As I sat in the entry area at Macaroni Grill I found myself observing a woman in boots, a floor length skirt with a slit up each side and a grey jacket/blouse (who's to say exactly, either way it was out of style). She had been at the hostess stand when I arrived.
"Did you already seat Steve, party of two?"
"I don't think so?" (the question mark is because most hostesses always look somewhat confused thus making statements more like questions)
"Don't you seat people by name?"
"Yes, but we don't keep track of where we seat people after we seat them."
"But I'm meeting him here."
"You are welcome to walk around and look for him."
"But I... never mind."
So I put my name on the list and head out to the entry to wait. It's a small area between two sets of doors which made it impossible not to watch the woman. She pulled a business card out of her purse with a phone number and the name Steve scrawled across the back in sharpie. Clearly she was on a first date. Clearly she didn't know what he looked like. Clearly she was freaking out. She paced in a frantic way that made me feel anxious as well and I wasn't on an awkward first date. I was getting tense, so I moved inside and sat on a different bench to wait. Moments later she came in and sat beside me. She would sit, then stand, then pace, then look at watch, then sit. It was a vicious cycle and I was wondering where Link was and when he would be saving me from this woman. The more she paced, the more I felt nervous for her. On a side note, if she needs courage to get through the date or something else that is part of dating, she should knock back 4-5 cape cods before he gets here. Then she'll have enough oomph for the date and a drunk text or two or 12 later tonight.
Link shows up and I immediately feel more relaxed. He is balancing her nervous energy with his relaxed nature. So dinner, great conversation, a car dealer's house burning down... typical date night. After another really enjoyable evening with Link, all I could do was cancel my late night drinks with Date 3. Maybe I'll reschedule, maybe I won't. But regardless, I can't go from Link to someone else in the same day. From someone else to Link? That would be doable.