My very first, official, first date would not come until I was 17 years old. Since I had a reputation of being…how can I put this… socially awkward, I didn’t get asked out on dates often. Or ever, really.
One day I met a boy from another school at a party who was not aware of my social status and for whatever reason interpreted my awkwardness as wit and asked me out. We were going to meet up at a restaurant that was equidistant to both our houses because I am nothing if not practical.
This was it! My very first, official, first date!
I was so excited, I showed up 30 minutes early. He was 15 minutes late. Which means I stood there next to the hostess stand for 45 minutes looking pathetic, flopped in nervous sweats, and too scared to get a table in case he never showed up and I’d have to explain to the waitress that I was stood up on my very first, official, first date.
To my younger readers, keep in mind that I began dating during a time before everyone owned a cell phone. I technically had one but it was huge and clunky and intended only for emergencies. It had honestly never even occurred to me to use it in this situation.
When First Date finally showed up, I was so relieved that I threw my arms around him and dragged him to the hostess stand with a smug look that said, “See, I told you I was waiting for someone!”
He, on the other hand, did not look quite so smug.
As luck would have it, one of my classmates was our waitress. On the one hand I was relieved because she was this super sweet girl who helped to settle my very first, official, first date jitters. On the other hand, she was gorgeous and I wanted her to go far, far away.
During the date the conversation flowed naturally, although I did notice that his end of the conversation flowed a lot more naturally every time my classmate would come over to check on our meal. Since I had introduced her as a friend of mine, I had convinced myself that he was just being nice to her for my sake.
However, this was just the first of many excuses I would invent to make up for the bad behavior of the men I dated, because it is a well known fact that awkward people do not know how to “read” situations very well – hence our tendency toward being awkward.
First Date continued to be very charming toward my classmate, polite to me, and eventually paid for dinner. What a gentleman, or so I thought.
As First Date walked me back to my car I was getting a little nervous. What should I do? Do I kiss him? Hug him? Throw him in the backseat? He broke the silence by asking if I could give him my classmate’s number.
When I said “NO!” he had the audacity to ask why not. I wish I could say that I gave an articulate, well-thought out, and rousing retort. Instead I shrugged and mumbled “Um, ‘cause…”.
For whatever reason, he took my awkward, flustered state as an invitation to try and kiss me. I pushed him away and stumbled back so quickly that I slammed into my car.
He looked wounded and sniveled something about really liking me. Yeah… really liking my choice in hot friends, maybe! Thank you, First Date, for setting me up for a life-time of horrifically awkward dates.