First a disclaimer on behalf of the men that I date: If you recognize yourself in one of the stories that I blog about know two things. First, you made it to the blog because it was a really bad date, (could be your fault, could be mine but either way it wasnt very good) or possibly something about the way you date was so exemplary that I want to hold you up as an example of all that is good in the dating world. If that is the case kudos to you! That brings me to the second thing that you should know, no matter who you are or just how bad or good the date was I will at the very least respect your privacy enough not to use your name or details about you that might lead to other people recognising your identity. If the things that I have to say hurt someone’s feelings ultimately I apologize. However, chances are if ‘ the case you needed to hear it anyway…
Second a short disclaimer on my behalf…I never claimed to be great at dating, in fact many times I have bemoaned the fact that I can’t simply turn the whole thing over to a committee of carefully selected individuals who would choose a spouse for me and all I would have to do is show up for the wedding. Oh yeah and ultimately make the marriage work. But that’s beside the point. The point is as you read about my dating faux pas please don’t judge too harshly. Laugh a little if you want, cringe where ever appropriate, even leave me comments offering advice but just remember that I didn’t make the rules I just have to try to live by them.
And with that the story of my first date
I had been attending the Orem Institute of Religion for some time and was proud of myself for stepping so much outside of my comfort zone. Every day I was attending class all by myself, meeting new people, and learning so many new things. One day I was sitting in the gym having lunch and talking with various members of the choir. As I fixed my plate of food a guy came up to me and started talking with me. I was ok at first and then when he followed me to my seat and I realized that this wasnt going to just be polite conversation while standing in line but something that was going to continue on through the meal I started to get a bit nervous. I still wasnt all that used to having conversations with guys one on one. It wasnt horrible until suddenly there was this tension in the air and somehow I just knew…dont ask me how…I just knew that he was about to ask me out on a date. I scrambled to me feet threw away what was left of my food, mumbled something about needing to go home and headed for my car. He offered to walk with me and I didn’t know what else to do so I set a fast pace and prayed I would make it before he had a chance to ask.
Finally the car was in sight and all I had to do was keep the conversation on other things long enough to make it another few yards. I was closing in on it…had my hand on the door handle and then it happened. “I would like to take you out sometime” he said. I fumbled for words. How does one go about saying no? I had never really thought about it before. My mouth seemed to answer of its own accord and I was appalled to feel a smile firmly and falsely spread across my face.
“I would like that” I said. Inside though I was screaming, “No, say no jump in the car and pray you will never see him again”
“Great, can I get your number and Ill give you a call” he was nice and polite but he might as well have been a bear asking for permission to bite off my head for as much as I wanted to go out with him. “I can’t” I answered. “I have to go and I don’t have anything to write it on.”
“Thats ok. I’ll see you tomorrow at choir I can just get it then.” At least I was off the hook for the moment. I got in the car and tried not to cry as I drove home. What had I done? Why had I said yes?
The next day I didn’t think any more about it until I showed up for choir and as I walked in the door I saw him standing in the lobby. I panicked and ran to the bathroom where I stayed safely secluded in the stall until just a minute before the concert was supposed to start. I made it to my seat with just enough time to prevent him from talking to me. Now all I had to do was get out fast enough afterwards that he couldn’t talk to me then either and I would be home free.
It wasnt meant to be. Even though I managed (with a lot of careful maneuvering) to get out without having to talk with him that night he had gotten my phone number off the role and he called me a few days later. “I thought maybe we could go dancing” he told me. My jaw about hit the floor. Dancing! Are you kidding me! I wanted to yell. Simply being alone in a car with him terrified me. I certainly didn’t want to go dancing with him. That would involve him actually touching me! That simply wasnt an option.
“Actually, I have a better idea,” I tried to sound enthusiastic. “there’s this institute class that I go to sometimes. It’s really great. We could go to that!” There was a long pause on the other end of the line.
“Sure, we could do that I suppose, we can always go dancing another time”
“great sounds good” I said.” I’ll see you then.” I was about to hang up when he stopped me.
“where should I pick you up?” He asked.
“You don’t need to pick me up,” I said hopefully “its kind of far. I can just meet you there”
“I don’t mind,” he said.” Just tell me where and I will pick you up.” I didn’t know what else to say so I agreed and asked him to pick me up at a friend’s house so that he wouldn’t see the monstrosity that was my parents house and then I would have to answer all kinds of questions about our lifestyle.
Later I told Bro. B, one of my teachers about my predicament. He wasnt sympathetic to my plight at all. “What are you going to wear?” He asked. I wondered what that had to do with anything! I hadn’t thought about it at all.
“Well its tonight,” I said.
” I know, so what are you going to wear?”
“I guess I’m wearing this…” I said. “It’s what I have on. Unless there is some reason why that wont work?”
He went on to explain. Usually when you have a date he told me you clean up, wear something nice. And besides I still dressed like a polygamist with my long sleeves and ankle length dress. He thought that maybe I would wear something else.
“Nope, I think what I have on will work just fine.” I said. He left it at that.
The date itself wasnt awful…
We just sat and listened to the lesson. I did have to ride with him in the car but he had to keep his eyes on the road and his hands on the wheel so I didn’t have to worry about him touching me or about making eye contact so all I had to worry about was making conversation. It wasnt as bad as I had anticipated until the end of the evening came and he brought me back to my friend’s house. Suddenly there was an awkwardness and I realized that I didn’t know how to make the darn thing end. I wanted it to all just go away.
“thanks” I said as I got out of the car. hoping he would just drive away and that would be it. But I could see him getting out and I knew it wouldn’t be that easy. “Heaven forbid” I thought. “I think he is going to walk me to the door!”
In fact he went in with me which wasnt all that bad. That way I didn’t have to have the awkwardness of saying goodbye at the door. We went inside and I immediately found my friend and disappeared in her room. After awhile he called into the other room and told me he was leaving. Ok see you later I yelled back. and It was over. First date down and hopefully I wouldn’t have to go through that again for a very long time!