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The laugh part 2

#NYCdating #nyc #dating #onlinedating #romance #nycphotography 

Somewhat strapped for creative second date ideas I offered to take Meadow to dinner one evening. She lived in my part of town, so I picked a nearby Italian restaurant based entirely on its proximity and non-terrible Yelp reviews. I was even organised enough to ring them up and book us a table, despite my aforementioned hatred of making phone calls.

That evening felt like the typical kind of date you see in American movies; I met Meadow outside the restaurant and as we entered we were greeted by an apparently genuine Italian-American hostess, who was well dressed and seemed to be aging gracefully. She took our coats with a knowing ‘aw look at the sweet kids on a date’ smile, and led us through to the seating area.

The restaurant was nice, but the romantic vibe was slightly undermined by most of the patrons being old folks, chewing on their food with slow denture enforced deliberation, or families with kids and their own feeding struggles. Many of the clientele looked Italian somehow, and one geriatric chap near the entrance had an uncanny resemblance to Corrado Soprano[2]. I think we were the only date in the place and maybe the only pair under the age of thirty and above the age of ten. They had a shortage of two person tables, so we were sat at right angles to each other on table meant for seating four.

Despite the odd vibe the conversation flowed as well as it had on the first date; Meadow told me about her recent interview with Google, and we discussed some other mildly nerdy internet things. Food and wine arrived in due course. 
“How’s the food?” I asked as she tucked into her pasta
“Really great!” She enthused, “And I should know…”
“Oh, are you a foodie person then?”
“No, my family are originally from Sicily, so Italian food has to be pretty great to compete with my mum’s home cooking”
“Sicilian huh? Any Mafia connections?”
“Hahahaa. I asked my parents about that once, and they were like “We don’t talk about that!””
“Oh wow, sounds like there are actual connections then!”
“Hahahaa... Maybe!”
“I better make sure I treat you right, I don’t want to wake up next to horses head...”
“Or a whole horse for that matter… that would be awkward...”

Meadow laughed reliably at my jokes, I like it when girls laugh at my jokes… it tends to be what I’m going for. However there was something slightly disconcerting about Meadow’s laugh, it was just too consistent somehow. By itself it sounded genuine, but hearing the same laugh again and again I began to worry that it was somehow insincere, perhaps just meant to humour me…

After dinner we went to a nearby cocktail bar, Meadow had told me that she needed to meet some friends later that night, so I wasn’t trying to get her sauced so she’d sleep with me. Conversation began to falter a little after we had almost our drained our cocktails, it was like some awkward undercurrent was coming to the surface and I felt I was perhaps meant to be doing something or saying something to make clear my intentions towards this pretty girl…
‘Perhaps I should rub my knee against hers?’ I wondered ‘No that might backfire… Erm... perhaps I should tell her she looks pretty? No that might get awkward… Errr... Perhaps I should tell her I want to tie her down and screw her senseless?... Ok brain, you’re not helping!’

I found myself rambling  to fill dead conversation space:
“Yeah I don’t know if I like my job… it hasn’t gone quite as planned.” I said
“No? The mad scientist thing not working out?”
“Not really, I don’t even have any minions!”
“And my death robots just insist on curing sick people…”
“Hahahaa… So what would you do if you changed jobs?”
“Erm, I’d like to be a photographer, but everyone wants to do that… I dunno, I’d probably end up stealing an RV and cooking meth in the desert or something. That seemed to work out ok for that guy on TV… right?”

That consistent arrangement of “ha’s” was almost beginning to grate on me… Maybe I should have stopped making jokes all the time[3]. (I also have my own annoying habit of laughing at my own jokes to cue further laughter. However I don’t usually notice that I’m doing it, so it is conveniently absent from most of my recollections of date conversations!)

After our cocktail she had to go meet her friend, but she insisted on paying for these drinks as I had paid for dinner. There was definitely a bit more awkwardness as we walked away from the bar.
It was time for our feet to take different directions and we stopped on the street corner.
“We should do something again soon!” I said
“Yeah, definitely!” she replied
A goodbye hug, but just before she turned to cross the street I stopped her and we kissed. She seemed into it, but the crossing light’s white man was changing to the red flashing hand, and before we could get carried away she broke off the kiss and hurried across the street.
“Have fun with your friends!” I called after her
“Thanks!” She said turning to wave back at me.

And then she got hit by a taxi.

It took her legs clean out from underneath her, and there was an awful sound of breaking glass as she collided with the windscreen.


Ok that taxi bit didn’t actually happen, but I felt this story needed some more drama... Sorry.

I texted her later that evening and she confirmed she had got safely to her destination, (completely un-assaulted by any form of vehicle). I was definitely planning to ask her on a third date, but we both had people visiting and were occupied for a while. I was also still sleeping with both Josie and Allie at that point, and so I was a little distracted exploring various permutations of chain, furniture, and girl. I didn’t even know if Meadow was the least bit interested in being chained to furniture… she might have been… but I was too busy making goofy comments to bring it up.

For months I kept meaning to text Meadow, but every time I picked up my phone and began to pen a draft message I then started thinking that it had been an awkwardly long time since she sent me that last message... So I left it... Until the next time I thought about it... When of course it had been an even longer time, and awkwardness would be further compounded[4]!

In summary I was an idiot and totally failed to pursue a great match because I was worried her laugh wasn’t sincere… and I was distracted sleeping with a couple of perhaps not so good matches at the time. Hey I still have her number... maybe I should text her and ask her on that third date right now?… No, a gap of over a year is definitely too awkward…

[2] If you’re one of those people who hasn’t watched the sopranos yet I would politely suggest you need to re-evaluate your priorities in life.
[3] Over a year later and I may have just spotted another flaw in my dating game… Note to self: try being more serious sometimes… like maybe I should talk about poverty with a sad face, or how my grandmother died one time, or something else that shows I have emotions, and then resist the urge to put a joke at the end…
[4] Oh and yes she could have always messaged me, though sadly from my experience it seems to be the guy’s job to pursue the girl, and lack of pursuit is interpreted as disinterest. (Though I hadn’t completely figured this out at the time).

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