Chapter 3a. Distant
At one point during lockdown, I can’t pin point when exactly but I got into the Marvel movies. Having never seen any of them, I started with Thor (obvious reasons why). The day I had started writing about my first first date in Quarantine, I sat down to watch Thor: The Dark world. The second Marvel movie I had ever watched. Around half way through, I paused the film to go on Instagram to admit I had no idea what was going on as I felt like I was missing something and ask should I have watched the Avengers in between. (Tip for single girls- ask Marvel questions on social media and heterosexual men will bombard your DMs) My messages were going crazy asking what I had watched from MCU and I was sent the chronological order of the films. Just as I said I was going to put my phone down and try focus on the last hour and 18 minutes, I get another DM. It is from Jay. Jay who ghosted me after our First Date on skype 9 weeks before. It was a surprise he messaged but I found this very strange since I had been writing about him that very day… weird.
He told me not to worry too much but a few things to spot and asked what I had seen so far. I mentioned my love of Loki.
“Ah God of Mischief. Don’t trust him.” Jay says.
“God of Mischief? Sounds like the guys I date.” Bold of me. Perhaps a little dig. I love how sassy I am after just one gin.
Jay was now transitioning from the Ghost to the Zombie*
The next day, I finished and posted ‘A first date in Quarantine’. After his message last night I thought it would be best to message and say I wrote a blog about him. As someone who had a dating blog before and knew about mine surely he would understand and expect it? A few hours went by and he hasn’t said anything about it. Despite the influx of messages from friends and followers saying how good it was, they were sorry to hear he ghosted, he was stupid to do so and a rather patronising one from an ex saying he was hoping I had a happy ending, I hadn’t heard from Jay. If Jay hadn’t messaged about Thor the night before then I never would have messaged to tell him about the blog and then have anxiety creep in about him not responding. Finally he messaged to say he did read it. He thanked me for the nice things I said about him, apologised for ghosting, complimented my writing and said, “for what it’s worth, if it was an in person date I would have wanted a kiss at the end too”. I thanked him and said it was for the best as the pandemic was lasting longer than we initially thought.
Over the next fortnight, we went back to how we had been pre-pandemic and liked the odd post and responding to stories. My stories, of course were entering the MCU world as I had decided to go with the chronological order to watch them in. Every Marvel story resulted in a reaction from Jay. Had I peaked his interest again or was it just because he is a so into Marvel? This pondering was answered when out of the blue I received a DM:
“Just a thought, but we could do a joint Marvel movie watching sometime? I could furnish you with exciting and not at all nerdy trivia and answer any Qs you have etc. Might be fun.”
Well, I didn’t see that one coming. It made me smile and Jay’s language is similar to mine, hesitant, a tad self- deprecating but overall charming. How could I say no?
We agreed to watch The Avengers (first one) the folllowing Friday. We agreed a time and to use facetime. I was still on furlough and had a table booked at a new Spanish wine bar with a good friend that afternoon. The sun was shining and I was so happy to be sipping a Rioja with James who I have been close with for a decade now. The wine bar was 3.5 miles from my flat and as I walked back to my flat, 2 wines and a tummy filled with bread and olives, I got a coffee to sober up. I arrived at mine with 20 minutes to spare for a quick body shower. I dusted loose powder over my T zone, keep my hair up in a high pony and apply a tinted lip balm. The flat was so warm and I opted to wear a strappy playsuit for the film but kept a light cardigan nearby. Like our first date, I lit a candle and brought a bottle of red and glass to the sofa. Wait, was this a date? If not, what was it? What is the term for face timing while you watch a movie with a person you have admitted you would want to kiss and know they would too? Also, are we going to just facetime at the start and then hang up to put on? Or do we facetime the whole movie? Hmm. I grab two hardback Jane Austen novels from my nearby desk and rest them on the arm of the sofa to put my phone on so I don’t have to hold it and it is level with my face. I am as ready as I can be and I find myself staring at ‘Mansfield Park’ and ‘Sense and Sensibility’ wondering what Jane Austen would say about all of this. Do we have it easier or harder than in 1816?
My phone goes and I swipe up to see Jay on a smaller screen than our last date. The barbers and salons are still closed so his hair and beard are wilder than before and he has been decorating all day so his hoodie is covered in paint splats but that is attractive to me. I am so used to seeing his Instagram with photos in suits so this was much more rugged. Hipster maybe but attrative. Going back to my obsession with Lord of the Rings (another thing Jay and I have in common) and my sexual awakening brought on by Aragorn, I enjoy this side of Jay. We have made much less effort than our first date but we are clearly more nervous and awkward. Maybe because we are more casual, and virtually on a sofa rather than virtually across a table it feels more intimate. Jay makes sure I have a wine poured and we laugh as we make sure we are starting the movie at the exact same time. As it starts, I see the film length is 2hours and 25 minutes. I start to panic how this play out… and not sure one bottle of wine will last this long…but I don’t want to drink too quickly or switch to spirits and make that mistake again.
Jay and I have similar set up with our phones being beside us and I slyly glance over at my screen and see him looking ahead at his TV. He glances to his phone. I am sure we have caught each other. This is absolutely adorable. I don’t have a clue what to expect with Jay or the movie. Over the start of the film, I ask questions. Naturally, I had the fear as I asked that I was sounding stupid. Jay telling me I was asking a good question relaxed me and I could tell he loved being able to answer my questions and I was loving that. Isn’t it weird what gives us butterflies in dating sometimes? There was of course a few awkward moments when I asked to pause will I went to the bathroom and had to be so cautious how I stood up and how he might have seen my short shorts of the playsuit on facetime. That could really go either way!
I don’t remember much of the movie now until we were 2 hours in, I still had wine left and was completely into the story, understanding what was going on and really enjoying it. The next thing I remember is trying to hold the tears back as Tony Stark floated through space. Jay laughed and I hope he thinks I am adorable and likes that I am so into the film rather than mentally unstable. The film finishes, and I think we are both exhausted from the week, the heat, drinking for 2 and a half hours, and the concentration of it all. The night was cooler so I now had my light cardigan on. We spoke for about 5 minutes and said good night. I turned the telly off and picked up the rose candle in a glass jar and blew it out. Soon after, I climbed into bed and as I set my alarm for the morning, I messaged Jay to say:
“That was fun. I think it should be in person next time.”
“It was fun. I agree, in person next time” replies Jay
Chapter 3b will tell the next part of this story and if you missed my first date with Jay that happened the very first weekend of Lockdown, you can catch it here: https://jadeddating.wordpress.com/2020/06/21/a-first-date-in-quarantine/
*Zombie-ing is a dating trend when someone who has ghosted or properly ends things with you comes back. It is very common from guys and I am sure everyone who is single has experienced this- especially during lockdown! In fact, every guy I have dated over the last 3 years actually got in touch since the pandemic hit. A zombie comes back from the dead.