Reunion tower, Flickr.com
The Dallas skyline changed slowly around us, rotating at a pace so slowly that it was almost imperceptible. The city is lit up like a Christmas tree. This is my first visit to Dallas Reunion Tower, and I am loving it.
I smile at my date, replying to his last comment. “You didn’t think that I’d go out with you?”
“I didn’t know. Like I said, you wouldn’t date Mayor Mike, and he’s a lot like me,”Mike says.
Including your name, I think, then try to explain their differences. “Mike freaked out that I have kids—teenagers, nonetheless—and he wants kids of his own. Those are two deal breakers. I’m glad that you don’t want kids. Gee, I bet that sentence doesn’t get said too often!” We laugh.
“I was also weirded out that you offered to set me up with one of your Facebook friends,” he says, sipping his wine. His green-brown eyes twinkle with amusement as he twists his lips into his trademark smirk.
“I said that you could pick out one of my Facebook friends, but she’d probably live out of town. Ergo, don’t bother. Besides, you were the one talking about your buddy trying to set you up. I thought you were fishing for a setup from me, telling me that you wanted me to introduce you to someone else—I had no idea that you liked me,” I reply.
“Really?! I called you the minute that I got off the plane because I missed you. And I was only gone for one night! Why else would I have called you?” Mike says, taking my hand.
“I dunno—to tell me to quit flirting with you?” I giggle nervously. “Because that’s what I expected. I was shocked when you said, ‘You probably don’t want to go with you, but you’re what I’ve been looking for: someone who will let me ramble on about random stuff, someone to sit on the patio with, someone to just hang out.’ Then you handed me that email that you wrote a year ago—it was like, you were telling me that I was your perfect woman.”
Mike answers shyly, “I was pretty nervous. I didn’t know what to expect after the Facebook conversation. I was feeling you out, and I almost didn’t say anything after you offered to set me up! You really threw me off.”
I laugh, and say, “I totally didn’t know where you were going with that. Besides, we work together, so I figured I’d call it a crush and move on. I’d flirted with you, and if you weren’t interested, that would have been ok; I would have moved on. I’m glad that I didn’t have to. For the record, I really wanted to kiss you right then, but I had fish-taco breath! If I had known—well—I would have ordered something else.” I giggle.
He chuckles. “The fish-breath didn’t stop me,” he admits, “It was the braces. I’d never kissed a girl with braces before.”
“Well, you have now!” I tease with a sly smile. “What do you think—is it very odd?”
“It is different,” he admits.
Going back to the previous conversation, I remark, “We had fun on our non-dates.”
“Non-dates? What do you mean?” He asks with a curious look.
“You know, going to lunch or dinner and hanging out, like we have been for the past three months or so, without dating. Non-dates,” I say.
He laughs, and says, “Ok, I never heard it put like that. I would have just said that we were hanging out.” He chuckles again.
“And even though we hung out all that time, you still didn’t expect me to want to date you?” I say, incredulous.
“No, in fact, I was quite certain that you had a boyfriend, and that you were giving me, ‘I’d never go out with you,’ vibes. It was mixed signals, actually,” he says, rubbing my fingers with his thumb.
I giggle and say, “I had a boyfriend when we met, so the vibes were appropriate then. Nothing personal.”
“What about you—what did you think when you first met me?” he counters.
I think for a minute, then say, “I was shocked that you were so young. I had been hearing that the Great Mike M knew all the answers, and so I expected an old guy. Seriously, everyone talked about you with such respect that I thought that you must be an older engineer. Then you walked in, all young and cute—I was shocked.”
I continue, “I developed a huge crush on you, you know—you were like a hot TA (teacher’s assistant) at college. You walk in with your backpack on, commanding everyone’s respect. I remember saying, ‘You’re Mike M?!’ You just nodded and said, ‘Yep, that’s me.’” I laugh somewhat self-consciously.
“I don’t remember that, but ok,” he says. “I don’t think that I’ve been called a hot TA before!”
“You looked especially cute last January, after you came back from being gone for a month. I was drawn to you like a bee to honey!” I admit.
He laughs and says, “Ya, that December, I worked out a lot. Lost some weight. Now I’m glad I did,” he says, looking at me meaningfully.
I blush and return his gaze. It is still a little surreal to be here with him, after all the months of working together, after so many day dreams about him.
I change the subject abruptly with, “The kids are leaving. They’re going to live with their dad.”
He looks shocked. “Oh? What happened? Are you okay?”
“I’m fine, really, it’s for the best. Sally just kept saying that she was going to move in with her father before high school, and I got tired of hearing it, and told her to pack her bags. She reminded me that she had another year before high school, but I told her that it hurt my feelings for her to say that she wanted to leave, and I wouldn’t listen to it for another year. The boy said that he wanted to go, too, so I told him to start packing.”
“I’ve never lived alone before,” I add. “I went from Mom and Dad’s house to being married to being a single mom. It’ll be an adjustment, I think. But it will be good for all of us: the kids will get to know their dad and I’ll have time to myself.”
“Well, there you go, then.” He says, uncertain of what to say next. We sit in silence for a little while, gazing out over the city. He points out a few landmarks to me, then asks, “How do you like your wine?”
“It’s good, thanks. And I love the view! I’m so glad that you suggested Reunion Tower for our first official date.” I smile warmly at him.
“You said that you wanted to see the sites of Dallas. This is definitely a tourist stop, and you can see lots of Dallas from up here!” he says, pulling me close to put his arm around me.
“Yes, it’s perfect. In fact, I always thought that this would be a good place for a proposal—you know, part of the Dallas skyline, one could point at it and say, ‘That’s where we got engaged,’” I say.
“Well, there you go, then,” Mike responds, his standard response when he doesn’t really know what to say.
Since I had just made a major faux pas mentioning marriage on the first date, I add, “And it is customary to propose where you had your first date, so this doubly perfect. Of course, some people propose where they met, but I can’t really imagine you dropping to one knee at work, between cubicles.”
“No, I can’t see myself doing that, either,” he agrees, with an odd look on his face, which made me think that it’s time to change the subject.
“Where’s the waitress? I could use another glass of wine,” I say. Really, who mentions marriage on a first date?!
Of course, ten years from now, it’ll be a great first date story.
Still, I am a bit mortified! I don’t want to chase him off! “So April 30 is our first official date?” I ask.
Mike knows that I don’t really want an April anniversary; I was married twice in April. First on the 10th, then on the 13th. He wisely replies with, “Let’s call it May first.”
Back at his place, we make out on his couch; I pull away. Technically, this is a first date, and I do not sleep with guys on the first date.
He pushes his bottom lip out in a pretty pout, and pulls me back for more kisses.
Ok, but we’d known each other for two years, and had been good friends for more than three months. So it isn’t really a first date, was it?
An hour or two later, as I lay against his chest, Mike asks, “Does this mean that you’re my girlfriend?”
I go from completely relaxed and satisfied to tense in under 2 seconds. I stop breathing. Exclusive, after one date? But it wasn’t really a first date, remember? I panic; I hadn’t expected that question.
He senses my hesitation in the silence and says, “You just got out of a long relationship, maybe it’s too soon? You probably expected to have the summer to be single and free, especially now that the kids are leaving.”
I mumble something like, “Let me think about it.” I am thoughtful as a I gather my things and drive myself toward home.
Do I want to be his girlfriend? Do I want him to be my boyfriend? I am still getting used to the idea of dating the Great Mike M—even though I had carelessly mentioned marriage, I hadn’t pictured us a BF/GF. What does that even mean?
- Can’t date anyone else. Ok, so one of my rules was to only date one person at a time, so that works.
- If you want to quit seeing the other person, you have to break up. You can’t just quit calling or taking their calls. Well, since we work together, some explanation would be required anyway, so check this one off.
- Expectation of more dates. Ok, so I had a great time, and I’d love to see him again. Apparently he wants to see me, too. Golden!
I stop at a red light and text him, “I don’t want to date anyone else and I’d love to go out with you again, so yes, I’ll be your GF.”
“I asked you that question to avoid a drama, so that I wouldn’t have to wonder about our relationship status,” he texts back.
Ha! He wanted to keep me from over-analyzing. Good try, better luck next time!
Then he adds, “Great! See, I told you the date was May 1st. : – )”
Indeed, the time on the clock is just past midnight. A new day, month, and relationship had begun.
Reunion Tower, © 2006 Dallas Convention and Tourist Bureau
This Throwback Thursday was brought to you by the Committee to Remember That There are Good Guys in The World, in collaboration with the Committee to Remember That Dating Can Be Fun.