On Saturday night I went to a singles party, a "social networking club" event put on by my college alumni association. It's nice to live so close to where I went to college, because there is a large contingent of alums, and among that group, there are plenty of single people to mix and mingle with. This is the third or fourth social networking event I've attended, and up until now I always had a nice time, but didn't proceed to the next step, as it were -- didn't exchange contact information with anyone.
Saturday's event was in a very nice wine bar, with beautiful stucco walls and beamed ceilings, a cozy fire, and two glasses of wine included with admission. It was pretty crowded by the time I had extracted myself from the home fires, found parking, and made my way in. A pleasant-looking, slightly older gentleman stood alone at the corner of the bar, facing the room. Now, this party was a mixed age event, so there were plenty of twenty-somethings along with us more mature singles. I feel uncomfortable around the young set, being nearly old enough to be their mother and afraid of unfavorable comparisons with the young woman. So when I have the opportunity to chat with people more in my demographic, I take it.
Mr. Older Gentleman (I'll call him OG) turned out to be a nice man, but definitely more mature -- perhaps 15 years older than me. Divorced three years from a much younger woman (her parents were only 8 years his senior), childless, he has his own management consulting firm and a second home in the wine country. A Man Of Substance, I would say. But I liked him, in a comfortable, no-fireworks way, and we chatted pretty much the whole time I was there.
Several other people joined us at different points in the conversation, including an acquaintance I hadn't seen for a number of years. "What have you been up to lately?" she asked me, and I took the bait and said I was a widow with a three-year-old daughter. OG didn't blink, and even shared an interesting personal observation that grieving can be viewed as having a half-life: you feel half as bad after a certain period of time, then half as bad as that after the same amount of time passes again, etc. (He did a better job of explaining.)
When it came time for me to head home, he asked if he might give me his card. Sure, I said, and I gave him one of mine, too. I'm not sure of the current dating protocols, but I understand there's a "three-day rule", a waiting period after meeting someone new before making contact. If I didn't hear from him by today, I was going to shoot him a friendly email suggesting a wine or coffee date.
And darned if I didn't get an email this afternoon from him, suggesting we meet for a glass of wine next Wednesday. !!!
It's been fun thinking about him, and thinking what he might think of me. Why didn't he have children, what are his political and social views, does he enjoy travel, is he a good communicator? Would he appreciate my goofy side, does he find independent and capable women attractive, would he love my daughter? I would have said his age is a show-stopper, except it's not like I'm contemplating marrying him. It's a practice run, and I'm just looking for someone nice, someone I can trust and feel comfortable with, to dip my toe into the dating pool with. Apparently, I'm on my way!