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“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.” ― John Joseph Powell, The Secret of Staying in Love

Hi friends,

Here is the first part of my weekend date update.  I had a good reason to be excited.  He was just one of the sweetest, most thoughtful man that I ever met.

M. is 60 years old.  He is a retired helicopter pilot.  He retired at 55 years old.  He lives simply and planned his life so that he was able to retire early. He has spent the last 5 years skiing, surfing and traveling.

He arrived at 2pm on Thursday and went to his hotel. I was at work, so we met at 6:30pm at the hotel restaurant, Noma.  He met me outside.  I could tell right away that he was very shy.

Later he confessed that he checked on YouTube how do Brazilians greet each other.  I thought it was cute that he was trying to know exactly what to do. He also signed up with Rosetta Stone and is learning Portuguese. Extra points. Also, the moment I met him, he asked me to take a picture of his Drivers License and send it to my sister so she would know who I was with it.

The restaurant was great, busy and lively.  At some point there was a lady teaching salsa, and clearly there were a lot couples that went there just for that.  For dinner we had several tapas dishes.  I had a passion-fruit mojito, he had a beer.  We shared the bread pudding for dessert.

Throughout dinner and after, while sitting at a couch on the lobby, we talked like old friends.  We stayed in the lobby for about 30 minutes.  He reminded me that it was a school night and wanted to drive me home.  I wanted to walk.  He was not happy that I wanted to walk alone at night, but I assured him that it was safe.  It was still not that late.

Next day, Friday, I had originally intended on taking the day off, but there was some work I wanted to finish.  I decided to work half day from home, and meet him after.  Eventually I called him and proposed that he comes to my apartment and we have a late breakfast/lunch here. That way I would be logged into work for awhile longer.

He came over, we made a quick trip to the bakery, then returned, had some food.  I did some office work while we continued to talk. Then we decided to go out and do something.  It was so cold and windy, not the greatest day to be out, but we wanted to get out of the house. 

He kept asking if there was anything I always wanted to do, or any place I always wanted to see.  I came out blank, but so appreciate him trying to please me. He had a list of places, but by this time it was already 3:30, so I figured it was too late for any long drive.

I suggested we take a drive to Untermeyer Park and Gardens. We got there at 4pm.  It was definitely not the right day and time for a visit, but it is a gorgeous place no matter what.  It was empty, and the gate was closed, but not locked.  We walked around for about 45 minutes.  Then I remembered that I thought I had seen online that the park closes at 4:30pm.  We joked that we may get locked in.

We hurried to leave, but of course, we get to the gate and it is locked.  A bit of panic sets in, as it would be getting dark soon.  He started looking around for a way to either jump the wall, or some other area that we get through.  I called 911. 

As I am speaking to the dispatcher, M. comes over and noticed a notice on the wall, that had 2 numbers to call if ever locked in.  I told the dispatcher and she said: “Call the number, and if there is no answer call me back.”

As I called one number, he called the other.  I reached a mailbox that was full.  The number that he dialed connected him to 911.  At that same moment I saw through the gate that a security guard was coming towards us.

M. said: “I am going to give him $20”. I said, yes please, but only if he is not angry or mean.  He was not.  He had a smile on his face, and asked if we had not heard him on the loudspeaker.  We had not.  He didn’t want to take the tip, but we insisted.  

We returned to my town and stopped at the train station to get my sister.  We went home and got changed for dinner.  He took my sister and I to my sister’s favorite restaurant, Sergio’s.  We let her choose the place.

On the way there I realize I was missing my phone.  We dropped my sister at the restaurant and returned to my apartment to look for my phone.

Luckily, my phone was sitting on the table where I had left. We returned to the restaurant and found my sister seated at a table enjoying a cosmopolitan and bread and butter.  We had such a wonderful dinner full of fun conversation and laughter.

We had calamari and eggplant rollatini as appetizers. M. had the branzino with broccoli rabe. My sister had shrimp scampi with risotto.  I had eggplant with angel hair.  For dessert, my sister took a cheesecake home. 

Everything about Thursday and Friday was easy and fun.  Nothing awkward or difficult.  There were sparks, but also there was no pressure or pushiness for anything.  He is shy and very respectful.  He has made it clear that it is all 100% up to me; that he is not in any hurry.  I am enjoying concentrating on building this friendship and exploring the potential here.

He liked me.. a lot! He couldn’t stop making it clear to me that he was interested in a long term relationship.  The fact that he is retired and has nobody depending on him is a major plus for me.  Unlike the guy from Boston, he is able to come and go at a moment’s notice.  Speaking of the guy from Boston, he wants to schedule the second date for March.  I don’t think I  will be going on a second date with him.   He is so great, but with 2 young kids, everything will be more difficult for the next 8 to 10 years.

Weekend date part II next…

“To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people, that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else’s heart was wild with the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughter. He had not missed a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character, but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell.” ― Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera