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November 3, 2006

It was late when the show let out—around 11:15 p.m. For a regular Saturday night, though, it would hardly be bedtime. I was tired and cold, but I rationalized that a real date would never end this way. There’s always coffee, dessert, or a walk afterwards. Why should tonight be any different?

I headed to Ixia, a trendy restaurant about five minutes from my apartment. Ironically, it was post-dinner and post-walk when I made my last visit here over a year ago. It had been a good date then and a good memory, so I slid onto a barstool and ordered a cup of black tea.

“You don’t drink?,” the bartender asked.

“Nope,” I answered. I smiled, hoping that it would absolve me from further explanation.

When the unique clear tea pot arrived with snazzy accoutrements like liquid sugar and cream in a small white pitcher, I couldn’t help but attract the attention of the woman sitting next to me, though. While her date chatted with a jazz musician nearby, she took the opportunity to question me about the situation.

“You know, I wish I could be more like you,” she finally said. “My girlfriends and I are always saying that we should be more adventurous. Like you.”

It was a touching moment, so I decided it was probably better not to elaborate on how hard it actually is to be errr…”adventurous.” Truth be told, I had really wanted to call someone to come out with me. Like that co-worker at the hospital who emailed me after our training session. Or the Hopkins guy who I reconnected with at an alumni event last month. Even that annoying admirer from church who always calls “just to say hi.” All of their names had run through my mind earlier in the evening.

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