My date with Darren happened in a random, round-about way. My brother-in-law told one of his co-workers about my project, who then told Darren. He emailed me and said that he wasn’t really interested in participating so much as he was in talking with me after it was all over. He told me that he is writing a book on LDS single life and wanted to encourage me in my experiment and hear how everything turned out. I agreed and didn’t give it much more thought.
Because time is running out, I was supposed to have two dates on Saturday. My date for Saturday night had to reschedule, though, so I was left with a free evening. After returning from an early performance with my band in the morning, I noticed that I had a new voicemail. It was Darren. We played phone tag for a bit, but he contacted me right before Danny picked me up. He told me that he had tickets to see The Manhattan Transfer that night at the Sandy Amphitheater and asked if I would go with him. My good friend, JaNae, had actually offered me tickets to the concert before, and I was sad that I had turn them down. But timing is a strange thing, and Darren made it possible for me to go, after all.
I got to learn about Darren as we drove to Sandy and over the great pre-concert Thai dinner that he treated me to. Darren is a hard-working and committed man who loves his job by day, and an accomplished writer by night. He’s so good, in fact, that he’s been published and accepted into competitive writers’ “boot camps”. He prefers to write science fiction and fantasy stories, and his work was even complimented by Orson Scott Card himself. It was interesting to talk with someone who appreciated the arts, but approached them from a different angle than I did.
We finished dinner and headed over to the amphitheater. It was a perfect night for an outdoor concert, and Darren had gotten great seats in the third row. I have grown up listening to The Manhattan Transfer, a multi-Grammy Award-winning vocal jazz quartet from New York. (Check out their music at http://www.manhattantransfer.net/player/index.html. I’d recommend their “Swing” album. You’ll have to disable any pop-up filters you have running.) It was pretty thrilling to hear them in person. Their technical ability and musicality was amazing. The band was tight and the musical arrangements were unbelievable. I hope I didn’t embarrass Darren, because I was cheering pretty loudly.
I liked that he had an appreciation for good music, and we had a good, reflective conversation on the way home. He asked insightful questions and I could tell that he had a lot of depth. He was also a perfect gentlemen. When I got out of the car by myself at my house, he asked me how Romeo had been successful at opening it for me.
I appreciated the interest Darren had taken in my project and my blog and that he thought to call me for the concert. After the date was over, Darren surprised me by emailing to tell me that he had blogged about our date also. (See his version of the date here: http://deggett.wordpress.com/2009/09/13/and-now-for-something-completely-different/) It was fun to be on the other side of the coin and read about someone else’s response to a shared experience.
A delicious dinner, a great concert, and good company… I’m glad that Darren decided to participate after all.