or, why do i keep putting myself through this /every first date i’ve been on has been an awkward one, but maybe i’m okay w that
it never fails. i’m a serial first dater, and not many of my dates has led to a second one. maybe i set my standards too high, or i am too eager to go out; maybe my luck is nonexistent. whatever the case may be, these dates i manage to go on have not only made me laugh with my friends and family after, but some of them have made me full-on cringe.
i went out, for instance, with a guy i met at culinary school (word of advice, take caution when it comes to uniforms. uniforms hide things). we agreed on coffee. he was twenty minutes late, bc he was selling old clothes at plato’s closet. i tried to look past his dragon ball z shirt and khaki cargo shorts (i was my usual ten to fifteen minutes early and in a usual black dress). things started out decently. he was pretty funny and we kept conversation light, until we touched on family. not only did i learn of his mother’s death but the day he agreed on going out happened to be the seven year anniversary of her passing. honestly, that left me uncomfortable, but i supposed he was coping well enough with it. we kept talking. i don’t recall the exact details, but i know there were some questionable comments he made that were rather racist. i squirmed and left shortly after. i wish that was the last time i saw him, but he still attends my culinary school and asks when the next time we’re getting coffee will be. please take a hint.
one boy left me a sweet, shy message on my family’s home phone to my horror and parent’s amusement, inviting me to go ice skating. he picked me up in a minivan and we bonded over a shared love of death metal. we laced up our skates, hit the ice and that’s when i learned he didn’t know how to skate. st all. this could have been a sneaky tactic to hold my hand but it was clumsy and resulted in falling over every few feet. he then took me, after a couple of trips (literally) around the rink, to lunch at the italian place he served at, and it seems every employee working that day came up to our table, trying to casually get introduced to me. the manager even came out, like a protective father and expressed his excitement for our “next time”, shooting a distinct look at my date. the waitress beamed at the two of us and giggled. i think even a cook came out to check in on this first date. for some reason, i accepted his offer to go walk around an ice festival and see the latest disney movie downtown the next week, and that was the last time we went out. we strolled around, him in his knitted knight’s helmet hat (which i complimented then immediately wished otherwise) and me in my mittens. the movie theatre was jam packed with families and holding his hand made my arm fall asleep’ he couldn’t properly drape his arm across my shoulder. we both decided the seats were not meant for dates and tried to ignore the kids kicking our seats. i told him a few days later that i didn’t see this going anywhere.
another memorable time was when i went to a hookah bar with someone from middle school, someone i’ve had a crush on since around that time. needless to say, my crush has since evaporated. smoking hookah was better than i thought, as was our (more likely, his, as he liked the sound of his voice) conversation about hemmingway and living in europe. we stayed out late, and he walked me to my car and proceeded to kiss me. we made out for awhile against my car; i swooned, my former high school self was on cloud nine. i managed to drive home, only to receive a text along the lines of: “i had fun tonight but i we need to slow down a little for next time. you move fast”. making the first move was something i was not into then, so his text left me confused. a few days later, i left him confused when i discovered i only liked him when we weren’t talking and told him no. the best part is that he recently reached out, asking what’s up and i responded w a picture of simon cowell saying “it’s a no for me”.
even though i am currently (possibly forever) not the luckiest on dating, i can’t help but look back on these mishaps with embarrassed fondness. maybe i’m much too cynical (thanks dad) when it comes to dates but i can honestly admit that i have enjoyed them on small levels. maybe it’s because i know now what i don’t want in a first date. it’s also because these dates just seem like something out of a weird sitcom, with details so strange they couldn’t be anything but fiction. but they came and went with their weird little lessons and i’m not mad they happened. like they say, the third time’s the charm (it wasn’t). or the fourth (is being drunk at a party a date? if so, nope). or the fifth (has potential). who knows how many more awkward dates are in my future. bring it.
anyone else a serial first dater? good luck to us,
(i was lucky enough to read modern romance, by aziz ansari. he was brilliant in his reflections and findings on how the expansion of social life today affects our love lives. if you get the chance, pick up a copy!)