Mr. Lonelyhearts

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I thought I had a date. There was someone I was interested in and
attracted to that I met at a speed-dating round-table. We liked each
other well enough to check the right boxes, get each other’s phone
numbers, and agree to get together. The immediate charge was that
we both played bridge, but neither of us had played for several years
or played duplicate, which we said we’d try together. I invited her over
for drinks and to lay out hands, thinking it would be a comfortable
environment in which to get to know one another. But she appeared in
a shlumpy sweater and jeans I would have put in the laundry two days
before. I wasn’t so overdressed as to be embarrassed but it was clear
(at least to me) that this was not the kind of evening I had imagined.
Do I just back away or should I be grateful for finding a bridge

Mr. Lonelyhearts

Dear Mr. Lonelyhearts:

You convinced me: This was not a date for her, and/or her idea of a
casual evening is very, very different from yours. One mismatched
clothing choice feels like too small a sample on which to decide
everything from, unless you had a lousy time the rest of the evening.
Did you have things to talk about? Did you laugh? Did you enjoy the
cards, think well together, or have a good enough time to want to give
her another chance? If the answers to any or all of those questions are
yes, then look for another occasion to spend time together.

You can ask her to a concert or movie so that you have a reason to
talk more. If she declines twice, pleading busyness in general or the
iconic killer I need to wash my hair, you’ll totally get the bridge only
message. But if she accepts and you have a good time, she may begin
to see you differently. I wouldn’t counsel anything big or fancy, just a
casual and possibly spontaneous offer to grab a bite and a flick. She
may not turn out to be the love of your life, but you should definitely
preserve the right to play bridge together. If you do have enough in
common to play regularly you’ll also be in an environment where you
might meet other compatible folks.