Key Takeaways: On this virtual date I got to laugh and smile and joke and focus on something other than COVID-19!
Name: Rick [Wetzel] (the creator of Wetzel’s Pretzels) because we talked about soft pretzels for an extended period of time. I’m a big soft pretzel fan.
Length of date: 2 hours and 30 minutes
How the date was obtained: Rick lives in Oregon and said if I came back to Portland, that he would like to take me out. So, I asked Rick if he wanted to go on a virtual date. He agreed.
Where: Again, in my bedroom and again, not in a saucy way. My room is the only place in the house that is not populated by my immediate, self-quarantining family.
As some of you may remember, I’m putting a pause on in-person dating because I am a sane and responsible woman. So, I have opted for virtual dating during our national COVID-19 odyssey. Is this the best way to get to know someone? Probably not. But do I have other options? Not that I can think of. So back off, haters.
If you’ve been following my journey, you know that last week’s online speed dating was as cringy as Fergie singing the National Anthem. So, I was hesitant to go on another online/virtual date. But, this blog is called “Date a Week LA” not “Date a Week Unless an International Pandemic Comes Along, Then You Can Put a Pause on Finding Love” or DAWUAIPCA,TYCPAPOFL for short.
There are a couple of benefits to virtual dating, though. First, you only really need to look presentable from the waist up. For example, right before the date started, I looked down at my leggings and noticed they had a smudge of refried beans (remnants of my Dad’s delicious bean dip – recipe below). But since the camera was exclusively on my face, my date never knew about my dirty little refried secret! Score! Also, the logistics are much easier. I don’t need to worry about parking, who will pay, or if it’s appropriate to eat soup. I just go downstairs, slap on some makeup, maybe brush my hair and boom: date ready.
Now, back to Rick. I’ve known Rick since high school, but we weren’t too close. We were both on the track team, but he was the kind of really handsome athletic guy a year older than me who would win races at the state track meet. I was the kind of high jumping girl who won in a three-way tie for 8th place at the district track meet. I remembered his accomplishments, but he’d forgotten I was on the team. He was out of my league then and maybe still is, six years later.
The date was set to start at 8:00 PM. Of course, I was waiting by my phone starting at 7:55, but I thought I would look weird or desperate if I picked up the call and I was just sitting on my bed like I was waiting for him to call… Eww. So, I decided that when he called, I would act like I was doing something, as to not seem like I was anxiously waiting (which I was).
At 8:05, Rick called and my plan was set in motion. I got up, picked up some clothes, answered the FaceTime call and said something like “sorry, haha I was just cleaning my room.” After writing this, I realize that I sound insane. But again, I felt like this guy was out of my league so I needed to make it seem like I was as cool as a cucumber, not anxious as an Isabel.
After I fake cleaned up my room, I sat on my bed and we continued to chat. One thing I realized is that while virtual dating, some of my hilariously nuanced remarks are less impactful. I made some sarcastic comments that Rick didn’t exactly pick up on. For instance, at dinner that night, I told my family that I was going on a virtual date. And my dad replied, “You should lose the hat.” He was commenting about a beanie that I haven’t taken off in 23049261 days because I think our house is cold. I told Rick this story and then added, “so I threw the hat in a fire” as a joke. But, Rick was like, “Wait, you did?” and then I had to explain that I was joking, which is not the optimal outcome of telling a joke.
Rick asked me what I was up to and I mentioned that I was doing puzzles, making cookies and watching Tiger King (which will be my Halloween costume this year. And now that I’ve claimed it, so you can’t take it).
The rest of the conversation flowed and felt natural. Sure, I still sweat and was nervous, but I was mostly comfortable. We even had some funny banter about Auntie Anne’s vs. Wetzel’s vs. Cinnabon and whether a sandwich is better with or without the crust. It's obviously best without crust, and if you think otherwise then you're a monster.
As we approached the 2.5-hour mark, my phone gave me a notification: 10% battery left. I had just spent my night and the better part of my phone’s battery talking to Rick and I really enjoyed it. We have a lot in common and he has a great sense of humor. I later wondered what that date would have looked like if it were in person. Would it have been so successful? Would we have been kicked out of a bar because it was closing time? Or would it have been a bust? Who knows? So, I’m actually happy it played out the way it did. It felt close to perfect (remember the sarcastic jokes that didn’t land).
The future for us… I’m not really sure. I wish I could say that Rick texted me right after the date and we have been talking ever since, but that’s not true. I hope to talk to Rick again, but I also know that we won’t be able to meet for the foreseeable future and we live in different states. Was that one conversation enough for him to want to pursue me further? I don’t know. All I do know is that for 2.5 hours, I got to laugh and smile and joke and focus on something other than COVID-19 and for that, I’m really grateful.
Next Week: Who the f knows.
My dad’s Bean Dip recipe:
- Heat up refried beans, salsa and cheddar cheese in the microwave. Enjoy.