About two summers ago, my boyfriend of 2.5 years and I broke up. In terms of break-ups, it was relatively painless, but break-ups still suck no matter what. That summer, I tried to get used to not just being “single” again, but more importantly being “alone” again. It was definitely hard adjusting to this new reality, and took a little bit of time for me to get used to. Towards the end of the summer, I was finally starting to feel like myself again. One evening, I was scrolling through Instagram and came across my friend Shay’s (a good guy friend who lives a few blocks away from me, and probably could be considered the king of social media in DC – I mean, seriously what kind of person gets 200 likes on average on a Instagram picture?! I’m just surprised when I get more than 6 likes, and feel the urge to bow when I get more than 8 likes) uploads from a party he recently attended with friends. The only guy I did not recognize in that picture was a stud. I took a screen shot of the photo and sent it to Shay, with the message, “WHO IS THAT?” That’s right, there was a little thirst going on there. Shay told me that the guy lived in NYC so I immediately forgot about that/him. Now let’s fast forward to a year and a half later.
On one of the first beautiful Saturdays of the spring, a friend decided to celebrate his birthday at Dacha, the beer garden located at 7th and Q. By the time Shay and I arrived, there was a line around the corner. Through some connections (not mine though, I have no valuable connections) we somehow managed to skip the 20 minute line and entered a completely packed patio full of good looking, well dressed white people. Seriously though, every time I have been to Dacha, I always notice how the entire place is 98% white. Also, everyone there is beautiful. We made it to the back area where the birthday boy was situated, and out of the corner of my eye I noticed an extremely good looking male. He looked relatively familiar, and after a few seconds of staring, I realized it was the guy I had frantically texted Shay about several summers ago. I grabbed one of my guy friend’s arms, pointed out the guy and said, “You need to introduce me to him…. immediately.” I literally made him stop his conversation, walk me over and introduce me to Stephan (name replaced in case someone reads this because I don’t want to come across like a total creep to him, yet). We started talking, and he told me that he had recently moved back to the area. I cannot remember exactly how this came about, but before we knew it we were talking about how ethnic babies are just so much cuter than Caucasian babies (COME ON YOU KNOW IT IS TRUE). In the words of Aziz Ansari, “white babies just look like people that haven’t ripened yet.” The next thing I knew, he was joking about marrying into my family so that we could have a couple of interracial kids. I stopped, stared at him and immediately responded, “Oh absolutely.” This started one long elaborate joke about marrying each other that involved us planning out our wedding, an explanation of our in-laws, and before I knew it, it was time for me to head out. We exchanged numbers, and I went to H street to meet the beautiful man, Larry. I honestly did not think I would hear from Stephan again, since there was no real substance to our conversation that afternoon, just a bunch of jokes about melding our families together for this giant imaginary wedding. However, the following morning I got a text from him during brunch continuing the joke about fictitious relationship:
This was followed by tentative plans to hang out the following week. Now, I was totally down to see him again, but I could not tell if this was serious or not, since all of this was based on some fake romance. I decided to not think about it too much, and just wait to see if he would follow up on this date. Surprisingly, the following day he texted me to confirm our date.
We decided to meet up at Lost & Found (right behind my apartment) the next night for happy hour. I headed over first, while he looked for parking (he had moved back to Alexandria from Brooklyn), and discovered that Lost & Found was totally packed so we went to A&D instead. A&D really is my favorite neighborhood bar. I love the chill vibe, the lighting, the drinks and the always-friendly bartenders. I ordered a beer and Stephan ordered a Manhattan, and we sipped on our drinks for the next three hours. The conversation was so easy that I did not realize how much time had passed. At 9:30pm, we decided that we were both starving, and closed out the tab a so that we could find some dinner. The fairly new location of Beau Thai was around the corner, and while that is my go-to for delivery Thai food, I had yet to try eating in the actual restaurant. We made our way over, complaining the entire time about the cold weather, and found the restaurant relatively empty. The design is beautiful, with high ceilings and wood furniture. We were seated by the window, with a view of 7th street.
We split two entrees: the Pad Se Ew with pork, and the Red Curry Duck. Pad Se Ew is one of my favorite Thai dishes because it is both simple and comforting. The Pad Se Ew at Beau Thai was solid: it was flavorful and rich, without being greasy. The noodles were soft and chewy and did not fall apart under the sweet sauce. The Red Curry Duck was also good. It was spicy, slightly sour and sweet, with generous chunks of meat. The spiciness of chilies and lemongrass was balanced by rich coconut milk and roasted duck.
Side note: I really like sharing food with someone, and immediately give a guy 456908 points if we are compatible eaters. I think ordering food says a lot about your personality on a date, and I always pay attention to how our meal goes. If a guy is not a picky eater, if we have the same tastes in food, and if he likes sharing food, I find that incredibly appealing. Sharing food off of the same plates brings a different kind of intimacy to a date. Stephan was a great person to share a meal with! He is not a picky eater, made sure I was enjoying the food, and encouraged me to keep eating, even once he was done.
While I am attracted to Stephan, and I think that we have a lot in common, the biggest thing causing me hesitation is his schedule (and of course, the fact that I have irrationally placed Larry/the beautiful man on the world’s highest pedestal). He is moving to San Francisco in mid-May to open up the West Coast office of his start-up company. This is about a month away, and while I enjoyed spending time with him and could see myself liking him, I am not sure how I feel about getting attached to someone who is leaving. Now the easy thing would be to say, “don’t overthink it!” or “just take it slow!” That is definitely easier said than done with it comes to my brain, because I am not capable of not overthinking everything, and not wondering where things are going. Perhaps this is a good exercise for me, to hang out with someone who’s future is a big question mark. If nothing else, at least I potentially have someone to share food with for a few meals.