Practically the first words out of his mouth were, "You look great!" It's hard to beat that, and (to be perfectly honest) he looked pretty great, too.
Eventually he proceeded to tell me about his two previous eHarmony dates--both of which were with very nice women, who (he sheepishly admitted) seemed to have engaged in "false advertising." This is something my dad spoke of often when he was in the online dating scene. Women would not only post pictures that no longer represented their current level of fitness--but seemed to be off on their age as well (sometimes by as much as a decade).
These stories, combined with his previous tales of women with a "thing for men in uniform" and another one who was preparing to go on trial for the attempted murder of her ex-husband (via running him over), while completely entertaining, made me feel like an amateur when it came to dating horror stories. However, it is refreshing to hear about the mortification of "mid-life" dating from the male perspective...although it did cross my mind a couple of times about what his apparent bad taste (judgement, luck?) in women said about me...
We talked and laughed so much that we neglected much of our yummy food--and the drinks even went down slowly. He brought up a few times that he was "having a blast" and I think I heard the word "gorgeous" once (I'm such a sucker!)--but it wasn't in that charming danger zone where I become the one with really bad taste (judgement, luck?) in men...honestly, it wasn't (Terri)!
The restaurant was ready to throw us out, so we drove (I told him we totally could have walked, and I was right!) across the street to a lounge for a final drink and some more lively banter. I don't know if my years of fascination with true crime and the criminal justice system had any influence on how interesting I found his stories, but I think it probably did. This guy has GREAT stories!! And they all happened in Utah, which is even more amazing!
Finally, we knew it was time to call it a nite--I had my girlies waiting for me to get home and he had to get up for work around 4am. He drove me back across the street and then proceeded to walk me to my car from his car. (He also opened doors and did other gentlemanly things that were endearing, even if bordering on the ridiculous.) Once again, we said goodnite with a friendly hug, a smile and an admonishment to "drive safely." No goodnite kiss--although I don't think I would have balked.
As intangible and inexplicable as it is, sometimes you have to grant a little extra credit for some natural chemistry that makes every story a little more intriguing, every smile a little more pleasing and every thought of seeing them again a little more eager.