“What’s the worst thing about you? Your biggest flaw?” I asked The Scientist at dinner last night. I don’t know why I asked him, but I certainly wasn’t expecting the answer he gave. He paused for a long time before telling me he had no morals. He explained that believes in being a good person (whew) but not for moral reasons. It was an interesting conversation but I guess telling me “the people that don’t like me don’t because they think I’m evil” didn’t send me a good message about him. “Do you want wine? Should we get an appetizer?” I looked over the prices menu of the fancy restaurant. They’d helped us out of our coats and pulled our chairs out for us. It was that kind of place. “I can’t really afford any of that. I’ll just get the chicken.” He laughed, “okay.” I didn’t really want the chicken, but it was probably the cheapest thing on the menu. It was a small portion and I filled up on bread. We split the check again, no questions asked.
We walked over to the little improv theater and he said he was curious to see my reaction to the show. I hadn’t really been to that type of show before, but for the most part it was amusing. When it ended we started walking aimlessly at 11pm. We talked some and kept walking. “What do you want to do now?” he asked. “Take my shoes off,” I said. I explained that my boots weren’t meant for walking long distances and my feet were starting to hurt because I’d been out the entire day. He suggested going to his apartment, which was a lot closer than mine, but I told him it was kind of late. We kept walking. “I don’t know if you like me,” he said. “What do you mean?” I asked. “I can usually gauge how things are going by now, but I have no idea with you,” he explained. I admitted, “I’ve heard that a lot.” There was some silence for a while. He looked confused and told me he didn’t know what I was thinking.
I thought about how often he’d said that he liked complete honesty and how open he was. In one breath I suddenly said, “I don’t want to go to your apartment because I don’t want to have sex with you tonight, I feel negatively towards you stating that you have no morals, I know I want things to be equal and I want to stop the stereotypes but I still am judging you for not paying for me, I don’t know if I like you in a romantic kind of way yet because it takes me a lot longer than most people to figure that out and I think you’ll probably be annoyed with me by the time I do, or maybe find how talkative I am annoying.” It was quiet again after that outburst while he thought about all the information I’d quickly released in complete honesty.
He started, “I wasn’t implying that you had to have sex with me, we could just hang out at my apartment and then go home. I don’t know any other place where you can take your shoes off nearby. You could sleep at my apartment and not have sex with me, I’ve done that plenty of times too. It was never implied.” I corrected, “It’s always implied after 10pm when you invite someone back to your place unless otherwise stated, even if I wish it wasn’t always implied.” He continued, “Well, you asked me what was worst about me, that was my answer. I don’t think it’s equal if I pay for everything. I’ve done that before, but I felt used for my money. So, that I’m not going to do. I don’t find you annoying.”
We kept walking and every now and then I’d remind him that my feet hurt, and would decline his offer to carry me. “You’re small, it’s not a problem,” he’d try to reassure me, but I’d protest that I was an adult and didn’t feel comfortable with being carried. “Why do you text me ‘good morning’ every day?” I asked him, feeling more at ease with the questions I didn’t have answers to. “I can stop if you’d like,” he said. “No, I don’t mind, I just thought it was a little weird –I mean, do you do that with everyone each day?” I asked. “No, we’re dating and I know you wake up in the morning and I know you always have something to say.” I started to feel bad about the date I have coming up with someone new next weekend. We continued to talk and walk. I realized that the thing that was keeping me from feeling a connection with him most was that he seemed to look at things too literally. I’d always thought I wanted to be with someone who thought of things logically, but I felt that he went to extremes where the wonder was taken out of everything. Instead of just accepting a certain feeling or action, I felt like he was always trying to break down the science behind it and rationalize what happened in someone’s brain behind that action. That’s what I didn’t like about him. When I asked him about it, he only partially agreed.
We were walking to the middle of no where when I realized where we were and I turned down the block so we stood outside a horse stable. There was a horse outside, and I started a conversation with his caretaker. I stroked the nose of the large white horse and noticed my date’s hesitation. “Are you nervous around large horses?” I asked. “I just don’t know how to tell if he’s friendly.” “Sure he is, look at his body language. You can tell from how his ears are pointed and from his eyes.” He gave the horse a pat. “If you scratch most horses over here by their withers you can usually find a spot that makes their lips twitch,” I showed him. He scratched the horse. There were some ponies nearby. “Are these ponies happy?” he asked me. “Yes, they look happy to me, sure” I assured him again. We pet the ponies and walked back towards the train.
“Does it take you a while to feel comfortable with someone physically?” he asked me. “Yes.” I answered. He told me that he doesn’t feel that way at all, and that he could hug a stranger. He told me that he felt somewhat uncomfortable answering some more of my intimate questions because we hadn’t physically touched each other. “Do you want to hold my hand?” I asked. “If you want to hold my hand…” he said. I took his hand, he laced his fingers in-between mine, and we continued walking. It clicked in my mind that it had been a very long time since I’d held someone’s hand. “I know when I like someone when I stop thinking about everyone else,” I told him. “When’s the last time you liked someone?” he questioned. I thought for a moment before confessing, “It’s been a really long time.” I asked him what he was feeling or what mood he was in. He was “slightly disappointed” because he didn’t know what to make of our situation yet and he turned my own question on me. I told him I felt a little sad because I was thinking about my answer to the last time I’d liked someone. We stopped on a corner and he touched my hair, sort of playing with it. I felt like he was going to kiss me, but he didn’t.
“I liked that I got to meet that horse and those ponies,” he told me and I was happy to have made it happen. We kept walking. “Okay, my feet really can’t take this anymore and I’m finding it difficult to think about anything else” I said in the middle of the night. We walked directly to the train at the next turn. “My feet just smiled” I told him as we entered the station. He hugged me goodbye but it was in a more lingering way this time. Again I thought he might kiss me, but he didn’t. I was reminded of why I don’t like dating people much taller than me, it’s extremely difficult to make a first move if I want to without being a bit more aggressive. He held my hand until my last finger slipped out of his reach as I turned to wait at my train’s platform. It felt weird to have finally ended the very long walk. “Goodnight” I said somewhat awkwardly. “Goodnight” he said. I texted him on the train that it felt good to sit and be off my feet, followed by a second text he didn’t respond to, “Holding your hand was nice also.”