Saturday, June 7, 2014

He and She Saturdays-Do We All Get Anxious For Dates?

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Before I knew it, Friday night came. The week had passed, the days spent with me gazing at Andrew from afar, and Andrew returning my gaze when he thought that I wasn’t looking. The nights were spent with him texting me about something mundane and then ended up talking about whatever our hearts desired. I knew that there must have been a legit reason why he was texting me so much. He liked me, it was obvious. I didn’t however want to believe it because I didn’t want to get my hopes up and end up getting disappointed.
As I sat in front of my vanity, my outfits that I bought with Daphne were sprawled across my bed, I still felt confused. There were so many things that I didn’t know about tonight. Was the outfit that I picked out right? Should I hold his hand? Or worse, what if he kissed me? Was I good at kissing?
The last time that I was kissed was when I was 13 with my middle school boyfriend. His name was Carter, and he was the bee’s knees at our middle school. He asked me to dance, and of course I said yes. My first kiss was during the song ‘Love In This Club”, by Usher. It was a beautiful moment. We ended up breaking up a few weeks later, but still I wondered if it was my kissing skills that drove him away. To this day, I will never know. However, I tried not to let that thought plague me tonight as I got ready for my big date with Andrew. Andrew who wasn’t Carter, nope not one bit.
I wasn’t sure what I was trying to go for tonight. Should I go for a look that was more sassy? How hard should I try? I mean I know for a fact that he likes me. I like him, and I want to impress him. So, how hard should I try? Should I even be trying at all? Of course, I should at least put some effort into my appearance.
Time for a call to Daphne. She was good at this sort of stuff, she’d know what to say. The phone nearly slipped out of my hand each time that I tried dialing her number.
“Hello”, she said.
“Help”, I said.
She sighed. “You’re going to be fine.”
“I am so nervous that I can’t eat. Or even sit up straight. I fail at dating.”
“You’re also new at dating.”
“And so far it sucks”.
“Andrew is a great guy. And you haven’t even went out with him. Everyone has these experiences when they go out with someone that they really like for the first time. Plus, Andrew seems to already like you. It’s going to be amazing.”
“But, I’m still nervous.”
“And that’s okay.”
“It is?” I was puzzled.
“How so?”
“Because we’ve all been there. It’s perfectly fine to be nervous when you’re new at something. It’s all going to go away eventually. Trust me.”
“Were you nervous about your first date?” I asked. I remembered it vaguely. It was a few years ago, with some guy named Michael. I didn’t remember much, other than he was a few years older than us. I believed that he was a senior when Daphne was a freshman. The relationship was short-lived though because Michael had wanted to move a lot faster than she did. Daphne dumped him for Sam, the artsy guitarist that lasted for about two months. He was her first love.
“Keep in mind, you’re the exact same age as Andrew.”
“That is true. I do have that going for me.”
“It’s going to be great. Start getting excited!”
I took a deep breath. “I will.”
“Say it like you mean it!”
“I will!”
“Okay, go get him Tiger!” she exclaimed.
“I will!”
I hung up, and that blast of confidence lasted until I tied the white laces of my Chuck Taylors.

About an hour later, Andrew was making small talk with my father. My father had decided to put on his Robert Deniro impression, which was really hard for a middle-aged Irish man to do. I had half expected that, when my older sister Brielle began to date Kevin, who was now her boyfriend of five years. (They had begun dating when she was 16.) However, now that the spotlight was turned on me, it still felt even more embarrassing. I can finally relate to her pain.
“So”, my dad said. He was the one that got the door. That was the rule. “You wanna take my daughter out?”
“Yes sir”, Andrew said. He was careful on his words, almost to the point where he himself was wondering whether or not to take my ridiculous father seriously or not.
“You better treat her right or I swear to God-“
“Dad”, my older sister Casey cut in. “I am so sorry for my father. He’s really a nice person but he has control issues with any men in his daughters’ lives. I’m Casey, Cathleen’s normal sibling. I swear my father is a nice person. Would you like to come in? Cathleen is waiting for you.”
Andrew nodded, and he looked a little more relieved.
“Hi”, I said. My palms were sweaty.
“Hey”, he said, smiling. “You look awfully nice tonight.”
My dad shot him a dirty look. I prayed that Andrew didn’t even see it.
“Thanks, you do too.”
“Thanks. Do you want to go?” he said. I bet he couldn’t wait to bolt out of this awkward situation. My dad was giving him dirty looks as if giving them was going out of style. Casey was doing the same thing to Dad. Whoever said getting rid of dirty looks was more dirty looks was clearly wrong.
Andrew followed me out of the door. He even opened the door for me, which was always a plus when a guy did that in my dad’s book. I still can feel the weight of my Dad’s stare as we walked out. I’m pretty sure that Andrew was thinking ‘Thank God for getting me out of here.’
“Sorry about my Dad”, I said as he lead me to the car. “He’s just overly protective of his daughters.”
“I can see that.”
“Are you afraid of that?”
“Should I be? I have no plans to hurt you.” He held open the door of his Toyota Rave Four. It was dark, but I can still kind of make out that it was silver. I wondered if this was his mother or father’s that he borrowed for the night.
“You don’t?”
“Not that I know of.”
“Well that’s good to know.”

He smiled. He started the car, and suddenly some of my nerves seemed to melt away. I hoped that my father pretending to be a member of the Mafia would be the only awkward moment of the night.

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