This is a post about first-dates-ever. And I want to hear yours in the comments!
So let me start with the confession that my dating history is full of choices of men who didn’t get my faith, who pushed my boundaries and didn’t understand my morals or values, or who simply didn’t get me. But there is one story before the messy history began that I am so happy I have.
My first real date.
I have the sweetest first-date story. I mean, I’m sure there are sweeter and more creative first-date stories, but I simply love the pure and sweet innocence of mine. And I hope if I ever have children, they have the same type of experience.
I was in eighth grade, my last year of junior high, and I had a crush on my older brother’s friend’s little brother (does that make sense?) He was so cute! He was in seventh grade, had red hair, and was on the wrestling team. My friend Renee and I would spy on his practices after school, peeking in the little window and watching his practice matches. Somehow, fate, the stars, someone looking out for little nerd me, put us together under the same picnic pavilion during the last week of school before summer break—during the annual outdoor fun day. (Our middle school was right next to the neighborhood park.) As R. (I’ll call him that) and I sat at the picnic table and played Jenga, the warmth and excitement of summer on our heels, I felt the sweet nervousness of realizing that this boy I liked might actually like me back.
Somehow, this girl who couldn’t even say hi to a boy found herself being called on the telephone and asked to a movie. (This was still the day of corded family phones and the cordless phones that were as thick as a loaf of bread.) The day of the movie, I remember carefully choosing my outfit: jeans and my brother’s oversized burgundy Syracuse sports-team sweatshirt (this was high style back then). I’m sure I wore a scrunchie on my wrist too. That afternoon, my dad drove me over to R’s house, and I remember my heart skipping a beat as he stepped out of his house, dressed in a black button-down shirt and black jeans, his shaggy red hair shining bright despite the rainy day.
I couldn’t believe I was going on a real date. (!!!)
My dad dropped us off, and we ordered popcorn and drinks and watched The Flintstones movie on the big screen. I don’t remember R. trying to put his arm around me or anything, but I do remember being super excited to be there.
After the movie, we decided we’d like to walk around the mall, so R. called his mom (on a pay phone), and we strolled around the mall, going into the fun stores, like the science store, where R. bought us astronaut ice cream. We sat outside, eating space food and waiting for his mom to pick us up. We were so comfortable with each other, and I was surprised by it, even at the time, that I could be sitting there with this cute boy who liked me, just being my nerdy self and having fun. I can see his mom’s face in my memory as she pulled up and we piled in the car (I’m pretty sure we both sat in the back), asking us all kinds of questions about our afternoon, smiling with the smile only a mom can have when she’s excited her youngest son is on a date with a “nice girl.”
Anyways, R. and I would talk on the phone for most of the summer, and at first it was so sweet, despite the usual nerves of talking to a guy you liked. But as the summer inched to a close, I felt I was the one calling more often, and I made the decision he must not like me, so I stopped calling. Later, in late high school, I found out that he had really liked me and wondered why I had stopped calling. I probably would have discovered that if I had just communicated with him. Or if he had just called me.
But c’est la vie—such is life. I was on the cusp of going into high school. And he was still in junior high. We were young. Still, looking at my dating history’s beginnings, I wonder at how healthy and sweet it all was. And it makes me want to reflect on these sweet beginnings and what helped me then, and what happened after to make me begin to make choices that didn’t honor myself and didn’t feel so sweet.
I’m so happy this is my first-date story, though, one I can look back on and smile about.
Sorry to take you on a rambling trip down memory lane. But now I want to hear your first-date-ever stories. And do you have any memory triggers of the date, like astronaut ice cream? Ramble away! 🙂
What was your very first date?
Have a wonderful week!!!