“Are you going on a date tonight,” Liz asked?  I laughed aloud.

“Are you asking because I’m wearing makeup?”

“Makeup and a dress,” she smiled. We were both laughing at this point.

“Yeah, I mean, we’ll see how it goes. Another fun meet up with a stranger!” I rolled my eyes internally.

“I’m a little jealous to be honest, my only friend here is Alex, and when he’s working I don’t have anyone else to hang out with. I should start going on dates. First dates only, of course.”

“Oh totally. I don’t think he would mind. Especially if it’s while he’s busy.”

One of the interns looked over, seemingly not understanding our joke.

“Yeah I’ll ask him tonight. Love this idea.”

I laughed again, and felt a lot better about my bizarre evening with a stranger that was starting in t- minus 45 minutes.

At 8:03 pm, I wandered over to our work kitchen in the most low-key manner possible. Once confirming that no one else was still in the office, I pulled out the bottle of Vodka from the freezer that absolutely did not belong to me, and poured a shot and half’s worth into one of the company mugs. It was Taka, and I chased it with water. 23 was turning into a really weird year. I didn’t feel guilty about it though. I was on the way to meet up with a 34-year old stranger and the shot (and a half) was absolutely necessary.

I arrived about 2 minutes before him, which was very unlike me. Great, we’re already starting this off on the wrong foot – I’m giving some sort of impression that I know how to be punctual. I’ll have to make sure he knows this is the last time this will ever happen if we end up getting along. Thank god for my vodka shot. And I didn’t even like vodka.

Nikki, age 23