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I probably should not have put the exclamation point on there, my first date since I became single was not that exciting but it was a pleasant experience and was a good way to break the dating “ice”. ¬†ūüėÄ ¬†However, it is my first date in over 21 years so the exclamation mark stays!

Jamie was the fourth guy to message me on the dating app and even in our initial chatting I knew he was not my forever after but he was polite, thoughtful and easy to talk to.  Since my primary goal for joining the dating service was to practice talking with guys with the goal of possibly finding a boyfriend he was definitely perfect for that so I kept responding to his messages.

In an ironic twist of fate I was two states over shopping for nail supplies and visiting my best friend from high school and he was nearby for a job interview! ¬†So he texted me and asked if I’d like to meet for lunch. ¬†Of course I said yes and I even had a particular Italian restaurant in mind (but I didn’t mention it since it was farther away) and we settled on a different Italian restaurant and I met him there. ¬†Except that it wasn’t open for lunch. ¬†so we picked another, nearby Italian restaurant and got back into our separate cars to meet at the new place. ¬†Here’s the thing though, I walk up to the door of the closed restaurant and he is standing there, facing the door with his back to me, looking at his phone (starting to text me and let me know it was closed). ¬†I say “Jamie?” and he turns around, gives me a professional smile with no joy or excitement at meeting me for the first time, shakes my hand in a business-like fashion, explains the restaurant is closed and do I know where this other place is? ¬†It’s been 10 years since I’ve lived in this town so I did know the place he was talking about but it took me a minute to remember exactly where it was and how to get there. ¬†I missed my turn because of all the one-ways downtown but did manage to notice that this new place he selected was also closed. ¬†But this time closed as in gone. ¬†As in Not There Anymore. ¬†Just as I’m pulling into the parking garage he texts me “I’m at the restaurant”. ¬†I’m confused, thinking the restaurant must have relocated nearby so I responded that I had gotten turned around on the one-ways and was trying to find ¬†a place to park as I’m pulling into the parking garage. ¬†I pass him in the parking garage! ¬†He’s walking towards the elevator while I’m driving, trying to find a spot to park – he’s not at the restaurant at all!

This tells me something significant¬†– the fine details are not that important to him, and that generalities are okay. ¬†Hmmm…

I roll down my window, wave, say hi, and he says he’ll meet me by the elevators. ¬†Very businesslike, no real warmth or emotion in his voice. ¬†The parking garage was so full I had to go up another three levels just to find a spot. ¬†He texts again, “I’m guessing we’re not on the same floor, I’ll meet you at the ground level of the elevators”. ¬†I hurry to an elevator, thinking we’ll just have to get back on the elevator together to go to the second floor where I’m guessing the restaurant relocated but I get out at the ground level and hear a voice behind me “I’m here” and he walks briskly towards me and then past me, clearly expecting me to follow him, which I did. ¬†We walk outside back towards where our second eating destination was supposed to be located but I know it is not. ¬†He pays no attention to the fact that all of the green awnings have had the restaurant name peeled off of them, leaving an un-faded spot of brighter green against the weathered, faded green of the rest of the awning and I chose not to say anything at this point because he is clearly In Charge and I’m interested in seeing how he handles this. ¬†We walk around two sides of the building, filled with these logo-less green awnings over the many windows, to get to the main door and it is only then that he realizes that the restaurant is no more.

Well then. ¬†Clearly, details are not his thing. ¬†But he is jovial and remarks that it has been some time (although less than 10 years) since he had lived in that town as well. ¬†I suggest another restaurant located right next door to our second choice and he says that’s fine, he hadn’t even noticed that it was an Italian restaurant too… ¬†Yep, not a detail man. ¬†Strange how much that bothers me, huh. ¬†But here is something small¬†that tells me God loves me and is always looking out for me – the third and final Italian restaurant that we wound up eating at was another branch of the one I had wanted to eat at in the first place! ¬†I just didn’t know they had a downtown location or I would have suggested it. ¬†God is so good!

We walk back to our final destination and I noticed that he did not take care to place himself between me and the road, something I believe marks a true gentleman, and another mark under the “Nope, this one is not for me” column appears. ¬†He chooses to sit in the bar at a tall table, a little awkward for me but not terribly. ¬†We each order food and I study him. ¬†He is obviously confident in his own skin, good-looking but not quite handsome, built a lot like me, short and stout (although in his case I’m positive it’s mostly muscle), and he’s outgoing. ¬†Friendly without being charming, brisk without being obnoxious. ¬†His military career has definitely made a lasting impression on his life outlook and mannerisms, not so much in a bad way but more in a keep-your-distance-and-always-stay-professional kind of way. ¬†Combined with some of the things he had told me about earlier I think that would be hard to break through and am not finding myself motivated to try and accomplish this. He mostly talks about himself and only asks me a few questions, easily and quickly rabbiting off onto tangents that pertain to him once I’ve given an answer. ¬†A couple of times he mildly chastised me for forgetting information he had told me through texting in the days before we met but when he forgot things I had told him in those same conversations it was no big deal to him. ¬†More marks under the “Not for me” column show up.

In the end, he didn’t offer to pay for my food or my parking, got up from our dinner to go to the sushi restaurant next door to get more food “to go” and reached out to shake my hand goodbye, once again, very businesslike.

I skipped the handshake and gave him a hug, which clearly surprised and pleased him, but only a little. ¬†He gave me a decent hug back and we parted. ¬†Just the experience of being able to identify that someone was not for me was worth a hug and I was grateful to him for it. ¬†He texted me while I was driving to the nail supply store and we went back and forth for a half an hour or so, just pleasant conversation between friends. ¬†He wound up getting the job he had interviewed for and moving out of Montana for it. ¬†I’m glad. ¬†He texted me one final time as he was leaving Montana to say goodbye and I wished him well. ¬†I hope he finds a lady who is good for him someday soon. ¬†But it isn’t me.