Dater X: Just What The Doctor Ordered

This week has been an absolute shitstorm. It was one of those “when it rains, it pours” weeks that makes you want to crawl under your covers and not come out until life is back to normal. My grandmother is still dying, withering away and scared to close her eyes, while my heartbroken grandpa watches on with the slightest bit of hope that she’ll pull through. She won’t. On top of that, I’ve been going through other family drama, a job shakeup and heath concerns to remind me of life’s oh-so impeccable timing. All in a week’s work, right? During this time of complete instability and emotional exhaustion, dating has been the last thing on my mind.

A little over a week ago, I accepted a Facebook friend request from a guy I was friendly with in college. I haven’t seen him in over five years and was completely caught off guard when his name popped up on my phone, but nevertheless, I was thrilled to reconnect. You see, when I started my undergrad adventure some nine years ago, I met a cute preppy bro at freshman orientation who I later began casually hooking up with. Coincidentally, my roommate hit it off with his roommate and the four of us became inseparable. These two dudes lived in a different dorm building than we did, so we visited them frequently to drink, hook up and hang out. We soon became “regulars” in their hall, and upon doing so, became friends with the guy who lived in the room next to them. He was cute with a baby face, dark complexion, average body and welcoming smile. He quickly became the next addition to join our little group, and never failed to deliver a zinger or one-liner that left the rest of us rolling. Baby Face was sweet and courteous; the kind of guy who would give us his own beer when we ran out, who would walk us safely back to our room if we got a little too tipsy, and who would tape a funny note to our door if he knew we were cramming for a final. He was respectful and nice, but just a friend. After freshman year, our group started to break apart, with the boys going their own way and us going ours. We remained friends with Baby Face, who we saw from time-to-time and even hung out with occasionally, until he eventually became just another acquaintance we were excited to see at the late-night diner.

Every once in a while, his name would pop up in conversation or I’d see a photo of us together from my freshman year and I’d wonder how he’s doing. Then, last week, Baby Face found me online.

“How the HELL are you?!!!!!!” he messaged me. “It’s been forever. You popped in my mind recently, so I thought I’d reach out and see what you’ve been up to for the past five years. You look great, as always.”

I wrote back with my Sparknotes version of the past half-decade, and we caught up just like no time had passed. While we talked, I checked out Baby Face’s photos online and HOT DAMN, he looks good. He’s still cute, but he has obviously matured … a lot. He’s toned now and looks like a man— not just a scrawny college kid. He’s got some scruff (which I loooove) and still has the same killer smile he always had. Baby Face grew up.

Eventually we took the conversation off of Facebook and opted to text instead. We learned that his office is only 10 blocks from mine, and decided that we must catch up one night over dinner or drinks. For the past week, we’ve texted each other daily just checking in and shooting the shit. I told him about my grandma and the other things that have been bogging me down, and he’s responded with nothing but care and kindness. With everything that’s been going on recently, it’s been refreshing to chat with someone who knows me, but can offer a fresh perspective and advice. After a particularly harrowing weekend and some moral support, he asked, “So when can I take you out, Miss? It sounds like you could use a drink or seven.” This text confirmed what I’ve been wondering all along: our catch-up session is, indeed, a date— not just drinks with an old friend. He made dinner reservations for a delicious place nearby, which further confirmed my assumption.

We decided to go out one night this week (given the status of my grandma’s condition), and I’m really looking forward to catching up. I’m going to this dinner with the intention of reconnecting with an old friend, and hopefully taking my mind off the fact that the world seems to be crumbling around me, but it sure doesn’t hurt that he’s easy on the eyes. I wasn’t looking for a date— in fact, I was even considering a no-strings-attached fuck buddy before Baby Face came along— but then it fell on my lap without my even knowing it was a date. I’m going to go to dinner, drink cocktails and laugh with a old, fun friend. And maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll see a new side of Baby Face that I didn’t see when he was my college pal. If not, he can at least help me smile and forget about life for a while, which is just what the doctor ordered.