Tacos Are Tasty

(This is an essay I had to write for my English Composition class earlier this semester. I got a 100 on it. Enjoy!!!)


I wonder if anyone knows in the moment that their life is about to be forever changed? I know I didn’t. Nothing could have prepared me for the journey I was about to undertake. All because of tacos. Yeah, tacos. Something so basic and banal, but for me, that night, they may as well have been plates of fated stars. I’m getting ahead of myself here, but just know, tacos are tasty and significant.

It all really started one night while I was bored at work. Working until midnight, with Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays off didn’t really help my social life. Well, that’s the excuse that I made for myself anyway. I’d been single for about two years at that point, and most of my friends and close co-workers were pressuring me to put myself out there and get back on that horse.

I’d been on a few first dates in the previous six months, but nothing to write your mom about. In fact, I had kind of wanted to forget pretty much all of those first dates. They really only served as amusing anecdotes at that point. Let me tell you, there is nothing people can commiserate about like awkward or awful first dates. Nothing.

Anyway, it was a slow night at work, and one of my colleagues had been cajoling me into joining Tinder and other various online dating sites and apps. I will confess, I joined Tinder and probably swiped left on hundreds of women in the week or so that I actually played around with the app. It really wasn’t for me.

“Come on! You’re never going to meet anyone if you don’t try it!”

“I have tried online dating before. It’s never worked out. I’m too honest for it.”

“Well, that was before. This is now. What do you really have to lose?”

What do I have to lose? Nothing really, just the energy expended in being honest in my profile, and probably a couple hundred bucks on more lousy first dates with women who aren’t honest on their profiles and just don’t intrigue me at all in person.


“No. No excuses. Pick a site and sign up. Now.”

“Ugh, fine. I’m not doing Tinder again. I want something more serious.”

“What about Match?”

“I tried that in my mid-twenties. It was a waste of money.”

“Well, you’re older now and so are the women you’ll be trying to match with. Do it!”

Reluctantly, I went ahead and signed up for Match. I even decided I was going to really give Match a serious try and signed up for a six-month subscription. This is the best value. When I don’t meet anyone, then they’ll have to give me another six months free. Could be worse I guess.

I spent about an hour setting up my profile. I filled out about a half dozen questionnaires, and I put a lot of thought in my long-form responses. I selected a half dozen pictures to use with the help of friends, and I went live with it. I even put the app on my phone and enabled push notifications.

At the same time, another one of my friends had been texting me, inviting me out to the city the next day to go have wings and do a trivia night. One of her friends would be joining us, and she volunteered to drive. I knew I was being set up, but I had decided I was going to say yes to any invitations for dates and give them a fair shot. I agreed and found myself actually looking forward to the evening.

I actually found myself having a lot of fun that night, and made plans to go down to the city again a few days later for an “official” first date. I wasn’t feeling butterflies or tingles or anything, but I also knew that being in a group setting is a lot different than spending time one on one with someone.

In the meantime, a few women had liked my pictures on Match, and one or two had messaged me with the prototypically canned “What’s up” messages. Again, nothing I was excited about at all. I knew this stupid site wasn’t going to get me anywhere. Oh well, I have six months to keep looking and trying to engage someone in a meaningful conversation.

I went on my solo first date and actually had a nice time. She took me to a museum I had been really wanting to check out, and we had a phenomenal dinner. The chemistry just wasn’t there in a romantic sense. For some reason, I still agreed to meet up with her the following Thursday for a second date. I guess I was hoping that maybe since we had fun with each other, maybe some chemistry would develop.

That Sunday at work, my phone alerted me to new activity on the Match app. I wonder if this is from someone who’d already messaged me, or if this is someone new? I opened up the app to find I had five notifications – all from the same person! They were mostly picture likes, but I went onto her profile to check her out and found that from what she had put into her profile, it seemed like we had a decent amount in common. What the hell, let me message her about something from her profile and say thanks for all the picture likes. Maybe she’ll get back to me sometime later in the week.

I sent the message, and within twenty minutes, I had another app notification on my phone. No way that’s her. Crap, it’s her! Oh, she actually responded with full paragraphs…this could be interesting. I spent the next couple of hours messaging back and forth with her. At one point, she just decided that messaging through the app wasn’t good enough, and she just gave me her cell phone number to text her while I was at work. She’s bold. Should I? I mean, she did give her number to me without my even asking. Oh hell, what do I have to lose?

Less than 30 minutes later, I had a first date set up with her for Tuesday. She basically invited herself to my weekly Taco Tuesday outing. I didn’t mind. Am I really doing this? I have a first date on Tuesday and a second date on Thursday. Who am I? Do I tell them?

Tuesday came. I got to my normal spot for tacos early and snagged us a table outside on the patio. I was kind of nervous, and the staff there picked up on it.

“You alright? You seem really pale, even for you!”

“Yeah, I’m, ah, meeting someone.”

“Oh! Is this a date?”

“Yeah…a first date.”

“Say no more! Listen, if you need to get out of it because she lied or isn’t cool or something, just let me know and we’ll handle it.”

“Thanks, but I’m sure I’ll be fine.”

I got a text message, “I just parked. I’ll see you outside in a minute.”

I watched the patio door like a hawk for her to come in. When she did, I hopped off my stool and gave her a hug hello. She smelled good. She felt good in my arms. I smiled. She smiled. I walked her over to the table and we started talking.

“So, you like it here?”

“It’s my favorite place to hang out. The owner and staff treat me like family.”

“Nice. That must be nice.”

“It has its perks.”

We smiled. We ordered drinks and some tacos. I felt drawn closer and closer to her. The conversation was easy. She was attractive, and being around her calmed my nerves. We both barely ate. We had a few drinks. Standard first date stuff.

I’m not sure how it came up, but at one point she said something about being too short to reach the giant margarita we were sharing, and I said something about “just come to sit next to me then.” The next thing I knew, we were sharing our first kiss.

Wow. Butterflies. Sparks. Fireworks. A ninety-nine piece marching band. All of the clichés.

“Check please!” We both said, and then immediately laughed.

I paid the bill and we walked out to the parking lot. We sat in her SUV talking and kissing for a while. I want to tell her I want to see her again, but I also have to tell her that I’m sort of seeing someone else. How I wish that wasn’t true right now! I really want to cancel my Thursday date and just focus on her. AHHHHHHHH! Why did I do this to myself?

I took a deep breath and explained everything. I told her I just wanted to be honest with her, and that I hoped I didn’t hurt her feelings, but that she wasn’t the only person I was going on dates with. I told her I was going to cancel my other date that week because I would rather focus on her. She thanked me and said she needed to go home. I asked her to please let me know she got home safe. She promised she would.

You idiot! You shouldn’t have been so honest with her, and you should have just kept your Thursday date to yourself. Now you’ve really gone and done it!

I canceled my Thursday date. I just told that woman that I didn’t think going back and forth to the city was feasible, and that I hoped we could remain friends. She seemed hurt, but she agreed. Then my date texted me. “I’m home safe. I had a great time. I want to see you again. How about Thursday?”

Had my friends been right? Was online dating and Match going to work? Could I have done the impossible and actually found someone amazing online? Was I wrong to have been such a skeptic?

Fast forward over a year later, and we are still going strong. She’s now my fiancé, and we are planning for our wedding in 2019. She’s my best friend and I love her to the ends of the Earth.

People joke around all the time that we should be on one of those Match commercials that show success stories. I’ve told this story to all of my single friends who have struggled to meet quality people. I tell them I was on Match for two weeks, and she was only on Match for two hours when she found my profile. She tells the story of how she decided she wanted to meet someone real, and she saw my profile pretty much right away. My whole opinion of online dating has completely changed, and I encourage people I know who are serious about meeting someone to join Match.

All because I love tacos and she invited herself to join me.

~ by tatterednotes on October 9, 2017.

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