I knew all the red lights I was up against; I asked myself the requisite neurotic questions- what happens at midnight? Do we awkwardly kiss on the cheek? What if it’s terrible? Will this be an omen for all things romantic for the coming year? What if it goes well? That last one can be scary too- a great date on New Year's- you end up assigning a lot of meaning to this one date, and soon enough you have hopped onto a train to fantasy land- imagining every subsequent date being as celebratory and fun as this first one, and then you get knocked in the face with the reality of relationships- it’s not always perfect and it’s not always going to be New Year''s Eve.
But when I asked myself these questions, I decided the answers were unimportant, that any guy who had the guts to come over and start talking to me on the train after a serious bout of eye contact, chat me up, ask for my number, actually call me, and ask me to hang out on December 31st as if it was any other night, was a guy worth saying yes to. Plus, he’s Jewish, so I can make my mom happy as well. And he’s my age; my days as a cougar (see my column two months ago) are over. And maybe, just maybe- whether it goes bad or well doesn’t have to mean anything about the year that is about to begin- it could be as simple as the experience itself, and it didn’t have to go any deeper than that. A date. On the night we step into 2011. No biggie. I know, I’m sounding awfully Zen about the whole thing, and that’s because it’s 2011, I’m in a Zen kinda mood. Who knows how I’ll feel next week, but right now, if you asked me to help you move into your fifth floor walk-up, I’d say yes. Better hit me up now.
And let’s just say it went well. I ended 2010 with the beginning of a date, a date that I convinced myself could go in any direction, and that either way it went, a new year would still be greeting me the next morning, with 12 months of who-knows-what-could-happen to fill. We had dinner, we had some drinks, and when 2011 hit, we shared a new years kiss. But I don’t kiss and tell, so that will have to suffice. And do I hope that we have a second date? Yes. Do I know that even if we don’t, 2011 still has a world of potential? Yes. Do I also know we’re going on a second date? Kinda. But you will have to wait until February to know more. For now, bring on the Zen.