Key Takeaways: Being a good conversationalist with interesting opinions is sexy
Name: Clark (because he goes to Lewis and Clark College)
Length of date: 2 hours
How the date was obtained: I was set up!
Where: Walking around Lake Oswego (in the Portland area) and grabbing coffee at St. Honore Bakery
A couple weeks ago, I got a message from a Date a Week LA reader! This is what she said: “Ok...so I’m a fan of your Date a Week (especially crazy during COVID) and I have a wonderful man for you to meet. He’s here in Portland and I’ve known him since he was in kindergarten with my son. He’s bright, fun, great sense of humor, I think he’s cute...and a huge heart! Works out, loves dogs... is just a quality, special fellow.”
So, I wrote her back saying, “I’m glad you like the blog, but he sounds like a total dud – sorry miss, not interested.” Just kidding. I did not say that. In fact, I told her that I was very interested. Clark seemed to have everything I was looking for, and more! I emailed this very sweet woman back and gave her my digits to give to Clark. Soon after that, I received a message from Clark and we set a time to meet.
It’s a long story, but I was back in Portland for a couple of days, so I was able to meet Clark, a Portland native, in person. Clark asked if I wanted to go on a walk or get coffee for a date and I said, “Lookie here Clark, I can do you one better. Meet me at my house and we can walk into Lake Oswego AND get coffee.” Clark thought that was a great idea but then mentioned that he wanted Freddie to join us even though he had read Date #19. To refresh your memory, this was the date I am now calling Poop Gate, where Freddie (my dog) dropped not one but two deuces and embarrassed me in front of my date, Rick. That day, I pledged to not take Freddie on any more romantic dates, but I didn’t want to deprive Clark of Freddie, or Freddie of a walk. So, I crossed my fingers that we were not going to have another poopscapade (poop escapade) and brought Freddie.
It came time for the date and I realized that I knew little to nothing about Clark. I mean, I was happy to know that someone thought he was bright, cute, and wonderful, but so is Betty White and I wouldn’t want to date her – no offense, Betty. I didn’t know what he looked like, his last name, how old he was, or if he had a criminal background – and that last one is important. Even though I trusted the gal who set us up, I did have some nerves as my doorbell rang and I met my new suitor.
After I opened the door and saw Clark, my nerves disappeared. He had striking blue eyes, clean clothes, and what I assumed was a kind smile under his mask… until I thought: “Oh no! What if I am about to go on a date with a toothless man? Stay calm, I’m sure he at least has some teeth.” This is just one of the problems posed by COVID-mask blind dates.
I leashed up Freddie, then we headed out on the walk. Don't worry, we were both wearing masks and social distancing. After some small talk, I mentioned that the person who set us up hadn’t told me much about him. So, he proceeded to tell me about himself. I learned that he attended Lewis and Clark College, is studying to be a counselor (so awesome and commendable), and that he does in fact work out. Then, he mentioned he was in his mid-30s and has gone through a divorce.
I won’t lie, the 10+ years of acting training I’ve had was just as useful then as it was in any play, musical, or audition. I tried my best to act like that piece of information didn’t faze me at all. But, it did. I can’t remember what I said, but I hope it wasn’t like, “oh cool! I mean, not cool. Sorry about the divorce, unless you were happy with it then that is awesome. I mean, not awesome, but still good for both of you?”
The fact is that I am more used to dating people in their 20s whose most serious relationship was with their RA in college. So, being on a date with someone older who has already made a serious commitment kind of shook me. It also shook me that he didn’t look that much older than me. I would have guessed 28 at the oldest – the man has great genes!
What shook (last time I say “shook”) me even more was that I had a wonderful time with Clark. He really was, as our matchmaker claimed, a “quality, special fellow.” Our conversation ranks in the top 5 of Best Date a Week LA Convos. We talked about things like the BLM movement, dating while in quarantine, and even therapy. It was honestly so refreshing and exciting to feel so intellectually stimulated on a date (yes, I just said “stimulated,” please calm down prudish readers, I’m lookin’ at you, Dad.) I had to wonder, if I’d met Clark and he was 10 years younger, would we have had such meaningful conversations? Sure, the past five months have offered a lot of heady topics to chew on, but I appreciated his contemplative take on things. Everyone grows and matures with age, so I am really happy that I met Clark at this time.
That being said… as much as I’d like to say that “age doesn’t matter,” I kind of believe it does. I am young, at the start of a career, living with 2 other young roommates in LA, and not thinking about settling down anytime soon. Clark and I are just at different points in our life for better or for worse. But this date has made me realize that there are awesome guys out there who are older than me. Maybe when I’m on dating apps now, I will care less about age. Maybe the 28-year-old with a stable job and a dog will trump the 21-year-old frat star who loves hang gliding and has a pet parrot named Carl.
P.S. Also, dear readers you will be as thrilled as I was to find out that Freddie was good as gold and I didn’t have to dig out my pick-up bag!
The future for us… hopefully, we can stay friends and have more meaningful conversations
Next Week: I will be back in LA (for real this time). Also, I have asked Clark to write something for Date a Week LA! Stay tuned for his post next week!