After my girlfriends left it was yet again time to wash the sheets and get the place ready for my next friend to stop by the coming weekend. We had decided over the phone this would be the time we would go on our second first date.
You see, we met in high school. We had 6th hour English class together and I already sat toward the back because I was in the same classroom during 5th hour. He was running late and was thus forced to sit next to me due to seating issues. This was the beginning of our friendship. Later, I found out he had a crush on me through a mutual friend but at that time I was not ready after having just been in a relationship. So almost a full year later, after graduation, he FINALLY asked me on a date.
Needless to say, the date was awkward. We didn’t know how to act around each other, it wasn’t like we hadn’t been on a date before, we just hadn’t been on a date with each other, and we were at that time having trouble seeing each other in a light other than a friend and a kindred spirit. We wanted to, but maybe the timing for us just wasn’t right. We wound up spending the date like we spent most nights, laughing about random things, and talking like we usually did. I wanted to see him as more than a friend, and I think he wanted to see me as more than a friend but we were both too nervous, too shy and too scared.
Fast forward to late July of this year. We had already discussed doing some local St. Louis things, (weather permitting) and knowing if the date didn’t work out we would just go back to being friends.
Again I had just gotten off work, and he had text me to let me know he was already at my apartment waiting for me. I was nervous, and was hoping to have had more time to get ready before he saw me, you know; and maybe put on a little more concealer. That whole month I was nervous and had worked myself up so much my skin broke out. It was rather embarrassing.
Upon arrival at my apartment, I found my buddy hanging around the car, and hugged him hello. Little did we know this would be our last hug as just friends.
I helped him with his luggage and we made our way into the apartment. It was awkward at first. Knowing we were going to go on a date the next day it was hard to act like everything was cool and like we were old pals. So we wound up watching IT Crowd on Netflix.
The next day was date day. Desperately I wanted to impress my friend; even after 16 years. I wore a strapless top and a black pencil skirt with my favorite black summer time hat…and the red rose in my hair that got him thinking of me in a different light in the first place. He in turn dressed completely in white. It didn’t don on me until we left the apartment how funny we might look. We looked like “Spy vs. Spy” from Mad Magazine. He held out his arm for me to grab onto and we made our way to Delmar Boulevard.
As you know readers, I’ve blogged about Delmar before. I used to have problems with this Boulevard, but since the change in my life and my outlook…Delmar became different. It used to be that I would almost get run over on the street, and have to have awkward interactions with people and say loudly, “I’m walkin’ here!”
This time was different. We walked down the street when a random stranger complimented me on my hat. As they walked by, they smiled and said, “Nice hat!”
“Thank you”, I replied and my buddy and I continued down the street, both of us beaming. We kept encountering more people who kept saying, “Nice hat!”
After about the third person complimenting the hat, I turned to my buddy and said, “Funny, I wore this hat before with your sister and nobody said anything.” He replied, “I don’t think its the hat” and smiled.
We made our way to the restaurant “Pie”. As we made our way in, I received 3 more compliments on the hat. Then after taking the hat off, an older gentleman made his way over where my buddy and I were sitting and said, “I always said when a beautiful woman entered the room I had to tell her.” (Surely somewhere there is an obvious Groucho Marx joke in there.) The only thing I could say was “Thank you” and it made me more nervous seeing as the whole reason for being there was to be on a date. My buddy just continued to look at me and smile.
We ordered what we decided was one of the best pizzas ever and nearly “face planted” it. Luckily my buddy had seen me eat before so I wasn’t nervous about having sauce on my face and neither was he.
We made our way out of the restaurant stuffed and decided it was too hot to do anything else and started walking toward the car where again, a couple of teen agers walked by and said, “Nice hat”.
This was an experience for me all the way around, FINALLY I was able to see my buddy in a different light and able to look people in the eye on Delmar Boulevard without them wanting to run me over.
Life as I know it was beginning to look up, which is why it was so hard to say good bye to my now boyfriend. The only thing that could make me smile after this weekend was this picture we took. Unfortunately my camera broke during the weekend so this is the only surviving picture. It kind of sums everything up.
What recently has made you see your life differently? What changed your outlook? What makes you smile when you reflect on it?