Key Takeaways: Ex’s aren’t so bad.
Name: Walt, because he does animation
Length of date: 2 hours
How the date was obtained: I texted him and asked!
Where: First, we met at our alma mater and then went on a 6-foot apart neighborhood walk.
At the beginning of this week, I didn’t have a date planned. I thought that some inspiration would come to me or the dating fairy would send me a suitor, but come Friday night I had zero prospects.
I thought: what should I do? Should I DM some celebrity and beg for a date? But then I thought about it and John Mullaney is married and Channing Tatum just got out of a serious relationship. I better give him some space. Then I tried signing up for a quarantine specific dating app: Quarantine Together (SUPER creative name), but they are apparently full… Doesn’t make sense to me either. Then, I thought about The League Speed Dating. Dun, Dun, Duuuunnnn. As we all know, this went horribly, horribly wrong the first time, but could this time be better? I decided that the risk of seeing a nude man was too high.
So, I decided to do something bold, something brash, something my family called a “questionable idea.” I reached out to my one and only ex (whom I’m calling Walt).
To clarify, Walt and I both had an understanding that this was less of a date date (roses, wine and chocolate) and more of a friend date. So for all you purists out there, I guess this wasn’t a real date, but I make the rules around here so I’m counting it. This is Date #17. Also, after I explained this to my family, they were a lot more receptive to the idea.
Things to know about Walt: we dated for 9 months during my junior year of high school and his senior year. We had a very amicable breakup and have remained friends ever since. He and I meet up every once in a while, for coffee or ice cream. So, I was actually looking forward to catching up with Walt.
Walt and I decided to meet on neutral territory: Our old high school. The walk was planned for 2:30 pm, but knowing Walt, I assumed we would have lift off more around 2:45. I was right. Walt pulled into the parking lot 15 minutes late, no surprise there.
We filled each other in on our lives. While Walt and I dated, I got close to his family and him to mine. He asked about my sisters and I asked about his brothers. He told me about his dogs, I told him about my dog, Freddie, and my fish, Tuna.
I was so consumed with our conversation, reliving high school glories, that I didn’t even notice where we were in the neighborhood. Realizing we were approaching my aunt and uncle’s house, I stopped Walt while he was talking about the one time he swam in sewer water, to point it out. As I was doing this, my aunt and uncle’s car pulled into their driveway.
They got out of their car and I walked down to meet them. Walt was hanging around behind me while I said what I thought was a quick hello and then my aunt said, “Oh, who’s that?”
“Oh this is [not Walt], he’s a friend from high school,” I said.
She responded, “Funny. I feel like I’ve seen you before.”
I could not keep up the act: “Oh yeah! Actually, he is my ex-boyfriend! Haha... You probably met him at a couple holiday parties.”
She then invited both of us to check out her backyard and vegetable garden.
At this point, I was rethinking everything. What had I gotten myself into? What had I gotten Walt into? Would he be okay with this vegetal detour?
But I had nothing to worry about. Walt seemed to be enjoying the excursion. He listened while my aunt explained her master greenhouse plans and smelled her prized rhododendrons with delight – or he is a really good actor. My cousin even sang his favorite song, “happy birthday” to Walt. His birthday is October 31st, but he had no complaints with an early birthday serenading.
After that unexpected jaunt, we continued on our walk and talked pretty candidly about our relationship. He even brought up this blog and said that he had been reading and enjoying it. He also asked about a piece that I had written about him a while back. I was doing a reading for a festival at my college and promoted it on my Instagram saying: “Come see me talk about my ex at ___ on ___. It’s going to be CRAYZAY!!!” Then, I proceeded to read him the piece. I think he liked it. (For those of you who are interested, I can post that piece later this week).
As we wrapped up the date, we both agreed that it is rare to have a friendship with a high school ex.
So Walt, if you’re reading this, thank you for being my friend. Also, you need a haircut.
The future for us… Friends and I feel very lucky to say that
Next Week: probably more puzzles, online yoga classes and catching up with friends. Dating wise, your guess is as good as mine.