Unplanned Date

—Saturday, March 3, 2012—

It was about 10:20 p.m. on a Saturday night and I was sitting in my apartment, taking notes that afternoon’s Lunch Date, and I had just watched a two hour episode of Downton Abbey. It was only then that I saw that I had a message in my OkCupid from a woman looking to meet up. It was from 7:30 p.m. and she wanted to know I was available to get a drink that night.

Her profile only had a couple pictures and it had been sparsely created that day, but she lived in Astoria, which greatly increased the chances that I might venture out.

There was very little information in her profile and she had seemingly created the profile for the purposes of finding a date that night. I thought two things: This might be someone who’s gone back and forth deleting their profile and just started to recreate it, or she was looking to have sex that night. Unfair? Perhaps, but those were my suspicions.

My Lunch Date with Sandra had ended hours earlier, and though we had discussed possibly hanging out that night with some of her friends, those plans had fallen through. I had been home doing very little aside from watching TV and writing notes.

Weighing my options for the night — writing notes for OHD versus getting in an extra date for OHD —  I decided that I would probably be somewhat unproductive anyway and I might as well get in the extra date, as I had fallen a bit behind. Plus, I had long desired to go on two dates in one day and this was a good way to make it happen without actually planning on it, which was something I didn’t have the fortitude to do. Despite my openness to the world of dating, it always rubbed me the wrong way when people planned on multiple dates in a single day.

I sent Casey a message and told her that I was around if she was still looking to go out and I gave her my phone number. Roughly 15 minutes later, I received a text message from Casey saying that she wanted to do something but wanted to know which date she would be. I told her it would be Unplanned Date and that this certainly qualified.

Since I hadn’t had any dinner, I asked if we could at least go somewhere serving food and she picked a place in her neck of Astoria, which wasn’t too far from me. I had about 45 minutes to get ready and be there, so naturally, I took my sweet ass time. I needed to modify my wardrobe from what I had worn to Lunch Date earlier  that day and I was fairly successful in that task. I then jumped on my bike and made tracks towards 31st Avenue. Riding my bike to a date may not have been the best sexiest way to impress a lady, but it was efficient. I believe this was a first for me, biking to a date.IMG_1861

I arrived outside of Pachanga Patterson right at 11:30 p.m. and locked up my bike. I saw one woman inside at a table alone, but she was not facing the window, so I didn’t know if it was Casey. Also, I barely knew what she looked liked anyway. I had checked out her two pictures briefly, but that was it.

Lacking any kind of courage, I texted Casey, saying that I was outside and sure enough, the woman at the table was her. She walked towards the door and I entered. Hey, nice to meet you, all that. She was taller than me, which was mildly surprising, and a generally a large woman. She wasn’t heavy or fat, simply larger than me, which wasn’t too hard a thing to accomplish. She was the Batman to my Robin. She had secured us a table and I sat down across from her.

Casey had already eaten, but she agreed to hang out with me while I ate something, so that I wouldn’t die. I would have felt weird about this, but Casey was a pretty random person from the internet and I hadn’t planned to go on a date that night, so all bets were off. I thanked her for being spontaneous and meeting up with me like this — it was cool of her.

The waiter came over to take our order. Casey ordered Jameson and Coke and I got a Kelso lager with a hanger steak and roasted potatoes. While we were waiting for our drinks to arrive, I asked her what compelled her to reach out to the internet that night for something to do. She said that she had worked that morning, was just doing a whole lot of nothing and she thought, “I’m 25 and it’s Saturday night. I should do something.”

That made sense to me, but still, I assumed there was likely some deeper reason for taking to the internet for companionship. You know, like a lack of friends, a desire for sex or something similarly lame to admit. I don’t know why I questioned her though. After all, I’d been at home doing nothing and I had friends, a sex a life and other crap going on.

Being the only person eating was sort of awkward, but I was okay with it. Casey was fairly stoic, unless I said something funny, then she would laugh a bit, and while it was genuine laughter, it didn’t last long. It was almost like she would simply acknowledge that she found something funny.

We talked about living in New York City and I found that she had mixed emotions about it. She didn’t really love the lifestyle and was, in fact, looking to move. She had applied for a few jobs in Chicago and was also looking at Austin. She actually had an upcoming trip planned to Austin in order to check it out.

“You like New York?” she assumed. Yeah, I really did. When I was younger, I never thought I would — it always seemed too big and impersonal — but I had fallen for it. Well, it was too big and impersonal, she echoed, “Isn’t it?” I told her that I no longer thought that was the case, since NYC could be as small as you wanted it to be. If I didn’t attempt to branch out, I could have easily spent my entire NYC life between Astoria and Midtown. That wasn’t too big of a city for most people.

I also told her I was going to LA soon and was excited to experience that city, but Casey said she had never thought much of it. Neither had I, honestly, but that was why I wanted to check it out. I wanted to see it for myself and make a judgement. We also briefly discussed CouchSurfing, which I had dabbled in previously.

We talked about improv and it turned out that Casey had taken an improv class at UCB, one of the theaters I studied at. In fact, we’d both had Silvija Ozols as our 101 teacher but after that, Casey didn’t pursue it further. She got animated when talking about Silvija, which was the first real spark of life I’d seen from her thus far, and I could understand the enthusiasm because Silvija was super awesome. She had way of making new students feel welcome that was really great. I went on to tell Casey about my indie team SCORESBY, the new Magnet team I was on (as of that Monday) and the lessons I took from improv into my daily life.

The hanger steak and potatoes were great. I’d never had Mexican steak before and I really enjoyed it. I also hadn’t eaten anything since lunch and I’m sure the hunger helped my appreciation of it.

We talked about our jobs and how we got to where we were in life. Casey was the personal assistant to a rich man in the West Village, which was nothing exciting, she told me. She had gone to school for theater though, so that was her background and why she was knowledgable about improv and various kinds of performance. We discussed our college experiences and what we thought was valuable in the creative world.

Because I’d been watching it earlier, we also talked about Downton Abbey, and then the Harry Potter movies, for a while. We laughed about how great the bad acting in both was and how Downton was truly a nighttime soap opera, but that we accepted it because it was a period piece. Anything old world and British, we both loved.

Casey asked about OHD and wanted to know the story behind it, so I told her. I felt like I was talking an awful lot, but then again, she was not particularly talkative herself. Agreeable, but not super talkative. We continued to talk about dating for a long time. She said it was one of the reasons she wanted to leave New York — she was not finding what she wanted in NYC. Most of her dates were from OkCupid though, so maybe that had something to do with it. Not that the internet wasn’t a great way to meet people, but if it was the only way she went about it, and it was not working, she probably had to try other means.

This seemed to support my theory that her hastily created profile was born from a back and forth dissatisfaction with OkCupid. She’d probably become so frustrated with the service that she had deleted her profile, but then realized, in a moment of desperation, that she wanted to go out that night and recreated it. Though I’d never reached that point, I could totally understand that frustration and temptation push and pull.

Also, I could understand why men weren’t exactly beating down her door. She was reserved and serious sounding, without much of an upbeat attitude at first glance. She was a tall woman, which some men were definitely into, myself included, but not most. Many tall women embraced their height, but Casey didn’t seem to have the positive attitude, winning style or undeniable beauty that would regularly convince a man who wasn’t into tall women to go for it. While she was enjoyable to spend time with, given the proper patience, she wasn’t someone who immediately demanded attention.

We got a couple rounds as we talked and it was going well. They announced last call around 1:30 a.m. and though I thought it was early, the place was more of a restaurant than a bar.

There had been some good music on there, including The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Radiohead and The XX. I liked Panchanga Patterson — it was really solid. We talked about music for a bit: different groups that we both liked, live shows we’d seen recently and all that general music chit chat. As we got our things together, I asked if she would like to go somewhere else and she was on board.

I left my bike where it was locked up and we walked, in a roundabout fashion, to Sweet Afton, which was the same bar I went to with my Man Date. I was repeating a date location, but I hadn’t planned for this date and it wasn’t like I’d brought a woman there before.

We found a corner table and settled into it. I went to the bar to get us a couple beers and we continued talking about dating, more than anything else. I already felt pretty loose, as I’d previously been on a date that day to warm up, and I finally noticed Casey beginning to relax as well.

I don’t know if it was the beer doing its work on me, or simply the shift in Casey’s demeanor, but an attraction to her began to grow. Up until this point, I wouldn’t have said that I was attracted to her but, the more she laughed and the more she smiled, the more attractive she was to me. It made me think that if she just embraced an upbeat attitude and wore a smile more often, she’d have far less trouble finding someone.

The attraction was also encouraged by our proximity. We were sitting very close to each other, with our legs touching.

We ended talking about some sexual things very casually — not sex things between us, but general sexual topics — which definitely created even more sexual tension in the air. We also had fun simply observing those around us and commenting on the scene. It was a crowed bar on a Saturday night, so there was a lot to talk about. It was fun — I was really enjoying myself.

This has worked out incredibly well, considering none of it was planned. Sweet Afton was a solid bar. I told her how my friends were at a craft beer festival that night and when she asked why I wasn’t there, I said that it was because I had gone out to lunch and missed the beginning of it. I had cleared by day for Lunch Date, so I hadn’t bought a ticket to the beer festival. But it was all good, because I was there with her instead.

Eventually, the tension tipped the scales and I found myself making out with Casey in the corner of Sweet Afton. Most people who knew me would have chalked this up to the theory that “Evan will make out with anyone,” and I guess I’d have to agree in this case, as I really hadn’t been into Casey before a few beers.

While I truly didn’t have a type, I probably needed to have standards of some kind and realized later that it might not be a good idea to make out with everyone who gave me the opportunity. I needed to be a bit more discerning about who I made out with in public, at least. I had a reputation as a decent dude to uphold.

After a bunch of making out, and after last call had come and gone, Casey and I found ourselves outside of Sweet Afton at 4 a.m. Shit, it’s late, I thought. I was getting very tired.

We walked up 34th Street, towards Casey’s apartment and my bike, but we never really made it to either. At the corner where my bike was locked up, we thanked each other for a fun night and then kissed, made out and eventually decided to grab a taxi back to my place.

Maybe she had been on OkCupid that night simply looking for sex and had been incredibly coy about it. I’ll probably never know.

No matter how fatigued and drunken the rest of our night together may have been, I think it’s fair to say that we covered a lot of ground (For a date that started at 11:30 p.m) and that neither of us had planned on our night ending the way that it did.

Here’s to spontaneity.