Dating in college, part 4: First dates

Chris Slattery

5 p.m. Big date tonight. Really excited. Also nervous. Whatever, all I need to do is be myself: charming as hell.

6 p.m. OK, one hour until we plan on meeting at the restaurant. Might as well figure out what I’m wearing. I don’t want to look over-dressed or too eager, but I don’t want to look like a slob.

6:15 p.m. On the bus, on the way to the restaurant. How do I explain that? “Yeah, I don’t have a car because I’m poor. I don’t even have enough money to take care of myself, let alone a girlfriend.” Smooth.

6:30 p.m. Maybe dinner was too big of a first step. Coffee’s less formal, so there’s less pressure.

6:48 p.m. Arrived a bit early. That’s OK, I can treat this like a job interview. 10 minutes early is “on time,” and “on time” is 10 minutes late.

7:10 p.m. Ordering my second water. Ten minutes late isn’t that late, anyway.

7:24 p.m. Receive a text: “Sorry, running a bit late. Be there in 20 minutes.”

7:40 p.m. Receive another text: “Had to help out my roommate. Heading out the door now. Sorryyyyyyyyyyy.” She’s putting others before herself, so I can’t be upset. The extra “y“s help too. Especially glad I decided not to eat before coming here.

8:04 p.m. Date arrives and looks fantastic. What do I say? Something about her dress? Something about her hair? “Hey,” I say. Yep, that sums it up.

8:10 p.m. New waitress comes by, someone I know from class. I hate to be rude, but I’m not here to talk to her. Date does not look entertained.

8:23 p.m. Finished talking about our week and the weather. What else do people talk about? The remake of “Footloose”?

8:32 p.m. Waitress comes back. A girl who has never talked to me before, she now has an infinite amount of questions about class. Date starts texting other people.

8:45 p.m. Food arrives and I start eating. I’m starving, but Date delicately picks at her food. We talk about food.

9 p.m. Find out she likes “The Office.” Desperate for talking points, I spout out my theory of why Jim is the biggest jerk on the show. I immediately realize I dressed just like him.

9:15 p.m. No, waitress, we don’t have any room for dessert, and no, I didn’t take notes on Tuesday’s lecture. You shouldn’t have skipped.

9:20 p.m. I pay for both of the checks. Chivalry isn’t dead, it’s just damn expensive. Date smiles again and I remember why I fumbled to get her here in the first place; she’s way out of my league.

9:25 p.m. Date offers me a ride back to my place and I graciously accept. Start thinking about which movie I can offer to have her stay a bit longer.

9:36 p.m. Apparently “No Country For Old Men” is not a suitable date movie and she declines as she pulls up to my apartment.

9:37 p.m. Go in for the kiss goodnight, end up hugging awkwardly between our restraining seatbelts.

10:14 p.m. Text her that I had a great time and that I would love to do it again (I really would). She replies, “Thanks, but I’m not really looking for a relationship right now.”

Two weeks later Facebook announces Date’s in a relationship. Should have gone out for coffee.

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