dating is a covert operation, i’ve found. it’s not about putting yourself forward--it’s about putting up a facade, and only letting the best part of you show, holding that screen to shield the actual depths of you, so you can be presentable to the dating pool. you never admit you fall asleep to the sound of body screaming that your eggs are going to waste. you don’t mention whats-their-name, the sibling you dislike intensely, who is a psychological mess. you wonder what on which date you should disclose the fact you need to touch your doorknob five times before you leave the house. and, when, i mean, really, when do you tell the other person you like toys in bed, it adds to the thrill for you--and by toys you mean your stuffed animal collection that you keep in a box in your closet? these realities are carefully put away, tucked behind the silk skirt and the heels and the huge smile you wear as you move into the restaurant on that first date, saying in a thrilled voice you are surprised is your own, “you really chose a great place!”. with that first statement, there you are, disguising your hatred for the cuisine, the decor and the location, effectively starting on the path of semi-truths you’ll tell during the night... with luck, you’ll find a partner who will move into the full truths of your life, and accept you as you are, as you need to accept them.
i take that deep breath, adjust my skirt, touch my hair and walk in with him saying, “wow! this place is so unique!”, holding tight to my mask and hoping it doesn’t slip too soon.