Telecom Tom and I did not get into a heavy correspondence before meeting. A few lightly flirtatious emails, and Tom asked if I want to meet for a drink. Which is great, because I'm not crazy about doing the penpal thing only to meet up and discover there's no chemistry.
Tom lives a few subway stops away from me, and suggested meeting in my neighborhood. Considering the arctic temperatures, I chose a bar a block away from my apartment.
I had the perfect attitude going into this date: I had no expectations, but felt like my best, most outgoing self, and was ready to enjoy a drink or two with a new person. Since I didn't know much about Tom and didn't have a lot pinned on the situation, I was determined not to let the date drag out longer than necessary if we didn't have any connection.
Tom ran into some subway problems, but called to let me know (he ended up only being ten minutes late, but I put a lot of stock into small, thoughtful gestures like that). I got to the bar just after he did and was pleased to see he looked like his photos. Medium build, dark hair and eyes, a few inches taller than me (though I was in heels last night, so we were the same height), reasonably attractive.
The music playing in the bar was by one of my favorite bands, which I saw as a good sign and instantly put me in a good mood. I told him as much. We got a round of drinks (he paid), and launched into a pretty effortless conversation.
What I like about Telecom Tom is that he seems a pretty well-adjusted and happy guy, but hinted at a few unusual and less pleasant aspects of his life to balance out the cheer, so he wasn't all fluff and insufferable cheeriness. Our conversation stayed pretty light, but there were a few moments where it got a bit serious, and I got a sense that this is somebody I could maybe open up to once I got to know him better.
We discussed our careers and when I mentioned my passion for writing and interest in the ways the internet is changing communication, he suggested that I start a podcast. Oh boy. At least he didn't suggest that I start a blog, right? Tom himself is doing some very creative things with telecommunications and I was fascinated to hear some of the ideas he's developing.
As for sparkage, I'm not sure. We sat at the bar, not very close to each other, so there was a limited amount of physical contact we could have. However, we did mimic each other's body language quite a bit, and at one point Tom moved his chair so that he was sitting closer to me. We would also occasionally put our elbows on the bar and lean into each other a bit (the bar got pretty loud, so part of it might have been to hear each other better). Seemed like there was a bit of interest on his part, but hard to tell where it would go.
Tom and I have a fair amount in common: we both went to college in the same state, both lived abroad in the same country, both come from very quirky families.
We stayed for two hours and two drinks. As we were putting our coats on, I said,
"This was fun."
"Yes. I feel like you're a female version of me."
"Wow!" I smiled, not sure how to react.
I'm still not sure. What does that mean? That he thinks we're so similar we're better off pursuing a friendship? Or that we're so much alike it could be the beginning of something more? I don't think anybody has ever said that to me before. I guess I would need to have a better sense of what Tom thinks of himself.
It made me wonder whether I would date a male version of myself. On one hand, I know I'd be a fabulous kisser and have terrific music and movie taste. On the other hand, I can be a bit tightly wound and am not that great when it comes to managing stress, and I don't know if my male counterpart would be able to diffuse that. Oh, and let's not even get into my impatience and moodiness. I don't know, dating a male me could be spectacularly passionate and perfect, or disastrous, or maybe even dull.
In other words, I still have no idea what Tom meant by that comment (seriously, outside opinions are welcome). My first thought was: friends.
We got on the topic of karaoke, which he enjoys. As we left the bar, I mentioned that my friends and I are doing karaoke this weekend, that he is welcome to drop by if he wants (I thought this was a good way of showing him I'd be interested in seeing him again, but am happy to keep it casual for the time being).
He took a moment to consider it.
"I want to do karaoke with you, but I'd rather do karaoke one on one."
"Yeah, I'd be up for that," I replied
"It would have to be... next week."
"Sure. This week is pretty crazy as it is."
We nodded, smiled, said good-bye with a quick kiss on the lips. Too brief to tell its potential.
I think it went pretty well. It's going to take at least another date or two to see if there's something there, but I'd be interested in going out with Tom again. It was actually a pretty ideal way to get back into dating: a pleasant couple of hours spent with an interesting guy, resulting in the possibility of a second date. At the same time, the evening didn't leave me so swoony that I feel like I'll die if he doesn't call. I wonder if he will...