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Mar 28, 2011

When Plans A & B Fail... Plan Some More.

I'll preface this with a short prelude into my mind before considering a date. I have some nervousness because I'm concerned about all the logistics going smoothly, which I assume is normal (and my experience tells me often things do not go exactly the way I've planned). The way I handle that anxiety is by accumulating every bit of information possible. I obsess about the tiny little details and have backups for my backups. I go early and scout the place out just in case, so that if something isn't looking right I can move to "Plan B" swiftly and seamlessly.

If I plan on going for tea/coffee, I'll look up every coffee shop within a mile radius of the one I plan on going to. I'll call and ask about their usual customer volume (specifying the expected time we would show) and if they have ample seating. I'll scout them all out for the best tables, chairs, view... you name it. If I decide to bring a board game, I'll probably secretly cram six or seven of them in, for the off chance that one may be preferred. Chances are, with all that, we just sit down and have some great conversation, some laughs, and get to know about each other.

Maybe play one or two rounds of a game. Maybe.

And yet, thought I can't quite explain why, practically every first date I've been on has had more than a few hiccups. By which I mean a logistical disasters. I always walk away from the experience having learned a lot; about myself as a dater, about the woman I went out with, but most of all about Murphy's Law.

Of course, I win out in the end -Murphy's Law has no chance against my preparedness and determination. Still, I sometimes feel frustrated, as if the lack of control I have over logistics undermines how I present myself on a date.

I don't know to what extent people recognize the work that goes into planning a smooth date (at least for me), but it's the difference between seeing a new car on the street and watching the process from conception and design to prototypes and testing to manufacturing and transport.

That's the way it is for me -I've got to consider ideas, figure out how to execute the logistics, and try it out (either on my own or with a date, which I hate to say may end up turning us into crash-test manikins), then refine the process and make sure it translates into my current locale and the local customs. On top of all that, of course, I have to make sure that who I am -the genuine charm and humor that I love in myself -is coming across when we're out, regardless of all the other things I'm trying to keep track of.

And they say men can't multitask.

The whole thing is a very long process, I didn't just decide to start dating one day and know how to do it all perfectly well. Some days I think about how much easier it would be to say "I dunno, what do you want to do?" Of course "easy" isn't my goal. Neither is dating. Or my wedding day. It's my drive for growth that enables me to push so passionately onward, and that's what my life and relationships are all about.

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