The most important parts of my life are the people who love me and the people who I love--the people who are my family and the friends who have become my family. I have a healthy relationship with my parents and my siblings, and I have a small group of very close friend and a larger group of good friends. And I am well aware how lucky I am in my family and friends.
My hobbies include picking around on my guitar--acoustic--and playing with yarn. I love to see a hat or scarf or blanket take shape. I am not a big girl for the outdoors, but I do enjoy going for hikes and walking and experiencing nature. I recently discovered a love of photography, so I am likely to take a camera everywhere with me in case something beautiful or startling or interesting catches my eye.
I have always been a big reader. One of my favorite past times is to go used book shopping. I'll read anything from classics to chick-lit. I love music--certain styles to fit certain moods. I don't know if music can soothe the wild beast, but it certainly can soothe me. My favorites lately include Greg Laswell, The Gaslight Anthem, and Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas." Not all at once, of course. My taste in movies runs the gamut. I love new and old. A good old-fashioned black and white romance, or a brand new action-adventure flick ... I love them all.
My goals in life, when it comes down to it, are relatively simple. I want to be happy, and I want to be a part of someone else's happiness. I want to be loved and I want to love someone. I want to be a partner in a partnership. The rest of it, the context of that happiness? That's secondary. My long-term career goals include working toward a PhD and teaching literature at the college or university level because I love to learn and share knowledge.
What makes me unique? I think what makes me unique is that I'm never ready to say "Enough, I have learned enough, I have experienced enough." I never want to end a day without learning something new or discovering something new. I love learning for the process itself, and not for some end-goal. To me, nothing is more satisfying than experiencing something that makes me question something I thought I knew. I think that makes me unique.
Conversation Starters (i.e. what you'd like to do on a first date...)
I think a first date has to be casual. A good first date allows you to get to know your partner without placing too many expectations on each other. A public setting--a coffee house, a family-friendly pizza parlor, etc.--is best. Some where that you can have a discussion without fear of disturbing others.
On a first date, we would meet up for dinner somewhere not too exclusive. But someplace interesting. Not a chain restaurant, but some hole in the wall restaurant with a bit of personality and fun. Dress would be casual--jeans, a blouse/shirt, nothing too fancy. We'd meet there to avoid the awkward blind date pickup moment. I'd be nervous and arrive early. Order drinks, share an appetizer, laugh over our individual food particularities if we have any.
We'd start with meaningless and safe small talk--work, the weather, how much I like the shirt you're wearing--and slowly meander into deeper and more personal topics. Nothing inflammatory, of course. No religion or politics quite yet.
We'd order dinner, talk more about our lives, our likes, our dislikes. I'd bring books, movies, music, and other hobbies into the conversation. Ask what you'd seen recently, what you were looking forward to reading. We'd feel out whether we were compatible in those areas, if your Death-Metal could handle my occasional Johnny Cash days, for example. Basically, the first date is about discovering whether there's enough between you for a second date.
We'd finish up, maybe talk about dessert, and pay the bill. If we like each other enough, maybe we wouldn't want the night to end just yet. I'd suggest a walk if the weather were nice (a crapshoot in WI, of course) or a local Starbucks if we wanted to continue the conversation but stay warm at the same time. Maybe we stop for ice cream if we hadn't had dessert earlier, or share a baked good at the coffee shop.
And when we decide to part for the evening, we decide whether we want to do it again or not.
Now, to hear what I think about second dates, well, you're just going to have to ask me out.