First Date #34 – How it went

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A Tale of Two New Year’s Eves

New Year’s Eve 2019 – It was the best of times.

By the time NYE2019 came around, we had already had a sleepover or three. We had planned to spend the evening at my cousin and his husband’s house in Santry, but due to illness, they had to cancel. No bother, we still wanted to spend it together, so I went up to Dublin for our own festivities. Dinner at an Indian place, and back to her place to watch a ball drop. 😉

While the year started off with a bang, it wasn’t long before the entire world was a hot mess. COVID-19, aka the dreaded plague that derailed everybody’s plans, kept us apart for most of the year. Even before that hit, her father had passed away. Grief, restrictions and isolation drove a wedge between us. Still, we had some adventures during these difficult times.

The first one was a weekend away near Rosslare, County Wexford. She was still reeling from her father’s death, so she asked if we could just go as friends. While I certainly wanted more, I wasn’t going to push through any barriers she had up at the time. So, we spent a nice time driving through Waterford City, down to Hook Lighthouse and over to Rosslare. The following day we went to Dungarvan, through the Copper Coast and back to Kilkenny. It was great to see her, and it was great to not be so isolated for a change.

We kept in touch on almost a daily basis, but it took until the following Fourth of July for us to have another weekend away. I hired a car and booked a night in The Old Rectory in Trim, County Meath. Trim has a castle used in Braveheart, and a lovely walk along the Boyne. We went to a nice steakhouse for dinner, and breakfast was brought to our room the following morning. In between, we had a not-so-platonic night sleep. The following day included visiting ruins, the Hill of Tara and a stop at Krispy Kreme.

I had purchased tickets to see The Book of Mormon in early March 2020 (pre-lockdown). The show finally happened in November 2021. This was a really special event for me. I had previously wanted to see The Book of Mormon in 2017, before Jean had passed away. I had bought the soundtrack to get familiar with the songs, and they were hilarious. But because of Jean’s illness, we sold our tickets before we could see the show together. Over the last five years, I have listened to that soundtrack many times – it still makes me laugh, but it often makes me sad when I think of what could have been. FirstDate34 had seen it before, but she happily accompanied me as she wanted to see it again. Our seats were in the front row! We were so close, we could read the sheet music! We had a great time. I still believed that our happiness would come some latter day.

New Year’s Eve 2021 – It was the worst of times.

I had been wanting to see her again since The Book of Mormon, and the stars finally aligned to meet on New Year’s Eve. I took this as a sign that things were going to go back to the way it was before COVID-19. And in a way, they did. But instead of rolling back to NYE2019, they rolled back to before we met. By the time the ball dropped, she was sleeping in my guest room. I held out hope that even if we weren’t going to be romantic, that we could still be friends. Alas, we haven’t seen or texted each other since early January, 2022.

I honestly don’t know what went wrong other than circumstances. I still think she’s an amazing woman, and I hope amazing things happen to and for her. But my path has moved on. The luck of a full moon on Friday the 13th only goes so far I guess.

(Last Dated – December 2021)