A step too far

There’s a whole section in Sex and the Single Girl on how to meet men. Places include work, bars, sporting events, dinner parties and… AA meetings. I shit you not.

Now, I don’t want anyone to doubt my dedication to the project, but I’m going to have to draw the line at sneaking into an AA meeting with the hope of ensnaring some poor unsuspecting twelve-stepper. Not only because it’s morally reprehensible but because I can’t really imagine dating someone who doesn’t drink (which probably indicates that I could be attending the AA meetings legitimately, but no matter).

To whit: the Sailing Enthusiast. As I mentioned briefly, the first time we went out we had two pints over four hour. Never have I seen a man milk a pint like that in my life. He spent the last hour just shuffling his glass around the table and taking what could only have been fake sips of his remaining inch of beer. It’s not that I wanted to drink more on the date; I just wanted him to drink faster so I could get home earlier (midnight on a Wednesday is late for me, regardless of how scintillating the conversation may be).

Still, slow drinking aside, I happily accepted when he asked me out again. After all, he was cute, funny and had all his own teeth (except, it turns out, one of his front ones, which has been capped since he was punched in the head as a ten year old). When he suggested a hot chocolate, though, I started to get sweaty palms, especially as it was an unseasonably hot day yesterday and everyone else was pouring gin down their necks like it was going out of style.

When we got to the café, I couldn’t face the prospect of a hot chocolate. I just couldn’t. I had a Corona instead, which of course forced him to have a Corona as well. I think he was operating under the (very sweet but very incorrect) misapprehension that I had given up alcohol until I’d finished running my upcoming half marathons. Ha! If anything, I’ve been drinking more to quell my rising terror. Anyway, we had a Corona. A single Corona. Over three hours. And while my liver is certainly celebrating and the conversation didn’t suffer from the lack of booze, I realized that so much of my attraction to men tends to bloom when I’ve been drinking.

Not a great realization, admittedly, but there you go.

Without the lovely glow of a second glass of wine or the clinking of ice in a tumbler of bourbon, it’s harder to gauge if I actually fancy him or if I’m just playing along because I think I SHOULD fancy him. When drinking, no such niceties factor in. The light is either red or green, no confusing shades of yellow. I know the opposite should be true – that because I’m clear-headed and sober, attraction should strike me like a bolt of lightning – but no.

Also, closing at the end of the night becomes EXTREMELY AWKWARD. We ended the first date with a kiss on the cheek, so as we said our goodbyes last night, I was fairly sure he’d go for the full-on kiss. Instead, I got another kiss on the cheek and a hug. A HUG! When he pulled away, he looked mildly annoyed with himself. Such a thing would never have happened if we’d been drinking (mainly because I would have gone in for some sort of drunken lunge/grope).

On the walk home, I had to wonder if he was just my new non-drinking buddy. But this morning I got a text from him asking if I was free over the weekend, so apparently he’s thinking third time might be the charm.

I might just bring a flask this time.

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