19: Philosophy professor
That's some sizable book learnin'!
19 had clearly read my profile for comprehension. He messaged me about something very specific — and far down the page, too. We spent some time chatting about the particular album I mentioned, music, and music documentaries, and then a bunch of other stuff. It turns out we have a shared fondness for a lot of things, though he likes to sail and I just can not with boats. Not a dealbreaker.
He is exactly as erudite as you’d expect for a philosophy professor, but he doesn’t take himself too seriously and he uses plain English. I appreciate that; he’s clearly not trying to impress me with a bunch of high-minded concepts.
We chat a few evenings in a row, he’s always very present and interested in the conversation. He was out of state visiting friends when we connected; I suggested we meet in person when he got back.
“Hey, I’d like that,” he said. We had to do that thing where adult people can’t figure out when to get together, and then we met at the beach for coffee. It was a nice afternoon, big puffy clouds over the water. Good weather for a cute sweater but not too cold to sit outside.
We talked for about an hour and a half; it was easy and wide-ranging. He’s not based here, his university is out of state but he has family and lots of friends here. This is where he wants to live. Plus, he’s not teaching currently, he’s on the administrative side so he can do his job completely remote. He wants to move back to the region full time; he’s trying to figure out what that would look like.
We wrap up; he has errands because he’s going sailing for the rest of the weekend. He gives me an awkward hug and says we should stay in touch.
This is the point at which I want to roll the tape and have the experts tell me what to do next. I want someone to analyze our body language and tell me if it was a good date; if we seemed interested in each other. Did I ask enough questions? Did I talk too much? We were sitting side by side looking out over the water, should we have been face to face instead so there was more eye contact? Am I weird to be around after two plus years of strange isolation? Should I send him a note now and tell him I had a nice time, or should I wait 24 hours, or should I wait to see if he gets in touch with me?
At my day job, I recently participated in a bunch of interviews. Afterward, everyone on the loop would get together and discuss how it went. This was just me and the philosophy professor but I want that same kind of debriefing. Would I know if that were a good date? I would know if it were a bad date, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’d know a good one, does it?
I liked him. I don’t know what to do now.
Dating is hard.