Of course, that's easy to do when one is generally dating, is it not? I met English Literature Academic tonight. We matched last year when I started using Tinder in Cambridge, but didn't meet because I went back to Singapore, and then Bruno happened, and then I didn't feel like dating, and he didn't get in touch anyway so I didn't bother. Then he (apparently) re-installed the app and we matched again so we finally met.
I knew nothing about him prior to this apart from the bare facts: he's an English literature academic and he likes cats. English literature was whole reason I wanted to meet him, though of course it helped that I thought he was kind of cute in geeky way. He's not a texter at all; his first message to me was, 'Hi. We should meet.' As someone who doesn't like texting, much less long, never-ending 'conversations' over text, I liked that there was no pointless small talk with him before meeting. There are two problems with long texting conversations: first, I don't remember half the things that are conveyed to me over text because I don't pay that much attention when I'm texting; and second, if we do all the 'get to know you' over text, what the fuck else is there left to say in person? So yes, I liked that I knew pretty much nothing about him before meeting him.
He's 37, so he checks the 'sexy older man' box, but he looks younger, though this is neither here nor there. It is rather striking, to be honest, how different it is, talking to someone older as opposed to someone my age or a couple of years younger, and talking to someone who is a reader; someone who is obviously contemplative, with a sense of curiosity; someone who is intelligent in the intellectual sense. He mostly led the conversation, asked questions, but of course it wasn't a one-way street (I never allow the conversation to become a one-way thing, but if the other party doesn't reciprocate, it's out of my hands); we had actual conversations about various things - books being the most obvious one. He seemed surprised that my favourite writer is Julian Barnes. He said he likes Anthony Burgess, whom I've embarrassingly never read (my excuse for not reading A Clockwork Orange is that it's written in slang which I'm not fond of). He also said that he has over a thousand books - words that are music to my ears.
So yeah, I had a good time. I was feeling a bit lazy about meeting him prior to the date, just because I generally get lazy like this; I blame it on my introversion. But I'm glad that I did. I felt comfortable enough to be quite open. He asked if I'd met many people from Tinder, and from there he related to me two horrible dates he had - and when I hear stories like that, I'm honestly flummoxed by how some people behave. After getting over my surprise, I am then relieved that I'd not really had any plain awful dates, except the date with W and the second time I met Antonios...fucking weird shit. I've had boring ones, but nothing that made me think, 'What the fuck am I doing here?'
On second thought...I think the awkward part of my date with Matt was a bit like that. It wasn't 'what the fuck am I doing here' in the sense that 'this person is horrible', but more in the sense of 'I don't really have anything to say to him' and 'he doesn't seem that interested in getting to know me'. I was leading the conversation, and I was doing a lot of that too last Thursday when we met again. I was perfectly happy to satisfy my curiosity about him, but it's not the stuff that repeat dates are made of, I think. And I suppose he feels that, too, this gap between our experiences, interests, direction in life, current place in life, personalities, etc.
But he's so lovely though. I went to London yesterday to finally trim my hair and cut my fringe, and today, he actually noticed. Nobody ever notices when I cut my hair because it's just the same shit but shorter, and so I was pleasantly surprised when he said, 'Did you do something to your hair?' I was almost going to ask him if he'd noticed that my hair was different (just for the hell of it), and so when he said that, I was so pleased. 'I like it,' he said. 'It's nice.'
He also gave me a rather big cup of iced tea; his definition of 'some' ('Do you want some iced tea?') is quite expansive. But it was tasty so I definitely wasn't complaining.
I wore a white top with a yellow skater skirt today. I had lunch there in my gym clothes and gross hair in pigtails post-gym as I'd ran out of food, and when I went back post-shower for coffee to drink while reading Finnis, the very nice girl at the counter made a comment about my outfit (I forgot what it was, unfortunately), said she liked my hair in pigtails. Matt said, 'You have way too many clothes.' Later, his boss - who's also nice - came out, saw me and said, 'You look lovely!'
What a lovely day. The girl also gave me free coffee so yay, free coffee and tea! Isn't it sad that I live for cheap thrills like this?
Anyway, back to English Literature Academic. As I was saying, I felt quite comfortable to be open with him, and so when he said, 'I'd like to see you again if you want', I immediately shot back, 'Are you just being polite?' This was in reference to his shitty date story: he had a horrible time but still said something like, 'We can meet again if you're up for it' to the person out of politeness. I have little tolerance for bullshit, and I would definitely be wondering if he said it out of politeness if I'd just left it, and so I pinned him down to what he really meant - and that was what he really meant. And then we set a date for next Monday. Even better, he texted me after we parted ways to say it was lovely meeting me and he would like to see me again.
Easy and straightforward, right? I am liking this a lot.
On another note, the guy that I met at the conference, who wanted to come to Cambridge tomorrow, can't make it anymore due to work. It is quite disappointing. He's the first ethnic Chinese guy I've found attractive in a fucking long time, and he works in human rights, and so I was quite keen to meet him and talk more about what he does and get to know him generally. It is really quite wasted, isn't it? Oh well.
In one of my messages to E, I said that I had free coffee from FB. He said, 'Oh, do you have an admirer there?'
WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN? I should've just said, 'Nah, the person who gave me free coffee is a girl' but instead, I said, 'Haha...long story.'
In fact, English Lit Academic asked me if I'd dated any English guys before. I don't know why, but I stopped myself from telling him that I'd recently gone out with the barista at FB before I did my usual 'open mouth and words come out' routine. I'm definitely not ashamed or anything stupid like that; it's just...I don't know. It's such a small place, Cambridge, and it's just a bit weird if someone that I am dating (in the sense of being on a date with) interacts with someone that I've dated. I don't know. It doesn't make sense. Or maybe it does, or can potentially make sense if I think about it further, but I am tired and I can't be bothered, so I'm just going to post this and go to bed.