Six Years of Dates

Filed under creepy boyfriend obsession

You know what I miss most about being in a relationship, aside from the assurance that I’m superior to all of my single friends? Going on dates.

I found myself in my bathroom on a recent Saturday afternoon, wearing a dress and putting on earrings in preparation for going to a friend’s house, and it felt so wonderful and familiar for a second. I realized it was because it reminded me of all of those years of going on dates with Kamran on Saturday nights. It seemed like we had a dinner reservation at some swanky restaurant every single weekend for the last couple of years of our relationship. We were always trying to one-up ourselves the way drug addicts do–going to the newest best restaurant, the oldest best restaurant, all of the three-Michelin-star restaurants–hoping this week’s tasting menu would be even better than last week’s.

We’d plan what time to wake up, what time to eat lunch, what to eat for lunch based on dinner that night. My strategy was to eat a lot for lunch–the chicken fingers parm sandwich from Jackson Hole was a favourite–so my stomach would be good and stretched out, while he would only eat two sushi rolls so he’d be starving by dinnertime. I’d take a shower three hours before we were supposed to leave so I’d have time to let my hair air dry while we watched “Deadliest Catch” or “Project Runway”, sit around in pajamas until the last second and then put on my dress and earrings. Kamran needed my blessing on whatever sweater-vest-and-bowtie combination he’d chosen, and I needed him to straighten the collar on my cape.

I’d try to hurry us out the door by waiting for him in the hallway, and he’d have to run back inside to switch from the glasses he wore around the house to the glasses he wore outside that looked exactly the same, and I’d press the button for the elevator when he was still all of the way down the hallway, and he’d get mad. We’d take a picture of ourselves in the elevator on the way down to the lobby and then try to game whether to wait for a cab on Tudor City Place or walk down to 2nd Avenue and try to get one there. We always chose wrong whatever we chose and had one or two instances of, like, a stranger physically holding another woman back for us so she’d stop trying to steal the cab that clearly belonged to us because we were there first. And then we’d get to the restaurant, and the maitre d’ would ask what name was on the reservation, and we’d look at each other, and Kamran would ask me, “Is it under your name?” even though we both knew it was. And then we’d have the easiest dinner conversation, so much more interesting and voluminous than that of the other couples around us, and we’d get so full and so drunk that we’d just hold hands in the back of the cab on the way home and dazedly stare out the windows at the sights of 2nd or 6th Avenue, and maybe we’d talk about our favourite dishes if we could manage, but we’d try not to let on to the hardworking cabbie that we had just spent his whole paycheck on dinner.

The doorman would wish us a goodnight, and we’d never argue about who got to go to the bathroom first because he always let me, and then we’d collapse on the Murphy bed and watch “The X-Files” or “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” until we fell asleep or until it was time to order Second Dinner from whatever diner was still open at 2 a.m., depending on how teeny the portions had been at dinner.

It’s not that I miss these things specifically, though I loved every minute of them during those six years. It’s just that I miss the routine of it all. The knowing that I had this to look forward to every weekend. The knowing that I had reserved someone’s time. The being so well taken care of. It’s hard not to be nostalgic.


  1. Serial says:

    Well. Who wouldn’t miss that?

  2. bluzdude says:

    All that for Taco Bell?

    • katie ett says:

      I would probably commit murder for a Taco Bell tasting menu. I want 20 small plates and Mountain Dew pairings.

  3. facie says:

    Aw. I miss my routine of having lots of empty time that I could waste of Facebook and blogging. What you’re missing sounds so much better. Aw again.

    • katie ett says:

      You don’t have time to blog anymore? Because I’m 13 posts behind on your blog, according to my RSS reader. Apparently I’ve been away from the Internet for four years.

  4. Sandy says:

    God, you and I are so different. Just reading this exhausted me.

    • katie ett says:

      Did you miss the three hours of TV? Do you just not ever leave the house unless it’s for an interview or trivia?

      • Anonymous says:

        Damn girl! Why you gotta be hai’in’?

        • katie ett says:

          I didn’t mean it that way! I just meant that most of my date night story was us watching TV and stuffing our maws, so, you know, nothing to be exhausted by.

          For the record, your trivia-night-DJ story was one of my faves.

          • Sandy says:

            Ha! OK. I thought you were calling me out on all my TV watchin’. Which I do, but I know you do as well. I do leave the house pretty regularly, even when I don’t have an ultimately pointless interview. I just… for me, the point of being in a relationship would be so I DIDN’T have to go on dates. Relationships are for sweatpants and Chinese takeout eaten directly from the carton.

  5. Megan says:

    Well, now you have nobody to fight for the bathroom. That’s pretty special.

    • katie ett says:

      It’s true! The weeks where I have someone visiting from out of town and I have to wait on him or her to get out of my shower, I suddenly feel like friends aren’t worth having.

  6. Jessica R. says:

    There is so much comfort and joy in routines and I feel nostalgic just reading this, even though it was your life.

    In a different way, our routine was completely doused when we had our child. We had our Friday evening routine that involved beer at our favorite bar where we knew all the bartenders. There were fun, drunken conversations and stolen kisses.

    Now I just want an hour to myself to read a book and I get really sad sometimes thinking about those bygone days.

    • katie ett says:

      I was thinking about parenting after I wrote this, actually, and how all of you would be like, “Yeah, yeah, cry me a river.” I saw my friends about 90% less when I was going on those dates with Kamran, so I know I have to value what I have now while it lasts like you do with your time with the kid(s). There will be future dates for both of us.

  7. Erin says:

    Well yeah, I would miss that, too! I need to work in a couple more fancy dinners before my spawn arrives … but I worry it won’t be as good without wine pairings.

  8. Ash says:

    I didn’t know you were an X-Files fan! I loved that show! Unless you were watching it to make fun of it… in which case, oops.

  9. Lisa says:

    I used to do that “is it under your name?” thing with my best friend in Shreveport. It was always under my name, because apparently people have trouble with the name Maria (I never understood that). Not really a routine, but since moving, I miss knowing I have a place to go when I have nothing else to do. It takes time to build up the kind of friendship where you can just show up at someone’s door unannounced.