Cherie sends me a text in the morning to ask whether we are still on for brunch at 2pm. I like that she checked in. Normally I do that. So despite the: “Where is that at?” misstep and the fact that she didn’t just google it on her phone, she’s still on track. Bad grammar, bad manners, and lateness are hard points with me. (Thanks, Dad!) I tell her we’re good to go. That was at 12:30.
I get to Square around 1:30 just to have a drink and chat with the bartender. He makes me a drink I invented for the occasion. The Garden Rose. Sauvignon blanc, with a splash of Hendricks gin and as dash of honey on the rocks. Delish. At 1:40 I get a text: “Bad accident on 76. I’ll just be a few minutes late. Sorry.”
No problem. It’s a rainy Saturday, and anything can happen on the interstates in this city. I tell her to be careful driving and thank her for the update.
At 2:12 I get this text: “Trying to park.” I tell her that I am at a quiet table in the back. Brunch is officially over at 2:30 at Square. They switch over to a bar snacks menu while the kitchen preps for dinner. I remember this exact thing happening the last time I brought someone here for brunch. (See: Katsumi – Church Mess)
It’s now almost 2:30 and still no Cherie. I speak to my server and he checks in with the chef and they agree to hold brunch out for me until 2:40. I hate this. From now on, I vow never to schedule a 2pm brunch here ever again. No one can plan anymore, No one can build in that extra half hour into their trip if something goes wrong. Traffic, accident, weather, construction, detours. Build it into your schedule! But I do take it into account, that I leisurely walked about 5 blocks to get here. I don’t even know where she’s coming from. Since she’s driving I assume West Philly, or University City if she was on 76.
At 2:35 she approaches the table. (Whew!) She’s more attractive in person than in her photos. She has on a short close-fitting leather jacket, and an olive skirt and heels. I stand up of course to greet her. We do the quick perfunctory hug. We sit, and she apologizes for being late. All is forgiven. The server arrives and goes over a few things. I tell her we’re cutting it close and we should order. She goes for the grilled salmon salad. I order the breakfast plate. This will be my first real meal of the day.
A banana, a powerbar and some nuts don’t count as breakfast.
She tells me she struggled to find any parking nearby and based on the hour, she put her car in a nearby lot. She says she just drove down from Pottstown. That’s like 45 minutes away! In the rain too.
Again…all is forgiven. I ask her if she wants anything to drink, and she says she’s fine. While waiting for her, the server brought me a little bread with whipped herb butter so I’m good. I have my second drink in front of me. So I’m more than good. We engage in some getting to know you exchange. She was a little shy and quiet at first but then I quickly put her at ease with my witty repartee.
She’s originally from California. Military brat. Lived all over. Her Dad was a career military guy in the Navy. She has an older brother who’s also a Navy guy. His work is classified. He works in military intelligence. She has a younger sister who is two years behind her and is still a bit of a brat. I give her my family stats as well.
Brunch is served and everything looks great. I’m glad she’s impressed. As I said, the food and service here is wonderful. We dive a little deeper into our conversation. She goes to Temple and is majoring in Neuroscience. She’d like to work with children. So she would use her degree to help child neurological disorders. She also works 2 jobs. One at a hospital and the other at a pediatrician’s office. So not only is she getting her degree she’s already working in her field of endeavor.
She says she has a 6-year-old son. I do the math in my head. I’m normally not good at math but for some reason when it comes to age of consent numbers I’m lightning. That means she got pregnant at 19 and had her son at 20. She says she never married her son’s father. But they were together for 8 years. She said he was in his thirties when they met. I asked her how a 30 something year old meets a teenage girl. Not that I was fishing for tips.
“Was he driving by the High School one day and it was raining and you missed the bus?”
She laughed and said that she was shooting pool in a bar and so was he. I told her my last two girlfriends were 27 when I started dating them. She asked if I always date younger, and I told her I don’t go after women that age. “It just happens.” Which, for once is not a bold-faced lie. Cherie says she always liked older men. At that moment I am smiling inside because this is perfect. She likes older men, I like younger women. Universe is unfolding!
I ask her what happened to the relationship after 8 years. She said they became complacent. He finally cheated on her, she found out and was done with him. I asked her how long had they been done. She said 2 years. As of this writing I just realized something. If she is now 26 years old and the relationship has been over for 2 years, was she 16 going on 17 when he met her? I can’t think about that right now.
I didn’t ask if he was a white or a black guy. I did ask where her son was right now. She said he was staying with his grandmother.
“Is your Mom watching him?”
She said no, her ex’s mother was watching him. I asked whether the boy’s father was a presence in his son’s life. She said some, but not enough.
That fucker. Children don’t ask to come here. We need to take good care of them. That’s a fact that I am not the slightest bit fickle about.
I asked if he had taken up with another younger woman. She said, that he was in his 40’s now and has a woman his own age in his life. Interesting.
Cherie also told me that she is bisexual. (Noted!)
She said when she was younger and in the clubs, she gravitated more to being with women. But in real life she is firmly ensconced in men. I told her I understood. There’s no black and white/straight or gay in this world. There is a vast grey area in between. Let’s face it, most girls I know are 3 martinis away from kissing another girl.
Just because I’ve installed a few ceiling fans in my life, doesn’t necessarily make me an electrician.
This is all very interesting conversation to me.
We’re getting along really well. We’re chatting, laughing, and I’m happy. I can feel a connection. Out of all of the dates I have been on in the last 6 months, this is by far the best one. I’m not thinking things like: This is going well. She’s a nice woman. She’s age appropriate. This is what I should be doing at my age.
Fuck that. The heart wants what it wants.
I ask her how has her experience been on Tinder. She says she was told about it by a friend, and she decided to check it out. She says she doesn’t do much with social media because she’s too busy and doesn’t care to see what everybody is doing.
She said at first she didn’t get all of the swiping. I ask her if she has been inundated by matches. She says yes, but she hasn’t been really interested. I ask her how long she’s been on Tinder.
“How many dates have you been on?”
“Just this one.”
“So out of everyone, you chose to drive all the way down from Pottstown in the rain to see me?”
We’re finished and they clear the plates. The bill comes and I pay it. Okay, for the record, asked her out. This is her first date on Tinder and I’m it. I really like her and she’s in my wheelhouse. I want to pay this time. This is my thing. I like her. I want her. If it works out and we start going out exclusively, you know in a few years she’ll want more kids and it’ll be over. Just like the last 3 relationships I’ve been in. So I’m not getting too worked up about this lady just yet.
Tune in two weeks from now for the amazing conclusion!
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