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  • Writer's pictureHarper

First Date!

Nervous isn't even going to touch it. I can't explain the feeling of sitting there waiting to meet a date. A first date at 40-something. It's massively weird. I remember talking myself through the panic .. "This is insane. Should I leave? Why am I here? I've been sleeping with the same man for 20 years. Dating is weird." Lord willin' and the creek don't rise, I'll come out of it with a smile on my face, but it's gonna be a hot mess up in here for a minute.

I was as prepared as I think I could have been. I'd followed all the rules and I had a back up plan. We had made a plan of not staying overnight, and I was going to stay with my friends in town since it was going to be a bit late to drive home if we hung out later in the evening. People knew exactly where I was going and they had his contact info and photo. The only thing safer would have been not to go. I debated that option - several times. Whether you are in your own town, or you have ventured away from your comfort zone, this feeling is normal. It's completely new to be meeting and going on a date with a man that isn't your husband. But your husband is gone. And you are here ... trying to move on with the new normal and do new normal things. Tell yourself. Convince yourself. Be confident in yourself.

We met at a winery in town. It was public, it was busy and it was safe. I remember backing the truck in so I could see him coming in, and not be surprised by his arrival. I had told him where I was parked on the phone so he wasn't looking all around for me in the parking lot. When he pulled in I got that 'what the fuck am I doing here' feeling. That moment when your body gets all clammy and you wanna run. Fight or flight, right? I've been out of the game for a looooong time. I forgot what a first date feels like. But I talked myself down and told myself this is normal nerves when meeting a new person. I've had tons of conversations with and gotten to know him on the other end of the phone, but it still feels weird, and wrong. I take a few big deep breaths and smile as he pulls in to the space next to my truck. I know what he drives, we've talked about it, but he pulls in driving a big F250 covered in dried mud and I know what my first bit of conversation will be .. ice breaker identified.

Side note: ALWAYS arrive first if you can possibly make it happen. It gives you the chance to pick the table, or bar spot that makes you most comfortable. Chat with the bar tender or waitress and establish the contact - they will be your friend if you need it. They've got your back if this goes sideways.

He gets out. I get out. Hugs all around. I make fun of his dirty truck by telling him he'd be more impressive with a clean truck .. and he tells me he works for a living. Laughing makes everyone feel more comfortable, and to be clear, if you can't laugh - you should be looking for an exit strategy. We talk briefly about eating - and he says that he has a picnic in the Yeti in the back of his truck. He drops the tailgate, my heart melts and we have beer and cheese sitting on the tailgate of the Ford. I can't imagine a better lunch, or more comfortable way to usher in my first date after being married for two decades.

Talking and snacking before we go in makes the conversation easy. There are people milling about all around, so I'm not at all worried about being with a stranger. When we walk in he walks next to me and turns toward me when I speak .. not used to that level of interest, but I adore it. At the counter everyone shares their big southern smiles and has no idea we're on a first date - he pays, we go out onto the grounds and learn about the area and the wine. I walk next to him and keeps changing hands with the map leaving the one next to me free - I finally get brave and ask him why .. and Mr Knight says, "because I was trying to keep it free in case you wanted to hold my hand" and then grabs my hand in his to continue walking on the path. We wander around, we read signs, we chat and then we head into the smokehouse. It's a relatively small space, and with a Stetson parked on the 6'4" frame, it's smaller than it would be otherwise. I'm asking questions, he's telling me of the one he grew up with on his family's farm and then he asks if he can kiss me. CAN HE KISS ME?? Umm, yes. First dates. First kisses. Lunch on the tailgate. Hand holding. Can I get any melt-ier? I'm getting more comfortable over the span of the afternoon, and for that I am so thankful. We decide to wait in some rockers on the wraparound before the indoor tour we scheduled and so we sit, rocking and talking - it's easy and sweet. A family walks us that includes a couple of older women and he stands up and offers his chair. We move down one chair so they can all sit together and they ask about the grounds, talk about the wine and ask us how long we've been married. THAT was awkward for about .2 seconds, and Mr Knight promptly says, "We're not married, but thanks for the compliment". In Texas, we have men with confidence, poise and grace - and he was allll of those things and a few more - did I mention he rocked the Stetson?!

We spent the afternoon doing more chatting and wandering and then we decided that we had to head out to do something else. Dinner. He preferred a steakhouse in town and when we arrived, it was too early for dinner. So we sat in his truck - that smelled of sweat and earth and livestock, all the things I remember my grandpa's truck smelling like as a child. We spent another hour talking and laughing - and we never did have dinner there.

We decided that we'd stay in town so that we could hang out longer - and just grabbed dinner at a local bar. As it got later and later, we talked and I decided that I'd just stay in town - I didn't want to drive all the way back home. I called my friend in town and let her know I'd be staying, but I was staying at the hotel, so I didn't get back to her house late. Mr Knight walked up to the hotel desk and reserved two rooms - how sweet was that!? We spent the rest of the evening and most of the night talking, making out and making more of a connection. It was hard to walk away that evening and go to my own room - but it was the right thing to do. He is still a stranger.

I went to bed wondering what just happened, and wishing, and thinking how amazing it was to feel wanted and interesting to a man. I hadn't felt that in a long time. I can't wait to see what the morning brings ...

Harper ❤


Disclaimer...Two Divorced Girls is intended to share our experiences in the hope of saving others pain and misery.  We are not doctors.  We are not lawyers. We are not providing professional advice.  If you need professional help, you won't find this here and please look elsewhere. By using this site you  agree not to rely on us for those services that can only be provided by licensed professionals.

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