Vancouver Dating Blog: The PhD
Exams were coming to a close and things with TheNickName were at a standstill. In light of the flakiness of people in general, the inexactitude of online dating, and the general idiocy of men attracted to me, I found it a good idea to keep a whole slew of potential "somethings" in my (party) mix, so to speak. After all, Cheerios can get soggy, peanuts are a cheap staple that you can do better than, and frankly pretzels can cut ya! Thus, it was best to keep refilling and tossing that bowl so that the quality bits can find their way to the top. Just Sayin'
And that's when ThePhD threw his metaphorical hat into my party bowl. Or something like that.
Stats: 37, 6'0
Profession: Researcher/Academic Education: PhD. Ecology and Statistics
Honestly, it all happened rather fast--the complete opposite to things with TheNickName. He messaged me on plenty of fish and within about 5 messages back and forth had asked me out. He was quick with plan-making and by the end of our texting had picked a time and place and was ready to go. He was a real bonafide adult it seemed, and I was into it.
The only thing I wasn't into: his appearance. Okay, wait, that sounds way harsher than it should. The truth is, I simply wasn't sure yet if I was attracted to him. Perhaps I was just hesitant and nervous to meet someone new (even though TheNickName had proven himself a bit lame, my attraction for him was still much stronger than for ThePhD but that's just because I hadn't met him yet). Plus, my brother had recently asked me how I knew he had a PhD and then gave me a pointed look when I shrugged and said, "Because he told me he did."
Hesitations aside, when Thursday rolled around, when met up at a billiards bar in Kits. When I arrived, I saw him right away looking exactly like his pictures (which I hadn't yet decided was a good or bad thing). Unfortunately (more so for him than me) this bar has a rule that you can't take your drinks in the billiards area so we basically have to down his beer and my diet coke asap and start playing. The chatter during our game is good--I find out that he's American (which I love), had just finished his PhD at UBC in Ecology and Statistics, he spends most of the day crunching numbers and doing science-y things, he's done a tone of travelling (like myself), and he's letting me cheat at pool (while making mildly cheesy remarks about being awarded penalties for the cheating later).
The conversation was flowing smoothly and to be honest, it became clear pretty quickly that ThePhD was definitely attracted to me. Where previous dates with TheNickName and Trucker Joe had left me uncertain due to their near lack of physical touch throughout our first dates, ThePhD left nothing to the imagination. In fact, during one particular moment of standing close to each other, his arm found my waist and before I knew it he was planting a first kiss on me. It was short and sweet (and awkward given how empty the bar was and thus have visible we were) but overall it was good. After a few more games of pool, he suggests we go get something to eat and while I still have a big issue eating in front of men on first dates (I mean, I still do it, I'm just awkward as fuck about it), I agree. We walk less than a block to a little cozy place and get seated right away. He orders another beer and some prawn thing, I get a diet coke and edamame (mostly because it seemed like the easiest thing to eat on the menu). With the edamame, I wouldn't have to worry about getting garlic breath or getting spinach stuck between my teeth. Edamame would be safe...or so I thought.
I'm honestly not sure if I was just talking or laughing or what exactly happened but one moment I eating my edamame and the next I was INHALING a whole ass soybean right into my throat. Luckily, I was able to swallow it and act like it was no big deal (unless of course that soybean is still sitting in my lungs and will one day kill me). Other than the possibility for later death, I was fine.
And then, as if awkwardness was contagious, he accidentally shot a soybean into his beer *splash*
And then I excused my self to go to the washroom and saw that I'd buttoned my tunic-length sweater thing lopsidedly.
This date was truly just a bunch of nerds trying to get through life and dammit we looked like it.
That said, while we were both nerds, the physical affection I mentioned earlier continued regardless. From kissing me by the pool table, to feeling my thigh under the table, there was no question that ThePhD found me attractive but in the most-non-prudish way it all felt too fast.
And it may have been the beer making it feel that way. Now, let me be clear: just because I'm stone cold sober, doesn't mean I'd ever expect or even necessarily want my date to be sober, but context is everything. You see, 3 beers in 2.5 hours at a house party would be totally normal, completely unnoticeable, entirely average. 3 beers in 2.5 hours on a first date where both people drink is still absolutely fine, things might get a bit sloppy but overall no one is going to have an issue. But 3 beers in 2.5 hours when your date is stone cold sober and you, apparently, are a bit of a sloppy drunk, then yeah honestly not such a great idea.
And before you chuck me off as a total narc, please know that it has much more to do with sexual attraction than me judging someone's alcohol intake. See, on a date, like on a job interview, you want to absolutely be yourself but like the best, most awesome, version of yourself. And alcohol gets in the way of that because you forget. You forget to have a breath mint after your garlic prawn and you forget which stories are appropriate to tell and which aren't.
But don't get me wrong, I know I'm making this date sound kind of awful but it really wasn't (owing mostly to the fact that all evidence pointed to him being much smarter than the average bar and ya'll KNOW I'm a sucker for a smart dude). After leaving the restaurant, he walked me to my car (arm around my waist), and when we got there, there was this super awkward moment (I'm not sure he knew it was awkward though) where he just kind of stood there, arm around my waist, looking me. In his defense, I had been claiming shyness all night to skirt his advances, and in fact I think standing by my car he kind of mumbled some sort of not-sure-if-I-should-kiss-you-because-you've-been-saying-you're-shy-all-night and though I was still undecided about whether or not I liked him, I didn't want to blow the job interview, I wanted to at least be considered for the role, and I'd decide later if I would accept the offer. And so I kissed him, longer than a peck but not so long as to taste the magic of my tongue, and then I was off like a vixen in the night (or something that sounds cool and aloof).
*originally published 03/01/2011