When a date is not a date

img_5696.jpgWhen is a date not a date? Regular readers of this blog, both of you, will recall that part of my mandate for six months is to go against my natural instincts and not pursue. Hand-in-hand with this policy is the idea to avoid dating, or at least traditional dating scenarios. Naturally, some slips are unavoidable. So when I called Lucinda, the paralegal I’d met at last week’s Beyond restaurant anniversary party, I rationalized that, though I was breaking with my policy of non-pursuit, I wasn’t asking her out on a date, i.e. a dinner and a movie. I was just asking her come along to a social event, the opening of a new restaurant called Yew in the Four Seasons Hotel. Besides, we’d only spent one drunken evening in each other’s company at a couple of bars—I didn’t even know if I liked her.   

I guess the first indication of incompatibility came a few minutes into the event. I noted, in what I thought was a light-hearted manner, that another partygoer was wearing a dress with a similar colour scheme (black-and-white) to Lucinda’s. “No, she isn’t,” she snapped.  Perhaps, without meaning to, I’d hit a nerve. However, a little while later we’re standing at the bar and she’s talking to my friend Emma, whom I’ve just introduced. Suddenly Lucinda sees someone she knows and, in the midst of her conversation with Emma, turns around to talk to the new, more exciting (to her mind) person. My favourite moment of doom came a little bit later, when I asked to see the pictures  on her camera Lucinda had just been showing to someone else. It turns out she’d been showing them shots of her parents’ house, a ritzy, wedding cake-like domicile, after some Hollywood set designers had made it over to look like a fairytale castle for a movie. I said, again in what I thought was a convivial if not flirtatious manner, “When am I going to get invited over there for dinner?” “Never,” she said. 

The other shoe dropped with a decisive thud a few minutes later, when a friend of mine told me she’d asked Lucinda if she and I were on a date. The dear girl had replied “No”—or, perhaps, “Never!” I have to admit, for all my hemming-and-hawing, it’s one thing to decide for yourself that you’re not on a date, and another to hear your date doesn’t consider it a date either. Wah-wah.

img_5708.jpg Left: Two happy foodies at Yew.

 The Yew opening itself was fun-ish, though filled with a number of sharply-dressed lawyer types. I felt underdressed, which didn’t do a lot for my social confidence, but I drowned my anxiety with food and drink. The West Coast-style grub included an oyster, mac-and-cheese, and chorizo-and-scallop-skewer stations, and the libations included abundant helpings of bubbly and specialty cocktails like the ginger-y Navan Spice. The space itself is ultra-modern—features include the usual open kitchen, as well as a separate glassed-in room serving as wine cellar and semi-private dining area—and, as someone pointed out, very Vegas-y. A tree motif serves as a not wholly convincing tie-in to nature and with the space’s previous incarnation as a garden terrace lounge. For eye-candy and photo-ops, a girl dressed as a mermaid reclined on a table and greeted folks as they entered. Inside, a number of towering models in deep-red, almost scarlet, dresses mingled with us mere mortals.  

In conclusion, I would have to say my “non-date” has done nothing to deter me from my course of non-pursuit. Although, with New Year’s Eve breathing down my neck, my attitude on this could change any second. Or by the next blog.

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