As most of my dear readers know, I dread 7 November. Every year, as the leaves change and the clocks go backward, I feel the sadness loom. I had self-care planned and everything.
Well, there was a little change to the plans. I signed up for Facebook dating, I wanted to give it a try. Hey, why not? I’m a little tired of missing out, especially out of fear. Yet, I will admit that I was sort of feeling nervous about it all.
On Thursday, a young man messaged me and he seemed nice. He wasn’t talkative, but sounded nice.
He asked me if he wanted to chat, and I said, “sure.” He sent me his number. I’ll be honest, I was feeling a little nervous and I wasn’t going to text him. However, a few hours later, I decided to take a chance and give the guy a chance. We texted back and forth on Friday and asked if I wanted to meet up with him at the King of Prussia Mall on Saturday.
I was supposed to go out to dinner with someone else, and I said to him, “I have plans that evening, and since you live closer to the city, I’ll be in the city, how about we meet closer to you.” He agreed and we agreed to skate. He would skate board and I would roller skate.
I was nervous as hell on the high speed line and el on the way to meet him on 6 November. I was talking to one friend and she said, “you got this! It’s normal to be nervous! You’ll do fine!”
We met at the 15th Street Station, introduced ourselves to each other, and walked to the first skate park: the really cool Monopoly themed park across the street from City Hall. We skated around a bit and I’ll admit, I’m not used to street skating. I didn’t want to go to the ER on our first date, so I took care.
He noticed that the bearings that came with the skates were junk. He had me sit down and looked at my skates and said, “no wonder why you’re struggling. These bearings aren’t really made for years-long skating. Let’s go to Zumiez and I’ll help you pick out new bearings. I love Reds.”
We walked to Zumiez and he helped me pick out the Reds. He asked me if I wanted to stop at other stores and we went into Ulta for a bit. I saw the arcade and I asked him if he ever been to that arcade. He had, I never had been, so we went to Arcade.
We played DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) and needless to say, I stunk a little bit. It had been 17 years. After three rounds, we moved on to Space Invaders. That was my game. I did well. He beat me at DDR, but I beat him at Space Invaders. We both complimented each other on our skills and we both laughed while playing these games, especially DDR and Space Invaders. We both agreed the Ghostbusters game sucked and didn’t make sense, which caused us both to laugh. We spent a good hour and a half at the arcade.
I told him I would pack us a lunch and asked him what he would like. He requested a PB&J sandwich. I made gluten-free PB&J sandwiches for us, so we went outside and had an urban picnic of sorts. He enjoyed the sandwiches and thanked me for packing them. I thanked him for treating to the arcade.
We chatted as we ate and after we ate, he changed my skates. He said to me, “Crap! I forgot that you have roller skates! You need two packs of bearings, not one!” We went back to Zumiez, bought the other pair and went to Spencers after. We looked at the t-shirts and talked about music. Turns out we love the same types of music. We walked around and laughed at the different things in the store. I was telling him I used to buy my nose jewelry here. I told him I have an infinite stud, though I haven’t worn it in five years. He thoughts that sounded cool.
We went back outside and he added the bearings to the other set of skates. I think you’re really pretty and I really like spending time with you. We have a lot in common. I’m just really nervous and I’m nervous that I may screw things up.” I replied to him, “I think you’re handsome and I like you too. I’m just as nervous and we can be nervous together.” We both laughed and he said, “and awkward!” I continued to laugh and chimed in, “and awkward!”
He asked about the dinner I was going to and what I would be doing after. I said, “I am only meeting my friend for dinner. After that, I might just see a movie.”
“I really don’t want you to walk around here alone at night. I don’t want anything to happen to you. Can I just meet up with you after?”
I said, “You know what, I am having second thoughts about dinner and I want to spend more time with you. Let me text my friend and cancel.” I canceled plans with Daniel, he understood and told me to enjoy. Honestly, the care my date showed me, turned what might have been two dates into one. I told him my plans were canceled, and we could spend more time together. I had to leave the city by 10pm.
He smiled and we walked, hand and hand (he asked me if we could hold hands, and I told him, “yes, I like holding hands.”) to the next skate park near the Art Museum.
That park was so neat! There was graffiti everywhere. I wish I took photos, but I was too busy enjoying the moments with Tom. I skated with some roller bladers, then Tom called me over, I took off my skates, put on my sneakers, and he tried to show me how to skateboard.
Needless to say, I tried standing on his skateboard and it shot out from under me a few times. He had me sit down and showed me foot placements. That was easier sitting down, but his deck was too big for a beginner. Next time he’ll bring a small deck to teach me some more.
We skated for an hour, then decided to take the bus to the Angelo Pizza. We split a gluten-free pizza; half cheese (for me) and half pepperoni (for him). We talked and laughed and watched MMA as we ate. He asked if I liked watching sports and I said, “yes! Mostly football, MMA, and baseball has to be live.” He likes those sports too.
We ended our evening at Penn’s Landing. He let me wear his hat, and we cuddled on the bench, watching the waves of the Delaware crash along the peer. It was really romantic and really sweet. We took a selfie.
I didn’t take many photos that day, since I was enjoying time with Tom. He agreed to a few selfies.
I caught the 10:15 bus home and Tom waited with me. We hugged goodbye and when I got home, I texted him. We arrived home at the same time. I couldn’t sleep a wink that night, I had such a great time, I really like Tom, and just felt so excited about it all.
7 November 2021. I only got 3 hours of sleep and prepared for my three hours helping out voter’s services. Dad took me and when we got there, we were turned away. Voters services hadn’t shown up in two days, and the worker had me sign the attendance book. She wanted me to get overtime credit. I signed it and headed on my merry way.
At 11am, I Facebook face-timed with Tom and we just flirted, and talked about the fun we had on Saturday. He really liked spending time with me, he really thought I was kind, and I made him feel at ease. I was on cloud 9.
The book discussion was great and it felt great seeing everyone in person. I will admit, I was a little distracted during the discussion, I was thinking about Tom and the date.
After the book discussion, Tom face timed me again and asked me on a second date. He wants to spend more time with me. I want to spend more time with him. I spent a good portion of the evening chatting with him and I forgot to sing “Happy Inkday” to my tattoo. I was too busy on cloud 9 and feeling good with Tom.
Let me show you a comparison from 7 November 2013 and 7 November 2021. 2013’s photo is me in the Pantera shirt.
Brandon found me at my most vulnerable moment and took advantage. He was wrong about me. I am not ugly, I am not unlovable, I am not fat, and I am not lame. I am beautiful, I am lovable, I am loved, I am liked, I am beautiful in my skin, and I am a fighter. I have spirit. In 5 months, I will be older than Brandon will ever be. He died 5 months before his 33rd birthday. I am still alive and breathing. I am still getting out there and I’m getting more comfortable again about it. He has never stolen that from me.
I’m probably still vulnerable, but as humans we all are. Now I know how to respect my vulnerability and how to find others who will too.
I am looking forward to spending time with Tom on Thursday. I am looking forward to a lot of things now.
I’m glad I decided to let go of my anxiety and gave Tom a chance. I’m really glad and grateful that I texted him.