Where do good stories come from? I’ll tell you. First Dates. I’ve been on many first dates. They’re always awkward, lots of long pauses, and are filled with lots of questions. Some are better than others. I ran into a guy tonight that I went out with once, about five years ago.
The first time I met this guy, we’ll call him Drew, I was a sophomore at a two year college. It was the beginning of the semester, and we were both helping out with freshmen orientation. He was kind of cute, tall, brown hair, blue eyes, and had a western accent. He wore boots and a big belt buckle. The day before freshmen orientation was to begin; he came over to me and used a creative pick-up line that I’d never heard before.
Drew: “Are you Jamaican?”
Me: (In my head I thought, “Do I look Jamaican?”) “No.”
Drew: “Because you’re Jamaican me crazy!”
He walked away before I could even react. My friends just looked at me, and we all started laughing. This was my first time talking to Drew. A few days into the semester, I found out he was the TA for my beginning guitar class. We talked a little, but nothing too exciting. I think he gave me ride home from class once.
About half way through the semester he came into the writing lab where I worked on campus. He’d started coming in quite often, and he wasn’t that bad of a writer, so I didn’t know why he always wanted me to come help him. He’d always break the touch barrier by putting his chair close to mine, or lightly touching my arm to thank me for helping him. I knew what he was doing, but by that time I wasn’t really that interested in him.
This particular night, he definitely threw on the charm. He was complimenting me, constantly needing help revising his paper, and it was hard because there were a lot of people there that needed help that night. Towards the end of the night he asked me if I’d like to go get a shake with him sometime. I said that would be fine, maybe later in the week. He wanted to go that night. I told him I had homework, and that I was really full from a dinner I’d gone to right before I came to work. (This was all true.)
He kept insisting. I told him that nothing was open at 10pm on a Wednesday night. (We were in the middle of nowhere. Everything usually closed at 7pm except for the gas station.) He told me that McDonalds was open, and that we could go there. So, against my better judgment I said yes. I had no friends there to get me out of it, and it was just one date.
We got to his car and started driving the opposite direction of McDonald's. (When I say we were in a small town, I mean you can drive straight through it in five minutes. We had one stop light and a Walmart.) So I start to get nervous, and realize I really don’t know this guy very well. He says he has some coupons at his house, and he wants to go get them. So we drive to his apartment, and I wait in the car while he runs inside. Eventually he comes back and we make our way to McDonald's.
(Now I don’t have anything against McDonald’s dates, but the coupon thing just kind of threw it over the top. You can get a Sundae for $1. I’m even all for coupons, but this was just kind of ridiculous.) We went inside and he asked me what I wanted. I told him that, like I said before, I was really full and I was fine just getting a small ice cream. He thought I was just being a typical girl who didn’t want to order something large. So, he got me a large shake. I told him I didn’t want that, and that I wouldn’t be able to eat it, but he didn’t care, because his coupon got him one large shake and mine half off. We sat down at a booth and started talking. I was 19 years old at the time, and I found out that he was 25 years old. I had no idea how old he was when I'd agreed to go out with him. We were there for a pretty long time. We had nothing in common. I had only a few bites of my ice cream the whole time we were there. I decided I’d just take it home with me, so that I didn’t waste it.
We left McDonald and headed back to my car, which was parked behind the college library. He drove up behind my car and stopped. I waited for him to get out and to come open my door, but he didn’t move. The next thing I know he’s leaning over into my seat with his face close to mine and says, “Would you like to make out?”
I’d never been asked this question. I felt like this might possibly be how people feel when they’re offered drugs. I’ve been taught what to say when offered drugs my whole life, “Just say no!” I was caught off guard, but I was happy he’d asked rather than just going for it. I had backed myself into my seat/the car door and before I had time to think I responded, “No thank you.” He sat back in his seat defeated. I told him I’d give him a hug though, and so he proceeded to give me a hug over the console. Car hugs are the worst.
He got out of the car and came and got my door. He put out his hand to give me a handshake. I told him I’d give him a real hug, all the while clutching my large McDonald's shake. He drove away before I could even make it over to my car, talk about a winning first date. (In his defense at some point during the next semester, he did come and find me and apologize for what happened that night. I told him all was forgiven, however, it still makes for a great story.)
I’d forgotten about this magical moment in my life until tonight at the institute. After class I was talking to some new friends, when I looked up and there he was. We said hello to each other, and then he walked away. Later he came back and asked if my friend and I wanted to sit down and talk. I had no way of relating the above story to her, so we went and sat down for a few minutes while he continually looked at me and said, “Man, I really miss those college days.”
Yeah, I can’t say I really miss them at all.