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M messaged me on Facebook and asked if I remembered meeting him at a party the week before.

To be honest, I didn’t. I remembered going to the party, a quiet get-together—or, it was a quiet get-together until I drank a bottle of tequila and started shouting the story of how I met Katie Holmes to anyone who would feign interest. Other than tequila and Katie Holmes, I didn’t remember much about the night at all.

But he remembered me, and somehow wasn’t off-put by my loud behavior, and wanted to take me out on a date. Hell—if you can handle me at my tequila-Katie-Holmes, you deserve a shot. (A shot at a date, and a shot of alcohol, because you’re going to need it.)

We met at a restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen and sat near the middle of an empty dining room. M was very kind and very gentle, drumming his delicate fingers on the table. When the waitress asked if he wanted anything else to drink, he said, “Just water’s fine,” but I still ordered a glass of Merlot. I’m just not myself when I’m sober.

By the end of our entrée, I was 100% positive there was no connection. Conversation was bland—even after I finished my second glass of wine—and we weren’t finding any common ground. I would have rather stayed at home, in my underwear, reading a book. I altogether spaced out of the conversation when I heard him say, “A family friend of mine died a few months ago.”

I snapped to attention. Why was he talking about a family friend that had died? How had the conversation led to there? He continued talking about this man, how he was a mentor to him, how he helped him find a job out of college … and then he started crying. Weeping. Trying to tell his story through thick tears that he let fall all the way down his chin. I don’t do well with emotion when I don’t know someone. I didn’t know what to do, and I kind of missed half of the story. At one point, a waiter wandered over to see if we needed anything, saw him crying, and turned right back around again.

When he’d calmed down, I said, “Oh,” still not sure how to react. I shut myself off completely. The server came over and asked, cautiously, “Would you guys like any deserts?” Before I could say no, he took the menu and ordered a sundae. He asked me if I wanted to order anything as well.

“Just water’s fine.”

When we finally paid the bill, he walked me to the subway and kissed me goodbye—but I didn’t see him again. The crying was just too much for me to process.

Through Facebook stalking, I’ve discovered that he’s had a boyfriend for some time now, and they look deliriously happy.

As for me? I haven’t made anyone else cry on a first date, so I’m doing great, thanks for asking.

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