Our First Date
Here I am. In my car. Thirty minutes remaining. THIRTY!
I had to work late. It’s 6:00. I have to make it from Golden Valley to Uptown, shower, shave, style my hair, and take the dog out- all in 30 minutes. In rush hour traffic. And, shit, I have to pick up my damn dry cleaning.
Why did I say 6:30? Who the hell schedules a date at 6:30 on a Monday? A dumbass, that’s who. Yours truly.
Pause. Breathe, Justin. Breathe.
OK, boy, you got this. Breathe and chill the hell out. He’ll understand if you push it back, right? No. I’ve already cancelled on him twice. He probably already thinks I’m an asshole. He sure has every reason to. When have I ever sucked up my ego TWICE in a row after a guy’s cancelled on me? NEVER. That’s when.
Then again, he still wants to go on this date, right? So maybe he won’t mind if I push it back.
“heyy mister,” I’m texting, “pls dont hate me but im JUST getting off work. can we pls push dinner back till 8? promise im worth waiting for:)”
Pause. Hmm. No. I’m not sending it. I sound desperate. Right?
Re-draft text four times. Still not happy. You know what? Screw it. Let’s just make this happen. Dry cleaning can wait another day, right? It’s only been ready to pick up for a week.
No text. Especially after two cancelled dates. I owe it to this guy to be there when I promised I would.
He’s so cute, this guy. I’ve been begging for someone like him to come along for three years. Since…the first cut. Since…him. Ugh. No time to think about that now. Focus!
Think positive. Think about how great this date is going to be. I’m going to make it there on time. I’m going to apologize for how I look and say that I was… um… mauled by a pterodactyl. Yes. I was walking to my car and a giant dinosaur flew out of the sky, messed up my hair, and put stubble on my chin. No. I HAVE to shower. I have to look good for this guy. I want to impress him. I want him to want me.
Think positive. Envision the date going well. Envision it going perfectly. Envision…him kissing me on the cheek when he sees me and complimenting me on how cute I look. Think of him laughing at all my stupid jokes and being impressed with my affinity to sappy music (Kenny G or Josh Groban, anyone?). Pretend he’ll whisper sweet nothings in my ear afterward, kiss me good night, and ask to see me again.
Ah. Now that feels good. It feels romantic, tranquil, perfect. I already see us marrying. Maybe we’ll have kids. I don’t really like kids, but for him? Well, yes, of course. Because he’s exactly the man I’m building up in my mind. He has to be. It’s not like I ever hype someone up in my brain only to disappoint myself when I realize he’s a normal human being and not Superman (hint for those playing at home: yes, that’s sarcasm).
I’m like a little girl. A little girl sitting in a corner playing with her imagination, waiting for a Disney Prince to whisk her away. A little girl who doesn’t know how to strip away hope from expectation. When you expect everything, you’ll always be disappointed. Remember what Mama said: hope for the best and expect the worst. Have I got it backward?
He might not like me anyway. I am, after all (among other things), selfish, impatient, and trite. Not to mention superficial and vain. Nah, he probably wouldn’t like me. Maybe I should just cancel instead of going through all this stress.
No. Wait a minute. He invited me. And I can be pretty funny sometimes, right? I’m awful sweet, I know how to make Sloppy Joes, and I can cuddle real good. Maybe he will like me.
I got this. Fifteen minutes left? Easy. We are gonna make this work. Hallelujah, yes we will!
But first things first. I need to crank my car.
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