I had a date around this time last year. She was a teacher-turned-librarian in her mid-40s with two kids, a pixie-cut, and thrift store style.
Before we formally introduced ourselves, I recognized her from across the room and was immediately struck by the way she carried herself. There was a confidence when moving about; clearing a table to sit at without a moment’s hesitation as to whether anyone would mind; interacting with the staff; bumping into an old acquaintance. Something common among parents and people in the education system, lest they show weakness to a group of children (and the complete opposite of Heather, who’s shy and awkward and always tries to take up as little space as possible).
We both understood how difficult it can be to get to know someone through a screen, and agreed it would be better to meet sooner rather than later. That meant I didn’t know too much about her, aside from the details in her profile. I was comforted by the fact that she mentioned All About Love by bell hooks under “A book everyone should read”, because Tiana happened to recommend it to me earlier that year and it became a big influence on the way I approach my relationships. Also by the fact that one of her needs was “understanding of systems of oppression”; as I drift further to the left on the political spectrum, I’ve learned that I tend to get along better with people who have an awareness of social inequality.