This is another blind date. I received her contact information through a friend who said she was interested, and we exchanged email and number and set up the date. Apparently I have awesome friends.
I head over to the meeting point and text her my description. “I am wearing black shoes, black pants, black leather coat, carrying a black bag and I am standing next to the blackboard of the restaurant”. I should probably consider wearing something more colorful next time.
This is far from the first time I am arranging a date with someone I have never seen before. It still is a bit surreal. With the black outfit I almost feel like a secret agent on a mission. I probably have been watching too many spy movies.
She finds me and we enter the restaurant. She is friendly and confident. I suggest we share a massive plate of tapas and she takes me up on that offer.
We talk about dating and about our common friend. I keep an eye on the clock, because I have planned to go play Volleyball after this date. The conversation turns towards hobbies. She likes watching movies and reading books. We discuss Game of Thrones and True Blood. My date strikes me as someone who is calm and has most of her life figured out.
I wish I could say the same about myself. After the breakup I knew what to do. I know how to deal. I have been there before. I took the required steps and started the healing process. This project was a part of that. I wanted to regain control over my life. Be how I want to be. It actually has worked out pretty well so far. I am confident again. I have eased back into a healthy, active lifestyle.
But at the same time I am aware of how little actual control I have over what happens in my life. I always felt that if I was strong, kind and smart, if I worked hard and did my best to be a good person, things would just work out. That is an illusion: life simply does not work that way. All I can do is create opportunities and hope things do work out. The last couple of months have been eye-opening and interesting but also really stressful and scary as a result.
Compared to me and my life in flux, she seems way more at peace and relaxed. Maybe that is just the impression she is going for. In any case, she is pleasant company. She is kind and considerate.
We continue our conversation and it drifts towards money problems, sexism and religion. Pretty much every topic you should probably avoid at a dinner table. I am getting into our talk and decide to stop looking at the clock and just be late for Volleyball. We talk about roleplaying and dancing. Once again we are two strangers, talking about their lives and getting to know one another. It still surprises me how well this part of the project works.
When I finally do check the time, it is way too late. I figure I might as well not bother with Volleyball and just continue to enjoy the evening. It turns out to be another successful date. When we decide to call it a night she points out that we spent almost five hours talking.
It was a really bad idea to try and squish a date into a two hour time slot. I should have known better. I am never doing that again.
Tapas at Kalypta: http://kalypta.be/ Kalypta is a Tapas and world kitchen restaurant near the Oude Markt. We had the tapas plate for two and it was gigantic. It was way too much food for the both of us. I would definitely recommend it. For reference: the small pink plate at the top of the picture is an actual normal size plate. (price: €22 per person)