Richard at Just a Gwai Lo linked to my earlier entry about what makes a date a date and linked to an entry in the blog Oblivio which the author goes on a date only to discover that it isn’t a date.
Sometimes the opposite happens, and I offer this story as proof.
(I’ve also been told by a number of people that my Worst Date Ever stories have given them hope. If hope can spring from a train wreck, this story should inspire you to pick up the phone/fire up the instant messenger software and ask that guy or girl out.)
The scene: A cold clear night in November 1992 at Cafe Max, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Our protagonist is easing quite nicely into his second year in his second incarnation as an undergrad at Crazy Go Nuts University.
This was a friendly date. I’d asked to kiss her after the Hallowe’en party, but she had to politely decline. She had a boyfriend who went to another university and wanted to maintain the relationship despite the fact that he was all the way over there, I was right here, and probably smarter, more charming, better-looking and Crazy Go Nuts University’s best damn DJ, ever. In spite of this, she’d agreed to go out on a getting-to-know-you kind of dinner outing.
I paid for everything and expected nothing but pleasant conversation and a goodbye hug at her door at the end of the evening, which makes me either an old-fashioned gentleman, a complete sucker, or possibly both. I decided to take a pragmatic view of the whole affair:
- A non-date with a pretty girl is better than an evening at home watching Star Trek:The Next Generation
- If I impress her, perhaps she can introduce me to her friends (deVilla maxim #12: Cute girls have cute friends)
- A non-date is still a good practice run for the “real thing”, where one can sharpen one’s skill without risk. Kind of like the holodeck from the aforementioned Star Trek:The Next Generation, at least when the safety protocols are working.
Things were going quite well. The “your back story first, then mine” conversation flowed freely with no uncomfortable silences and the food was excellent. If this were a real date, I thought, this would be the best date I’ve ever had..
After dinner, we took a nice long walk through Kingston’s quiet but quaint streets back to campus, where we descended into the basement pub known as Alfie’s to catch the Rheostatics show. We sat near the back, drinking in each performance and saving any conversation for lulls between numbers.
A few numbers into the first set, she leaned in and whispered into my ear: “I thought I should tell you that I’ve changed my mind. This isn’t a platonic date.”
It took a couple of seconds for this to register, and when it did, it was like a Bruce Lee kick to the head. In a good way, that is, if such a thing is possible.
Well, I’ll have to invite her to my birthday party, I thought, followed by Wait…birthday…what time is it?
I looked at my watch. 12:03 a.m.. November 5th.
“Hey,” I said. “I just turned twenty-five.”
She leaned in, and we had our first kiss.
Sometimes it turns around.