Shrek the Third

“If you think there are no new frontiers, watch a boy ring the front doorbell on his first date.”
– Olin Miller

I left you hanging. Did it work? Was it suspenseful?

Do you have any idea what I’m talking about?

A few weeks ago, I wrote an absolute heart-stopping cliffhanger. Remember now?

a REAL cliffhanger!

Okay, maybe I’m giving myself a little too much credit. But I did promise you the story of my first date with B, and I’m here to deliver.

We left off with B asking me out at the Blockbuster cash register. It was a couple of days later, but I still remember the moment when he called me. I’d had quite the day–my car had broken down on the side of the road, and I had spent the better part of a half-hour pushing with all my might while dressed in white capris with 4-in. wedge sandals. But by this point in my day, my car had been towed, and I was actually pouncing around on my parents’ bed, making hissing and growling noises trying to rile up the cat. I’m certain my face turned beet red when I answered the phone and Blockbuster Boy was on the other end. I was sure that, through phone osmosis, he knew the activity he had interrupted, would quickly make an excuse about having the wrong number, and I would never heard from him again. 

Luckily, though, I managed to hold up my end up a decent (but brief) conversation, during which he asked me to a movie a few days later. When he asked where he should pick me up, I resisted the urge of telling him I knew exactly where he lived (whoa, stalker…), therefore knew where he’d be coming from (plus, little did I know that his family had actually moved just two weeks prior!). Again, I kept my cool and refrained from shrieking with excitement until I had safely flipped shut my phone.

The next few days flew by in a haze. I daydreamed (daydreamt?) about what we’d talk about, what I’d wear, what he’d wear, what kind of car he’d drive (I’m not going to lie–an old Ford Focus with moldy seats and a missing gas cap never popped into my mind). My dad, chiming in with his opinion, said, “Gosh, I hope this guy doesn’t turn out to be a dud!” He and mom had, of course, witnessed the entire Blockbuster Boy journey. I think they were as invested as I was.

But, amid all the girly thoughts and hopeful ideas, I had to admit that I kept things in perspective.

I think the downfall of my previous relationships (besides the fact that I was 18, naive, inexperienced, unfocused, etc.) was that I always went in with high expectations. Okay, not just high expectations, like, astronomical expectations. I wanted labels, I wanted commitments, I wanted follow-through. Basically, I wanted perfection. I made a conscious decision before my first day with B that this time, I was going to play a role. I was going to take on the character of a go-with-the-flow, easy-going sort of gal. I say “take on the character” because, if you know me, you know that is not me. I am a plan-it-out worrier. Now, I know what you’re thinking. People always say you should “be yourself” on a date. And I was myself. I wasn’t trying to put up a front, I was adjusting my own perspective on the situation.

My new dating philosophy influenced a lot of decisions (more about that later). But first, it steered my choice in an outfit. After much deliberation, I decided to go against my usual short skirt/tank top first date uniform. Instead, I opted for my favorite jeans and a simple fitted pink T-shirt. I accessorized with a pair of fun earrings, but I left it pretty plain. My goal was, again, GWTFEG (go-with-the-flow-easy-going).

Taking the risk of sounding overly-cheesy, I can clearly picture the moment when B picked me up that evening. I was watching for him out the garage door, and as I walked out, he got out of his car and stood by the driver’s door (sort of in a “should I go greet her? stay here? open her door?” kind of way). He was wearing khaki shorts and a button-up short-sleeved plaid shirt. I could tell he had taken the time to put gel in his hair (something that I know now he saves for special occasions). 

I don’t remember much about what we talked about that evening, although I do remember B whipping out his cell phone to show me pictures of his basset hound (which now does not surprise me in the least). I couldn’t tell you the plot of the movie (Shrek the Third)–not because we were doing anything inappropriate, but because my mind was occupied with that awkward sharing-the-armrest position, when you know you’re about to hold hands, but both people are too shy to make the first move. By the end of the movie, though, we’d bridged that gap. 

He didn’t kiss me that night, but I laid in bed that night with my head in the clouds. I had just been on a date with Blockbuster Boy. And, although I stuck with my GWTFEG philosophy, I knew. Really. I just knew.

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