We met up at Zengo in Chinatown, sucked down some TBD-sponsored mojitos, and I prattled on with every inane thought about dating that's ever zipped through the crevices of my cerebral cortex for the better part of an hour.
The next day, Daniel wrote this article (note also that he refers to A BAR as my "natural element." I have GOT to drink less).
Very shortly thereafter, in the haze of the approximately bazillion more Twitter/blog followers who signed on upon the article being published, I got an e-mail from the Starving Bachelor. He announced himself as a friend of Daniel's, and said he could tell Daniel thought well of me (aw, shucks). He'd clicked into my blog and enjoyed my writing, particularly since he, too, is a blogger. Now, he wanted to meet up with me for a date.
I dug his e-mail. He's a good writer, and he has a good sense of rhythm for his words -- something I feel is sorely lacking in most of the blogosphere. And, again, I appreciate the cojones it takes for someone to ask me out knowing about this thing and all the other men that go along with it, so of course I accepted his proposal for a meeting.
We originally were to meet last Monday, but I had to cancel the date at the last minute due to the wicked case of strep throat I endured last week. So we rescheduled for this Monday, and agreed to meet at RiRa Irish Pub in Clarendon for drinks.
I took a nap Monday afternoon and awoke to find the Starving Bachelor had written this entry about our impending outing. Then we both got into the act, alternately Facebooking each other and tweeting up a storm.
After hyping up our meeting, I finally drove over to RiRa, where the Starving Bachelor had already taken a barstool, introduced himself to the bartender and ordered a beer. I quickly unsheathed myself from my winter layers and joined him with a Dogfish Head IPA.
He immediately stopped me from drinking, showing me a cheers where you clink glasses with each other -- "To each other," he said -- hit the bottom of your glass to the bar -- "To those who've passed," he said -- and then take a sip -- "To yourself," he finished. I particularly liked the "and one for my homies" part of it, so I'm thinking I will add it to my drinking repertoire, along with "L'Chaim," aka "To Life," which I've been saying ever since my high school did a production of "Fiddler on the Roof."
We started chatting about our lives, first touching on work since we're both D.C.-area journalists and thus have a few things in common with that. The Starving Bachelor is a little reserved, a little quiet. But you can definitely tell there's more bubbling underneath the surface than he initially lets on.
It was at this early point in the evening that a friend of mine popped in my head.
I'm not sure what exactly made her materialize in my brain, but I just had an instinctual feeling that these two should meet.
Anyway, the Starving Bachelor also was in the restaurant industry for a while, and so he talked about his past as a server and as a cook.
That was another reason I was inspired to meet up with him, actually -- I dig a man who knows his way around the kitchen. I know how to make three or four meals, and if I'm missing an ingredient for any of them then I go out to eat. Or, alternatively, I eat a Sad Girl Dinner like I did Monday night, which consisted of me eating three slices of turkey lunch meat while I microwaved a bowl of frozen vegetables.
I am utterly hopeless in the kitchen. Sigh.
We continued chatting more, and the Starving Bachelor then pointed to the necklace I'd chosen to wear for the evening:
My friend Krissi gave this to me for Christmas, and I think it's kind of baller. The scissors are downright Victorian-looking, and it's so different from anything I've ever seen anyone wear. I've only had it on a couple of times, but every time I wear it I get all sorts of comments about it.
The Starving Bachelor was no exception, pointing out my necklace's uniqueness. Then, the evening devolved into good-natured castration jokes (well, as good-natured as castration jokes can ever be).
We took to our phones and started tweeting about it, naturally. And actually, apparently a friend of his has some sort of new-fangled technology called "Storify" (I guess that's what the kids are calling it these days) wherein he put together an album of our tweets for the day, so if you click here you can see the progression of how our night went.
The procurement of the phones ultimately was an unfortunate turn of events, I fear, because the Starving Bachelor and I ended up having a few awkward pauses in our conversation due to all the tweeting. Dating in the social media age -- c'est la vie, I suppose.
As we were dicking around with our phones, I thought about Steph S. again.
If there's one thing I enjoy more than going on dates, it's setting other people up for dates.
I mentioned earlier that the Starving Bachelor is reserved -- more reserved than I generally gravitate toward in a dating situation, but more along the lines of the men I've seen Steph S. date. He was cute, and I was enjoying his company, but I couldn't shake the feeling that the two of them might really get along.
The Starving Bachelor asked if I'd like to go somewhere else, but the early hours I work were starting to creep in on me, and I was fading fast. We stayed at the bar and continued talking about his career as a sportswriter while he finished up his beer.
And that kind of cemented it for me -- by the time the evening drew to a close, my insides were just screaming, "Introduce him to Steph S.! Introduce him to Steph S.!" He's passionate about sports, and I have TRIED to like them. I enjoy GOING to games, but that's mostly because it's an atmosphere of excitement, they throw things into the stands and stadium food is greasy and delicious. But I just can't bring myself to care about stats, scores and players -- I don't even know who is going to be playing in the Super Bowl, and that's right around the corner (I think? Right? That's happening soon?). But Steph -- I know Steph watches sports.
The Starving Bachelor walked me to my car, and once we were there he asked me if I'd like to get together again.
"So here's the thing," I said. "I enjoyed hanging out with you tonight, but I really feel like you'd get along with my friend Stephanie. Would you be amenable to meeting her?"
He seemed a bit disappointed by that, but we talked further and he made a crack about how if the date had not gone well, he wouldn't be able to come to one of my happy hours (check it out -- I set the February date!) and meet other women.
To that I say, you, Starving Bachelor, are welcome any time. I told him that I felt like no matter what, we should be friends because we are, after all, kindreds -- journalists by day, bloggers by night.
And I really mean that -- I'd like to hang out with him again in some capacity.
He seemed to agree. We hugged, and I hopped in my car.
Immediately, I texted Steph S.: "So this guy I went out with tonight. I couldn't shake the feeling like you two might get along. Would you be willing to be set up?"
AT THE EXACT MOMENT I SENT THAT TEXT MESSAGE, my BlackBerry blinked with a notification from Facebook.
Of all people, Steph S. had just written on my wall, asking me what my plans were for this weekend.
I took that as a sign -- IT IS FRIGGIN' FATE. It is my DUTY to get these two together, if it is the last thing I do on this earth.