented. We split a chimichanga or something like that, had a couple beers. When our server brought us the bill, George took out enough cash for his half. Ding Ding Ding. My tightwad senses were tingling.
Now, here's the deal with me and money and dates. The first date, yes, let's split it. This may be our one and only meeting, let's not leave with either side feeling indebted, ok? But if a guy asks you out and chooses the restaurant..in my humble opinion, he pays. Besides, it was some strip mall eatery, it's not like we were at Olive Garden, for Pete's sake (yes, I am being facetious). I paid my half, and winced when I saw him leave two quarters as a tip. Side note: I am a big tipper. Yes, I know I am poor, but even now I tip generously. Big Daddy once delivered pizzas on the side (during his Willy Loman employment phase) and there were weeks when tips paid for our food. When George headed up to the front of the restaurant, I slipped some more money on top of his donation.
But, any alarms that happened to be ringing from that little incident were soon quieted as we headed back to George's house for some movies. You know Eddie Murphy's ice cream song in Delirious? I had my own ice cream song, same tune but different words. Instead of "I have some icecream, I have some icecream", my song went something like this: "I have a boyfriend, I have a boyfriend..and I'm gonna get some, I'm gonna get some".
Boy. Did I ever.