Despite various warnings never to go out for sushi on a first date, when Officer Handsoming suggested it, knowing it’s one of my favorites (another tidbit he picked up from actually reading my OKCupid profile), I accepted. Possible fish breath and all.
He got to the restaurant just before me and greeted me with a warm hug and a sexy smile. He wasn’t joking about the “handsoming” thing; I liked what I saw. He was dressed in suede boots, dark jeans and a fitted, red, plaid flannel shirt, he looked like a super hot lumberjack — strong, sturdy and stylish. My kind of guy.
When he ordered us an appetizer of Dragon Eggs (four eggs with raw white fish and crunchies on the inside, wrapped in a layer of avocado), I just kept thinking, How the hell I can eat these things gracefully? Each egg was about the size of my fist. I knew that cutting into the egg with the only utensils I had— my chopsticks— would make the fish squirt out the sides leaving a giant mess all over my plate, and probably my face. Point taken about the dangers of eating sushi on a first date.
“I think you just have to shove the whole ball in your mouth,” he said when he saw me eyeing the Dragon Eggs suspiciously.
Every part of me wanted to reply with a “that’s what she said,” but I resisted and replied instead with a smirk, “I’m not doing it unless you do it first.”
“How about we eat them at the same time, but neither of us can look at the other person?” he bargained.
I agreed. On his count of three, I balanced the egg on my chopsticks and raised them to my mouth, but stopped when the egg was hovering my lips. Instead, I stared at him while he tried to eat the entire Christmas ornament-sized ball. With half of the egg giving him chipmunk cheeks and the other half falling onto his plate, he said something that sounded like “NO FAIR! YOU CHEATED,” and I couldn’t help myself.
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you with those big balls in your mouth,” I said, chuckling. “You’re not even gagging.”
He took the joke like a champ and laughed along with me. It became evident pretty quickly that we both felt comfortable with each other. From that moment on, the rest of our dinner was easy peasy. We enjoyed our food, talked about our families, our jobs and our Christmas plans like we were old, flirty friends. After we finished our sushi, we stayed at the table, talking for over an hour.
When it came time to part ways, he asked me what my schedule was looking like and told me he’d text me soon. Then, he gave me a nice,firm hug and said goodbye. I have to admit, I was taken aback that he didn’t go in for the kiss, but in a good way.
I got in the car and immediately called my best friend to tell her that Officer Handsoming was not the Craigslist Killer and that my evening was actually really, really great. The next day, he texted me to make a plan for date two. Then the fear set in. Because as all of you who’ve dated know, the second date is really the scariest of all.
Of course I’m excited to see him again, but based on my previous experiences, I can say with confidence that the second date is wild card because that’s when people morph into more realistic, not always better, versions of themselves. True colors come out, and the guy who seemed totally nice/normal/funny/fabulous on date one is mysteriously replaced by an awkward/rude/shy/over-the-top/perverted/stalker replica of himself. I’ve had more than my share of disastrous second dates.
I once went out with a guy who seemed totally harmless and sweet, but he began date two by asking me if my boobs were real. Like, literally came right out and asked before we even got to the restaurant. Shortly after that, he asked me how much money I made and if I was looking for a sugar daddy. Needless to say, date two was our last. When he continued to contact me for the next two weeks, I threatened to file a restraining order and that shut him up pretty quickly.
A similar thing happened with another guy I went out with. During our first date, we met up for dinner and had a nice time together bonding over our large families and mutual love of “Criminal Minds.” Before the night was over, he asked me out again and I happily accepted. But during date two, making conversation was like pulling teeth. He kept watching the football game that was on behind me and replied “Huh?” to everything I said. Then, when our painful meal ended, he said, “So, are we gonna go back to your place or what?”
It’s like he thought that asking me out on a second date, despite the fact that we had a terrible time, was enough to award him a one-way ticket into my pants. Sorry, pal. Not happening.
So as I prepare to see Officer Handsoming again this week, I’m trying not to get excited about him until after we make it through date two. The witty, charming, sexy cop who wasn’t afraid to shove a Dragon Egg into his mouth, may turn into — God only knows who — on date two. But I really, really hope not.
When I offered to show him around my cute town, grab lunch and do something Christmassy, he agreed that’d be great, and even suggested that if I’m “feeling saucy” we could swing by the large, new mall only a stone’s throw away to check out the food court and do some shopping.
“You want to go shopping with me? Let’s get married,” I joked.
“How do you feel about me wearing a navy tux?” he replied, going along with it. “Because you’re not the only one who looks good in blue.”
[Photo from Shutterstock]