But I had a goal for myself after Seminary was over this year--Five dates before the end of the year. I had joined a few dating sites and was trying to get out more. No dice.
But, finally, I had my first date lined up. It was more with a friend, but he was a good guy, so I expected he would pay when we went to the movies (and I could count it as a date). The day of the first of my projected 5, N sent me a Facebook message. As we lived 2 hours apart, I said that if he picked a place halfway between, I'd meet him. After some negotiation we ended up with Tuesday as the day for our first date (August 19).
That Sunday, I texted Eddie, "If I go out with N, he's not going to ax murder me, right?"
During Primary, I got a text back. "N is excited about dinner on Tuesday. And he thought that last text was hilarious."
Yeah, decided never to text Eddie regarding relationship info again.
Tuesday rolled around. I found some restaurants in the area (Smithfield is really tiny--and they have 2 movie theaters that only show movies at 5 and 7 during the week--but that is a different story), but pretty much left it up to him.
I went to greet him with a kiss on the cheek. And he turned his head and planted one on me, which left me completely gobsmacked.
"Um, dessert comes after dinner," was the only response I could think of.
"But I really like dessert," was his response, "and life is short."
I'm pretty sure I blushed, and then told him that he had to buy me dinner first.
We went to a generic steakhouse in Smithfield, and I internally freaked out over everything:
- Um, this cute guy I just met kissed me!
- Holding hands already?
- I need to help the waitress set down water--how do I do that while still holding hands
- How do I make room with the huge menus, the waters, and now the bread??? With only one hand? What is this craziness?!?
Needless to say, it's probably been a decade since I actually dated-dated anyone--hanging out doesn't count--and I am woefully out of practice. So dinner; used-DVD/CD store; and then some dessert. It actually went well.
Then, "There is a game night on Friday. Are you going?"
"Maybe," I played coy.
"Okay, fine, I'll be there."
But I freaked out on Thursday, and I sent him a message--no PDA or canoodling at a singles activity. We'd only been out once, and I wasn't ready to be "un-single" in anyone's eyes.
He called me before the activity. He was running late. So? I thought, playing it cool even to myself.
I tried to join in on the game night, but felt super awkward--it's been a long time since I did the singles scene. There was Karaoke, but after going through every song, I was so not in the mood for any of them. I finally got a group playing Settlers of Cattan, and I decided that I could make it work.
Partway through N arrived, and though I said, "Hi!" I didn't say a ton, and continued on with my game. Though I noticed he was just standing leaning against the wall watching my game, and I suggested he pull up a chair. He said, "No, that's okay."
I knew I was relatively charming, and I decided to show off a little. So, I sang a little Proud Mary and knew that I had blown it out of the water. Someone told me to sing again, but I gave up the mic and started to sing along with some of the other singers.
A little bit later, he sang Lady in Red pretty much to me. It was kind of crazy as I had thrown a bash for our ward a couple years ago, and that was the one song I really wanted to dance to, and to have him sing it to me was fantastic and a little scary. I couldn't make protracted eye contact though--it was too much.
At the end of the evening (and the final, horrific end to the game--worst I've ever played), the group decided on an after party at I-Hop. I had been there for three hours and mingled, and they wanted me to continue to be "on?" No, thank you.
"I should really go check in on my sister," I quibbled, giving him the eye, "Walk me to my car. . . "
The minute we made it outside, we were holding hands. On the way to my car, he gave me a look.
"I'm kind of sad you have to leave," he mourned.
"Oh, I don't have to go anywhere," I shrugged, "I just couldn't stay for another few hours."
He made it to my car before he went for dessert.
"Where should we go?" I asked, feeling very self conscious.
"Your place?" My place? I thought--that is an hour farther away from your house (which is 2 hours from Durham).
"Ok," I said, knowing full well my roommate was home. She was, and I got to drag him off to a little lake that just a week earlier I was telling a friend seemed like a romantic place to go for a walk.
We walked; we sat; we chatted; and, sweetly, we danced. We turned some music on my phone, and slow danced on the shores of a little lake in Durham until 1:30 in the morning. He sang a few of the songs to me, but I could tell he liked it especially when I sang to him. It was cheesy and romantic and pretty perfect.
to be continued in Meeting the family (or, this may be going faster than I am comfortable with). . .