Category Archives: Maria Bello

Dinner and a movie

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During my favorite summer of 2012, I enjoyed meeting men in parks,

coffee and ice cream shops. All part of my online dating experiences

that I would not trade a moment of! But my most favorite form of

dating is dinner and a movie! It is not recommended as a first or

second date, since the second half of the date you are in the dark

with a person, of the opposite sex, who is nearly a stranger!

This is not always the best way to build rapport in the beginning of

a relationship. There are sometimes where you may feel awkward,

for example, if the movie is rather risque and embarassing. Or if it

is extremely juvenile and raunchy in its humor, but you cannot help

bursting out laughing, possibly louder than your date, even spraying

Diet Coke out of your nose or mouth due to the sudden impact of

a well placed zany joke!

Although, I did try this before; movies on a first and second date,

recently, with my summer six weeks of dating the younger man. Our

most fun times were those meals and movies we shared. The least

fun times, awkward moments were the way the Indians’ game went

“down.” And the other more intimate disaster, that ended that dating

situtation altogether.

When the whole scenario was suggested again,  by the “new Mark,” I

could not resist saying, “Yes! Let’s do this!” (Ever ignoring past history

of mistakes!)

Mark and I had a pleasant time on our first “coffee date” that turned

into a Greek Sunday dinner at Opa’s Restaurant. Then, a few nights

later, I heard from him again. He called to say that he was going to

be busy over this past weekend (the first weekend in October) on

both Friday and Saturday. He asked, would I mind having another

Sunday dinner and this time, follow up with a movie?

We still are in the very new form of dating, not a lot of information

has been covered. I am a “rambler” and he is reticent. I have been

trying the questioning approach but then after awhile, I worry that

he may feel I am prying.

So, then, my mouth chews food, drinks dainty sips of my beverage

and listens as the restaurant buzzes around us with many strands

of conversation.

We chose “1808,” a nicer local restaurant, located across the street

from the Strand movie theatre. Very convenient to eat and leave his

car parked in same place, to walk to see the movie after dinner.

I ordered my “usual” pecan crusted chicken salad, this sometimes

varies, as almond crusted chicken salad. I am now doubting which

one I had…

Hmm. Must depend on the chef’s choice of nuts? Or if the kitchen

has only one kind, that is the way it is listed on the daily menu?

Anyway, this large, but reasonably priced salad, comes with a

delicious maple vinaigrette. Usually, people order “bread service”

but I did not even suggest it. Mark ordered the fish of the day. For

the life of me, not sure what it was… it was the special of the day, too.

I think my brain gets frozen or overloaded on dates. My nerves are a

little shot and frayed… Don’t give me a “test” because I would fail!

We chatted about his busy weekend. I shared that I had seen a

movie with my daughter, had borrowed seven from the library and

had seen most of them. The movies I chose were a “mixed bag,”

including comedies and serious ones, too.

The funny movie that I enjoyed most was, “Dark Shadows.” I have a

fondness for Johnny Depp, also the actor in the t.v. show, “Elementary”

is in this movie as the husband to Michelle Pfeiffer.

One of the more serious movies I shared with my daughter, that was

heartwarming, was “People Like Us.” It was about a man who was not

close to his recently deceased father who had been a famous musician.

The mother, wife of the famous musician is played by Michelle Pfeiffer,

the young man is played by Chris Pine and there is a woman, played by

Elizabeth Banks, whose son is left money by the musician. Chris Pine’s

character is requested by his father in his will to pursue and find the

woman with her son. It is a tale of humanity and redemption. We

enjoyed it, along with a beautiful song, called, “Dotted Line” sung by

Liz Phair, as the movie ends, credits roll.

I imparted these thoughts to Mark, since I like to analyse movies.

He was a good listener. I then asked what are some of his favorite

movies?

I was hoping to let him talk for awhile, since our food had arrived

and I am a slow salad eater. I have been known to eat for an hour,

when consuming a large salad! This broiled chicken with nuts was

delicious and I really wanted to savor it.

We had under an hour to get to the movie, at this point in time.

We had chosen the only adult movie that seemed like good actors

were in, along with a serious theme. I guess we could not go to

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,” huh?

Mark had suggested going to the movie called, “Prisoners.” The

actors in it were Maria Bello, Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal,

Viola Davis and Terence Howard.

(Terence Howard is a favorite of mine, since the movie, “Crash.”

It was nice to see Viola Davis, since she was in “The Help.”)

Mark shared that he likes the Star Trek movies, with Chris Pine in

William Shatner’s role as Captain Kirk. He likes some of the same

British movies, such as “The Constant Gardener” and also, knew

my youngest daughter’s and my favorite Christmas movie, “Love

Actually.” He is not a fan of “Bridget Jones’ Diary” nor “Notting

Hill” and surprisingly, for a serious man, did not ever see “Pride

and Prejudice.” I mentioned that Donald Sutherland is excellent

as the father and that its a family story that includes romance,

history and interesting plot twists, too.

I asked what other movies in the science fiction genre did he enjoy?

Mark informed me that the reason he liked the newer “Star Trek”

movies it was because it was a remake of the t.v. series more than

the fact it was sci-fy. I asked did he like the Sherlock Holmes two

movies with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law in them? The plot has

some WWI references and Germany in the second of the movies. He

had not seen them. I was again thinking seriously and trying to pull

some comments out of him. I asked his had he seen “War Horse” or

the “Die Hard” newest movie. Neither have been seen by him. I was

being met by silence. But he had said he liked movies, over the cell

phone. I came up with another way to find out his likes in movies.

I asked him what was the last movie he had seen?

He could not remember. I dropped the subject.

We talked about his children that are in their twenties and that

was nice to hear that they had a family dinner, they also do like

to play games. They did not play games this weekend, but do

like cards and board games. One is already in his career and his

daughter attends a state college in Ohio. His ex-wife lives in an

older neighborhood here in Delaware and he has bought a smaller

house in a more newer neighborhood. I told him that my last home

had been in Lexington Glen, brief synopsis of where ex was and

how we had decided to sell the house, etc.

The “Prisoners” movie is sad, regrettably. I was not prepared for the

emotions of it, there is a very disgusting, horrific part where one of

the protagonists that you really like, is not nice at all. I was dismayed.

During the whole movie, I would have liked an arm around me. It was

intense and disturbing. I would not recommend watching it with

someone you don’t know nor really paying money to see it. There are

so many other movies out there, better choices. I, unfortunately, had

not read even one review!

We had both agreed ahead about the time and the movie, itself. No

one could be “blamed” or upset at the choice. We left the theatre in

silence, I was not even wanting to discuss the ending. He did ask me

which direction I thought the director could have gone to let us know

how to feel in the end.

I don’t want to sound discouraged. I do think we enjoyed our meal and

the movie has an  “open-ending.” This is what I call a movie that makes

you decide how it will end. You could go either way, a happy ending,

but it seems unlikely. The tone seemed to reflect an unhappy ending.

That would just put the ‘nail in the coffin.’

Mark walked me home and we gave each other a hug. He will call soon,

later in the week, he said.

I did not write anything for a couple days, it is Tuesday after all. I was

not sure if it was the movie, the prying conversation out of a very nice

but quiet man, or what was a little “off.”

We did not cover religion, politics nor sex. We stayed on safe ground

and relatively pleasant but dry conversation. I am smiling with my

best foot forward still in place.

Here was my best summary of the second date with the chemist

from PPG named Mark.

Dinner and a movie, plus a hug.