When John and I were married, it drove me crazy that he would leave cabinets and drawers standing open. These days, I feel like I spend a statistically significant amount of time turning off the lights that Maddie and Riley leave on in every room they exit; when John was alive, that time was spent closing dresser drawers and kitchen cabinets.
I never really lived alone until John died. I always had roommates, and even though I still have roommates now, living with children is different than living with adults. I have come to realize over time that some of the habits I had ascribed to John are actually my habits. My entire adult life, I'd attributed some of my personal annoying behaviors to whoever I was living with at the time, most recently my husband.
All of this is a long way of saying that it's actually me who leaves open the cabinets and drawers. My dresser drawers are basically never fully shut or my kitchen cabinets quite all the way closed. The medicine chest is frequently standing wide open. The contents of hall closets are visible to all and sundry who drop by. Now that I'm aware that I do this, I've been working on getting better about it since it's not just unsightly, it's also downright dangerous. Open drawers, for example, catch my hips and the toddlers' heads with alarming frequency. It's a long, slow process, though, to change what must be a lifetime habit. Every night before bed, I pause to close things that are open, wondering if there were habits of John's that he attributed to me, wondering how I can at times be so quick to blame myself for things that are completely not my fault and yet at other times completely fail to recognize my responsibility for such simple actions.
I went on a date on Saturday night.
It was all rather sudden. A friend asked me if I was interested in being set up, and I said sure, and some e-mails were exchanged and there I was, walking into a restaurant on NW 23rd, hoping that the guy actually looked like the picture he'd sent me. He did.
I think I'm one of the only people in the world who enjoys blind dates. I'm very social, I love to talk, and I've done my fair share of interesting things in my life. I like getting to know people and enjoy celebrating commonalities and learning about interests that I might not share. There is that whole "I'm being judged" part, which I suppose is a bit unsettling, but the way I figure it, anyone willing to go out with an almost 40-year-old widowed mother of toddler twins is either pretty open-minded, desperate, or crazy. I find there's something a little thrilling about a first date, the promise of something great.
My open-mindedness about being set up likely stems at least somewhat from the fact that John and I met on a semi-blind date. We had mutual friends, and we'd met in passing a few times before we went out on an official dinner date. It was the best date I'd ever been on. On some level, I think he and I both knew that we'd get married by the end of that first evening. We pretty much moved in together after our second date and were officially sharing an apartment three months after our first outing. Love at first sight, no. But we shared an undeniable connection almost immediately.
That experience leaves me with high standards for dates. Which leaves me feeling a little confused about my experience on Saturday night. I had fun. Mr. Marathon (he has run marathons in 2:30!) was interesting, smart, gentlemanly. We had plenty to talk about. We met for dinner and there was basically no pause in the conversation from 7:00 to 9:30. He walked me to my car, which I found oddly charming. All told, it was a very nice evening. But it all felt a little . . . flat. It felt friendly, not romantic.
We left things rather open at the end. The conversation went something like, "Hey! I had fun! Yeah, me too! Thanks!" [awkward hug] I've not heard from him, nor have I written. Perhaps he felt the same as me. I can't decide if I should e-mail him or not, and he hasn't e-mailed me. Perhaps it will just fizzle. Perhaps there needs to be more than good conversation and some friends in common.
I just don't know if I should leave this door open, or close it. Or maybe he closed it already? Feh, I miss being married to John.