Too Cute To Work
My third date ever was also the first relationship that lasted longer than one date. It lasted for two entire dates. That's DOUBLE.
When I told my roommate it was my first second date ever I also came up with this line "when you stop putting out on the first date, they usually make a second one." It was not true but it was an excellent line.
This date came through a very popular dating site that I had been frequenting. It was a happy time in my life, one of the happiest in memory. I was in college but not yet graduating which meant I had no worries. I had been offered a high level and well paid (which, in internship language means minimum wage) summer internship at a firm I admired. I loved my roommates and my friends and most of my classes and New York City in May is a heaven onto itself. This was also the year I saw 12 Broadway shows in a single academic year. I was succeeding at my goals-living cheaply and having the most fun possible.
The boy's profile came across my feed from this site and something struck me immediatly. Our names matched. Together, we had the kind of names that mean something-Romeo and Juliet, Jack and Rose, Ron and Hermione, Bella and Edward, Derek and Meredith, Elizabeth and Darcy, Simon and Daphne, Anthony Bridgerton and sideburns. Naturally, this meant we were getting married immediately because this was fate. I may have a common Jewish name but he certainly did not so this was my once in a lifetime opportunity to make this work.
I told my roommates about the situation because it was too cute to handle and they began planning our themed sheva brachos. There is a reason they did not allow boys into the rooms of our dorms. It's because if any guys saw how insane girls actually are there would be a population slump that could mean the end of humanity.
When the night came, I put more into it than I had ever put into a date. I had a friend come over to do my hair and makeup and I paid her in pizza. I tried on three different outfits which, for me, is the equivalent of being hospitalized for an anxiety attack. My roommates gathered around as we got ready and the anticipation was thick. Finally, I got the text that let me know he was downstairs.
He took me to a coffee shop across town. I was pleased with this choice, it meant that he had thought out enough to realize that if we went to any of the ones near me, I'd probably see all my friends. It also meant an artificial extension of the time we spent on the date which seemed like a good idea. He got some sort of drink and I got water and a muffin.
This was when I learned that eating a muffin on a date is a terrible idea. Kosher coffee shop muffins all have that hard exterior that means you need to use a few different teeth to break them and really get in there. Using your front teeth to cut, your incisors to tear, and your molars to grab is not a great way to meet someone. Especially if it's a large muffin and you're doing this all while trying to look ladylike.
The rest of the first date was unremarkable. We learned little about each other. Only two things stuck out to me:
Usually when guys have a unibrow they have crazy eyebrows that go crazy until the middle. This guy had two well trimmed eyebrows that just kind of met in the middle. It made me curious. Was he trimming the rest of his eyebrows but knew that trimming the unibrow would be too obvious? Or had he had an accident as a child and needed a skin graft between his eyebrows from his head or leg or something?
I mentioned the piece of pop culture where our names were linked and he hadn't heard of it. At a certain point in our lives (meaning the entirety of my life and the latter twenty years of his) the people who had participated in this piece of pop culture could have run for president as their character and probably would have won.
But, unlike with my first two guys, there wasn't a real reason to say no to a second date. He had shown me a nice time and we hadn't learned anything contradictory for how we each planned to live our future lives. (This is why I tell people the layout of my future house after the fourth date.) It was time to plan the next date.
This time I acted a little more casually, though I still wore an outfit that could eat any date outfit I wear now. Once again I was picked up from my dorm. I made a choice that night that I wasn't super proud of then or now, but it ended up working out in my favor. A friend of mine was getting engaged that night and her surprise party was set for 11 pm. My date was at 7 and other friends of mine planned to leave our dorms at 10. I asked my date if he could have me back by 10. I apologized profusely and he seemed to understand.
This was the beginning of my trust issues...........
.....I'm kidding. My trust issues started at birth.
He drove us downtown. The problem with driving me downtown in Manhattan is I just want to stay in the car and stare at the buildings by the river forever. I may have actually suggested we do that as he struggled to find parking which made him even more desperate to find parking. He finally did get a spot and we marched across the street to a bar that had pool.
At the entrance of the bar we were carded which was when the real issue began. I was a cute little twenty year old who hadn't yet gone through second puberty or developed a metabolism. I also wasn't legally allowed to drink alcohol and wasn't welcome in this fine establishment. The bouncer went to speak to his manager when we promised him that I wouldn't be drinking. The manager allowed me in as long as I wore a wristband that indicated to the bartenders that I could only drink juice but not in my sippy cup next to my bed because that could rot my teeth.
We proceeded to begin playing pool. Or, rather, he would hit a ball with a pool cue, I would try to hit one, would fall or make the cue hit the wall or myself or both, he would show me again on his cue, we would both silently deal with the awkwardness that really to show someone how to shoot pool you have to touch them and if he got any closer to me he would discover what it was like to have a pool cue going through your mouth on either side, and then eventually I would use the pool cue to sort of sweep my ball into the hole like a broom or the back of a hand.
We finished playing in this manner and the manager actually came over to say that clearly we couldn't play because we had finished way too quickly. Thanks for the comments bud. He also wanted to let us know there was ping pong or staring into each other's eyes if we needed something to do.
This was where the trust issues came in. By now it was 9:30. I told him I needed to be back by 10. I could tell he had no idea of the time and yet I wanted so badly to believe he somehow knew, somehow spotted a clock I hadn't seen. Because a man whose name matched with mine, who was deemed appropriate to date me would not lose track of time when I had specifically asked him to get me back by a certain time. He would not throw aside my life and my needs like that.
Shockingly, he would.
At 9:45 when we were still at the bar I finally put my foot down and let him know the time. He seemed upset when I brought it up, upset that I had assumed he wasn't keeping track. We arrived back at my dorm at 10:15 and I nearly missed my friends leaving-I had to run down the street to catch up.
If you have ever been running late with me you know that it is not a fun experience. I try to keep my feelings inside but my toes start to tap, my hands are moving like crazy, and I keep shooting panicked looks at my watch. At one point I mentioned that we needed to hurry because my friends were waiting. He told me they could wait for longer. I forgot that this man was a magical accountant who kept track of everyone's time and decided that my friends were not worth his inconveniencing himself.
I arrived back at my dorm flustered and irritated. He was also irritated by having to go out with a twenty year old who held up her promises. I texted my roommates to return the sheva brachos decorations. The perfect couple was not to be.
I know I shouldn't have asked to curtail my date, but at the end of the day I enjoyed the engagement party far more than the date anyway. I also know in the grand scheme of things fifteen minutes isn't a ton. I also know showing up late is one of my pet peeves-it shows a disregard for others that is hard to repair. By making me late this boy showed the disregard for me that I had shown for him when I asked him to curtail the date in the first place.
We were even.
Except for the cost of the themed sheva brachos decor.
Sometimes it looks too perfect to be true. That means it is. At least my first second date ever was out of the way. I would not have too many more of those, proportionate to my very high number of first dates. But that's another story.