Originally written in January of 2012, here’s a story for Throwback Thursday. Enjoy this strange tale, and I hope that it isn’t too long. I cut out as much as I could. Warning: it’s a bit risqué!
“You should date one of the handsome engineers around here,” my coworker Ben said. He had thinning gray hair, so he may be in his 50’s.
I snorted. He didn’t need to know that I had already dated more than one of the engineers from our company and found each one lacking. Instead, I summarized my findings from those experiments by saying, “Engineers are uncommunicative and unromantic.”
“That describes all men!” was his retort. He thought for a minute, then added, “You need to meet my friend Dan. He’s a dance instructor part-time and works here for his day job. He can introduce you to people outside the company.”
I shrugged. “Sure, that sounds good.”
The next day, Ben handed me Dan’s number. I was surprised; I had thought that he might forget. Now I had the onus of calling a stranger and asking about dance lessons? I put it off a day or two, then left a message for the guy. The following is a transcript of our text message conversations, which sum up our time together nicely.
Dan texted, “Hello Jules, this is Dan Dover… I just sent you an email… I am very sorry I haven’t responded to you sooner about your dancing inquiry…Feel free to email/text/call/carrier pigeon/smoke signal me at your convenience…”
Ha ha! Ok, he has a sense of humor. Excellent! We played phone tag and work got busy for both of us, so it was another month and a half before we scheduled a date.
Dan texted, “Interested in dancing Thursday night?”
I texted, “Hell ya!”
Then I thought better of it, and texted, “I mean sure, I guess (Playing hard to get)”
Dan texted, “lol. I’m thinking I could pick you up around 8, if that works for you, then we could get there before it gets too busy and I can show you some steps and get some practice in while there is still room to move on the dance floor…”
I texted, “Awesome.”
Dan responded, “Just make sure you hydrate and stretch before head out :-)”
I answered, “Will do :-)” While I was thinking, “What a strange thing to say. Are we going to dance or run a marathon? Actually, sounds like he plans to have marathon sex. Not on the first date, buddy!”
Dan texted, “Do you have boots with leather soles?”
“Yes, broken in, too :-)” was my response. I mean, REALLY. I am a Texan, what did he expect?!
“Sweet :-)” came his reply.
On Wednesday, I texted him, “Where r we going? Cowboys RR?” Referring to Cowboys Red River, a popular dance club in Dallas.
Dan responded, “That’s where I was thinkin’…That alright?”
“Yes, just curious :-)” I sent.
“I promise I won’t leave you there…No need to know how to get home from the bar ;)”
“ha haha!” I responded. “We’ll see if you’re singing the same tune after I step on your feet a few times. Are your boots steel toed?”
“My work boots are but my dancing boots aren’t, however, I’m sure we will be just fine :-)” Dan texted back.
“:-) see you tomorrow at 8!” I replied.
“I’m out dancing tonight so I’ll be all warmed up to teach you :-)” the response came.
Who was he out with? Why didn’t he invite me? Did he go out every night? And how was I supposed to answer that?
Thursday at 11:29 p.m. Dan texted, “Thanks again for a wonderful evening…I could have kissed you all night! :-)”
“Thank you, and I definitely agree, that would have been nice xoxo,” I responded.
“Next time we will extend the session :-)” Dan texted.
Ok, how to answer that? “No, thanks, we kissed quite long enough” or “Any longer and I would have gotten bored” or “Um, I’d rather talk and get to know you more first.” Those seemed like inappropriate answers, so I simply said, “Brilliant idea 😉 sleep well.”
Dan, “You too :-)”
Dan, Jan 6 (Friday), 11:35 am “Did you sleep well last night?”
Me, “Not really. Could have danced longer 🙂 What about you?” Or maybe I was thinking about kissing. Or replaying our perfect date over and over in my head, wondering why such a great guy was still single, wondering what he thought about me.
Dan, “I was going to offer to practice some turns there in your living room but wasn’t sure if it was past your bed time already…I also got distracted by us saying goodnight to each other… :-)”
Me, “Hee hee. Next time. How’s your schedule look? (saying goodbye was more fun anyway 😉 )”
D, “I’m not sure if I’m going to my grandmas on Saturday after work so I may be available if I could find someone to say goodbye with :-)”
What I should have said was, “Let’s get to know each other better, before we kiss more.” Of course, that sounds like a prude and is the opposite of flirty. Also, it was super sweet that he traveled an hour to his grandma’s house to fix it up every other week; it was a little strange for him to offer to cancel. I was enjoying the flirting, so instead I answered, “I could rearrange my plans if that was on the table. Let me know when you know for sure Xo” I was going to see my friend Reggie, who would understand if I had a date.
D, “If you already have plans I don’t want to interfere…How about doing something on Sunday? Rent a movie and order some pizza or cook up some dead cow or chicken if you have a grill?”
Why was he inviting himself to my place? I mean, he could invite me to his place, but it’s a little soon for us to just hang out at the house. That thought depressed me; my last two long term relationships became *just* hanging out at the house watching movies, we rarely went out. I’d hate for a relationship to start that way. Plus, cooking at the house was usually reserved for the “we’re going to have sex” date or later. Was I overly sensitive (read: cynical) or was this a red flag?
I shrugged off my reservations and answered, “Sunday works. I can cook gluten free pizza. What time r u thinkin?” Urgh, I hate cooking for a date so soon; he might expect it. But then, I didn’t want to answer with, “I can’t eat pizza, because gluten is another one of my allergies.” That’s so negative, and it was way early to be like that. Really, I hate to be like that any time. Positive is always better, I believe.
Dan answered, “Afternoon sometime…Say around 4?”
“I’d rather go dancing on Saturday,” I answered honestly. There. I’m being assertive. That’s much better than pouting and resenting the fact that he wants to invite himself over, thereby making me clean the house and cook, two of my least fav activities.
About 10 minutes later, Dan answered, “Let me make sure that my grandma wants to postpone my visit and I’ll let you know before you rearrange your schedule. Dancing again would be fun :-)”
“Ok :-)” Now I wondered, did he mean “grandma” or “girlfriend”? Because if he really meant his 86-year-old grandma, she would be fine with him visiting on Sunday, wouldn’t she? Why didn’t he just call her and find out? 86-year-olds usually don’t leave the house. Ok, I needed to stop second guessing and trust him, at least for now.
I pinged him on IM and said, “We should check out the Down Under Pub”
Dan answered, “Allen or Frisco?”
“Frisco. Didn’t know there was one in Allen,” I told him.
“Oh ya, total cougar den,” he answered.
How did he know? Did he go there often? “Ha ha, I’m told that I’m a Puma, which is a younger cougar!”
Ping. I had a text message. Dan sent, “I’d say more of a MILF :-)” Translation: Mother I’d Like to F___.
I answered, “You are bad!!!”
Dan sent, “But oh so good! :p” and a few minutes later, “Do you know what that means?”
“Yes <blush>,” I answered.
“Why are you blushing?” he asked.
“I’m not sure how to feel about being called that – thanks, I guess?” I really wondered how to take being called a MILF. On one hand, it wasn’t the first time. On the other hand, it was mildly offensive. I didn’t want him to talk to me about the “F” right after our first date. I want to be treated with respect; I wanted him to get to know me.
On Friday I texted, “Ok since I haven’t heard from you, I firmed up my plans for tomorrow. We can go dancing next week; Thursday, maybe?” I’m a planner; I want to know what I’m doing, as far in advance as possible. And I’ve found that if I wait for someone else to determine my schedule, two things happen: (1) I give them power over me and (2) I get pissed off that they haven’t made a decision yet. So it’s best for all involved if I draw a line in the sand and say, “Ok, I’m tired of waiting, I’m making a decision.” Voila, the decision is made, I don’t get pissed, and I retain my power.
Dan answered, “I’m sorry I haven’t heard back from my grandma yet…We can definitely go dancing next Thursday…If you want I can come over one night prior and we can work on some things at your house…Are we still on for Sunday?”
I was surprised that Sunday was still on the table. I didn’t want him to come over, but I guess I hadn’t said that, so how was he to know? “Sunday we can go out to a movie, would rather not hang at my place.” There, assertive and to the point. Non-judgmental and positive. I was proud of myself.
Dan responded, “No worries…I’ll text you Sunday and see what you have going on :-)”
“Ok cool, have a great night and Saturday!” I texted.
Dan texted back, “You too!”
If he had just left it alone right there, we would have been fine. Great, even. I knew that he was eager to see me again, he wasn’t playing games or trying to hide the fact, and we had a date set. I could have danced off and looked forward to seeing him.
Instead, he sent this message, “Make sure you have my number handy in case you need someone to drunk dial :-)” About 10-20 minutes later he added, “No lol? I’m so disappointed ;)”
“Lol I was on the elliptical, at the gym. Ya, that’s right, picture this hard body. Who’s drunk dialing now? ;-)” I texted. Ok, in hindsight, I should have stuck with, “lol.” I was a little miffed that he even mentioned “drunk dial”; like the “MILF” thing, it made me feel disrespected.
Dan texted, “I don’t need to be drunk to want that body :D”
“<blush>” was my only response.
“Why blush? You’re the one who just told me you have a hard body :-)” Dan replied.
Ok, so it’s my fault that he’s coming on strong? “True. Your honesty is refreshing and unexpected.” And it’s making me uncomfortable. Quick, say something witty and end this conversation. “And I love how you kiss. I’d better stay sober tonight ;-)” Ok, D, say something sweet and then go away.
Dan texted, “I’m too old to play games so honesty is all I have to offer…I love how you kiss…I hope you don’t stay sober :-)”
“:-)” I responded. Short and sweet.
Again, I should have left it at that and walked away. But I had a nagging question at the back of my skull, and damn it, texting is way too easy. I added, “Games or not, I can’t decide if you’re a romantic or a hound dog. Maybe a hound dog with romantic tendencies?”
“More so a romantic with a very sensual/sexual side that ranges from tender touches to S&M spankings,” Dan sent.
Oh my. Why would someone that I barely met say that? Let’s clarify the question. “Good to know. The real question is: what is your goal? Hot sex or soulmate? One weekend or more?” What really disappointed me about his answer was that he never asked me what I wanted.
Dan responded, “My ultimate goal is to get married…However I don’t have a goal with you. My plan when seeing someone new is to take each day as it comes, make the most of it and see what happens. I’m not a one night stand kind of guy but I can’t promise that we will end up in a serious relationship either. I can promise to be open, forthright and honest.”
Hmmm. I’d rather that he said, “I’m looking for a serious relationship and I really like you.” Of course, life isn’t always like the movies; people don’t give us the answer that we want, or that we expect.
I sent, “Then let’s take this slow, ok?” Meaning, “back off. Quit talking about drunk dialing.” Again, trying to stay positive.
Dan texted, “Whether we are just friends, friends with benefits, casually dating or in a relationship…”
Red flag! He mentioned FB! It’s never a good sign when a guy mentions that, because it means that he’s considering me for that position, and that means that a serious relationship is much less likely. As in, not gonna happen.
I answered, “Can’t do the friends with bene thing. I get too attached.” Pause. That was definitely a negative statement, however, it’s a clear message and that’s important. Now, to follow up with something light-hearted. “You hate slow, don’t you? :-)”
“I’m not a real aggressive guy until I’m comfortable with someone…I like how you pulled me in close while dancing and initiated the kissing. Both things I am hesitant to do on a first date…” Dan texted back. Oh, no, did I send him message that I’m a slut? Shit. “I wouldn’t say I hate taking things slow but I am a very sexual person and do enjoy getting to that point.”
Meaning, if sex is inevitable, let’s just do it now. RED FLAG.
“Ok I haven’t dated in about 3 years. Was in a couple of long relationships. I’m not looking for a purely sexual relationship,” I texted. There, I clarified and kept it positive. I didn’t say anything negative, even though I’d kinda like to say, “Whoa, Boy! Keep it in your pants!”
Dan texted, “However I’m fine with whatever pace you are comfortable with.”
Geez, this conversation got serious. Yuck. I’d much rather go back to the light flirting. Ok, now to say something cute and end the conversation. “Ok now you know: I’m a real engineer: gotta have specs” Actually, I’m a woman who knows what I want and I want to be sure that we’re on the same page.
Dan texted, “It’s good to talk about these things especially since we work at the same place. If things didn’t work between us I wouldn’t want to have hard feelings. Knowing each other’s expectations and desires is essential to ensuring no one gets hurt or taking as much of the hurt factor out of the equation.”
“Right. Glad you understand,” I texted back. Whew, we’re on the same page. Good. Back to the plan: quick, cute flirt and then say goodbye. “Ok now I need a drink J enjoy the rest of your evening, Cowboy.”
Dan extended the conversation by adding, “That said I really love how you kiss and very eager to get my hands on your body…When you’re comfortable with more you can let me know but my intent is to never make you feel uneasy with me”
Too late! Why did you have to go and say that? Why couldn’t you have just said “;) Good bye xoxo” or something cute?
Shocked, I tried to keep it light. I texted, “Thanks, I appreciate the offer. Still taking it slow.” Ok, does that sounds like a prude? “Although you are tempting ;)” There, I stated my intentions then flirted to save his ego.
“Enjoy your evening too and if you’re looking for some lips to connect with in the later hours of the night you had better text me,” the text came.
Not gonna happen! Ok, stay positive. “Until then.” Meaning, “Maybe another time” or “Keep dreaming.” Not, “Sure, I’ll call you later.”
Dan continued, “I’d rather have you savor the force of my lips on yours, how my tongue is so eager to explore your mouth, the warm wetness of our kisses…”
Oh, man! He’s laying it on thick. Quick, say something pithy. “Now I need a cold shower!” Actually, should have said, “Go take a cold shower!” Again, staying positive. Keeping it light. He should realize that I’m not encouraging him and he should laugh or at least back off.
Dan texted as though I hadn’t sent anything at all, “The feel of our embrace and how our hands roam over each other as our mouths stay locked neither of us willing to back away or able to as our kisses grow deeper and deeper.”
He’s not getting the message.
I tried a joke, “Are you writing a romance novel or copying one?!”
Again, as if I hadn’t sent a word, “My hands in your hair then gently touching your face, the way our eyes lock as our tongues tease the other and entice them to come back for more.” He paused, then answered my question, “I have a very active and creative imagination when it comes to sensual pleasures :-)”
At that point, I walked away. He wasn’t listening and I didn’t know how to be more clear without being rude, mean, or both. As in, “What the F*** part of ‘Slow Down’ do you not understand?!” or “Ok, you are creeping me out” or “We’ve only had one date. Are you SERIOUSLY sexting me?!”
At 9:42 pm, he texted, “You never told me how that cold shower was? ;)”
An hour after that, he added, “Just wondering if I should be heading home or somewhere to make out with you? :-)”
I read the last two messages at 5 a.m. when I got up to go to work. That’s right, Saturday morning I got up at 5 a.m. to go to work; we had a deadline to meet.
As for Dan, I was furious. Seriously, what part of “Take it Slow” is unclear? Why would he think it’s ok to use me for a bootie call after just one date? And why did he keep texting after I stopped responding – wasn’t THAT enough of a hint?
I took a deep breath and sent the nicest text that I could compose at this early hour. Ok, so maybe I should have waited and sent something nicer, later. Or maybe I shouldn’t have sent anything at all. Like I said, I strive to be assertive and clear in all my communications.
Feeling disrespected and dirty, I texted, “You can delete my number. Hope you get to church on Sunday. Goodbye.”
Four hours later, his response came, “Wow…I didn’t think my offer to kiss you again would bring that response and I’m sorry it did. What an ass I am to be willing to drive to see you for just a kiss at the end of the night. Request granted, number deleted”
Really?! “Just a kiss”?! So much for his promise to always be honest with me. Few men would drive 5 miles for “just a kiss,” and my house is at least 20 minutes out of his way. If he were being honest, he would admit that he was hoping that the kissing would lead to more. He’d let me initiate things, like he said. But realistically, if he wanted to kiss me that night, he should have asked me out. And if he respected me, he should have waited until Sunday.
We had a perfect first date. I don’t see how I could have, or would have, done much differently.
One of the women that I work with said, “He’s a womanizer; but he’s a lot of fun.”
I said, “He made an ass out of himself.”
She repeated, “But he’s a lot of fun.”
I agreed, “I’m sure you’re right, in the way that a used car salesman can be fun when he’s not trying to sell you a car.”