Monday, June 28, 2004

Back to technology

I called Tim last night from my hotel room. I had tried twice already and was about to go to sleep. He had returned home only ten minutes before I called. He sounded happy to talk with me. At times, however, he only seemed mildly interested and perhaps a bit unsure of me.

He said that many of his buddies saw him writing the postcard to me. They asked a bunch of questions about the "friend" who had dropped him off at the camp. Probably this whole time they've known him, they've never heard him mention a woman. He told them I was "kind of " his girlfriend. I didn't stop him on that. I figure it's best to wait and discuss that when I get home. He invited me to come with him when the group has a BBQ party in a couple weeks. I'm sure they're curious to meet me and I suppose I can learn a little about him through them. I am curious to meet the people he spends so much time with.

The phone call ended after about a half hour. I know he's said before that he's not particularly into talking over the phone. He let me go to bed and wanted to take his shower.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Giovanni's and The Stepford Wives

This Friday I'll be having Italian food with the 45-guy. Afterwards we'll go to see "The Stepford Wives." The movie doesn't start until 10:05 which is annoying. I'd really like to get home before midnight. This is his second, and likely final, date with me. I just can't get over the age difference.

I took my time in arriving. I guess B was there early because he mentioned walking down to the bookstore beforehand. I didn't see him standing outside the restaurant. I peeked inside to check if he was waiting at the bar. As I scanned the room, I saw him walking towards me. He had already been seated.

He looked okay. He's not a bad looking person. He was dressed decently in black pants and a plaid, button-down shirt. I thought about his height and it seems okay, but I'd have to say his height is definitely the minimum I need. It's funny how just an inch or two can make such a difference.

The restaurant was a bit loud to have a decent conversation. I couldn't lean back if I wanted to hear everything he was saying. It was also difficult to eat without sitting on the edge of the bench seat.

It is probably true that people can improve upon you the more time you spend with them. It's not bad talking with him. I guess maybe I approach these dates a little too formally at times. The conversation is interesting but a little dry. I smile but there's no jokingly or laughing much. I also found a couple times that he just kept talking and I had nothing to say.

I don't know what life with him would be like. I fear it would be boring. He had a cousin over this week with their two kids. It sounds like he had a decent time entertaining them. He never mentions much else that he does. He obviously is very used to living alone. When we were eating the bread, he would continually dip his bread in the vinegar/oil mix. I think he eventually noticed that I was breaking off pieces before dipping them. On his second piece I think he avoided double-dipping his bread.

We talked about 9-11 because it turns out that he was in D.C. at the time. It was a challenge to deal with everything but he still managed to get some site-seeing done. He expressed that the whole ordeal taught him to let go of the petty, little worries that happen in everyday life.

I found some of our conversations started to repeat things we talked about before. I just didn't know what to ask that wasn't totally direct and serious.

Again his travels seem to be always alone. I told him that I don't prefer to travel alone. I'd rather save my time and go with friends rather than take an extra day on business travel to explore. He told me how he once he went to Club Med in Cancun. He spent most of his time seeing Mayan ruins. Not exactly how I'd spend my time at a Club Med. Apparently there weren't many social events and since he wasn't interested in any water sports there wasn't much draw for him. Personally that seems like such a waste. I still don't get the impression I'd be very happy hanging out with him. Not much of an outdoors person, but then, how often do I really plan to go out?

He drove us to the theatre. He has a 16-year-old Acura Integra. I can't say it surprised me. He has some 190,000 miles on it and has only has to invest in a new fuel valve. When I asked about how long he'd wait to replace the car, he said this is now his second car. He didn't bother to mention what his new car is. The Integra is more for driving to the city because it's small and he wouldn't worry about scratches or dents. He's taken good care of it thus far. But why pick me up in this car rather than the newer one - just because of the tight parking in Mt. View and at the theatre?

When we got to the ticket line, I asked if I could buy the movie tickets. He seemed please and said I could if I wanted. As I paid for the tickets he thanked me as he put his hand on my shoulder.

Inside the theatre, we had to figure out where to sit. He prefers to sit on the edges because of his height. It helps to sit at an angle to avoid being blocked by a taller person. He says he's 5' 5". We laughed about how it becomes an unspoken rule with tall friends how to arrange people in a car. We also talked about old 70s tv. His favorite show was "The Bionic Woman." We discussed Star Wars and Star Trek briefly. He recalled standing in line with friends for the Star Wars premier, but he did add that they were chaperoned.

The movie was okay. It was rather bizarre at times. I loved the gay guy. At the end when he joked about having more highlights in the world, I thought of Tim.

He drove me back to my car. As I prepared to leave, he held out his hand to shake. He expressed the expectation of seeing me again though he understood that I'm already pretty busy next weekend.

I don't know what to say. Could I really be comfortable with someone who is a decade older than me?

I just sifted through Yahoo Personals to see if I could find any information on him. Sure enough, he's there. He last checked in a few days ago. The profile describes him as 43 years old and 5'6". So what is accurate? He sounds okay in his self-description. If it weren't for his age I might think him okay. It doesn't completely jive with the impression I've gotten from talking with him. It just goes to show that it's easy to judge and jump to conclusions before you know enough.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Found a cell phone

Wednesday night I got a little freaked out as I prepared for bed. Standing at my bathroom counter, I realized the door to the deck was unlocked. It was unnerving because I have no idea how long it's been like that. I panicked a little wondering whether anyone had been inside my home. It was very unsettling. To add to the situation, I was startled by the angry meows of two cats outside. They sounded like they were fighting and had fallen from some perched position. One cat was clearly in pain. It was creepy.

That's when my phone rang. The timing was odd and I didn't recognize the number listed on caller ID. I answered and the guy on the other end of the phone said, "hello." I wasn't quite sure of the voice though I suspected it was Tim. I asked who was calling and he wanted me to guess. I said I hadn't heard enough of the voice to know and so he started describing himself as far away, in the dark, ... . Yes I knew it was him.

He had managed to find someone who had a cell phone with reception at the camp. He bought her ice cream just to have the chance to use the phone and call me. So sweet. Unfortunately I think I was a little paranoid from the door and cats so it took me a bit to calm down. It was very nice to talk to him. I probably could have been more affectionate. I did tell him that I was glad he called.

We kept it short since it's someone else's phone. He said, "I miss you," before saying good bye.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Goodbye to #6

When I was deciding who to mark down on my speed dating sheet he was someone I wavered on. Since my feeling were already lukewarm and I have not really communicated with him much in the past month, I decided to let him go.

It's tough writing that kind of e-mail. You want to be nice and not hurt their feelings even though you really have no obligation to them. So I was somewhat honest and said that I have chosen to focus on someone I've met. I told him that I enjoyed meeting him and wished him luck. Seems polite right?

Bold e-mail

I've had it with wondering what's up with GF. My better judgment says to just bail on the whole thing. If a guy really likes you he'd put in more effort. But I believe in giving everyone one extra chance (whether or not it's the wise thing to do). So this morning I sent him one last e-mail. I tried to be careful in my choice of words so as not to make him feel cornered or pressured.

"Hi G,

Still unpacking but the floor is definitely more
visible these days and I can actually use the kitchen
now. Thanks again for the boxes.

I'm guessing you've been rather busy. I thought that
we had a nice time at dinner and that you were
interested in hanging out again. Since I really
haven't heard from you lately, I thought I'd ask if
that's still the case. If not, I understand, I'd just
appreciate knowing that.


He wrote back a couple hours later.

"Hi P,

I'm glad to hear your new place is starting to come together. I just had my contractor come out last night to finish up some track lighting in my kitchen. And, this morning, I finally got my cable TV service setup. Although I still have some home projects to tackle, I feel like the major work is done and I'm pretty well settled in now.

Yeah, it's been hectic lately, but I suppose that's the way it goes sometimes. This week is pretty busy for me, but maybe we can catch up next week?


p.s. How was your Yosemite weekend?"

Did I mention to him that I was going to Yosemite? I have a feeling T must have told him that since he's going this weekend and still trying to figure out which trails to hike. So I'll leave it at this. I want him to initiate this. As independent and strong-willed as I am, I want to be asked out. Gosh it's going to be a complicated week if I try and schedule him in along with Tim and Tan... yikes.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Since you asked...

Just thought this was a very appropriate advice column article to come across:

Dating rules
Is it possible to go out with two women at the same time and get away with it?

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Cary Tennis

June 21, 2004 | Dear Cary,

I'm in a bind: After going a couple of years without a serious relationship, I recently met two very cool women in the course of two days. Gal No. 1 is smart, funny, confident, good-looking and slightly counterculture. Gal No. 2 is smart, witty, lighthearted, self-deprecating and a little bit kooky. On a shallow level, I find No. 1 just a little bit more physically attractive.

As I met them at essentially the same time, I thought it would be OK to get to know them both. I had enjoyable e-mail and then phone relationships, and then had very nice dinners with each. No. 1 is open but taking it as it comes; No. 2 seems to be more proactively interested in me. I might be a slightly better personality match with No. 2, but I really don't know either one of them well enough to say that with conviction.

In the event that everything continues to proceed well, is there any general time limit or number of dates by which I should get on the stick and make a decision? I'm not the kind of guy who feels OK about simultaneously dating two women, and the last thing I want to do is hurt someone's feelings. Is it totally stupid to be swayed by the attractiveness of No. 1 even though No. 2 and I get on very well? I'm in my early 40s (as are both women) but feel like a dumb, naive high school kid. I don't want to screw this up. Help!



Dear Conflicted,

Does God exist? If God does not exist, then this is random nature at work, which means that randomness can be as kind as it can be cruel, which means that consciousness has no monopoly on agape. I see no reason why you should feel compelled to tamper with nature. On the other hand, if God does exist, then God has put these two women into your life for some unseen but no doubt lofty purpose -- not the least of which might be the beneficial effects of certain fantastic imaginings that may occur to you. God, if he exists, is not altogether without a sense of humor.

So what to do? Do whatever you feel like doing. Leave it up to the women. Don't try to control everything or be super cagey about it. Just lay it out there. Say that you met two women at the same time and you're currently dating both of them. Say that such a situation has never happened to you before, and you don't know where it's going to lead and you don't want to do anything rash, dishonest or hurtful, so you're just laying it out there.

I don't think that you have any great responsibility beyond just saying what's going on. In fact, I would hesitate to try to spin it in any particular direction, because that could backfire; the minute you start trying to spin, you enter the realm of unintended consequences. You really have no way of knowing how it's going to end up.

But if the totally Zen approach is a little much, and you'd feel better guiding the conversation toward some definable options, you might ask each woman if she has entertained any notions of your relationship becoming serious enough to warrant the easing out of the other. In other words, try to find out if either of these women is thinking seriously about you.

You might also remind these women that you are a man, and thus completely without guile or cleverness, and that if they think you're cooking this up as some kind of manipulation, they vastly overestimate you. Remind them that you don't particularly relish the difficulties it poses.

I don't think you have much to lose by being open about the situation. I do not think that either woman will refuse to see you on account of it, although if one does, it probably means that she wasn't all that into you anyway. If that happens, consider yourself to have been granted a second piece of good fortune: It relieves you not only of the burden of a difficult choice, but of the potential heartache of a futile courtship.

So, again, I say, just let go of the outcome and explain the situation. Nothing bad can come of it.

Sunday, June 20, 2004


How soon after you start dating someone can you bring them on a camping trip?

Well, Tim came with me to Yosemite this weekend. It was four of us - Ph, Les, Tim and I. We started out at about 3pm with a quick stop at In-N-Out Burger. He wanted to hold my hand as we drove to meet up with the others. It's only been two days but I can't remember any specifics from the drive conversation. My only thinking is that while it's nice to get to know each other and talk about important things, it has a way of taking the romance out of the courtship process.

The one thing I do recall bringing up is the money situation. We've both been very honest and forward about trying to determine if we are a good match for each other. I brought up my concerns about his ability to provide for a family in the Bay Area. Is he comfortable knowing that I make more? Going into this potential job he is realistic about the fact that his future wife could be making more. He said that while job satisfaction is high, the most common reason people leave the bureau is because of salary. I shared my concern that when I have children I want to be able to provide a good life for them. It's also nice when the husband makes enough to give me the luxury to stay home with a baby rather than have to hand them off to a babysitter at three months. I don't think he liked that idea either. He asked me how much I think one person has to make to be able to support a family in the Bay Area. It's a tough question, and I guess at least six figures considering the cost of a mortgage, living expenses, and child care. I don't know that we defined anything from the conversation, but at least the issue is out there and Tim knows my priorities.

Ph was not aware that Tim and I are dating. So toward the latter part of the drive to Yosemite, he asked about my speed dating experiences. It was a little awkward with Tim sitting right there. He played along and was a good sport about it. Fortunately, Ph did not ask for any specific details. I revealed my knowledge of all the various dating sites and they teased me, asking if I've been on all these sites including the alternative lifestyle ones. It was more of a general discussion about the current state of dating. What we did talk about was the e-mail process. During the conversation I revealed that I use an alternate e-mail address for contacting new people. My reasons are two-fold, first I don't want them to know my personal e-mail until I know more about them. Secondly, I learned that I do not want strangers contacting me by instant messenger. For whatever reason, everyone jumped on the alternate e-mail and began teasing me about leading a "double life." I think it particularly intrigued Tim.

Tim and I are still playing subtle games with each other. During dinner, he made some comment about having the time to put up his tent. In my mind, I thought, "oh, okay, he's planning to sleep alone." We hadn't discussed it yet, but I had imagine we could share a tent since it didn't make sense for him to have to set it up twice. I trust that he's a good guy and wouldn't try anything if we shared my tent. So when we finally arrived at the site, I asked if he wanted to stay in my tent and he seemed happy to go along with it. Later, he told me that he had wanted to but also wasn't sure whether to ask me.

Like our first date, we ended up staying up quite late talking. Of course this time, the talking happened in between mini makeout sessions. I'm always amazed at how serious and in-depth our conversations get. It seems too soon to be talking about so many life issues. Granted it's an important part of getting to know each other but normally this happens over a period of months not weeks. It's a very honest and open relationship which is refreshing though scary at times.

Since it's difficult to recall all that we discuss and in what order, I'm just going to write down what I can as I go.

We started out laying side by side. He was so happy to be next to me. Much of the time he was holding my hand and hovering over me slightly. Early on, he was telling me how he thinks of me every day. I asked him what he thinks about. He started his reply by saying something about how he needed to limit what he shares with me until our feelings are more equal. What he did say is that it's simply about spending time with me and being happy. I remember thinking that what he's not telling me is how he is thinking about our future together. I wouldn't be surprised if he was already thinking about being married and spending his life with me. I just get that sense when he talks about us.

He says many nice things about me when we talk. There comments about how cute I am in a pony tail and with or without makeup. I feel like the Bachelorette at times because I'm not comfortable or sure of what emotions to show to him. I'm scared because I don't know if I'm simply holding back my emotions or if I don't like him enough to make this happen.

I told him that I am concerned because it hasn't been that long. I don't know how to figure out if this is what I want. At the same time, I do not want to hurt him. I'd never do it on purpose. He calls me dangerous because he knows that I could break his heart. He's being very patient and understanding about the dating process. I've told him several times that I am wary because of my past and don't want to get hurt again.

We kissed quite a bit in the tent. This another area of question for me. I am trying to figure out how important "fireworks" are. I don't really feel them when we kiss. When I think back to all my other first kiss situations, there was a nervous anticipation. It was exciting to finally press the lips together and get a little taste of the other person. With Tim, however, it's nice but it's almost like we've been together for years - the passion is not there. Maybe we just need a little bit better communication. Neither of us are sure what to do with our tongues. There were times he seemed a little hesitant what to do. I will admit I'm probably not that great a kisser but I've definitely had better encounters. I'm hoping this works itself out soon. Chemistry is important. It would be frustrating to not have a sexy kiss. What do you suppose is the problem?

In the beginning, one of the things I asked him was if he thinks he's changed in the past few years. He feels that the last two years have been the most impactful in shaping who he is. For him, work was his life. Like with many people in the dot-com era, his life revolved around going to work and staying there late. There wasn't much reason to do anything else. He did date W during this time, but I don't know that he would have pursued it had she not been the one who first hit on him. (And that's another concern of mine when it comes to his relationship judgment.) Once he quit his last job (he worked at Savvio and knows of SL), he signed up for karate. Through an outdoor adventure mailing list, he learned about volunteering in Search and Rescue. He told me about how these activities have improved his skills. He's also become better at interacting with and making presentations in front of people. Participating in these activities are what made him consider a career where he could help other people and contribute. I was really impressed and proud of how he assessed the challenges and changes in his life.

At least he's into exploring a little. We behaved very well that night. The only other things he did were run his hands along my back and kiss my neck. It's been a long time since someone's has put in some gentle attention to my favorite spot. I responded to his neck kisses so he made a mental note to remember that spot. The first time he focused on my neck for a good minute, boy, did it drive me nuts. In later visits, it just didn't seem to work as well. I guess the moment had passed. But his willingness to try things is a nice sign.

Soon after that I also expressed to him my concern about going too fast physically. I started by reminding him that men are better about separating physical and emotional attachment. I then indicated to him that I am much more the type of person to associate to two which is why I have to be very careful about what happens. I said that I like teasing guys a little, even though it could be dangerous. It's titillating to talk about walking around the house naked or in underwear. He joked that I need to tell him to come over the next time I do that. I explained how there is a part of me that wants to "go crazy" and have fun with him. It's a struggle for me to keep that desire under wraps and be patient. He assured me that it takes two people to go that direction and that he wouldn't let that happen for awhile. His analysis of that was that it was good for him to hear that I am afraid of getting hurt. Somehow it sounds like it reassures him that it's not just him who is taking a risk.

I have no idea what time it must have been. We did get a little into our sexual histories. Previously, Tim had implied there was something unique about his first girlfriend, K. The relationship lasted 4-5 months. Several months after they broke up, she came out of the closet. I forgot to ask him if that bothered him. When I did ask him how many people he's been with, he had to qualify the question because there are so many definitions of being sexually intimate with people. In the truest sense of the term, he's been with two people. My guess is that it's Ap and W. He said that with K, they fooled around quite a bit, even being naked with each other but not actually having traditional intercourse. Knowing that she's a lesbian, I can imagine how that might have worked.

When my turn came, I reported my three. He asked if it was the last three boyfriends. That's where I hesitated before implying that there was one circumstance that was not normal. I was very hesitant to talk about it. I wasn't sure if this was the appropriate time to get into detail versus waiting until we are more involved. I made it very clear that it was something that was not like me and that it was something I would not choose to repeat in my life. At first when the subject came up, he thought of all sorts of terrible things like cheating on a boyfriend, cheating with someone who's already unavailable, kissing a woman, being with multiple people. I finally relinquished my secret and admitted that I had a purely physical encounter with a friend for a period of two months. He was surprised and agreed that he never would have expected that from me. I was still unwilling to say who it was and he didn't pursue the question. I did indicate that it's someone I still talk to. For Tim, on the surface at least, he seemed more satisfied that I was willing to reveal that information to him than anything related to the actual secret.

Overall he expressed how happy he is that we can be so comfortable with each other. A couple times he would say, "I wish I had met you a couple years ago." I reminded him that based on our conversation we were both different people back then. We wouldn't have appreciated each other as we do now. He told me how recently he has just come to assume that, while he wants to get married and have a family, that he would be content if he got the FBI job and did some good. Somehow he thought that the satisfaction from work would be good enough to compensate for missing out on the rest. I don't get the impression that he was counting on meeting anyone significant which is why the training and potential relocation for the job was something he was willing to make a sacrifice for.

Now, I think he finds himself second-guessing where he wants to be. He confided to me that he's thought about if it would bother him to give up his dream. Only after he received his acceptance letter did he start to tell people that he could be going to the academy. So the question is would he be satisfied knowing that he got in but not go through with it? He seems to think he'd be fine with it. His mother would certainly be happier if he just gets a normal job. She's worried he'll become jaded or desensitized to life because of the job. I also made sure to ask him if later he regret or feel resentful later if he gave up the job and, for example, our relationship didn't work out. It sounds like he thinks it would be worth the risk. Alternatively, he's thinking he could go to training and find out his assignment. If it's not what he wants, he'd finish the academy and come back home to find a regular job. At times, he sounds so sure that I'm the one. I'm uncomfortable having him make any sacrifices for me this early though I do appreciate knowing that he'd do what's important over his own wishes if necessary.

Do you see why am I a little scared of this whole situation? His feelings are quite intense and serious for two people who've only known each other one month. It makes me incredibly nervous. I am concerned that this is just an easy setup for major disappointment.

Another indicator that was sweet yet disturbing happened Saturday evening as we prepared to cook dinner. A large group of families set up camp behind us. In our struggle to light our charcoal without lighter fluid, we asked them if they had anything lighter fluid we could borrow. They didn't, but the boys came over with other aids including a lighter and metal pole. The older boy was rather precocious and kept making unhelpful suggestions. I tried to strike up a conversation with one of the other boys, asking why they were hear and what activities they had planned. The 8-year-old told me about their rented rafts. He also told me they would probably play Big2 at night. I asked him to explain how to play the game. After the boys ran off, Tim came over and told me he liked seeing that I could interact with kids and gave me a kiss on the forehead. I know previously he had mentioned that he is looking for someone who can get along with kids. He seemed very pleased with me. For some reason it seemed demeaning. I tend to think it would have been better if he had kept that to himself.

A couple hours later I took him over to his Search and Rescue camp site. As we pulled into the gated road, he chose to mention something rather serious. I can't recall the exact wording, but basically he said how some people are on the dating track and that there are others who are boyfriend/girlfriend. It was clear that he was trying to tell me that he wants us to move beyond dating. I kept getting distracted with driving in the dark. As we finally reached his campsite, I told him that I respected his opinion, but that I need more time. I hate giving myself hard deadline but that I understand not wanting to drag this process out too long. I came to the conclusion that I wanted until the end of July before making a decision about us. I couldn't look at him while I was driving, so I don't know what his reaction was. He seemed okay though a little frustrated. He reminded me again that he'll be happy for me whomever I may end up with but that he'd be sad if it's not him. After we unloaded his stuff he asked if the weekend had been okay. I think he wanted to make sure that I wasn't feeling uncomfortable with our conversation and intimacy. I assure him that it was good.

He came with me back to the gate and gave me a couple kisses as he exited the car. He didn't want to leave me. If there had been a way, I think he would have bailed on his responsibilities to spend more time with me. His last comments were, "don't fall in love with anyone this week... fall in love with me." I smiled but wasn't sure how to respond to that.

Sitting here now and writing this, I have to admit I'm a little more uneasy than before. I am very concerned that he's too wrapped up in me. Thankfully, we have a one-week break from each other. I am hopeful the time apart will calm things down. It could very well go the other way and make his feelings more intense. He's trying hard to be patient and not pressure me, but I am starting to feel it. We need to talk more when we're both back at home.

Thursday, June 17, 2004


Tan and I plan to meet at Cascal's for tapas tonight. I hope to stick to ending dinner at 10pm so that I can get ready for my weekend camping trip. Originally he offered to pick me up. I wrote back saying I need to run errands and would simply meet him there. As friendly as he seems, it's too early for him to know where I live.

I arrived minutes after 7:30pm. Apparently he arrived 30 minutes early so he walked the street and ended up buying a few things. He was waiting in the bar area and had just received his ice tea when I walked in. He's not bad looking but his height challenge became obvious when he got up to welcome me. I was wearing two inch shoes. I felt like we were the same height. My best guess is that he's 5'4". It's weird to me.

He's very friendly and sociable. From the minute we met I've always felt like we were comfortable chatting. He remembers a lot of what we've discussed over the phone in the past. He asked about what kinds of activities I have. He mentioned his houseboat trip and his plans to go to Hawaii in October for unlimited golf.

While waiting to order we talked about small world coincidences. He has a friend named, Chi?, who went to Berkeley. It sounds like he's talked about his dating with her. They were trying to figure out if maybe she and I knew each other at all. He couldn't remember the name of my company and she told him to ask me if I ever worked at the Lawrence Hall of Science. No connection there. Then I told him one of my small world examples about how Jy and Ap knew each other and Ap is my old roommate.

Ordering was kind of bizarre. He left it pretty much up to me to choose all the tapas. His only request was not to have too many things with cheese. (What a shame.) I suggested about four dishes when I started to look for his input. He said something like, "it's all up to you, dear." Um, okay, that's a very odd way to speak to me. We don't know each other and I found that wrong. Plus several times in the conversation, he stated my name as he conversed. It wasn't necessary to repeat my name, I know who I am. I don't understand why it was necessary. It doesn't feel very personal when people act so formal. I'm trying to think of why I would ever state someone's name back to them in conversation and the only thing I can think of is that I'm trying to get their attention or emphasize something very important. There was nothing that important about our conversation.

He seemed to think we had a lot in common. We talked a little about kids because he seems to have many friends with young children. He tends to have modern furniture tastes and dislikes the planned community areas like Walnut Creek and Orange County. It was difficult to get a sense of his personality. He likes his work because it offers a lot of autonomy but he's not surprisingly getting tired of all the travel.

He has an older sister with a 7-month old girl. We talked a little about my brother. I wish he were moving up here so I could hang with him more often. I remember making a comment about whether he will eventually marry his girlfriend. I made a reference to Tan asking about his experience with college sweethearts but didn't get any reaction from him. He refrained all night about any references to past dates or girlfriends.

I couldn't help look at my watch towards the end of dinner. It was a little before 9:30pm when we ordered a dessert. It was a very disappointing and deceiving souffle. It was not a souffle at all - not light and fluffy nor hot. I took about two bites and let him finish the rest. While I enjoyed the night, I was ready to go home and pack for camping.

On the way out he asked about doing something when he gets back into town. I indicated that I would be interested. He suggested maybe going hiking since that will be a three-day weekend with plenty of opportunities to do things. We gave each other a side hug goodbye and walked opposite ways to our cars.

Conversation wise, I enjoyed hanging out with Tan. The height thing is still a big irritation for me. It seems so silly because other guys I've dated have been only a couple inches taller. I bet it's been a big disadvantage for Tan. The other thing that is a little questionable is the "dear" and saying my name during the conversation. It's not normal. It's so strange, I don't like the idea of dating a guy who's an introvert, yet when I meet these outgoing and forward guys, they turn me off.

Movie night

I was at REI when Tim called around 7:30pm. His meeting had been cancelled so he was checking if we could start a little earlier. We agreed to meet at my place around 8pm.

He arrived just after me. My place is still a mess from the move, but I'm okay with him seeing it. He was stunned by the movement of the furniture. He agreed the tv is in a better place, but the couch is a tough one to position.

The first hour was more getting thing settled. First, we debated whether or not to get something to eat. He wasn't feeling that hungry because he had snacked at home before coming over. I was hungry but didn't need a whole meal. So I finally just decided to make some caprice salad.

We worked on transferring the Caribbean photos to his laptop so that he can make copies for Ap and Jy. It didn't take long. He was happy to see that I'm a little computer savvy because apparently the littlest things can take several minutes to explain to some of the people he knows. He always seem to find something amusing about me that pleases him. Of course, I suppose that's how it tends to go when you're learning about someone you think you like.

We talked a little in between parts of the movie. I don't get the sense he's real keen on religion given how he described needing to pray at every meal with his father and stepmother. At another point, he gave me an update on the job situation. He talked with his contact who says that, so far, they have been able to place everyone who requested the Bay Area. They still have not reached their staffing capacity for this region. The only potential reason he may go elsewhere is if there is a specific need for a special talent - i.e. if his computer expertise qualifies him for a specific assignment. I appreciate that he's trying to reassure me he'll be around.

He was very touchy with me as soon as we sat on the couch. He kept his arm around me or held my hand much of the night. As we watched the movie, I got comfortable by draping my legs over his lap. I hadn't thought about the fact that I haven't shaved my legs in a month. He didn't seem to mind. He was trying to find ticklish spots on me. He stroked my legs throughout the movie. I switched positions a couple times, sometimes resting my head on his shoulder. As I got comfortable, my body got warm. I think that tends to happen in general when I'm calm and at rest. He noticed and said he liked that. I could have said that's why I'm nice to have around in the winter (in bed) but I thought that was a little too forward to say.

Lots of random conversations went on. The sexual tension I sense is building. I made some illusion to looking hot and dressing in better clothes than I used to. He asked if I ever show off my belly. I can't remember the particulars, but he was definitely curious about more of my sensual nature. If he only had some idea of how I could let myself go if I wanted. ;) In contrast, we briefly talked about my weight. He was curious about how I went from a full-bodied 122 pounds to my now 102 pound stature. So would he mind if I gained it all back? I alluded to how difficult things were for me last year. He asked if I cried myself to sleep every night. I said it wasn't literally like that, but it was a time full of sadness, anger, and hurt. He tried to understand but had to admit that he's never been in a situation where the relationship got so serious and ended badly. He guessed that by the time his breakups occurred that the feelings had already faded. I wonder if it's better to date someone who's had their heart broken? Does it make them more understanding or more cynical about relationships?

Our faces were very close most of the night. I'm sure there were times he thought about kissing me, but we'd just look at each other. He did kiss me several times on the shoulder or on my head. Finally, towards the end of the movie, he did give me a gentle kiss on the lips. It was brief and we seemed to continue talking as if nothing happened. It seemed a little anti-climatic. After each of the next two kisses, he'd rest his forehead against mine. Nothing was said.

The stubble wasn't too noticeable. It's pretty short right now because he said he shaved Sunday. I asked when I get to see his bare face. He said that he'd shave and take me out for a nice dinner on the upcoming holiday weekend. He suggested that we go to La Fondue. We'll just have to find something to do afterwards. After Saturday, we won't see each other for a week and a half. I definitely want to see him more.

As he prepared to go home, we stood holding each other for a couple minutes. It was a long, nice hug followed by a few more kisses. While we stood there he asked how it's going with the speed dating. I coyly asked, "which one?" I gave him some indication there are several guys with whom I'm talking. His face seemed to kind of go blank. I asked if it bothered him. He had to think for a second. He was very mature in his response. Tim said that he's okay with it. He said that if there's a guy who I decide I like he's happy for me but sad for himself. Then he tried to protect himself a little by suggesting that maybe he should go date some other women. He wasn't really serious though because he didn't sound too confident that he wants to. I did half suggest that he attend a speed dating event next week. His last question was, "can I be jealous?" I smiled and said, "yes." Maybe we should have had a more in depth conversation about this. It was late and I knew that it would not be a short conversation. I guess I thought that we had kind of developed an understanding of the situation but it sounds like we need to have an honest talk. But I do appreciate his attitude, it's the sign of a patient and good heart.

It's weird because he's going at just the right pace no matter how much parts of me want to go faster. For example, every kiss last night was just lips. Sitting where I am now, I can say that it was nice and sweet. I didn't get shivers, it was just nice. Is it just me protecting myself from getting too attached? But there is part of me that night that wanted more. I wanted to make out. I wanted to taste him. For whatever reason, he didn't try anything. On one hand, it drives me nuts to go so slowly, however, I know with my apprehension about getting physically involved with someone I'm still getting to know, this is the wiser route. God, you should have felt how wet I was being in his arms and kissing him. What will happen when I don't see or talk to him for two weeks?

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Postponed again

Tan called on Sunday night. We had tentatively agreed to meet up this Thursday for dinner. I felt so bad that I had to cancel because of the apartment move out. I reassured him that I felt bad and was disappointed as well. I explained how important it is for me to be there to insure I get as much of the deposit back as possible. My roommate isn't the cleanest person and I have to put in some extra effort this week. He said he understood.

Alas, I was hoping to reschedule for next week, but he's being sent to South Africa for two weeks. Ouch! We now have a date set for Saturday, July 3rd. Dang that's a long ways away. I do want to meet up with him. We seem to have a good rapport over the phone and from when we met. I don't know how attracted I am to him physically, so I definitely want to see him again in person. My impression was that his face was okay but that his height was a little disappointing (~5' 4"?). Being only 5' 0" myself, it seems very discriminatory to judge guys, but it's what I'm used to and what I prefer.

We chatted a little. He might bring me back some African art piece from his trip. I definitely want to learn more about going there. He also mentioned how he and his friends are trying to plan a trip to Mount Shasta. The generally like to rent a houseboat and do some jetskiing and boating. I didn't say anything but the idea didn't totally appeal to me. His friends just like to sit around and drink. I also don't like the motor sport since it pollutes the water and wastes gasoline. I gave him the impression that me and my friends are a little more outdoors and active.

We also talked about poker briefly. He at first asked if me and my friends had jumped on the hold 'em bandwagon. I assured him that we've been playing poker for years. He, on the other hand, is part of the trendy group that has just started to play. Lately, however, he hasn't had much luck organizing friends as the casual and competitive players don't mix well.

I like him thus far. My prejudices are developing, however, just based on these little things. He reminds me of Rich in that he probably a very social creature with a more party-type social circle. I'm trying to be open-minded.


Well, as luck would have it, we were able to reschedule for this Thursday. I found out that I am not required to clean the apartment since they plan to chrage us $75 for cleaning. I think it's probably worth it to pay the money and use my time for better things.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Date 1.5?

I left work early Friday so that I could focus on preparing for the move. Tim offered to help me again with packing. He came over and we stopped at CostCo to pick up some snacks for the moving crew. After a brief stop at the new place, we went back to the apartment for some serious work.

It's definitely better to have someone else help with moving. I know it would have taken me more than double the time because I would have been stressing about packing related items together rather than just throw it all in a box. From time to time we chatted, but for the most part we just filled boxes.

Around 7:30pm we walked down the street to get some dinner. While this wasn't officially a date I think we both acknowledged that it was an opportunity to talk more. Gosh I wish I could remember more of the conversation. He asked me if there was any reason that he shouldn't date me. (Yes, these are somewhat weird questions.) I had to think for a second, but I found it to be a good opportunity to make my feelings and concerns clear. I told him that his comment about wanting to find a woman who is comfortable with herself worries me. I talked about how different and depressed I was last fall and that things have changed quite a bit for me. He's only seen the happy times and might be disappointed and unwilling to be with me in the bad times.

From there I extended my comments to stress how I feel like I've just gotten back on my feet. I'm happy and want to have time feel independent and enjoy my present situation - friends, house, work, etc. It just seems like every time I start to find myself, a guy comes into the picture and I never have enough time to get comfortable before throwing a complication into the mix. People, especially women, tend to change when they get involved with someone. I want to be sure of who I am before that happens again.

He seemed okay with my explanation. Joy says he's a very good listener and a very patient guy. As odd as it is to have these serious conversation so early, I appreciate the amount of open communication we have with each other.

We revisited some moments from the cruise. Somehow we talked about when he started to think about me for dating. He had mentioned before that it was the day on Guamache. He had wanted to toss me into the water at the beach but figured I'd get mad. Moreover, it was that night when we went around the boat taking pictures. He wanted to be with me in the photos. I asked him about the Settlers game when I helped out as dealer. He did intentionally brush my hand whenever I passed out resources, very sneaky. So I wasn't imagining things. I told him he made a good choice in waiting until after the cruise to ask me out.

Somewhere in the conversation we talked about the dresses I wore on the cruise. He like the black halter dress from our second formal dinner night. It seems like everyone likes that dress on me. He wasn't as into the one-shoulder, striped dress. He also remembered my casual, red knit dress. I commented that I have another red dress that's nicer but didn't bring it on the trip. His response was that he guesses that he should take me on a date where I can wear something nice. I smiled at that.

I insisted on paying for dinner. I told him that it was appreciation for helping me pack. At first, I think he was reluctant, but he seemed okay with it once I insisted it was a "thank you."

We flirted a lot while packing up. I think he asked me whether I flirt in general and something else about my intentions when I do it. I told him that I only flirt with people I know or like. We got into a little poking and eventually I asked him if he is ticklish. There were several times that night when he would look at something over my shoulder and press up behind me. He'd also have his hand on my shoulder and make small stroking motions with his fingers. I'm just amazed at how smitten he is with me at this point. I worry that this will all end in big disappointment if he sets his expectations too high.

There were the embarrassing moments too. We got into this mode of snooping into each other's stuff. Obviously there was more of my stuff to look at. I went through his wallet. Nothing really interesting. The only thing is that I don't seem to like any of his photo IDs. They all make his face looks square and dark. I want to seem him without the goatee. I got caught in a couple awkward moments as he browsed my things. Tim opened my medicine cabinet and was shocked by the amount of stuff. As he examined each shelf, I realized that I had a stack of old birth control pills there. I hoped that he would pass them by, but eventually he started to reach over toward them and ask what they were. I was honest about what they were but felt *totally* embarrassed. Not sure what he thought, but it was clear we were both feeling a little uncomfortable. For him, it was probably more feeling bad about making me embarrassed.

He stayed until 1am. I can't believe that he came and helped out for so long. When we said goodnight, he kissed my shoulder as we hugged.

The one thing I do wonder is who his friends are. Granted he has a lot of activities, but when does he hang out with friends? I need to investigate that a little more. Obviously he's spending a lot of time with me, which is nice, but it makes me wonder what he would normally being doing.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Contact paper

Tim called me up when he got home last night. He offered to come over and help me with the new house. It's clear he wants to spend time with me.

He brought me some cherries (which I left on the counter last night). I gave him a tour of the place. He had to entertain himself a little while I talked to Dad about the loan and the house. He immediately offered to help me move boxes.

Next we sat in the kitchen and put down contact paper on the shelves. We teased each other and talked about various things. His apartment sounds a bit messy as he joked that I won't be seeing it anytime soon. I gave him a hard time about it.

We talked little about tv. He used to like watching "Buffy." I asked if he watched shows because of the cute girls. He said not always. Then he asked the same about me. I told him the only show I ever watched for that reason was "Lois and Clark." I said that I'm more attracted to dark-haired men. Then I commented that it was very different in high school because all the guys I had crushes on were blondes. Under his breath he mumbled that he could die his hair. When I asked, "what did you say," he said replied, "nothing." There was another time when he said something under his breath, but I honestly don't know what it was. It does seem fairly clear that he likes me, maybe more than I am aware. It's hard to separate liking him for who he is versus liking him because of how he feels about me.

When it was time to go, we hugged and he kissed me on the side of my forehead. As he headed out of the garage, we were talking about Joy. So I had to ask him if she knows we had a date. He said, "yes," and then asked if he shouldn't have told her. I assured him it's fine, but I was just curious what she thought. He revealed that they had actually spent a bit of time talking about me that night they went out to salsa dance. It sounds like she knows him well and was the one who put the question to him. I can't help wonder what she noticed that made it clear to her that he was interested in me.

I truly enjoy spending time with him. I don't know what that means for us in terms of a relationship. I do my best to be myself and not worry about things. Because of how he seems to feel about me, I feel like I need to make up my mind quickly. I don't want to string anyone along nor would I want anyone to do that to me. I want to make sure I get to know him. I find, however, that I'm not sure how to determine if he's what I'm looking for.

His concerns are valid one. The job, the money, those could be things that bother me in the future. But how much weight do I put on things that you can't predict or guarantee will happen?

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Sushi, Shrek, and a talk

There's no way I could have guessed what Tuesday's date would turn out like. Typically you'd think you'll have some good food and conversation and that maybe you'll hug or kiss at the end of the night. It was a very good date, it just wasn't something I was prepared for.

Tim called around 6:30pm to check that I was home. He asked if I still wanted to go. I thought it was a strange question to ask, so I replied, "would you like me to say 'no'?" He responded by saying he just wanted to check in case I had met some suave guy recently. He came and picked me up at 6:45pm. He wore an orangish, outdoors, button down shirt paired with a faded pair of jeans.

I felt assured this was a date the minute he came to the passenger side of the car and held the door as I got in. It was a strange feeling for me because it seems like a long time since I've been treated so nicely.

His car seemed unusually clean. Except for a yellow bag he removed from me feet, there was barely a scrap to be found. I should have asked if this was normal. ;) We only had about 45 minutes to eat if we were to make the 8pm showing. Unfortunately, Tim couldn't remember where the sushi restaurant he had in mind was located. He had just given up when he spotted it.

It was awkward at dinner since we were facing the bar rather than each other. The conversation didn't flow as smoothly and I felt like we were struggling a little. The service was a bit slow too. We clearly were not going to make it so we slowed the pace and counted on seeing the 9pm showing.

Tuesdays are nice and quiet for movie watching. We had virtually no line. Tim bought our tickets and we sat at a table for 15 minutes to talk before going inside the theatre. We sat in the row where the armrest flip up. I wondered if he try to make any moves during the movie. A couple times, I leaned over to make comments during the movie or we'd look at each other during a funny scene, but nothing else happened.

It must have been 11pm by the time we got back to my place. I didn't wear a watch which was rather dangerous. We sat on the couch and chatted until around 11:30pm. He commented it was past my bedtime, but then asked if I had ten more minutes.

That ten minutes turned into more than I would have ever expected for a first date. He basically tried to premise it as a round of speed dating. He wanted to know what I was looking for in dating. I quickly corrected his understanding of what happens on a speed date. Getting that serious in a five-minute date does not happen; I didn't add that it tends to freak people out.

You can quickly guess that this conversation took longer than 10 minutes. We sat there until 1am. What did we talk about? Well here's my best recall:

- the general list, i.e. kind, smart, responsible, thoughtful, ambitious but not a workaholic, someone who wants to get married and have children, who knows what he wants, etc.

- how long it's been since my last break up

- he was concerned about whether I would be accepting of someone who makes less than I do and who doesn't dress as nicely

- I told him that no one's perfect and there are definitely things I work on for myself such as complaining, sense of humor

- On religion, I told him I have no problem marrying someone religious as long as he doesn't expect me to convert. I will also raise the children to a different religion but not to expect me to actively participate all the time. Although he was raised Catholic, he is content with his values and morals. He doesn't feel a need to be part of the church (even if he was taught that he will go to hell).

- he asked if I vote. Paying more attention to politics is something he started to do only recently. I have to admit I only know issues on the surface. It's something I'd like to know more about but it's not a priority.

- I emphasized that since money and kids are the two biggest things that couples argue about that it's important to find someone with similar values and ideas about how to raise children

- what kind of relationships we've had in the past and who we still talk to

- we agree somewhat about wanting someone who has their own interests, shares some in common, and someone willing to try each other's hobbies

- he is looking for someone who has a good relationship with her parents (yeah, still working on that one)

- he said that he wants someone who is happy with themselves (just imagine the doubt I had inside when he said that) and works well with kids. He was surprised when I said I really don't have any friends with kids.

- he thinks from what he's seen of me that I have a lot of what he wants. I think we're both wondering how accurate one's personality during vacation is an accurate reflection of what people are like in normal life

So finally at 1am, he let me go. There was a funny pause and we sat, with legs crossed, facing each other on the couch. I'm not sure if he was struggling with whether to touch me. There were several times he would touch my knee or foot during the conversation. He was very gentlemanly. After he slipped on his shoes, I thought he put out his hand, and I began to give him my hand. He gave me a look like "we can do better than this" and reach out his arms to hug me. It was a little longer than a normal hug. He stepped out the door and we said "goodnight."

Needless to say, I was EXHAUSTED all the next day after only getting 3-4 hours of sleep.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Double calls

I've forgotten what it's like to chat on the phone at night.

Tim called me at 9:15pm. He joked on Sunday that he had a very narrow window of time he could call me. He did pretty well. ;)

He kept teasing me about my early bedtime. It's not that bad. Of course he's going to sleep after me and waking up before me. That's pretty rough for someone who's not currently working. Just after getting into the conversation, a call came through on the other line. I didn't recognize the 415 caller. It turned out it was the guy from Albany who I met at the speed dating. I asked if he could call back in a half hour.

I went back to talking with Tim. I can't recall much now, just kind of asking about how our days went. It sounds like he's pretty active with karate and training for his FBI physical test. He also spent some five hours surfing the web while scanning pictures. (Why couldn't Jy have just had her photos put on CD?)

I guess the early stage really is the most fun part of dating. You're really interested in learning about each other. You're curious so you ask a lot of questions. It's sad to think that eventually the excitement all fades.

All I can remember now is the final conversation thread we got into. We started talking about genetics and the protesters up in San Francisco this week. We asked each other about eating genetically modified foods and whether we would employ genetics to enhance our kids. I have a lot of fun talking and laughing with him.

So about 20 minutes later, Tan called. It seems like ages since I met him, but we hit it off from the start. It was all small talk about moving, sheets, and I don't know what else. He was very clear about wanting to see me. Not having any weekends available the rest of June made it a little challenging. Apparently he has a client down in Sunnyvale so at least he's in the vicinity. He said he'll check in with me later this week and we'll try and set up a time next week to meet for dinner. We have a good time talking to each other. It could be something, it could just be each of our business skill natures.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Cafe chat

After picking up the Sunday paper, I arrive at the cafe a little before 10am. All the two-persons tables were taken except for the ones in full sun. Then, a women got up, and I headed for her table. I moved away her used glasses and started fumbling through my purse debating whether to buy myself a drink before Tim arrived. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice someone had come up to me. I thought it was the waiter coming to take the glasses. As I looked up, Tim lightly tapped my head with his wallet portfolio and said "hello."

It was nice to see him. We haven't talked since Puerto Rico. He definitely grew on me the last couple days of the trip. Last night, I was trying to recall the first time I felt anything particular for him. It's difficult to pinpoint. It was a very gradual thing so my best guess is within the last two or three days of the trip. The other question, of course, is when he began to pay more attention to me. I have tried not to think about my feelings because I didn't know how strong the they were. It could be that I was caught up in the passion of being on a cruise ship in beautiful Caribbean waters. And, it could be that I was feeling a little horny too. ;) So obviously I did not want to indulge myself in too much fantasy.

I definitely recall little things that may have been a sign. The first time we looked at art together, I don't think that was anything. There were times when Ap would do things and we would kind of roll our eyes our shrug our shoulders together. That doesn't seem like anything more than friends. Then there was the time I player dealer for a game of Settlers of Catan. Whenever I handed him cards, it seemed like 90% of the time his hands would brush mine. It was too often to be accidental and yet seems like such an ungrownup way to send signals. When the three of them finished afternoon tea, he did come to hang out with me at the art auction. After our formal dinner, the four of us went around taking pictures. He asked me to take one with him in front of the manta ray statue. On the night of the second formal, we spent a couple hours together just exploring the ship. At the end of the night, when he could have stopped at his floor, he walked with me to my cabin and then went back to his room. He always seemed to walk behind everyone as we explored the streets of San Juan. And on the last day, we walked down with me to catch a taxi. He could have gone back upstairs to hang with Jy and Ap, but instead sat with me for five minutes until the taxi arrived. I gave him a friendly hug goodbye and he commented that if I had a check for him, he'd take me to coffee.

So here we are at the cafe sitting and chatting. We each ordered our own drinks. We only talked about the cruise briefly before the conversation moved to a dozen other things. Can you believe that some 3 and 1/2 hours flew by?!!!

We talked a little about vacation. He said he hasn't finished processing all his pictures but did bring me one photo. It was the one he took of me standing along San Juan with a pink plumeria bloom in my hair. That was very sweet. Tim also informed me that I had put the flower on the potentially incorrect side. At the time of the picture, I had told the group that in Hawaiian tradition, the side a woman wears a flower indicates whether she is single or taken. Apparently, he read up and let me know that to wear a flower behind the left ear indicates that the woman is married, unavailable or otherwise has someone in her heart.

We talked a little about my dating life. I told him about the date I had with the 45-year-old. We debated a little about my concerns over the guy's age. Tim tried to get a feel for my interest level and what other prospects I had coming up. I chose not to mention my GF date. I'm not sure why I did that. The conversation was totally normal, and I didn't expect anything from him other than some pleasant morning conversation.

I flipped it around and asked him what his age limits are. I also qualified that saying in terms of serious dating versus just for fun. He said he wouldn't date anyone younger than 29 or 30. I guess I was a little surprised because men generally have a wide spread. When I asked him why he said it just bothered him dating someone younger than his brother (who is three years younger). I thought that was funny.

Then we talked about the movies for awhile. It doesn't sound like he goes to the movies that often. He'll probably watch "Kill Bill 2" when it comes out on video. Neither of us had seen "Shrek 2" or "Harry Potter." We then moved on to talking about cars. I mentioned how much I enjoyed driving my ex-boyfriend's G35. I think he appreciated that I can drive a stick shift.

The conversation steered several directions. Not until we started talking about his job situation did it stay in one place for awhile. We were talking about exercise when he mentioned something about needing to run 1.5 miles in 12 minutes. It sounded kind of odd, so I asked if this is something he's going to be tested on. I thought perhaps it was something related to his volunteer work with search and rescue. Little did I know it was actually in regards to his application for a government job. There had been some mention during one of the hikes that he had applied to the FBI many months ago. I don't know that we ever answered the question about the 1/5 miles, but he told me a lot about the process he's been through thus far. The most interesting thing was the polygraph test he took before we went on vacation. Unfortunately his was inconclusive. For whatever reason he was too calm in his responses, including when they gave him questions meant to confuse or challenge his thinking. It sounds like something he really wants to do, however, the government is very slow and deliberate so it's hard to know what will happen. Tim will probably start applying for a normal job in the meantime because it's really time to end his unemployment.

Somewhere in the middle of our 3+ hour conversation, he abruptly changed the subject for a moment. I have no idea what we were talking about beforehand. I just remember him saying something to the effect, "I have a question for you. Would you like to go see 'Shrek 2'?" I immediately said, "sure." (You know, I hate that word and here I find myself using it.) He mentioned something about finding time between commitments and asked about this Wednesday night. I hesitated, thinking about the fact that I pick up the keys to my new place that day. I told him it probably wasn't the best day because I plan to go over there and clean the place to prepare for moving in. Somehow the conversation digressed into other things for maybe 15-20 minutes. Once that topic ran out of gas, he then asked about Tuesday. He tried to sway me by reminding me that I need a break from my packing, and I agreed to go.

It must have been another hour or so that passed by. I think I once notice him look down at his watch. I have no idea how much time had passed, only that the cafe had become much busier and I kind of felt bad about taking up a table for so long.

The one other conversation thread I remember is talking about religion. Tim just came out and asked me. I told him no but mentioned going to church with my college boyfriend. Even though he went as a boy, Tim stopped once he got to college. I guess it really never became part of his life. He said he was comfortable with his values and morals and felt no additional need for it.

We rarely even touched during our conversation. A couple of times he poked his finger towards me. I think we were definitely listening to each other as we both leaned into each other. I had my hands and arms open across the table. (Not intentionally, I just looked down and noticed at one point.)

I think we could have talked all day. It was good that I was being myself. Thinking back on some of the conversation, I don't know that I would have asked some of the questions. I would have been too self-conscious asking about things like dating if I had felt like there was something going on. It's a habit I need to break because I think holding back is what hurt me in prior relationships. I probably came across as disinterested or unwilling to be open.

Just as the conversation wound down he popped up another question. He asked if we should have dinner beforehand. I was willing. Then he added that he kind of felt bad that I had to pay more than what he originally told me the cruise would cost. Okay, so it sounds like he's paying but not because it's a date? I kind of blew it off, the extra cost is not a big deal to me. Had he not added that comment, I wouldn't be questioning whether this is a date.

I walked with him to his car. We still kept talking. I was very happy as I walked home. He just seems like such a sweet, gentle, and interesting person. I don't know if anything will happen, but I look forward to spending more time with him.

On Sunday evening I tested the situation with several people. Basically I told them I went on a group outing. I now owed this guys some money so we met up. After chatting for awhile, he asked if I wanted to go see a movie. Everyone quickly agreed they felt this is a date. Only T was skeptical. Part of me is still in denial. I don't want to embarrass myself by being wrong. Jy and Tim are friends. Should I ask her about it?

I guess I'll ask Jy about it later. We'll see how he treats me tomorrow. Maybe that will make it clear. Do I like him too much already?

Sunday, June 06, 2004


Dinner with GF at 7pm. So I went rushing around beforehand, shopping at Ann Taylor. As luck would have it I seemed to hit every red light and local traffic jam I could. I did a drive by and gave Jy my tapes from the "Friends" finale. I was so worried about being late I didn't even stop to ask how she was doing.

And, of course, in the end I ended up there with a couple minutes to spare. GF didn't arrive for another couple minutes. I scolded myself about remaining calm next time and not feeling so rushed.

He parked his black BMW (older model) down the street. At a distance, I wasn't sure if it was him. He was wearing some type of white t-shirt and faded blue jeans. He's taller, which I have to say is nice after the last couple guys. I have to admit I do like height at times. He also wears a gold chain. Doesn't bother me. My guess is that he's 36. He's got wrinkles forming just below his eyes, but otherwise his skin is smooth.

We sat down at a table near the sushi bar. Much of the conversation seemed to stem around our respective housing lives. I remember bits and pieces. He talked about painting and asked what colors I was thinking of using for my place. He liked my choices. The contractor he used came from his stylist's recommendation. The house has made him kind of a homebody lately. He watched some DVDs and played volleyball during Memorial weekend. We talked about movies in general for awhile. He hasn't seen "Kill Bill 2" but liked #1. He said his favorite movie is "Pulp Fiction."

Camping might not be his thing. His last experience hiking to Half Dome didn't go that well because his knee went seriously bad. Just shows we're all getting older. He has a brother who's about 1 1/2 years older, got married last September and lives near Mt. Carmel in San Diego. Later in the conversation, GF talked a little about the impending pressure that his parents would be putting on him about getting married. His brother will not doubt start having kids soon, so he's knows he's the new target. I chimed in about my own dilemma among the relatives. He then shared his attitude about how important it is to find the right person rather than just find marriage. I totally agreed with him and mentioned my friend in San Diego with the "perfect" pedigree who I just wasn't interested in dating much to my mom's dismay. The other thing that we briefly discussed were various forms of communication. My own experience has taught me that one-to-one conversation is the most effective. I alluded to him an example of when YM is a dangerous method of communication. You miss intonations and people have a tendency to say things (good or bad) that they would otherwise not be comfortable saying in person. This came up after I mentioned how bad I am at online dating because of all the e-mail it requires. I don't know if there topics should be a no-no on a first date.

It was interesting talking about the speed dating experience. It turns out that he went to Click2Asia with his new roommate. I did not choose the guy for my matching list. We debated about what the rule is when two friends get the same matches. What do you do? I think we both felt that the first date is okay, but then what? GF joked that he told his roommate that the two of them should take the women they had in common and invite them all over to the house at once. I was very fortunate in that none of the other women I came with ended up in the same group.

We talked a little about work. That always leads into interesting perceptions about companies. Originally he thought he would be a lifer at HP. We actually probably overlapped at the Mayfield site. He really did not like eBay. The competitive and political environment there sounds awful. One wouldn't think that based on the image the company presents through it's website and commercials. He likes Yahoo much better though he said that Yahoo typically pays lower than industry. He agreed that they tend to expect employees to make it up through stock options.

We joked about winning the lottery. So I asked him what he'd like to do if he still had to work. It seemed like he'd never really thought about it before but knew that he would at least work. He finally came up with being a golf pro. He's been playing for nine years and claims to be pretty good. How can I argue with someone who actually has a handicap.

It was weird talking about T occasionally. I have these weird connections through others which makes the conversations funny. T apparently mentioned having to move my couch.

Somewhere around the two-hour mark, the conversation slowed a bit. There were a couple pauses which I wasn't sure what to do with, but GF was good about picking the pace back up. Why do men always need to use the bathroom at the end of the meal? Is it just me?

From there we walked to his car to get some boxes he brought for me. He seemed kind of impressed when he saw my car. I think a lot of people like the idea of all the cargo room in back. He commented that someday he needs to think about buying a new car. I suggested a Forester (as there was a new one parked behind him) and he kind of entertained the idea.

Once the boxes were loaded we said our good nights. He thanked me for coming to dinner. I thanked him for dinner. He then suggested that we meet up again sometime. He paused for a second (as did I) and then offered out his hand. We shook and then said "bye." The handshake was a little awkward. Maybe we would have been better off just parting.

It seemed to go okay. One date is not enough for me to assess his personality. I definitely find him more attractive than the last guy. We'll see if GF follows up.

Thursday, June 03, 2004


We agreed to meet at the bookstore. I got there early so I grabbed a book. I noticed a guy look down the aisle and continue walking. I didn't take a close look at him and kept reading. I figured the guy would come down the aisle. He passed by again a minute later. He wasn't exactly as I remembered. In fact, he was not as tall as I had expected.

We shook hands and headed down the street. He'd already had Indian food for lunch, so we decided to have Thai. He says he's not very picky about food. He just eats. When he cooks it more about making things that are simple and fast like stir fry. Even when I asked about favorite foods, he didn't really have anything to say.

I learned that he has allergies. We were talking a little about home improvements and he mentioned that he put wood flooring down in his bedroom. It seems a little odd to start there rather than in common use areas such as the living room. He indicated it's because of his dust allergies. He's lived in his three-story townhouse for ten years.

We talked about his job and his family. He is the middle child. His younger sister has three boys; the oldest is 7-years-old. I get the impression that he is a perfectionist based on his habits as a kid. He's trying to mellow out but I'm sure it's definitely a strong part of his personality. Back when he was in school I'm sure he was pretty intense. He's probably a bit frugal. I'd be curious to know what kind of car he drives and how he's furnished his apartment. I don't get the impression he travels much. He's accumulated a lot of vacation and seems to only go places to visit others.

What really concerns me is how old he is. Nothing I asked helped me get a sense of how old he is. He never mentioned anything the dated him. He definitely looks older and needed reading glasses on top of his contacts for the menu.

He's very talkative. He's into a lot of science fiction and is clearly the type who thrives on constant discussion. I can't tell how else he spends his time. He says he likes to play games like Scrabble and watch movies. I mentioned my interest in outdoor activities but he didn't match them in any way that I recall. I wonder if his allergies factor into that.

He complimented me on my social skills. In fact, he said that he liked me the most of the women at the event because I was the most articulate. When we parted he said that he would like to take me to a movie sometime. I indicated that I would be interested.

We'll see. I'm lukewarm about it. The age is a big thing. How could I possibly date someone who is older than my boss and my cousin!