I met Clarice on Tinder. She is an attractive sixty-one year old black woman. You read that correctly. Clarice is the CEO and Chief Strategist of her own consulting firm. They develop effective marketing campaigns for non profits. she attended the Academy of Vocal Arts at Indiana University. her profile says she is curious, creative, impatient, inspired and passionate. She states that “Life is too short to be colorless, wishy-washy or indecisive.” She goes on to say, “If that’s your definition of feminine, then I’m just not that girl.” She’s not interested in hook ups, she’s looking for a meaningful relationship. “I know what I like, I know who I am, and what I can and cannot do.”
Well, let’s find out about all of that.
I asked her what I ask all of my matches on Tinder. “What prompted you to swipe right on my profile?”
“You have a friendly face! Sometimes it’s that simple.”
“Thank you for that Clarice, I like yours too!”
“Then perhaps we should meet face-to-face so that we can share our mutual admiration over a glass of wine…?
She gets right to the point. I like that.
We texted on tinder for a short time and I relinquished my number. She did the same, and we kept the conversation going that way. But it didn’t last long. I locked down a date and it was on.
We decided to meet at the Italian restaurant, Panorama. Clarice actually chose the place. The wine bar at Panorama is one of the premier Philadelphia wine bars, located in the heart of Old City at Penn’s View Hotel. Panorama is home to the largest wine preservation and dispensing system in the world as declared by The Guinness Book of World Records, no other Philadelphia hotel or restaurant offers such a selection. They have one hundred and twenty wine taps!
I hopped on the bus at 16th and Market street and rode it all the way to Front Street in Old City. Penn’s View Hotel is practically right there. I walk in and scan the room. The place looks like they remodeled it a bit. I look down the bar and there is the only black woman in the restaurant, so I head over. Clarice only had one photo on her profile, and she sort of looked stern in it. But I’m pretty sure it’s her. I greet her and get out of my coat and scarf.
I sit and we decide on what we’re going to drink. She says we should try one of their signature Panoramic Flights — a personal wine tasting offering a sampling of five different wines within a select group – from a selection of over 2 dozen fun and provocative themes. I’m okay with that. There are five in a flight. I’ll be interested to see who gets the odd glass. She wants food too. She says if she gets the mushrooms would I eat any of them and I tell her I won’t. But I tell her I’ll try them. I’m just not a fan of mushrooms.
We’re sharing the wine flight…sort of. She chooses one, and then I choose one. I taste hers, she tastes mine, and that’s it. The mushrooms come and whatever they did to prepare them, they did well. The shrooms taste pretty good. Then she gets bread. For a skinny chick she sure likes to eat.
She really is a lovely woman. Slender, delicate features. High cheekbones. wears her make up well. She’s glamorous and fashionable. Looks like money. I love her wrists and fingers. delicate and dainty. I would like to see what those legs look like, but this is our first date.
I run the program and she’s laughing and giggling like a schoolgirl. I can tell she’s bored with these other losers. Phicklephilly is the man for the job. She tells me she was with a man for ten years. married to him for five of them. She’s been divorced for thirty years! So she has basically been single all through her thirties, forties, and fifties! But she does say she was engaged to a Jewish guy for a while but that didn’t work out. She formerly was an opera singer. (I thought I saw a little diva in there) She has no children (Double bonus: No kids and too old to have any!) Like me, both parents are dead. She has one brother, whom she says has a shitty wife. There is no other family.
We sip our way through the next two glasses on our wine flight. Only one glass left after this round!
I can tell the date is going well and she is laughing and feeling refreshed to be around a man such as myself. She says she finds so many men boring. This was a Monday night. She says she has another date Wednesday, and one on Friday. I appreciate her honesty, but could care less who else she goes out with. Because when Led Zeppelin goes on first, those other bands should just cancel their tour and go back to their garage. I can tell she really likes me. One third through the date, she asks if I want to go see Rogue One with her on saturday. I tell her yes! Why not, she’s Pam Grier hot. Looks like she’s in her forties. Then she tells me she likes country music and I tell her that maybe we should start seeing other people. (Because I don’t like country music) she laughs, and thinks I’m a riot.
Final glass of wine, and guess who snags it. Yep. Clarice!
She picked the place, the wine, the food, set up the next date, and now the final glass of wine is hers. No wonder this lady is alone. Most men can’t handle a woman this aggressive, confident, and controlling. But I’m not other men. I’ll let this fish take the line out a bit and tire herself out. Then I’ll slowly and methodically reel her in, gaff her, and bring her aboard.
The bill comes and lo and behold, I can’t tell you what Clarice’s wallet looks like, because it never came out. I help her on with her coat and we’re off. She’s taking the Market street subway line back out to Upper Darby. I can ride with her to 13th street because I’m going to Time (whiskey and jazz bar) on Sansom of our annual toy drive for the kids in the hospital at Children’s Hospital. I’m sitting next to her on the train, and I say to her, “I probably should have kissed you when I had the chance.”
“We are not doing any PDA (public displays of affection) on this train.” she quips.
I laugh and get it. There is a black girl across from me looking me right in the eye. I can’t have everybody giving her the gas face when I get off the train. I hop off at 13th and tell her I’ll see her Saturday for the new Star Wars movie!
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