Here’s the thing with online dating. You never know.
You never know when a man will ghost after emailing you for three weeks. You never know if he’ll call after a meet. And you never know if he’s married.
We meet at Atticus, the bookstore, and chat for a few minutes. On the way to the restaurant, Jean Luc takes my hand twice and kisses it, squeezes my shoulders. Checking out my bone density?
At the restaurant, Italian and upscale, we speak French. A private conversation with the crammed-together tables. French, English, and a bit of Italian, along with a lot of innuendoes The more wine we sip, the more we flirt. I don’t understand much of the Italian, but I get the gist. I’m a great little gist-getter.
And I love a man with charm to spare.
The more wine, the better my French. I can see a quasi-crush developing here. The kind of crush that comes with a glass of wine and a little leaning across the table. And leaves when I slide into my car. I never trust an easy crush.
We finish off a bottle of pinot noir and over a shared chocolate mousse, Jean Luc tells me he is married. “She lives in Paris. We haven’t been together in over fifteen years, but she doesn’t want the divorce,” he says.
My crush floats away. I keep smiling and take another spoonful of the mousse. That’s it mousse-wise and Jean Luc-wise.
The next night I’m playing a few tracks from an old Fountains of Wayne album and cooking up a little penne.
The timer beeps on the boiling pasta and I shut it off. I dip a slotted spoon into the pot and trap two rotini spirals, grab one and pop it into my mouth.
I usually have to digest the experience when I first meet a man. It’s important to gauge if the whole thing is a windfall or hits the more common mediocre on the spectrum.
In Jean Luc’s case, there’s nothing much to think about.
I mentally cross him off my list.
And I can almost hear my good friend Noelle yelling “Next” in my ear.