Hopeful 8 Hopeless 2
Let me immediately reassure anyone who read this title and thought "NO WAY!" : this was not a second date with Brian. This was my second date in my project. So it was a first date with another guy. Last Monday, I met Siavash, who had in truth been the first to ask me to meet him.
This time, I decided to give myself more input in the decision-making about how the date should take place. I asked Siavash if we could meet in the afternoon. That is truly my best time of day. I also feel like it is a better time for a first date than the evening because it just feels safer. He agreed immediately and suggested that we take a walk before going for coffee. Here it was very important for me to express my preference. See, here is the part where you say to yourself: I do not know this person and I would not want to go for a walk with them in a park where there may or may not be enough people around. I had another practical consideration also: I do not do well in the heat. Passing out on the first date would not have made a great first impression! I put it to him that way and explained that it would be better for me if we stayed in the air-conditioning. He was very amenable and agreed to meet me at my favourite Starbucks downtown.
I was fortunate to arrive fifteen minutes before 3:00. That was much better than being late like when I went out with Brian! It is perfect, because it allowed me to get my drink without there being any question of Siavash getting it for me. I processed through the long line and sat myself down at a table somewhere very visible. I would have stood near the entrance to make myself more visible, but I was not feeling very good that day, so I knew I had to sit down. My energy was low and my trembling had returned. Luckily, Siavash saw me pretty much upon arrival and we recognized each other right away. I remained seated and shook his hand, explained to him that I had thought to grab a table before the place filled up and that I would see him in a few minutes. Well handled, I must say!
I was satisfied with how this date turned out. It was pleasant to meet someone who was nice and intellectual; I enjoyed our conversation. Since he was curious, I told him about my childhood and that afforded us the opportunity to laugh at certain stories. He told me about his studies and his research. It turns out that, like Amin, he moved here to study and has been here three years. Like Amin, he is looking to stay here and his sister and her husband (his best friend; yes, I found this rather endearing!) may also join him ere long. I told him a bit about my studies too, but mostly about my illness for him to understand my limitations and such. I don't like to start with glum news (which is why I didn't include it directly in my Plenty of Fish profile), but it is important for someone who wants to get to know me better to know about that. He kept saying, "I'm sorry"; I told him it wasn't his fault I was sick, and he laughed and said that he just feels sorry that I have to contend with it and that it cost me two years of school. But he was very respectful about it and seemed to be cool with it. The conversation was much more equally divided than when I met Brian and it flowed with ease.
After about an hour and a half, we both felt we should be moving along. Doubtless, he had to get back to his lab and I was expected at home. I got instant feedback on what he thought of me. He told me that he is a very "honest" person - the word he was searching for was "direct". He said that he is up front with people about things in general, but particularly as pertains to the Plenty of Fish process. He explained that he had met a couple of girls before and neither of them had been compatible and that he had advised them of that promptly. He said that otherwise, if you are not open with people, you are wasting their time and also your time as well. So he had no problems telling me that he enjoyed meeting me and talking with me and that he should like to see me again. I suppose I passed his test! I echoed his sentiments, but explained that I am only able to have a social outing at most twice per week and that thus I was booked last week and possibly this week also. He was understanding about this, but it did not diminish his eagerness to meet me again and he urged me more than once to let him know when I was next available.
We left it on that positive note. On the way back to the metro, I had him confirm how to pronounce his name for me. I am glad I didn't embarrass myself with my incorrect version! He reminded me that his friends call him Sia, so I figured it was high time I adopt that. For a good hour afterwards, I was smiling. I couldn't stop thinking how very pleasant it was. It was worlds better than my first experience meeting someone I had met on Plenty of Fish and I was pleased.
*** An unfortunate circumstance occurred after this date. Somewhere on my way back home, I lost my wallet. Unhappily for me, my credit card was compromised before I could cancel it. This has been discouraging and an as of yet unfinished saga. It has been eating into my time significantly this week. It has made me wonder why, but I have yet to find a reason for this turn of events. But no, I did not take this as a sign that I shouldn't see Sia or that I shouldn't date. Being as hopeful as I can for now.