Monday, April 10, 2006

Retail therapy

I caught up with C3 and Hula on Sunday for some much needed retail therapy. We went to the local, upscale mall. The main focus of the day ended up being purse shopping. We scoured Macy's extensive accessory department and debated the need to upgrade to "better" purses and the cost-per-wear of the more expensive ones versus buying something fun at Target. We three have probably all been pretty comfortable with a simple and inexpensive bag that can be abused and still look decent. It's also a challenge to get out of your comfort zone and try styles and colors that you wouldn't normally pick up off the displays.

Over the course of 2.5 hours of shopping I detailed my date with KT, with various detours in the conversation as the topic necessitated. We ended up standing in the INC section at Bloomie's for what must have been a solid 20 minutes wrapping up the date and deciding on my next moves.

I had warned them that I spotted one red flag as a result of the date but didn't identify up front what it was because I wanted to see if it set off their warning bells as well. C3 did pick up on the whole "want to be friends with all your friends" concern. She relayed her concern that he might confuse his interest in me with his desire to build a network of friends. They cautioned me not to invite him to any more group events in the near future. I acknowledge that I probably got a little to lax about maintaining boundaries at this stage of dating. It could be awkward to pull back the reigns without disappointing or confusing KT.

The one big thing they both scolded me for was initiating the end-of-the-date hug. They said I should have just kept talking or stood there until he did or said something. They don't think I'm going to get a clear sense of his feelings unless I force him to take some initiative. I'm making it too easy for him. Gosh, I hate the end of dates. I *never* know what to do. When I was younger, I basically dashed off in nervousness. Now, I tend to make a move the minute the awkward pause rears its ugly head. I need to start practicing counting to five or something when these moment start to learn to see if/what the other person does.

C3's younger brother works for the same HMO as KT, though in a different location. I guess after last Thursday's dinner, C3 and Hula looked him up. C3 then asked her brother, Lawu, about him. She confirmed that they both have the same responsibilities and work hours. I guess it's pretty standard fare. Lawu doesn't know of KT, and without any background from C3, his comment was, "Run from this guy, all us family practice guys are mama's boys." Great to get such a shinning endorsement on dating doctors eh? ;)

My "homework" assignment from them? They suggested that I casually reveal to KT that my birthday is next Wednesday and add that I don't have any plans. Originally, I had not wanted to tell him to avoid putting too much pressure on him. After all, we're still getting to know each other and I certainly don't expect him to make a big show of it. C3 and Hula laughed as they gave me advice because, of course, they said it's easy for two married women to dish out advice when they don't have to do anything. Still, they think that if he truly likes me, he should know and want to do something special for me.

Now to put the ball in his court... uhch, I hate this antsy, unsettling feeling. I suck at dating. :p

I have to at least say this... I feel like (despite all my craziness - no comments from the peanut gallery ;)) that I'm approaching this dating situation better than before. In the past, I don't feel like I really I thought through why or why not I liked a person, I just did. I'd like to think I'm really trying to learn who KT is and thinking about whether he is someone compatible with me. It's easy to want him because he looks great on paper and we have mutual acquaintances. I am doing my best to walk into this with eyes wide open and senses in tune. :)

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