I want to throw up.
I want to throw up right now.
I take one bite of my granola bar and immediately realize that this is a terrible idea. I can't eat. I can't focus. I can hardly sit still. I want to get off this train. I need to talk to someone. Anyone. I take out my phone. I make six phone calls. Nobody answers. Not one person is around to talk me down from the proverbial ledge. What have I gotten myself into? I can't do this. I can't go on a date with Kit. I. Want. To. Throw. Up.
Who is this girl and what has she done with confident Kimberly? The voice in my head sounds strangely like my own yet it is certainly not rational me. Rational me has spent three weeks emailing a wonderful man, seven days texting back and forth, and nine hours on the phone getting to know someone who, as it turns out, feels like I've known my entire life. Conversations are natural and easy. We have fun teasing each other, flirting, taking turns telling stories, taking turns listening. It's this perfect balance where no one leads and no one follows. We just bounce off of each other like old friends. Ok, fine - old friends with monster crushes on each other!!!
Yes, rational me knows that Kit is a great guy. Rational me likes him (a lot), thinks about him (more often than I should admit), and dare I say it - even trusts him. Rational me has put aside all the baggage I've been dragging around from my past, cast off all the doubts and hurts of other relationships (as much as humanly possible) and is looking forward to our first date.
Irrational me wants to throw up, pull the emergency cord on the Long Island Railroad and run away screaming.
We have this perfect first date planned and it's all I can do to keep my nerves in check and my hopes from skyrocketing. You see, I've done this thing in the past where I project my entire future onto one person. I thrust my whole life's happiness into the arms of a virtual stranger, many times before we've been dating for very long. Once, I had our wedding colors picked out before the first date. If you are this girl - and I know that many of you are - please, I am begging you, STOP. Stop doing that right now. You're only setting yourself up for disappointment because the chances are that your man has a completely different vision than you do and my guess is that Maggie Sottero lace doesn't really factor in.
Rather than picking out China patterns and baby names before the first date, I am simply allowing myself to sit back, relax, and enjoy the process. Yes, I've had 92 ridiculous dates with various breeds of loser this year but something about Kit feels different. Perhaps it's our chemistry. Perhaps it's good timing. Perhaps it's our casual approach to dating. This is the first time I'm really looking forward to going out with someone in a l-o-n-g time so there's a lot more gravitas to this laid-back afternoon in mid-town than there appears to be. This is the first date where my happiness *may* be at stake. This is the first date where I have something to lose.
It was about a week before when I had my first dream about Kit. My family and friends will tell you that if I have a dream about you, you should probably heed whatever I tell you. I have a startlingly high track record for dream / reality crossover. This wasn't a scary dream by any means. It was a dream of our first date and I genuinely woke up smiling from it. In my dream, we met outside of St Patrick's Cathedral, moved on to a lovely afternoon tea at Saks Fifth Avenue cafe, wandered around Rockefeller Center looking at the shops and ended the evening with drinks at the Rooftop Terrace on top of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Sounds simple, yes?
The next day, Kit sent me an email telling me about his mom, who sadly isn't with us anymore. She passed away when he was a teenager and he misses her immensely. It was the first time he shared any real details with me about his life before she died and her favorite thing to do was take him and his younger siblings into the city at least one weekend a month. They would spend their afternoons wandering around the Met, walk down 5th Avenue, duck into St Patrick's - where she'd married his father - and shop at her favorite department store, Saks. In winter, they'd skate in Rock Center and in warmer months, just wander around window shopping and people watching.
Cue Twilight Music here.
You might think that this is a coincidence, and I certainly wouldn't blame you. But I remember sitting there, still with the dream fresh in my mind and reading his words literally sent shivers up and down my spine. I didn't know how to feel about it. How was it possible that I imagined the first day we spent together included all of his mother's favorite activities? There are so many places to go in New York City, so many amazing things to see and do, so many diverse neighborhoods --- how did I envision everything she loved, all of Kit's best memories of her?
You say coincidence. I say sign.
I waited a while before telling him about the dream, but when I did he was equally as shocked and oddly pleased. At first, Kit was hesitant to retrace his mother's steps but changed his mind and asked me to have tea with him at SFA Cafe on Sunday afternoon. It would be his first real afternoon tea service and I was so excited to take him. Or I would've been, if I could shake the feeling that my feelings for him were more real than I'd experienced with anyone else.
Which is exactly how I ended up with my rational and irrational selves warring on the LIRR. Nauseas and nervous and excited and scared and thrilled and terrified and hopeful. More than anything...hopeful.