“Uh, uh, well, I mean…umm….It’s just that I like hanging out with you and I thought..um….uhh,” he said.
Yes, that was the response I got from Paul over a dessert in Chili’s. I had never seen anyone fall apart like that when trying to answer a question. It was a pretty straight forward question, right? But now I was molto confuso. Why would he ask me, whom he hadn’t known very long and not one of his other friends he’d had for years? Puzzling it was, puzzling.
I took him at face value though and approached February 4, the scheduled “date”, as though I was going to eat with a friend. A very good-looking, funny, nice, perfect-for-me friend.
He didn’t tell me where we were going, only to dress nice and he’d be at my house at 6:00. My usual “date” routine was to start about two hours beforehand in order to give myself plenty of time and not be rushed. So around 4:00 I got a shower, sat on the couch for a few minutes to give my hair a little while to air dry, put on make-up, sat on the couch a little while to rest from all the primping so far, dried my hair, sat on the couch to wait for the straightener to heat up, finished with my hair, sat on the couch until it was closer to 6:00, and finally, at around 5:50, got dressed. I chose to wear a boat collared white sweater with a bow on the side of the collar and my favorite turquoise pleated skirt with black heals. I think I borrowed a purse from Tanya.
As I was finishing up in the bathroom and 6:00 rapidly approached I found myself getting anxious. Was I getting nervous? “No, surely not,” I thought as I squirted a little perfume on. “What’s there to be nervous about. This is NOT a date.”
There was a knock at the door. This was it. I opened the door to find a sharply dressed Paul. Man, he looked good. Deep breath. “Hi. You look very nice,” he said. I returned the compliment and walked outside to hop inside that great Silverado.
We made small talk in the truck on the way to our destination, which I still didn’t know at this point. However, as we kept driving I said, “Are we going to that Italian place that’s just right up the street?” Sure enough I was right.
We were seated at a candlelit table, a very intimate setting for something that was not a date. Paul ordered an appetizer and as we shared it I began to talk about a couple of relationships that I was confused about and might have to back away from for a while.
“Is this one of them?” he asked.
“Yes,” I said. I had never been so direct with any guy I had ever been out with before. What in the world was I saying? Little did I know that I would be MUCH more direct and bolder than I’d ever been in the near future.
He explained that he really liked me and would like to date me but if I only wanted to be friends then that would be fine.
I blushed and smiled a little. I don’t remember saying too much, if anything. Paul suggested we change the subject and just enjoy the evening, which we did.
After a delicious meal we went ice skating. I, of course, almost fell on one occasion and Paul chivalrously took hold of me so I wouldn’t ungraciously hit the ice. In doing so we ended up holding hands. He kept holding my hand, and after having to let go in order to avoid colliding with a fallen child, he took my hand again. I grew giddy, excited. This was developing into something quite quickly.
We left the ice rink to rent a movie and went to my apartment to watch it. “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” could have been left at Blockbuster however. It would go down as one of the not-so-good-movies-I-have-seen. Paul departed after the movie was over, and I was left with my head spinning….and I hadn’t even been kissed. The night that didn’t start as a date most definitely ended as one.