Casino Buffet

It's a bargain, but is it any good?

I am chatting with five guys.

  1. 58, flight engineer

  2. 36, local government wonk

  3. 44, accountant

  4. 53, software guy A

  5. 45, software guy B

The last one, 5B, and I are trying to plan a date. Someone has to take a ferry. I’m up for it, but I also am keen on having an escape route. He doesn’t seem to need this. He keeps suggesting half day excursions.

When I started this process, a friend advised me to be efficient on first dates. Get in, have a cup of coffee or one drink, and get the hell out. I like this plan, it’s low pressure. It’s an informational interview which maybe seems too tactical, but hell, it makes sense. You’re just trying to find out if you want a second date.

Planning this date with 5B feels not tactical. Seven had similar challenges, but he was coming my way for other things so that worked out just fine. It’s a weird strait to navigate, this idea that you want to meet someone, but you don’t want to invest too much energy up front because you don’t want to feel like it was a waste of time. My current bar is “Is it going to be fun for me if he stands me up?” The answer has to be yes.

Meanwhile, my chat window lights up.

The flight engineer has interesting things to say but does not suggest we meet after a week of chit chat. Yes, I’m aware I can do this, but I am intentionally not. I am looking for a clear statement of interest. I’m alpha as fuck but it hasn’t served me well.

The accountant is trying but doesn’t quite know how to communicate — a thing I feel indulgent towards because he is, after all, a numbers guy. I’m going to give him a little leeway.

The government guy is too young, but seems fun and charming and he lives nearby, so I’m leaning towards “What the hell, why not?” Okay, he’s also really cute. Of course he is, he’s not yet 40.

And then there’s 4A. Funny. Age appropriate. Not too far away. We chatted for a few days on and off before he asked, “What’s it going to take to get you to meet for coffee or a drink?”

“Hey, if you read my profile and still want to meet up, I’m game. How about that place that’s about halfway between where you live and where I live?”

Crickets.

Yeah, I think I’d like to order off the menu.