This is all I could text to my friend after what I realized, was my “first date ever.” If parent’s continued to scrapbook after the toddler stage, twenty-eight-years-old would have marked “Baby’s First Date.” Yes, I am in my late twenties, as we know – awkward as ever, and just starting to date.
I got lucky I guess. I spent the majority of my adolescence and adulthood having brief relationships with men I could care less about (because I was tragically gay) and then at the age of 21, met my first girlfriend who was great and I was with for a substantial amount of time. After that I segwayed right into another year-long relationship, and then burnt out at the tender age of 27, took some much needed time off.
I found myself single for over a year, and defiantly not looking. I did that existential thing where you realize you don’t even know who you are and tried to find myself in things like yoga, art, and overpriced cups of herbal tea that swore to open your heart chakrah. Strangely, all of that was bullshit and didn’t work.
I dated a bit and struck out, deciding that blogging about my experiences was probably more fun than actually trying to meet someone (this link is a new project about said matter) but then I met a girl who seemed cool.
I supposed I asked her out if you will, and I wasn’t even super nervous when I did it. However, once she was running a bit late and I was given even a few minutes to dwell on my impending situation – my knees were sweating, my lips were chapped, and I think somehow I pitted out my shirt even though it was sleeveless.
When she showed up, my perspiring knees almost buckled. She reached out for a handshake and I went straight for the hug. I’m so stupid, I thought, I always go for the motherfucking hug. I mean I guess you should feel out situations and whatever but when it comes down to it, I like a good casual fondle.
Despite the fact we met on a dating site and were getting together, I tried not to call it a “date.” I also tried to not act like I was silently freaking out inside, which I was.
I was attracted to her immediately, and I liked her personality, so in theory – this should have been an easy transaction. But instead, instead I became a girl. for probably the first time in my life. I spun into a cycle of self-doubt: Did we laugh enough? Did she think I was funny? Did I speak articulately enough or did she think I was an idiot? Is she too good for me? Yes, she’s too good for me.
I felt like we were at odds- she asked too many of the questions and I like talking to much. God, I should have asked her more questions.
When we parted ways we hugged again, this time it being a bit more of a collective decision. Even at this I wanted something else, I wanted her to say she wanted to see me again, I wanted her to say she had a good time – anything to work with. When talking about our siblings she had deemed herself the opposite of her sister – saying she was a bit standoffish. Was this her being standoffish? She had paid, did that mean anything?
After we said farewell I started home on my five-speed and began to go over every second of the “date” in my head, I poured over everything I did and didn’t say, and defeatingly decided that I hadn’t accurately represented myself and I was all but doomed in this and any dating department.
When I got home my roommate Heidi and her boyfriend were awake. “How was it?” Heidi asked. I answered honestly – “I think I blew it.” As I explained the night to her and Colin they listened and when I debated whether or not I should text her, they both jumped to their guns:
Colin, the ever optimist, told me to tell her I had “the most awesome time and that I couldn’t wait to see her again.” Heidi, on the other hand, told me to simmer it down slightly. I was confused about why I just couldn’t text her and tell her that I thought she was funny and cute and wanted to see her again; why dating was some sort of weird game that didn’t come with instructions. I honestly feel like dating is like opening the box to a puzzle, and just seeing a bunch of pencil shavings inside. You’re all like “What the fuck,” and “I thought I knew what to expect but really – what am I supposed to do with this?”
I settled on thanking her for the beers and saying I had a good time. I suggested we go for a hike later in the week or over the weekend. She replied right away, which Colin and Heidi promised that it meant she was waiting (which I totally don’t buy), with a simple: “Me too, sounds great.”
While there was noting wrong with her response I wanted a sense of excitement, to know that maybe she had felt some kind of connection or at the very least thought I had nice eyes, or boobs, or something. ‘Maybe she isn’t a texter’ I thought, but in this day and age: whose not? You kind of have to be.
After obsessing over the entire scenario for the better part of the next 24 hours I decided that fuck – if this is dating, I am going to stick with my original plan of becoming a crazy cat lady. While this option may be full of fancy feast and hairballs, at least it’s not riddled in complete self-doubt and an endless barrage of annoying internal monologues.
This shit’s complicated.