Hello yes, it is I, The Mild Millennial. I am back and ready to roll with a FAN-friggin-TASTIC story for you, babes.
I took a little break, as I’m sure you’ve been dying to know about. Just waiting with tear filled eyes, scrolling your email list for “The Mild Millennial shared a new post.” Fear not my loves, I’m back and with new fire in my…. fingertips.
Let’s not waste another moment.
Last week I found myself headed to Washington DC for a few days. I was going to have 3 days to explore everything and anything I wanted- all by myself. I was thrilled. This is my kind of vacation!
But I’ve been there 5 times before… I wasn’t out of things to see but I wasn’t really in the mood to do it all alone again. I knew I could, and was ok with doing it but I knew I had another option.
In part I do blame this on needing a new blog post topic but I also had a bold streak going through me and I was ready to shake it up.
I have a friend who lives in Manchester (yes, England) who traveled to Portugal last summer and went on several dates via OkCupid and Tinder. She said it was an easy way to shake up her vacation. She took precautions and met these men for dinner and nothing else.
I thought, Hey! I can do that. Except I want a museum buddy. I’ll find somebody who is willing to meet for lunch and hit up a museum and keep me company. I talked to my girlfriend about it and she gave me some helpful tips.
She suggested I use OkCupid because it was geared more toward women and I could match with men based on what we like, and what’s on our profile. I’ve never done this before but figured if I was going to do this, I had to do it right. For years I’ve sworn up and down that I’d never use Tinder or date online in any way. After all what good would it do me? Not wanting to have sex with someone I meet on there really narrows it down.
I downloaded the app and set to work creating a solid profile. I was vague enough to stay safe but gave enough information to entice some.
As I scrolled through my possible matches I went back and tweaked what I’d written and built a stronger profile I was proud of. I chose my pictures carefully but confidently. A good selfie or two, a couple with friends, one with my whole body in it. (Now, look, as I’ve told you I’m curvy. I’m pretty ok with my body- but that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to make myself look slimmer with new angles when taking a good selfie. I’d rather weed ‘em out now rather than later, or deal with a jerk who dares say something about it when his profile says 6’1 and he’s a grasshopper 4’9. Know what I’m saying?) I value honesty, I mentioned that in my profile, so I have to walk the walk. As one guy said to me when I was feeling down about my body, “Honey, you’re all woman. A real man notices that and loves it.” I took the step and shared a photo of my full body that I’ve always thought was imperfect but flattering. I launched my profile a couple days before I left for DC just to build a couple options.
I wasn’t ready.
Oh baby, how I wasn’t ready.
The wave of likes, messages and matches I received was overwhelming. I had to mute the app while I was at work because I simply couldn’t focus.
Boys! Y’all THIRSTY!
I know how to screen a man, it’s not foolproof, but it’s darn close. I found a few worth talking to but they all felt like they had a more serious agenda. I couldn’t pinpoint it but it wasn’t until three different men suggested we should meet up for sex asap. I wasn’t surprised, nor disappointed but definitely a little confused. I’d stated in my profile very clearly that sex was off the table.
Turns out I didn’t save my selection of unchecking “hook up” in the “Looking for section”. Whoops. It became comical after fixing that issue. One “gentleman” suggested that the world could end in the next 24 hours and if we didn’t have sex before then we’d be making a mistake.
It wasn’t aggressive but come on buddy, in this culture? I wished him well in his search for an available vagina and swiped left (unmatched).
Now that I’d fixed my “looking for” section a new wave of men came along rather quickly. One gentleman, Toomas, was pleasant, a little older (30s) but was very smart and quite capable of intriguing conversation. He told me I was the first woman with a profile he’d been able to enjoy reading and wasn’t totally superficial.
I took the compliment. Could have been a line, but then again, there were lots of other lines he could have chosen.
Toomas, I soon learned was that older fella in every story who was interesting, handsome, experienced, and just mysterious enough to be exciting. The more I got to know him the more I knew that I’d really only want to spend time with him at a museum but not dinner. (Too romantic and he was feeling it a lot more than I was already.) I had nothing against him, but I knew my gut. He asked me very kindly if I’d be “interested in grabbing drinks with this Canadian lumberjack” while I was in DC. I was open to it but something told me I should make a clarification first. I agreed but said, “Even though [we had been] conversing for a day or so I still [wasn’t] open to having sex while I was in DC. If this is goodbye I’ll understand and don’t want to waste your time. We’ll always have Paris.”
Like that last line? Yeah me too, nice little vintage flare to rejecting a man sexually before actually seeing and meeting him in person.) It wasn’t all me though, I’d stated it clearly in my profile and it appeared I needed to clarify during the conversation that, no matter how much we talk and connect, no matter how much he invests in me, (i.e. time, conversation, money) I still wasn’t putting out. Sorry punkin! (Somehow the idea what we owe them sex after they deliver basic human kindness and manners is still a thing. I mean, I know it is, I’m just increasingly impatient about it.)
Toomas was a little taken aback and suggested we could still just have a passionate love affair for the three says I was in town.
I’m thinking, “oh honey, if I’m going to do that it’ll be with a man I can’t resist.” Although he does have the fascinating mind that pays off later on in a passionate love affair. HAHA! In his defense I can see how tempting that would be with someone you really connect with and can’t explain it. He took the news rather well but began making fun of women who wanted to save themselves for marriage. My gut was right. I didn’t swipe left, but I left him alone to air out his feelings for a few days. Toomas, if you’re reading this, we had a good run. It’s a shame we didn’t get together, but as I said before, I didn’t want to waste your time. And next time, know your audience. It was nice to get to know a man who was confident talking about anything and everything right off the bat with a girl he really wants a date – and passionate love affair- with.
After Toomas I figured I’d better come clean with the others talking to me that no matter how much they invest in me, I won’t be doing the sex.
Dan, a man in the Air Force, took it so well he swiped left on me. Danny, honey, if you’re reading this, it was fun. Sorry you wasted your time. I hope you learn to take rejection a bit more gracefully in the future.
Mark in the Navy claimed a museum was still a good idea but didn’t reply again. Ever. Again. Mark if you’re reading this, I’ll always love you… just kidding. You missed out though. I’m a delight in a museum.
Edward who worked in or near the White House (never did get the clarification, although I feel like he couldn’t say) said he was so sorry I felt I had to clarify, and wanted nothing more than to stroll a museum with me and catch lunch. Ed, honey, if you’re reading this, it was a great time. Work on your profile a bit and work on talking a little slower around girls. You don’t have to impress us all the time. You’re too sweet to get hurt online, pick your ladies carefully. Also! If you work in the White House don’t reply for yes, if no shoot me an email.
Adam who was… well let’s face it, Adam you are the specimen of fitness even Captain America would envy. You took the no sex announcement in stride but suggested I still owed you since you’d invested this far and sex was only a little further. (for real, how long has it been for you, buddy? That made a hooker sound as reserved as a nun.) I don’t think you were prepared for me to fire back at your original pick up line with an even better one. After the surprise you rolled with it pretty well. Kudos. You told me you now thought that smart women were fun. I take all the credit, even though it bit a little. Please make good life decisions and keep swiping right on smart looking ladies. Post a picture with you and your dog- not just you at the gym – it’ll help with the ladies too.
Lastly we have Chase. Ah Chase, you precious human. A man who works at the Smithsonian Zoo in DC with the best pick up line riddled with animal puns a girl has to love. I was smiling from the moment we matched. Reading that your faith was the most important thing to you was a breath of fresh air. I wanted to hug you the moment I read that you were looking for someone who can see and appreciates the little things you do for her. I’ve never swiped right so furiously. Seriously, I think I sprained my thumb. I had a good feeling from the start. You were an excellent conversationalist and I looked forward to each of your messages. Chase if you’re reading this… please don’t read Part 2 of this article coming soon. It’ll be a little awkward considering I’ll be dishing on our date.
THAT’S RIGHT. YA GIRL GOT A DATE. IN FACT SHE HAD TWO.
The first full day I was in DC I’d narrowed it down to 3 men I’d go on a date with. Edward and I rescheduled a few times but ended up meeting at the White House (no seriously) and taking lunch a few blocks away. Ed honey, the lunch break was much too short. But we had a good time. I think we would have been more fun in a museum but ah well. No time. We agreed to stay in touch, since it turns out I was the only girl to actually follow through on making plans for a date with you.
The Date to End All Dates
NOW THE MOMENT YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU NEEDED. THE STORY STRAIGHT FROM A MOVIE. THE HOPELESS ROMANTIC’S GUIDE TO LIFE.
Chase sent me a message asking to take me on a proper date. I’d just told him I’d really enjoyed our chats thus far and thanked him for being such a great conversationalist. (which, honestly, he really was. Color me impressed with his general investment in getting to know me) I’d determined that if he didn’t ask me soon, I’d just ask him out myself. [Also, I might add here, that finding a Christian on OkCupid in the DC area was like finding a unicorn.]
I agreed to a date not knowing I was going to have the best first last date I’d ever have in my life. We laughed about the uniqueness of going on a first date once and expecting never to see each other again. The thrill of that definitely took the edge off for me. I don’t know many who would sign up for that, especially when the female announced resolutely that it wouldn’t be ending in sex. I’d like to say that Chase was a perfect gentleman the entire time. He paid for everything, opened doors, and held out chairs, waited for me to speak, order, and all. It had been so long since I’d been treated so nicely by anyone like that I forgot what it was like.
We met at the Metro station at 5:30 Monday evening. This girl from the Midwest will always enjoy the excitement of the Metro (that’s what they call the subway there). I told three friends what I was doing so I’d have a safetynet. As I’m waiting for him on the platform one of them calls and demands details.
**I should note here that this is so unlike me. Oh my. SO unlike me. If any of my friends did this I’d have turned into the Mother Hen they tell me I am and begged them to be safe.**
As I’m LITERALLY saying, “I’m fine… still not a skin suit…” Chase walks up to me. My date has begun. I would have been really embarrassed but it was too funny so I cracked a stupid serial killer joke for Chase to let him know I wasn’t seriously afraid of him and hung up with my friend.
We boarded the Metro as best we could. It was peak time so we stood a few feet apart. He took me to Chinatown in DC. As we got off he says, “So I read in your profile you said you loved the 1940s so I figured taking you to a Speakeasy for drinks before dinner would be fun.”
I’m thinking, “Hey, I’ve never been to one of those. Aren’t those like hidden illegal places? Places bad girls die in the movies?” Instead I said, “Oh wow, Ok.” Holding my phone tightly.
We walked to this place which was indeed in the basement of a building. We went down a few steps and ended up at a pretty big, professional, legit looking glass door. If you have seen “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” imagine the speakeasy Newt and Tina go to and you’re not far off.
Chase pulled the door open and I stepped into the dark interior. While my eyes adjusted I found myself standing before a very tall man with dreadlocks piled high upon his head and cascading down his shoulders to his mid back. He wore a heavy tan winter coat and he was perched upon a stool behind a small maitre d’s desk. Back home, dreadlocks mostly meant homeless on just about everyone. But this man was perfectly stylish. Behind and around him was a bar that was so dark and yet so fancy. The bar behind him took up the width of the small room. Small booths lined the opposite side next to us, tiny private booths finished off the wall to our right and that was it. The Speakeasy held maybe 30 people at top capacity. The more my eyes adjusted the more I loved it. We were ushered to a private booth to my right. We were up on a platform, I slid into the dark velvet buttoned booths and rested my clutch on the table. This Speakeasy was beautiful. I felt as though I’d stepped into the 1940s and I never wanted to leave… It was perfectly dark with one light above our table -that I’m pretty sure was lit by angel’s halos.
We spent two hours there just talking and laughing and getting to know each other further over classy cocktails (1 for each of us, chill out.) We walked to dinner a few blocks away still in Chinatown to a place with all local foods, made right there at the restaurant. (That’s a fad in the cities now, to pretend to be the Midwest to up the prices.) Nonetheless, the food was delicious. We spent another two hours there. We shared our testimonies and about God’s grace in our lives. TWO HOURS guys. I go to a two hour movie and I’m wondering at least twice when it will be over. I never once looked at my watch or phone (except to check in with someone). Once our food was taken away we both realized the date was pretty much over but we didn’t want it to be.
Chase says, “Well I don’t know when you have to be back but I’d like to keep this going, if you’re open to that.”
I agreed, I was having the best time! We left the restaurant and went to a bar he said he frequents. Once inside, it was a pretty cool place but very loud. I was ok with a loud atmosphere once we got to the bar, but he looked around and said, “You know what, I’m sorry. It’s never this busy and loud, and I’d like a quieter place to get to know you more.”
Que the melting hearts!!
So what happens? This is about 9:45pm by now and he finds us a coffee and gelato shop that’s still open. We walk there, chatting and laughing all the while. Mind you, the chemistry has not stopped. It’s just slowly simmering. We were having so much fun. We get to the shop, order warm drinks and sit at the counter on stools and chat for 2 more hours. On and on we went. We bonded over everything imaginable and yet there was still so much more to cover. We teased each other, made fun of ourselves, told funny stories from our past, talked about childhoods, fandoms, guilty pleasure TV shows, books, quotes, movies, studies on animals, religion, you name it.
While we were in the coffee shop we’d marveled at how well the date was going. We admitted it was the best first date either of us had been on. I half jokingly said it was a shame we knew it was only a one time thing, since we obviously got along so well. Without missing a beat (which is rare for men around me tbh, I’m usually soo much faster to the draw) he said, “We’ve doomed ourselves, now we have to part ways with a goodbye forever, if this was a movie people would be going nuts.”
I laughed. He wasn’t wrong. “I know, we’ve brought this on ourselves.”
He fired back, “We have the dramatic movie build up.”
I shrugged expressively, “Now we have to kiss.”
I watched his face change from jovial to revelation to jovial again in a split second. “We have to.” I could tell he was playing it chill but his mind was spinning.
He wasn’t the only one. Once I heard it come out of my mouth I suddenly realized I was ok with it entirely. (This is also SOOO unlike me. It takes me a while to warm up to anybody. Somehow I trusted him completely and knew it was the only way to end this perfect evening.)
At about 11:45 the shop was shutting down and wanted us out. We didn’t stop talking while we waited for the train, boarded or while we rode.
He said he wanted to walk me back to my hotel (I had a ¼ mile walk from my station) and I certainly wasn’t going to object. But we soon realized that being on the last train meant this was his only route to his car waiting for him at the end of the line. It hit me as we sped through tunnels under Washington DC, taking us to my stop much too quickly, that this evening was coming to a close.
If you’ve ever ridden the subway you know that you have minimal time to get on and off the train before doors close and the train zooms away forever. Mere seconds here, folks.
I started counting down after we left the last station.
Much like asking him out, I’d resolved to make a kiss happen. It couldn’t not!
We rode along giggling about something when I gave him a lingering look, but bashfully looked away when he started telling me what a great time he’d had that night. Don’t ask. I don’t know why I did either.
The train lurched to a halt at my station all too soon. The brakes hissed and the doors opened, a melodic bell rang outdoors. I had 10 seconds to get off the train forever and never see Chase again.
I stood and Chase did as well. He held his arms out “Well thanks for a great time.”
I smiled and embraced him. “Yes, Thank you it was wonderful.”
I couldn’t waste this. I turned my head slightly to kiss him on the cheek. Close enough, right?
5.5 seconds …
Chase must have been thinking the same thing
To be continued…
The post is already too long.
More tomorrow night I promise!
(Don’t hate me for this, I already hate myself)
The Mild Millennial