Wanda Update: We Escaped the Room but Not the Monsoon

I hate when I waste my best stuff on a dead end.

OK, to be fair, I had no idea it was (going to be) a dead end when I planned my second date with Wanda, nor did I think it was a dead end as it was all happening. This is my hindsight talking.

But Date 2 with Wanda started off swimmingly (sarcasm meter is beeping). The sitter was 10 minutes late, it was a 30-40 minute drive to begin with, then for some reason all the leisurely drivers were all on the road at the same time in my way cruising along at 65 in the FAST lane. Argh! Seriously??

Well, I got where we were meeting about 20 minutes later than planned, but still in plenty of time for our activity. Wanda was sitting on a bench, killing time on her phone. As I approached, I playfully said she looked like she was waiting for someone. She responded she was. So I asked if I could join her while she waited, and she said Yes. As I sat down next to her, I put my arm around her and kind of leaned in a bit (to gauge where she was at tonight). Nothing (1). She stood up and I followed her. I moved closer to see if a hug or anything was an option. Nope (2). So I asked if she was ready for this, she said Yes, so I extended my hand to hold hands as we walked. Again, Nothing (3).

We walked a few blocks to an old warehouse. A few times during the week, she had asked what we were doing, and I refused to tip my hand. I just told her where to meet me, and wanted to keep it a surprise. I booked us in one of the Breakout or Escape rooms, where you get locked in a room for an hour and have to solve the puzzles in order to find the code to get out. Neither one of us had done it before and it sounded really fun. It was also a diabolical plan to see how well we can work together, communicate, deal with a (moderately) stressful situation, and have fun at the same time. We were teamed up with a group of 6 other people who worked together.

It took us nearly the entire hour, but we managed to solve the riddles and get out before time expired. It was really fun.

While we were waiting to start, we had to sign waivers. While I was signing my waiver, the girl at the counter was asking Wanda if she’d ever done this before. She told her she hadn’t and that this was a surprise, etc. The girl behind the counter was gushing how cool and how sweet it all was. Then when Wanda went to the bathroom, the girl asked me a bunch more questions about our date night and thought it was cool. So when Wanda came back, she was gushing even more about our night. I don’t think I could’ve planned that better, even I would have paid the girl to say those things. It was definitely big bonus points in my favor (or at least should’ve been).

While we were waiting, and during other various points of the night, I tried getting close to her, even putting my arm around her in a half-hug at one point, but it all seemed to fail or not be reciprocated. (4-9) After we finished, I went to offer to hold her hand again as we walked to the restaurant. More Nothing (10). I didn’t say anything or act put-off by it. I just rolled with it.

The place at which we ate, was rather pricey, but we each ordered the chicken and quinoa and a glass of wine. We talked about all sorts or random things. So I tried to bring up some future events I had going on, like when my son was gone to gauge her interest of doing something then. Didn’t bite. (11) I noticed on her Facebook page that she had mentioned going to see something at the theater that I also wanted to see, so I brought that up. She’s going the weekend before me with her friends, and has her kids the weekend I have tickets. No “Oh, I wish I would’ve known, I would’ve loved to go with you.” or “maybe we’ll do something else while your son is gone.” Nothing. (12)

Then the monsoon hit. Ok it wasn’t a monsoon – we don’t live on the coast – but it sure looked, felt and sounded like one. Remember the whole “Duck” thing? And the radar looked ominous. THe hostess at the restaurant came around from table to table showing everyone – it looked BAD.

So, since Wanda had to drive and hour (plus) to get home, I suggested we should probably wrap things up early so she can get somewhere safe before it gets worse. She decided to stay in town with her friend (that I mentioned she routinely stays with) instead of going all the way home. In no way was I going to offer her coming to my place. That didn’t seem right.  So we called the night a little early – something I did not want to do, but felt it was the right thing. Also, as you can see, lots of warning signs were popping up, so it wasn’t like calling it early was going to kill any mood or chances.

Look, at the breakout room and as we were talking about other ideas I had had for the night, she was always making it work related. “Oh, we had talked about that at work, and I thought we should do that as a team exercise,” or “I really wanted to check that place out to see if we could hold an event there. How many people do you think it holds?” Stuff like that. Look, I don’t mind talking about work, but I want my date present there with me, in the moment. Not me planning her next work outings for her. It was like she was more focused on that than me. And then we were talking about the charity functions she has going on this weekend. Now this certain pair or group of guys always comes up in discussions about their plans. Going to baseball games, and one of the guys texting her “hey, what about me?” and stuff like that. Well, these same guys (I don’t know if they are friends, co-workers, married, single, nothing) came up in conversation last night. One of the guys set something up for them at the first charity event and said she “owed” him. So she was saying, “Fine, I’ll hold your drink for you when you go to the bathroom,” or “Fine, I’ll hold your hand if some girl tries to flirt with you.” SMH, WTF?? Why are you talking about holding some other guy’s hand when you won’t even hold mine? Got it, aye aye, message received, Captain! Moving on …

As we left I offered to get my car and pick her up at the door and drive her to her car. Like I said, it was a torrential downpour outside. She passed. She insisted on walking the block and a half to her car. So I walked her to her car. We got to her car and she put her stuff inside. She turned and gave me a very strong, lingering hug. I thought, “Ok, there was no first date kiss, so this is my last chance.” You never get the first kiss on date three, that’s like unheard of. But the moment the lingering hug lightened up, she spun and ducked in her car before I could even think about making a move. (what are we on, 13 now?) I mean I was intended to try at the beginning of the date, and now this. Stuck out.

She did the standard “I’ll let you know when I get there, and let me know when you get home,” thing. She texted me promptly when she got to her friend’s. She said she had a fun (complete with smiley face 🙂  ). I asked if she wanted to do it (go out) again, no response (14). And then I didn’t hear from her all night.

After contemplating where things are going with this, I finally texted her again this morning to say “good morning” and to see if she was home yet because I knew she had early appointments back home. She said she was back home, at work, and would call me later. I’m not sure I like the “tone” of that. Maybe she’s going to tell me she definitely wants to see me again and that she really is interested in me. But I’m not holding my breath for that. Remember, I’m trusting my gut again, and it isn’t telling me any good news right now.

Look, I like her, I really do. But together, there’s little chemistry. She’s not flirty (not even texting or on the phone), lord knows I’ve tried to pull it out of her. No takers. She’s not affectionate. I’ve tried that too. She’s also not very “talkative”. I don’t hear much from her. Especially compared to other girls who have been clearly interested in me. If she’s interested in me, she has a funny way of showing it.  But I’m guessing, and planning on, that she’s just not that into me. Which is totally fine. It’s not the end of the world.

It was a long distance long shot anyway. I gave it a shot. I’ll keep you updated. And as always, thanks for reading.

Lola: I took a shot and hit the target

Background: Lola is another one of my Match dates. She didn’t send me any messages or winks, but she liked a few of my photos. So I checked out her profile, liked what I read and saw, and decided I’d just send her a note thanking her for admiring my photos and just made some small talk. She responded, and we started talking from there.

She was ending her time on Match after only about 2 months because she was having to block too many guys, hide her profile too often and was even thinking of changing her phone number because of all the creeps she’d been meeting online. This has been a broken record lately, talking with girls who are fed up with sites like Match because the guys are too creepy, inappropriate or over-aggressive.

We’d been emailing back and forth for a few days until her paid account expired, then she gave me her personal email and things were going very well. I took a little extra time before offering up texting and calling each other because I didn’t want to seem like I was just like all the other guys she was talking to. Even though I got a sense that she didn’t think of me that way, I still didn’t want to push my luck.

But I did NOT want to play myself into the FriendZone. So I offered up my phone number and things took off from there. No hesitation on her part to text me, or call me, so things were looking pretty solid.

So after a couple of weeks of talking/chatting, I finally had a free night coming up and we set up a date. She’s a hairdresser and has a unique schedule where she has alternating weekends off, and has Mondays and Tuesdays off. She usually doesn’t have Fridays off, so she took a vacation day so we could go out Friday night.

A little about Lola: She’s tall (5’11”) – which is a weakness of mine, attractive, in her low-40s (just a bit older than me), never been married and doesn’t have any kids of her own. But she’s very much a family person, loves kids and is very involved with her nieces and nephews. I haven’t asked about the “no kids” thing yet because that is kind of a sensitive issue. Maybe she can’t for some reason and I don’t want to broach that subject too soon, especially since having kids is not any sort of priority for either of us (her profile listed that she didn’t want kids but it was ok if her partner had kids).

I kicked around some new and different ideas for our first date. I thought about taking her to a baseball game just to do something a little non-traditional, otherwise we’d just do the typical dinner and dancing idea (since she mentioned she likes to dress up and guys don’t take her anywhere which requires her to dress up). So I came up with a very non-traditional choice, but wouldn’t tell her what it was, trying to keep things interesting. I let her know what she should wear (casual clothes), but that’s really all I would let on.

The Date: Based on where we were going and our time constraints because I had to drop my son off at his friend’s house, she agreed to drive to me because it would take about 2 hours for me to drive out to get her and come all the way back. Thanks to rush-hour traffic, it took quite a bit longer for her to get to my house than originally planned, but it wasn’t a big deal.

I was so relieved when she finally got out of her car that she looked like her pictures and like she described herself. She was tall, slender and very cute. We were already leaving many of my previous dates in the dust at this point, and we’d barely said “Hello” yet.

We chatted as I drove to our initial date location, but I still didn’t tell her where we were going. As I turned down the street to our destination, I asked her if she had ever fired a gun before. She replied with much more excitement than I expected, “Is that where we’re going?” When I responded affirmatively, she was so excited.

At this point, I figured the rest of the night would go smooth, because I thought this was the “make or break” moment. Either she would hate the idea and the date would suck, or she would love it and the date would go great. Thank goodness it was the latter. I had also read in numerous places that taking a date to a gun range can really get the endorphins flowing.

It worked like a charm. I gave her some instructions on how to hold, aim and fire a handgun. Of course this meant plenty of opportunities to get close and touch her. That really seemed to break the ice so much faster. And we had to get real close to talk to each either, too, since it was so loud inside the range.

I could see the surge rushing through her after she fired off her first shot. I let her fire about 75% of the shots, since I’ve fired countless numbers of rounds in all of my years in the military. I would step in every once in a while to fire a few rounds when she needed a break because her hands and arms were getting tired. I helped with more instruction, gave her advice, and helped spot her shots so she knew where she was hitting the target. For a beginner, she was doing outstanding. She would generally hit the target within a 3-inch radius of where she was aiming and was keeping her shots in tight groups. That is something military and law enforcement practice hard at being able to achieve. She was a natural.

I expected to only be there about an hour, but almost 2 hours later, we decided to head to dinner even though she would’ve stayed longer to fire more since she was having so much fun. We even kept the targets so she could have them as souvenirs and take them home. I even took pictures and video of her so she could have them all to show her friends and family. She really appreciated that and couldn’t wait to show the girls at her salon.

The next stop was a live music spot in my part of town that I had been wanting to check out for a while. It is supposed to be a jazz/blues club, but also has bands that play some rock as well. It is also billed as one of the top local barbecue joints in the area.

We got there after 9 p.m. and found a nice spot up near the front. The place was almost at capacity but there were a few open tables. We ordered a few beers and the barbecue sample combo. The food was outstanding, but still took second place to Lola.

We had such good, easy conversation while we ate and listened to a local 3-piece blues/rock band. We had lots of laughs and never ran out of anything to talk about. I found ways to talk mainly about her and her career, and stuff like that. I am not much about talking about myself. Time flew by. We even managed to find ways to continue to casually touch each other – always a very good sign on a date. The next thing we realized, it was about 11:30 p.m.

As we were getting ready to leave, I apologized for making our first date so loud so we basically had to yell at each other all night just to have a conversation. She laughed it off and we decided to go somewhere much more quiet to talk for a little bit longer. So we headed to my place for another beer or two and talk.

At my place, we cracked open a couple of beers and talked for a little while longer. I had a been a fairly good boy to this point in the night, and decided I need to make my intentions known and made my move for the kiss. After that, everything was glorious. It was great. We made out for a little while – kept our clothes on the whole time (in case you were wondering) – and then sometime after 1 a.m. I suggested it would probably be a good idea if she went home before things got into some dangerous area.

I walked her to her car, gave her directions how to get back to the highway (since I had to walk her in to my place earlier), and we kissed a bit more. As always, I made sure she let me know when she got home. About 2 a.m. she texted me she was home and we exchanged a few more messages before going to bed. Things were looking very promising.

Post date: Like I said, things are looking very promising. We’ve been talking all day and have even planned another “date” for Monday afternoon, since she doesn’t work and I don’t have class.  I want to make sure I see her again this week because next weekend I will be out of town for Labor Day weekend and won’t be able to see her for almost 2 weeks.

Now, I have to figure out what this means with the whole Krystal situation. She was constantly texting me last night during the date, but I was ignoring them because I think it’s rude to keep checking your phone on a date. I have to check to see who it is, in case it is an emergency or something with my son, but if it is someone else, I ignore it and don’t respond. And all that did was make it worse because I was ignoring her. Ugh.

Grade: A

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more!