I try again for the Ciao Baby atmosphere, this time in Massapequa where I KNOW they haven't been burnt down by fire. This is a long drive for him from Manorville but he simply says "you're worth it." We meet and as soon as I'm out of the car, he wraps one arm around my waist and kisses me so that my heart flutters exactly as it did the week before. I am thrown a little off guard at this sign of affection after he admitted I was the only girl he'd kissed on a first date. (Hence he was extra wary of my running away!) Usually, he waits a while, forms a friendship, blah blah blah. My opinion is why waste all that extra time if someone's a crappy kisser? Find out and get it over with! But being the old-fashioned, gentleman that he is, this sentimental display is especially touching and I know it's only because he feels about me the way I feel about him. Which is really excited and a little scared!
Waiting at the bar for 20 minutes seems a routine part of dining out these days. He asks if he can order me a drink and I explain about my affinity for white wine since the tannins in red give me headaches. He grabs a White Zinfandel for me and a Corona with lime for himself and we're left to enjoy each other's company alongside the other couples stranded in this bar / waiting area. Finally, we are seated. He helps me out of my coat. He pulls out my chair. He's talkative, entertaining, actually listens to everything I say. Recalls past conversations and little details I've told him. Knows to tell the waitress I'm allergic to peppers. Makes me feel like in this crowded restaurant, I'm the only person who matters. Does not check out another woman's ass. Not even once! (Sorry, my expectations are still low from past relationships!)
Dinner consists of a rice ball the size of a basketball filled with meat and cheese and topped with sauce. We each order a pasta and again share a dessert. Except this is no ordinary dessert. I order us the Volcano which is 14 scoops of ice cream, in a chocolate box, with walnuts, Oreo cookies, whipped cream, and yes more blueberries. He made so many ridiculous comments and jokes about this monstrosity they call dessert I could hardly breathe. My stomach literally hurt from laughing so hard and not from all the ice cream. We caused enough of a scene that 4 tables around us ordered the same dessert just to see what the big deal was. And despite a solid half hour of chomping through the sugary heaven, it looked like we hadn't made a dent.
After picking up the tab (yet again) he walked me back to my car and kissed me very sweetly. This time, I did not run away. I held on tighter because I didn't want to let go. He'd been everything in a date I always imagined and then some. He was charming, kind, funny, and had arms I could snuggle into and safely tuck myself away until Spring. We drove home our separate ways, texting each other when we'd arrived (cause you know, we still can't call...) and I thought that this was just the beginning of the journey I was finally happy to be on.