“Is there any chemistry?”
I was asked that question this weekend in reference to the nice, Chinese girl, S., from Match.com. I was telling J. and L. about my first date with her, and my second date Friday, which went well, by the way. I’ve graduated from handshakes to hugs. I also apparently rated her real name, which, it turns out, has nothing to do with the letter “S” at all! That was just a name she used on Match to stay safe. Smart girl.
In any case, we went out to dinner again last Friday. Interestingly enough, I think I’d eaten in that restaurant before. It’s a place called Thai Gourmet. (Notice a theme to our dining?) I got there just a few minutes before her and, gentleman that I am, rose to greet her when she came through the door. As last time, we had a good meal and better conversation. I did notice, though, that the more comfortable she seems with me, the thicker her accent gets. I found that sort of interesting. I also found it interesting that she volunteered to pay for half of dinner. I didn’t let her, mainly because she took me by surprise, but also, Thai restaurants are usually pretty inexpensive.
Then we went to a Starbucks off Westheimer where I let her buy me a chai latte. And we talked some more. She’s an interesting girl, that’s for sure. Turns out she’s probably less than a year away from getting her greencard. After that, she ought to be able to travel fairly easily so she can go back to Shanghai and see her family.
She asked me a funny sort of question, though. Again, since she caught me by surprise, I probably was a little more honest than I’d have been given some time to think about it. She asked me how important I thought looks were. Now, I probably should have hesitated and thought about it, but, being me, I didn’t.
“What’s more important to me,” I told her, “is how someone treats me. Don’t get me wrong, looks are important, but not as important as the way someone treats me.” And, after a moment’s pause, I added, “I suppose I think about that a bit more since the divorce, but being pretty on the outside doesn’t matter much or for long if someone is ugly on the inside.” From her reaction, I’d say she like that answer.
So, as we’re gathering everyone for dinner after church, I’m updating J. and L. about my two dates. I emphasized how nice S. is and how intelligent and easy to talk to. And, L. asks that question,”Is there any chemistry?”
Naturally, I ignored the question and just kept on talking about, well, anything but the answer to that question, frankly. She asked me twice more before catching on that I was just going to ignore the question. Though, I have to admit, I was mulling an answer over in my head. It went something like this…
Chemistry is over-rated. Chemistry led me to an unhappy marriage and a painful divorce. Chemistry had me chasing every “pretty on the outside, ugly on the inside” woman I ever ran into that gave me a second glance. Chemistry is what damn near ruined my life and draws me like a stupid moth to a white-hot chemical fire.
If I were to follow this chemistry business, I’d chase after the receptionist at work who’s Drama Quotient is off the scale. In the name of this chemistry nonsense, I’d batter what was left of myself against the giant monolith of a hopeless cause.
No thanks. This time, I’m going to ignore the damn chemistry and do the smart thing. The “chemistry” will follow, if everything else works, too.
I told J. as much Sunday afternoon. He agreed that it was the smarter thing to do, but then he tried to tell me how important chemistry was to a long-term relationship. I think I managed to keep a straight face.
The truth is, there is a bit of chemistry there with S. It’s not the white-hot, searing burn of an over-heated crucible that will burn my fingerprints off, but, it’s there enough to make it all work. If we work at it.
Only time will tell.
Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Being right too soon is socially unacceptable."
--Robert A. Heinlein