Okay, as promised, some "good date" stories.
A couple of specific dates spring to mind. Interestingly, both these guys had the same first name. Coincidence? Yeah, probably so. It's a pretty common name.
Guy #1: maybe the best first date ever. It was early in December. I met this guy at a friend's party; he worked with her boyfriend. Nice enough guy, seemed really interested in me, so I gave him my number. He called the next day, and we made plans. I hadn't put up a Christmas tree yet, so he suggested driving to a local Christmas tree farm and cutting one down for me. Okay! So we went to the farm, I carefully selected the very best tree and he manfully sawed it down for me. And paid for it. Nice. We stopped to get lights and ornaments, a tree stand, etc., and then stopped at a liquor store before heading back to my place. We decorated the tree and then turned off all the lights in the house. It was dark out by then, so we got cozy on the floor underneath the tree, turned on some music and just lay there looking up at the lights and drinking liqueurs. It was pretty magical, I have to say. Sadly, succeeding dates did not live up to that one, and eventually the relationship fizzled out with no particularly strong regrets on either side. I ran into him occasionally at parties for a while, but it's probably been at least a dozen years now since our paths crossed. I DO however, still use that tree stand he bought me, and still have the souvenir glasses that came with the Black Sambuca. Hee.
Guy #2: one of the rare "good ones that got away." We did lots of hanging out with mutual friends, etc., but I think our first actual "date" may have been the weekend we went to the races. There was no horse racing in Tulsa at the time, but the company he worked for would occasionally charter a bus and take employees to the racetrack in Oklahoma City. I went one Saturday as his guest. I was working in the non-profit arts at the time, and not making squat, basically, so he gave me a fistful of cash and told me to go crazy at the betting windows. Nice! We drank and ate and gambled all day, and I think I had about $20 left at the end of it. (Which he graciously told me to keep--hee!) It was great fun. There were other notables dates with this guy. He was something of a history/archaeology buff, and belonged to some sort of club that arranged lectures and outings along those lines. We went to a lecture on Pizarro and his brutal conquest of the Incas (Or was it Cortez and the Aztecs? No, I think it was Pizarro. Some brutal Spanish explorer who wiped out an indigenous population, at any rate. Take your pick.), followed by a wine and cheese reception. Okay, maybe that doesn't sound like a great date to everyone, but I'm a bit of a history buff, too, and I thought it was great. We also went on a weekend hike along the banks of the Arkansas river, where the indigenous Indian tribes used to camp, and explored carvings and caves. Great fun. Things were going swimmingly, I thought. He was a truly nice guy, we had many of the same interests, but....BUT...there's always a but. He also had some pretty sizeable emotional baggage that was weighing him down. He told me in some detail about it, and I can't say I don't understand why he was sort of fucked up, but fucked up he was, and the end result was that I was quite painfully and suddenly dumped. The bottom line was something like "I like you a lot, but relationships never work out, so I'm dumping you now before we get any closer 'cause then it would only hurt worse when it ends, which it inevitably will." Okie dokie. I tried not to take it too personally, and we managed a fairly amicable parting, which is good, because our social circles intersect to some extent and I still see him occasionally here and there. We're quite pleasant and civil to each other, sometimes even exchanging the friendly one-armed hug. He's a good guy, all in all, and I wish him well. And, you know, it's been over 10 years, so I've had time to get all magnanimous. ;)
Okay, I could think of a few more notable moments (does making out in a hotel elevator count as a date?), but now I'm all discouraged because I realize all the really good dates I can remember were at least ten years ago. Hmph. But that's okay because, as we all know, 2007 is the Year of Liz! There's another goal for 2007--at least one memorable date. Memorable in a GOOD way, I mean, not memorable for biting and blood!