I was off to the races in the dating app that evening, swiping left countless times and only swiped right a few times. I had little expectation anyone who caught my eye would even respond. When you are nearing 40, the odds may be good but the goods are odd. Then I found a profile that made me swipe right immediately. Blue eyes. Tweed suit. WWII Navy uniform. Intro tag line: “History Nerd Who Likes to Play Dress Up”. He had joined the app on the same day, also with the same low expectations of finding anyone interesting.
Mr. History Nerd and I began chatting the next morning. We shared witty and flirty repartee. (Mr. Darcy and a wet linen shirt were mentioned.) We also quickly broached two important topics. He said he was Catholic and Vegan. I said I was Orthodox and was mostly Vegan. When those phrases went past in text…I thought to myself, “This could work. This could actually work.” A new relationship would ‘work’, of course, if the Theotokos would allow it. I made an my usual intercession, “Protect me, Mother of God!” I also put in a few heartfelt phrases of a plaintive child that wanted to keep a found kitten. “Please, let me keep him!”
On Friday, we hatched a plan to meet on Saturday afternoon, at his workplace, which is a historic site and open to the public. If we didn’t hit it off, at least I saw a new history place and I was in a safe zone. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If He asked what he should wear – I replied, “A suit!” At this point, dear readers, let me share an important detail: He likes to dress up because he is a historical tailor. Another incredibly fantastic point of commonality! The suit, then, was a dark green wool worsted affair, with a cravat and cuff links, circa 1770, comfortable for a gentleman in all weathers. I wore a modern linen and skirt outfit I had made.
We spent a lovely & sultry July afternoon talking and touring the grounds. He brought down original examples of waistcoats from his collection that I could look over and we geeked about the construction details. By the end of his work day, he asked if we could have dinner at the local Greek restaurant? Why yes, that would be great! While at dinner (not wearing his 18th century suit, just regular street clothes), he said something that made me about choke on my falafel. He described how he became close to the Virgin Mary when he had converted to Catholicism a few years previously. Big Glaring Neon Sign. Silent prayers began to ascend, “OH PLEASE THEOTOKOS! He is SO CUTE.”
After dinner, we still had time before he had to skitter off to his part-time gig. Would I like to take a little walk in the community park? Why yes, I would. We drove over separately. I arrived first. As he pulled up, I got out of the car, close the door, and made a cry of dismay, “EEEEK!” I had locked my keys inside. One of the best uses of money is a AAA membership, let me tell you. I called them up to get help, while feeling deadly embarrassed. To this day, he found this to be an ‘adorkable’ moment, on of many I seem to do. We took a couple turns around the park…and held hands. Alas, alack, he had to leave me, still waiting for AAA to bail me out…which didn’t take long. On my way home, I stopped by his coffee shop, where he gave me a London Fog and another hug. I drove eastward in a romantic swoon…
[This was just the first date! How does this end?!? Check back again tomorrow for part three…or maybe this needs another 7 installments…]