Sometimes, you just see something that speaks to your soul. This basically represents my life right now:
Tinder so far, after TBM, has been on giant bust. There’s a small, irrational part of me that believes I have used up all my good Tinder karma on TBM and now I will be forever cursed with guys who say things like, “Are you going to be naughtiest girl on my nice list or the nicest girl on my naughty list?” And of course, because I am stuck comparing every guy I come across to the intense chemistry I felt between TBM, no one measures up. So I am just constantly suppressing the urge to send a (sober) text to TBM demanding to know how he could screw up something with so much potential. Now the rational part understands that this is not smart because it’s not even like TBM and I worked out so why am I comparing every male to this situation? Also, I keep meeting guys who seem promising and then completely ghost before I even have the chance to decide there’s no spark. I mean, hey don’t you even want to get to know me before you find a legit reason to reject me?
Anyway, after a month and a half of weird messages, exhausting first dates that go nowhere, I got a fairly normal message from Will:
Finally, just a normal opening. After chatting a bit about our travels, he asked me if I wanted to grab a drink. He first suggested Bar Pilar, but I happened to remember that the sweet Bar Pilar bartender, who I had gone on a few dates with last spring, works on Wednesday, which makes it a little awkward (and also rude for me to show up with some other random dude), so I attempted to not sound too pushy and suggested 2 Birds 1 Stone across the street. Luckily, he was totally fine with the idea and we met up on a beautiful Wednesday in the basement bar. He looked like his pictures (tall, longish blonde hair, boyish good looking face), which is always a good start. We ordered a round of Manhattans and started talking. It was the basic first date conversation and we seemed to have enough in common to keep it going at least until he suggested heading upstairs to Doi Moi for dinner.
Since it was such a pleasant night, we decided to eat outside on the patio. The only food aversions he listed were duck and lamb (debating right now if that’s a deal breaker since these happen to be two animals I love shoving into my mouth). We started off with the Mức Rang Muối (fried salt & pepper squid). The baby squid were seasoned with salt, pepper, a little garlic and ginger, and were crunchy little bites of savory deliciousness. This crispy mouthwatering dish is a great way to kick off your meal and to quell your empty stomach after the whiskey hits it.
We decided to split two entrees between the two of us: the Bún Bò Xào (stir fried lemongrass beef with vermicelli noodles) and the Chiang Mai Chicken & Noodle Curry. The lemongrass beef was good, but in my biased (and experienced!!!) opinion, nothing compared to what you can get in Eden Center. I really enjoyed the chicken and noodle curry, which was topped with crispy noodles. The curry is incredibly flavorful, slightly spicy and satisfyingly creamy. The chicken is on the bone, but so tender that it basically falls right off. We worked our way through the two dishes, and continued to talk although I did notice that while he was definitely able to talk once I asked the questions, he was not very good at steering the conversations or asking me questions. At one point I wondered if it was because I was not giving him the chance to ask questions so I just paused a couple times…. and got crickets and a nice smile from back in return. Maybe it just takes him a little bit of time to warm up to someone. Dinner went well enough and he seems normal enough (god, I am at the point where seeming normal enough earns a guy points) to get the benefit of the doubt.
Note: while I have enjoyed the last two meals at Doi Moi immensely, I continue to this the service is very lacking here, which is disappointing for such a great spot. The servers just are not attentive, I find myself having to wave someone down to put in food orders, to refill my water glass, and clear the table. The patio was not even packed that evening, so I wish the staff could pay just a little bit more attention to the diners. Anyway, these two entrees were enough to fill us up, and I was getting a little tired at this point so we decided to call it a night after dinner. Will kindly offered to drive me home, since he was heading back to Fairfax where he was dog-sitting his parents golden retrievers (yes, we can all say “awwwww” in unison here). Of course, I took a look at his preset radio stations once I was in his car (what? what if we are not musically compatible? what if he thinks Justin Bieber is a dealbreaker??), and was relieved we like the same standard, basic white girl tunes: country, country, top 40, and a mix radio station to keep things interesting. So far, pretty good. After a hug and kiss on the check goodbye, I figured there was enough potential there for us to actually exchange numbers so I messaged him on Tinder to thank him for taking me out, along with my cell. A minute later, we had our first official text exchange:
Conclusion: So, maybe there is some hope for Tinder after all.