Have you ever been on date but you didn’t realize it was a date and when the sirens go off that this non-date is actually a date you’re torn between casually going with the flow for the remainder of the evening or making a quick exit out the window to attend to the dying goldfish that needs to be walked at this odd hour of the night but wait you don’t have a goldfish and fish don’t walk but that’s completely irrelevant at this moment in time because you have a dying goldfish on your hands?
Yeah. That happens to me a lot.
I think it’s because I’m bubbly and I love my guy friends and I still maintain a certain amount of innocence that is rare in today’s world. Combine those traits together and you have a recipe for awkward dating history.
Sometimes I wish that panic button had an escape hatch, but then I wouldn’t be able to share these awkward moments with you. So here we go.
Let’s embrace the awkwardness.
In my junior year at Ohio Wesleyan University–a magical campus in Delaware, Ohio teeming with Frisbee-enthusiasts and the best grilled cheese-makers known to man–I met a senior who we will call Marv. Marv and I were crushing on each other and Marv really wanted to date me but I said, No, we are too different. Marv seemed to settle for friendship status. Notice that seemed is emphasized.
I worked evenings at the library and had a strict 9:30 bedtime (which, cough cough, I still adhere to). One night in December, Marv texted asking if I wanted to watch a movie. Marv lived just behind the library, so I figured, sure. I could go over to his abode, catch a few minutes of the flick and then head back to my house in time for my beauty sleep.
But when I stepped onto Marv’s driveway, he comes bustling out the door.
“Where are you going?” I say.
“We’re going to see a movie,” he says.
(Remember, males on the whole are not good communicators. Apparently “watch a movie” and “see a movie” are synonymous.)
I decided, okay, fine #yolo. (Except back then I think it was #youdonthaveclasstilonetomorrowsoyoullsurvivejustthisonce.) <–#suchagoodstudent
I figured we were walking 10 blocks to the old one-show cinema owned by my university to see said movie. Then Marv gets in the car. So, silly me and my assumptions, I assume we’re driving. Which, viva la revolucion and long live the environment, but driving meant I’d get home sooner.
But then Marv turns right instead of left.
So I repeat my question.
“Where are we going?”
“To see a movie,” he responds.
“Where is this movie?”
This is when the little heart of studious me skipped a beat, because Columbus is a 30-minute drive from the town of Delaware. But again, #yolo.
We arrive at the movie theatre 20 minutes shy of my bedtime. (I can’t remember who paid for the tickets but I would have assumed I insisted I pay for me but really I’m just trying to defend my innocence here so I’ll move on.)
Marv and I walk into the cinema to see Australia, which, if you’ve never seen it, is the longest movie known to man. This was before Leonardo DiCaprio would captivate us for the same length of time in The Wolf of Wall Street. But Leo did captivate us. Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman did not. Australia is a movie that ends somewhere around the 100-minute mark but then has another 80 minutes of pure torture when you’re on a non-date that you’ve now realized must be a date.
Finally, Nicole Kidman dies or Hugh Jackman saves her or I don’t really remember what happened because it was past midnight, but we are in the car heading back to campus. I’m watching the world through slitted, cat-like eyes trying to stave off sleep. We come to a stoplight just before driving through downtown Delaware.
Marv leans over to kiss me and I realize it a moment too late so I squirm in my seatbelt and turn my head so he gets total side-lip. And then, as if that wasn’t awkward enough, I speak.
“What you are doing? Ohhhh! Thank you!”
Yes, that’s right. I thanked him.
Coldplay sings through the speakers. I look out the window.
As the silence between us becomes palpable, and the awkwardness so taut it would make a twang if you plucked it, I open that mouth of mine again.
“Delaware sure looks nice with all these Christmas lights.”
“What?” he says, proceeding to turn down the radio.
I repeat my verbal diarrhea.
He offers me a mumble of agreement and we turn in silence onto my street.
When Marv pulls into my driveway, I high-tail it out of the passenger’s seat and grab my backpack from the back seat. Then I walk e’er-so-briskly up one walkway but Marv is already making his way up the other. We meet on the porch.
“Well, uh, thanks! Have a good night!” I say.
And because I’m too nice or awkward or don’t want to break his heart, I go in for a hug, but it’s one of those handicapped hugs where you pin down the other person’s arms and, mind you, Marv is a full foot taller than me.
And then I scamper inside.
A few days later, Marv sees me at the computers in the library and grabs a seat next to me.
He leans toward me. I’m being studious, Marv, I think. Please don’t notice me. He notices me.
“So… Do you wanna talk about what happened?” he says.
I swivel my head toward him.
“Um, I’m okay! But if you want to we can!”
Yes, I said so excitedly with exclamation points.
Marv and I didn’t really hang out after that.
I’m available for dating tips at any time free of charge. Just drop me a comment.
K thanks bye.