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First Date

Poetry & Prose | March 23, 2015

Urban Philosophy:

It’s tough to get a date in college. Everyone is so busy that people usually only have time for a drunken hookup on a weekend with some random girl from your Spanish class that you’ve only talked to twice (and only in Spanish).

So if you are actually looking for a relationship, there are three options. The first is to hope that one of these random girls from your Spanish class actually ends up being a cool person. This, of course, can only be gauged by the brief talk the next day as you lumber dehydrated out of their bed or when you are forced to text them due to a missing article of clothing. And if this is somehow the case, they have to feel the same way about you and also want to hang out again. This method is recommended for Greek Life members and people who are serial one-night-standers, generally referred to as the ‘It’s a Numbers Game’ strategy.

The second route is that you date one of your friends or someone from the one extracurricular group that you have time for. While this way has a 60 percent chance of not working out, there is also a 25 percent chance that you break up a couple of months later and are slowly ostracized from your friend group, forcing you to revert to your smaller, slightly dumpier friend group that you don’t like as much (but who you’re nonetheless thankful for at this point). However, there is a 15 percent chance it works out and you get married and have a kid together. This path is typical of freshmen and co-ed campus organizations, designated the ‘Potentially Losing Friends But I Get Laid’ strategy.

I’m currently trying to employ the third option: randomly meet a cute girl through a social event on campus, be really nice to said girl, get to know girl fairly well (ideally also becoming acquaintances with her friends), and then, after a long gestation period and dozens of perfectly crafted texts, finally ask out the girl. This strategy is naively dubbed ‘Someone Has to Escape the Friend-Zone/I’m a Hopeless Romantic Loser.’

Exposition:

So, after not having had a girlfriend since high school, I am somehow out on a real date with a girl, Jesse. I’ve been enamored with her forever but she’s had a boyfriend for basically all of college until recently-ish. She’s funny, has a perfect butt, and somehow said ‘yes’ to me asking her out on a date.

I spent all summer planning out the perfect first date. We’d start by going for a nice bike ride through the city to a bakery and gorging ourselves on mousse and tart. Then we’d go to a park and lounge in the sun, chatting and digesting. But I waited too long and now it’s February in Boston. So I settled for a dinner and going to a movie. Not my best work, but the movie provides less opportunity for me to say something stupid and mess something up.

Where Do I Put My Hands?:

I had been less nervous asking Jesse out than I was now, picking Jesse up for our first date. I had been on some other first date-type outings with girls, but those had apparently not gone well. I also hadn’t liked those girls as much as I like Jesse.

I park outside of her house and call her. She’ll be out in a minute.

She looks gorgeous, obviously. Tight, yet elegant black dress and simple jewelry.

I’m convinced that no one ever knows what to do when greeting a girl on a first date, kiss on the cheek? Awkward, forced hug? Try to do the Top Gun high five that we’ve never done before but hope she’s seen the movie and figures it out mid five?

We mutually and nonverbally decide on the socially obligated gawky hug and then we’re off to the Indian restaurant I made reservations at.

Taste:

As we were making small talk while we waited for our food, I thought about how I always fall really hard for girls and think that they’re perfect. During these spells I’ll ignore all other girls and be focused on wooing–unsuccessfully until now–these women that are amazing. I feel that they are slightly out of my league but maybe they are even further out of my reach than I imagine. It always feels to me like these girls view me as a little brother. Hopefully Jesse doesn’t see me as her brother at the end of tonight. Unless she occasionally kisses her brother. No. That’s a stupid joke. Stop that.

The food comes quickly and looks and tastes amazing. After, we leave for the theatre and arrive right on time.

Bill Cosby Is A Liar:

Bill Cosby once said that the greatest pain a man will ever experience is putting your arm around a woman’s shoulder for and entire movie. To his credit, he got the setting right, but he is so wrong. Apparently he never had to hold in a huge amount of gas in his lower intestines for over two hours.

The worst part is how unfair this is. I planned for it! I made and ate the perfect non-gassy lunch: peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a salad, and a banana. Everyone knows those are the least gassy foods! I even ate a super light dinner at the Indian restaurant. It’s not like I’m lactose intolerant and knowingly eat dairy products all the time like so many of my current housemates do. I tried so hard to be good!

I know that Jesse understands that everyone farts. She’s even brought up the fact, when she’s really drunk. She laughed about how she and her girl friends will sometimes giggle about their farts –cute girl-farts, but farts nonetheless. Yes, I have fantasized about one day farting in front of a girlfriend or wife, and we can laugh about it, but it’s way too early for that with Jesse. She has no idea about man-farts, and this one has the potential smell and volume to clear the entire movie theatre.

Dripping:

Alright, the pain has dissipated for now. I can finally kind of relax…She bumped my hand. Is she trying to grab my hand? Oh shit.

I can’t tell if she was or not. The thing is that I also have really sweaty hands. It’s actually a medical thing where I just sweat out of my hands and feet excessively. It’s usually not a problem but it gets really bad when I’m nervous or in close contact with another person; so exactly this situation. Also just to be perfectly clear, my hands aren’t sweaty, they’re drenched in sweat. Damn, why are there so many things wrong with me?

Regardless, I still don’t know if she wants to hold hands or not and time’s running out for me to reciprocate the move. I don’t want to reject her if she’s trying to make a move, but I also don’t want her to know my hands are oozing sweat like two cheese blocks left out in the summer sun. I’ll just wait it out for now.

The Fuzz:

We drive back and talk about how dreamy we think Ryan Gosling is. However, before I walk her home, Jesse wants to come up to my room so that she can see my unicorn onesie that I mentioned during dinner.

Up the stairs, and I quickly throw some dirty clothes into a corner as she enters the room. Alright, good. Everything’s going well. I put on the unicorn onesie. She loves it – naturally – and rubs my newly fuzzy belly. I take it off after some ceremonial galloping so that she can pet it a little more.

Oh. She’s laying on my bed now. Shit. What do I do? Should I go sit down next to her awkwardly? Or should I continue standing here…awkwardly?

Goodnight:

We finally go back to her house and I made it without farting in her vicinity. I didn’t say anything too dumb and she didn’t grab my profusely sweating hands. She’s definitely the one.

We’re close together on the top of her stairs. We hug and I look deep into her eyes.

She explores my face with her eyes and then says, “I had a really great time tonight.”

She leans in on her tiptoes and kisses me.

“Goodnight!” she says as she turns, opens the door, and enters her house.

What the hell does all of that mean???

Art by Eva Strauss.