Silent Speed Dating (May 2014)

Everyone’s sitting on rugs and cushions on the floor in the back of a Brunswick yoga studio. They’ve got the same scorecards and name tags as regular speed dating. A shorter guy with smiley eyes arrives late. I hope I get paired with him.

I get paired up with everyone except Smiley Eyes Guy and we play a mix of non-physical tantra exercises (looking into each other’s eyes) and improvisation games, like in high school drama. After each game we get two minutes to talk, which thankfully is mostly about the exercises, so I don’t have to explain the whole not-working-thing when I’m asked what I do for a job 18 times.

I’m paired with a curly haired man who has a look in his eye which not only says “I’m listening to you” but also “You intrigue me” and by the time we’re done with the exercise “I’d like to see you naked.”

We have to stand 5 metres apart and look each other in the eye. Intriguing Eyes Guy had to maintain eye contact whilst gradually walking closer and closer until he could ‘feel’ that he was too close. Once he’d reached that spot, he had to say one word. He was one step away from me when he said “Close.” I had to do the same thing, walking slowly towards him maintaining eye contact. I got close enough that I could feel his breath on my forehead and it took all the restraint I had NOT to pash him right there. The sexual tension in the air was rather thick. Looking him square in the eye, I took a deep breath and said “Now.” Luckily we didn’t have to debrief after that one, but went straight into a group exercise called ‘The Forest.’

The men spread out around the room and stand still with their eyes closed. They’re trees. The women walk through the forest and to whoever they “feel drawn towards”. I stood near Intriguing Eyes Guy and Smiley Eyes Guy then realized the other women were TOUCHING the trees/men. I went and gently nuzzled my forehead into the back of Smiley Eyes Guy’s neck and we both breathed deeply together. Then I held Intriguing Eyes Guy’s hand for a while. I am historically not so good at restraint, so for me both of these little touches were totally hot.

Throughout the evening I had two simultaneous thoughts: 1) this is fucking weird and 2) this is fucking awesome.

Afterwards I got Intriguing Eyes Guy’s number and went out to dinner with Smiley Eyes Guy and some others. He’d been to lots of tantric workshops before and explained it wasn’t all about sex, it was a whole way of looking at the world. He was an engineer who was high on universal love. I drove him into the city afterwards and recited erotic poetry to him in the car. I’ve never seen him again but every now and again he comes up in my Facebook feed with memes like this:

tantra energy

I like that people like him exist in the world. I genuinely hope universal love is still working out for him.*

A couple of days later I met Intriguing Eyes Guy at the Fitzroy Gardens. We strolled and discussed work for a while then the conversation turned to tantra. Apparently I had lots of potential. Normally I get bored with the whole “Do you like stuff?” conversations on dates, but as he was explaining to me how everything is made up of energy so really everything is connected and how I just need to widen my perspective which he could help me with through guided meditation and how did I feel about some exploratory play at a more private location… I thought ‘Jeez dude, can’t we just talk about books we like a bit first?’ I was intrigued, but the following week I met The Author, so I never did find out what tantric exploratory play involved.

 

*When I contacted Smiley Eyes Guy about this story, his response was “Your words are clean and real, I like that! But lets get down to business, what’s your next step on the inner path to abundant unconditional love?” What a great human being!

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Letterbox Liaisons Part 3 (Feb 2014: Melbourne)

The night after Letterbox Liaison Lad’s movie night, I went on a blind date set up by one of you, a very Dear Reader who I’ve never met! This Reader contacted me on Facebook, asking if it was ok to give my email address out to a single friend of hers, a primary school teacher she thought might be a good match for me. I agreed and that day The Teacher and I emailed each other back and forth seven times! Highlights included acknowledgements of the awkwardness of the situation (being set up by someone I’ve never met), willingness to engage in rhyming responses, use of the word ‘soz’, puns about ice cream and swearing. Seemed pretty ideal.

I met The Teacher on a Monday night at the Kodiak Club in Fitzroy, which had ambient lighting, excellent music and not too many people. Ideal. The conversation flowed and the laughs were loud and numerous. Ideal! He was into drawing comics and it happened to be his birthday. Then we went to N2 for icecream and held hands. It was so ideal that we kissed on a street corner, said we’d like to see each other again then parted ways.

The very next day I got a text from LLL inviting me to the movies that night! When it rains it pours!

As I walked over to LLL’s house I wasn’t sure if this was a date or friend hang out. After watching ‘12 Years A Slave’ at NOVA we got Brunetti cakes and ate them in the park #socarltonrightnow. It got cold so we went to his place for soda water (me) (party water!) and tea (him) and yarned about dating with him and his housemate. I told them about my Melbourne three point plan but neglected to mention the third point.

The following week I dropped a note in LLL’s letterbox saying ‘The third point of my three point plan is to go on dates. So… Do you wanna go on a date with me?” Five days later he sent me a Facebook message saying he’d prefer to be friends. A day later, I got an email from The Teacher. He would also prefer to be friends. A day later, I tried to take myself to Los Amates Mexican restaurant. They didn’t even prefer to be friends, they just told me they were too busy for a table for one, even though I could see two empty tables in the background. It was Valentine’s Day.  I stared at her blankly for a few seconds then turned and walked away with my head down so no one could see my eyes watering.

When it rains it fucken pours, eh?

Letterbox Liaisons Part 2 (Feb 2014: Melbourne)

I head around the corner to Letterbox Liaison Lad’s movie night. I pass a group of rowdy teenagers and some hipsters picnicking by candlelight then I see a bunch of people sitting around a makeshift screen strung up in a tree. Someone I recognize waves me over to a spare chair next to him. I smile at the inevitability and slight ridiculousness of this situation. Who happens to live right next door to my Letterbox Liaison Lad? Who is in fact organizing this lovely communal neighbourhood film night? Tent Guy. We were both happy to see each other and had a short but relatively lovely conversation. I heard he ended up in a relationship with that girl he kissed that time. I’m glad I was blown off for not just anyone, but someone special. He was a good sport and made me very welcome.

When my eyes adjust I see Letterbox Liaison Lad lying down the front. I pass around the lammos and settle back in to watch the movie – ‘Searching for Sugarman.’ I’m trying not to look at the back of Letterbox Lad’s head and wonder if he got a lammo. Or liked it. When the Tupperware container comes back I eat the last one. Bah! The icing tastes wrong! The sponge has soaked it all up! Serves me right for trying to impress boys with baking, or for trying to impress anyone with anything.

It was a hot night. It was a good movie.

Rodriguez was the soundtrack to my childhood. The melodies have stayed in my subconscious from the records my Dad used to play when he took time off work to look after me when I was little. I remember the smell of bread rising on the windowsill, the dust dancing in the sunlight, the feel of the carpet. One day in high school the car radio played a Midnight Oil song I thought I’d never heard but somehow knew all the words to. I didn’t know the Rodriguez words but I found myself humming all the tunes.

I looked around at the others gathered. A middle-aged couple with glasses of wine and deluxe camping chairs, a young couple with a sleeping baby on a picnic rug. Tent Guy said they were all neighbours. I thought I’d left that sense of community behind in small towns, I was glad to discover it still existed in the city.

During the movie I received a text from a guy I’d been set up on a blind date with, but more on that later…

“So you did make it after all!” said LLL after the film finished. I chatted a little with his friends and neighbours then helped pack up.

Out the front of his house I told him I still wanted to see a movie, but if we were going to rely on letters the movie may stop screening before we actually make a time. Letters are lovely but it’s a rather slow form of communication.

“Nawwww, but they’re fun!” he said, then we exchanged phone numbers.

Letterbox Liaisons Part 1 (Feb 2014)

It happened when I least expected. The start of something that ended up as nothing. A bit of intrigue. A bit of excitement, waiting, hope. A bit of a story.

I was wearing my Beyonce cap and Zumba shorts, sun-smart exercise wear for a St Kilda Saturday morning session of ‘Singles Beach Volleyball,’ another contrived/cool/ridic Meetup group. I stepped out the front door and spotted him across the road. Long wavy hair, stubble, tight jeans and aviator sunnies – the type of babe who definitely looks like they’re in a band.

I yelled and waved. We had shared a dancefloor once for a mutual friend’s birthday. I knew he was some kind of screenwriter, used to be in a band and had one signature dance move.

“What are you up to?” I asked. He held up a computer mouse.

“Bought this for my grandfather, so he can use it with his laptop,” he said, “It’s his birthday today, so I’m gunna drive over. Do you live around here?”

“Yeah,” I reply, trying not to swoon over someone who has the patience to deal with old people, and technology, at the same time. “This is my house right here. Where are you?”

“I live literally around the corner,” he says, pointing to his street, “At number 6.”

“No way! We’re practically neighbours!” I say, “I’ll have to drop something in your letterbox sometime.”

“Yeah, maybe some baked goods? That’d be ideal,” he says.

“Ants might be an issue there, and what if your housemates ate them?” I respond with practicalities, why do I always do that? He was clearly joking. Why am I suddenly nervous and second-guessing everything I say around this guy? Time to change the subject. “So you must go to the NOVA a fair bit then?”

“I practically live there, I’m there ALL the time,” he says. As we part I suggest we see a movie sometime. He agrees. I smile to myself on the tram. I text our mutual friend, “Your long haired babin’ friend who was at your party. What is his marital status? And what is his name again?” She responds that he’s not only single, but actively searching. He’s on Tindr. I smile all the way to the beach.

Other than getting mildly sunburnt thighs (not so sunsmart after all) nothing notable happens at the beach and I go out of town for a week. But I’ve planted seeds. Letterbox deliveries. Movies. I’m excited.

When I get back into town I go and get a cinema program and highlight a bunch of movies and times that I’m vaguely interested in and stuff it surreptitiously in his letterbox. I receive a return letter a few days later inviting me to a movie night his mate is organizing in the park outside their house.

I arrive when it’s dark so I can sneak in the back and avoid any awkward public greeting situation. I decide to bring some baked goods that I will bake myself. Because I have clearly not learnt from experience, I choose something really fiddly and time consuming. Lamingtons. They fit the whole 1940’s postal service vibe we’ve got going on. Even though I pre-bake the sponge the day before I still find myself hours later covered in two kinds of coconut and an icing mixture that has the wrong taste and consistency. Fucking lammos.

The Author: The Saga Concludes

Well this has been quite the journey hasn’t it Dear Readers? I hope you’ve found it as intriguing as I have to read both sides of the story from two different writers, making your own assessments of the ‘truth.’ Here are the final chapters of this epic tale.

You can read both of our perspectives on how we met and wooed one another in Parts 1 & 2 here.

In Part 3 I wrote about our adventure across the high seas of the Bass Strait here and The Author has written his own account of the journey here.

In Part 4 I wrote about what went down in Tasmania here and The Author has told his side of that story here, concluding with a nice set of life lessons for y’all and offers a neat suggestion as to why I am still single after six years of singledom.

I’d love to know what your thoughts are, feel free to comment below or join the conversation on Facebook.

The Author: Epilogue

Dear Readers,

Happy 2015! I’m sure I’ll write something about last year but meantime something exciting is happening! For the very first time, I am being blogged about! By a fella I blogged about! The Author speaks! You can read his side of the story!

If you’ve just tuned in, back in May I met The Author at a writers festival. After the dust had settled I wrote about our adventures, emailed them to him to see what he thought, then once he gave the OK I posted the epic four part saga.

I wrote about how we met here. He wrote his version of events here.

I wrote about our budding romance here. He wrote about it here.

I wrote about our Tasmanian tales here and how we parted here. It’ll be rather fascinating to read his side of those particular stories…

I hope you did something or nothing last night to bring in the new year and that you are reading this after a satisfying sleep in or post-breakfast nap.

Thanks for being part of this,

-DD

carlton gardens

Carlton Gardens, my favourite place in Melbourne

The Author Part 4: Farewell

The next day I go to work and The Author writes at the house. He tells me he wants to do something special for me, like catch me a fish and cook it on the outdoor fireplace. I say I’d be happy with Woolworths fish on the stovetop. I suggest he take my car in the morning and go to Cradle Mountain to see some snow (for the first time) but that he should leave early as it’s a few hours drive away.

When I get a lift to work in the morning at 10am he’s still asleep in bed. When I get back from work at 6pm the car is gone and there’s no note. I didn’t buy any food in town, expecting to come home to him cooking me dinner. I walk up the hill to where there’s reception and try calling him but he doesn’t answer. At 7pm I still can’t get in touch with him. At 7.30pm I eat some cereal and make eggs on toast. I try the reception spot again at 8pm, and at 8.30pm. At 9pm I hear the car pull up and he walks in the door looking pale and shaken.

He started hiking at about 4pm. It got dark around 5pm. He got lost, stepped in a puddle in his runners and used his Nokia phone to light his way back to the car park. On the way home he swerved at high speed to avoid a small animal. He fishtailed around a few corners and had to use the emergency brake lane.

I asked him if he grabbed himself some takeaway on the way home, to which he replied ‘No I thought you’d have cooked me something.’ I cooked him eggs on toast.

Before we left Melbourne I’d secretly purchased some sexy lingerie, but I decided to leave it in my suitcase. When we undressed for bed normally we’d leave the light on, but that night I turn it off. He asked me if I felt ‘safe’ in his arms.

My friend Mariah has this great little sensory activity to get to know men. You’re supposed to pick two of the other person’s senses to stimulate in five different ways. So she prepared five different taste sensations for her partner, and he brought five objects that felt different to touch. These things can have a story or they can just be to stimulate. The Author was confused by all these instructions, so I used music as an example – he could make a playlist with the aim of making me feel a certain way, or of sharing a little about himself.

As I drove The Author to the airport he said he hadn’t made a playlist but could play some songs with stories. He played a song that reminded him of a failed date he went on once. We talked about dates we’d been on and he told me he’d set up a fake online dating profile as a firefighter. He also had a fake profile as a woman, “to see what the competition is like.” He told me about ‘negging’ – giving a positive and a negative to make women more vulnerable. I told him that being manipulative and dishonest was disgusting. His response was, “I probably shouldn’t have told you.”

He said, “I kind of want to know how you feel about me but it feels so unmanly to plead ‘Do you still like me?’” “What do you mean ‘still’?” I asked. “I mean you saw me vomit and all,” he replied. I told him I think it’s totally manly, human in fact, to talk about your feelings and that I found the ability to communicate openly pretty attractive. He disagreed, said it was weak.

At the airport we stand outside in the rain. “You should go inside and check in,” I say, “it’s raining.” “But if I’m in there,” he said, “It means I’m not outside here being with you anymore.” We kiss and I leave him at the airport an hour earlier than he needs to be there and go and have Mexican for lunch by myself in town.