“A blue tartan scarf and a light grey coat.”

That’s how my first match was to locate me at the restaurant, although “skittish blonde with a forced smile” would’ve probably done the trick too.

I had done this before why was I so nervous?

I think I talked more than he did. I certainly drank more than he did. I cursed more too. Wow. I’ve been out of practice and out of church for too long, I guess.

After bourbon #2 slid down my gullet I started to relax and really enjoy meeting a quality person. I gotta hand it to this matchmaking service. They do know how to pick ‘em. No, he didn’t look like before-the-drugs-Colin Farrell, but he was intelligent and ambitious and one of the most interesting people I’d ever met. Which meant I went into journalism mode, or as others call it: Rikki Interrogation Mode.

Because I asked so many questions of him, by the end of the night I realized he hadn’t learned much about me. A part of me was okay with that. My heart is afraid to let someone know me again. Another part of me was a little annoyed he hadn’t returned the question fire because I can’t remember the last time I felt like someone found me fascinating and worth unraveling the layers.

My matchmaker assured me it wasn’t personal. Men tend to blabber on about themselves when prompted. He must’ve liked something about me though. He rated me five out of five stars and apparently he’d never rated anyone that highly before. It’s a silly thing but I did feel affirmed that someone besides my family and friends thinks I’m a five star review.

We went on two dates but it did not end in happily ever after. And that’s okay. I thank him for the incredible conversation, the opportunity to learn more about myself, and the reminder that I, too, deserve a five star match. And not just because my dad says I do.

But what is a five star match anyway? Will you know when you see it? Or will you poke holes in a potentially good romance because broken modern dating habits make everyone a quenchless critic?

I’m working on breaking those bad habits. In fact, I’m doing such a good job of it that I’ve got a third date with my second match. We’re going to the shooting range and for a Scotch-blend whiskey after. Apparently he’s not afraid of a pistol-packing woman who likes a stiff drink. Or a blogging woman for that matter.

My Misadventure series secret has been exposed and he gives it two thumbs up.