So I have this friend...
No really! It's not one of those stories where I'm trying to guise myself as someone else.
This friend is the one who primarily makes me ponder a lot over what makes a date a date.
In about September/October last year I was out at The Playground (Yes, shock horror I know!) with my favourite partner in crime, and we bumped into an old colleague. This colleague (we'll call him The Botox Man) had a friend with him. This friend is the man we'll refer to as "Boots".
So, The Botox Man has this amazing knack for remembering details that you wouldn't possibly think that someone would remember. For example, you may make mention 18 months ago about wanting to go on a holiday to Fiji... this guy remembers that shit and asks if ever you 'ever took that holiday to Fiji'.
Completely besides the point!
Boots however swore that he knew me from somewhere. Now, I never forget a face. Names, dates, times, sure - I'll forget those things, but a face - no way! No chance.
Even when on a blinder, I'll remember a face.
So Boots wears a wedding ring. This is a good thing. This means he's a safe, easy conversationalist with no sleazy antics... right?!
He's smart, funny, good looking, easy to talk to. No wonder the guy is married.
We sit around, chat, we work in the same speciality, so that makes the conversation even easier.
Was there chemistry? Absolutely. But this one is easy. If there is a ring on that finger, you just simply don't go there. There are no ifs, no buts. It's a clear no go zone.
After a while we trotted up to the Ivy, The Botox Man headed home. So it was just the three of us left. We danced until the wee hours, then, as civilised adults do, we went our separate ways. Perhaps suggestions were made, but the point is, regardless of the suggestions, I went home anyway.
The next morning, the strangest thing happened... I get an email from a man I'd done a series of negotiations with some 12 months earlier... claiming he'd had a great night the night before with this chick who's memory wasn't nearly as good as the boots she wore... ... ...
The emails continued over time. Light hearted, always clean, but with a hint of innuendo.
Then one day (yes yes, believe it or not) my morals got the better of me and I emailed him saying that enough was enough (the emails were usually prompted by him). He was a married man, and if I were his wife and read his emails, I'm not sure I'd be happy. So whilst there was nothing 'wrong' with anything that was sent... I'm not entirely sure it was 'right' either.
He said that I was overreacting, that I was reading into something that wasn't there, but if he was making me uncomfortable, then it was fine, he'd stop writing me.
Now, I pride myself on not being high-maintenance. At this point, I'm feeling pretty high-maintenance. So I reply, apologise for getting my wires crossed, and fair's fair.
He responds it's all cool, forget about it, we should catch up for lunch sometime.
I postpone until the point that you can't postpone anymore.
So this brings me really to something I've raised before, and hence my point. This to me is not a 'date'. It isn't a date because there was no intent (on my part) for it to be so. And I think there has to be. That said, if there is intent, does the intent have to be communicated? Surely "I'm asking you out on a date" doesn't need to be that explicit. "Would you like to have dinner with me" would imply, usually, to me anyway, that that is a date, but surely the context of the question also has to be implied.
The reason I believe this is because surely a man and a woman can catch up and have dinner together without it being interpreted as a date?
I can think of many instances where this is the case.
I've gotten no further with resolving this. Everyone I talk to has a different opinion. A lot of people say you 'just know'. But if that were the case, then either I'm naive, or it just doesn't apply in cases such as The Old Friend.