The First Date

I’m not even nervous. How is this possible? As someone who is all too familiar with an anxiety-ridden life, how am I not even nervous for my first date in over 5 years? I think it’s because I have absolutely no fucks to give at this point — a date is nothing compared to trying to rediscover your whole self-worth and value. Check, got that…well for the most part.

Besides the dates with someone I was in a relationship with, I have been on 3 real first dates prior to this. Awks, but it’s the truth. I think I was just too unsure of how to act when someone liked me.

This really sweet guy in high school put a poster, balloon, and rose on my locker on my birthday. A note inside said something like, “I think you’re a really cool person and we should go to the movies some time.” I went up to him and said, “thank you so much, that was the nicest thing someone has ever done for me!” I intentionally did not bring up the proposed date, seeing as I was too busy lusting over some jackass. Said jackass told his bros after our first date, “I wish I could date her, as long as she wore a low-cut shirt with a bag over her head.” That probably did not bode well for my self-confidence. Now that sweet guy is happily married to the love of his life….so you’re welcome Brandon.

There were other guys that liked me or I them, but nothing really ever transpired into a real date until college. I met this group of guys through my roommate, Addie, freshman year. One of the guys, Ben, asked me out. I said no. Then, a month later I realized it was just because I was too scared. So I called him, realizing that he probably had moved on and would be uninterested. To my surprise he wasn’t. He took me out to dinner to this cute little pub in his town, with killer buffalo wings.

Now only Addie knows about what really went down on our firsts date. And for the first time, I’m gonna spell it out here. Ben and I are good friends now, and he is one of the very few people reading this blog. So this should be interesting. Anyway, I was so unbelievably nervous. My heart would not stop pounding. Typically, if I was going anywhere a burger and fries was always my order.

But my stomach was in knots on this night. I couldn’t even comprehend the idea of having a greasy lump in my already-uneasy stomach. A chicken caesar wrap was the only thing I could consider trying. I had maybe 5 bites.

Side note →Honestly, I wish I could tell you more about the date. I don’t remember. It was probably really great. Ben and I have always had a good witty banter, so I doubt there was anything to complain about.

Back to the story. All of a sudden. I felt a lump in my throat. It was a lump of half-chewed chicken caesar wrap.

Holy shit, what is happening? Are you kidding me? Am I going to throw up all over the table?! WHY MEEEEEEE?

Thankfully, I was able to excuse myself to the restroom. Low and behold, I threw-up my entire dinner. I was mortified. Do I tell him I’m sick? I don’t feel sick. I feel fine. I honestly feel so much better. That cheeseburger sounds real good right about now. Should I just pretend nothing happened?

And that’s exactly what I did. My good friend Aileen always says, “You just gotta boot and rally.” I rinsed my mouth out with an entire gallon of sink water as fast as I could. And threw 3 pieces of mint gum in my mouth. And then an hour later we made out… I’m so sorry Ben. I owe you.

Okay, so that was date number two. Then ‘real’ date number three is with Steve. Please note that real is in quotes. He asked me out for ice cream. I’m all excited. I’m giddier than I ever thought possible. I met him at his dorm. He was getting his wallet and as we were walking out to leave, he called out to his roommate, “hey, do you wanna come get ice cream with us.” And the freaking roommate did!! At the time, I didn’t even care at all. I was just happy to spend a minute with Steve. Years later I gave him shit for it. He claimed he felt bad leaving his roommate all by himself (EYEROLL).

Flash forward 5 years, and I am getting ready for my first date in a REAL, LONG TIME. I guess I wasn’t nervous seeing as all of my previous first dates did not go how I planned. So what’s the point of worrying? Plus, I barely knew this guy. If it didn’t go well, I’d never have to see him again.

I came home and took a nap, because I had an awful headache. We were supposed to see a movie and then go to dinner afterwards. I was not about to try and make it through that with a pounding in my skull. I set an alarm giving me 55 minutes to shower and get ready.

But, of course, the alarm was set for A.M. rather than P.M. and I slept through my alarm. Now, I had 25 minutes to get ready. Still I’m not even nervous. I can do that, no problem. A quick shower, some deodorant, and a little make up — I’m set. No need to spend more than a half hour doing that. The only special thing I did do for this date was my eyebrows. I’ve never EVER cared to do that. But a good friend told me that all successful women do that nowadays. Or was it just Kylie Jenner? I can’t remember.

Anyway we got into the theatre, which was desolate except for us. We talked through the previews. And it was easy. Conversation never struggled. As the movie started, he effortlessly put his hand on my knee. Which, at first, I thought, “is this okay for a first date?” And then I stopped myself. I’m a freaking adult, I liked his hand there. It was nice. So yeah, it is okay. Ten minutes into the movie, he said, “your leg is quite twitchy.”

Damn it, Andy. What the hell?! I didn’t even realize it. But then I started focusing on it, trying to prevent the sudden muscle spasms, which made it even worse! I don’t even remember the first half hour of the movie, because I was trying so hard to just relax. I really don’t think it was nerves. Because for the rest of the night (whether his hand was on my knee or not — and even right now) my leg muscles just constantly twitch.

He took me to my favorite restaurant, which was a tapas restaurant. And he was pretty adventurous in his food selections à a huge plus in my book. This isn’t a place you take a picky eater. And the conversation was again simply effortless. Overall, it was a really great first date, even if I disregard what I have to compare it to. There may have even been a goodnight kiss, which he respectfully asked if I would be willing. I’m pretty sure there will be a second date and possibly a third. But, don’t worry. I’m not putting all of my eggs in his basket. Oh boy, pun or sexual innuendo was not intended. That sounded terrible, but I’ll leave it because I can’t think of another way to say it.

On the drive home, while listening to Despacito by Justin Bieber, I couldn’t help but smile. And dating, I found out is really fun. I may have lost myself throughout my relationship with Steve. But now, I’m young. I’m wild. I’m free.

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