(MLS: My Love Story – Part 6!)
So, Jeff had asked me out on an honest-to-goodness first date. I had gone home to drop off the things that I needed to and just needed to wait for him. By the time it got close for him to pick me up, I was becoming quite a nervous wreck. Should I have changed my clothes? I mean, he just saw me an hour ago! What does it say if I did change my clothes? What did it say if I didn’t change my outfit? I mean, the jeans and a sweater that I was wearing was a pretty good first date outfit, right? Should I do my hair differently? It was already curled, but maybe I needed to have different curled hair for a date. What kind of hair does someone have for a date anyway?
I distinctly remember sitting at my kitchen island watching TV just trying to take my mind off what was about to happen. “Hi, my name is Jayme and I’m a dork.” In retrospect, it was probably good I only had an hour’s notice – I might have talked myself out of the date just from fear! (Not that I recommend only giving an hour’s notice when asking for a date – that’s just how this first date all went down. I’m being descriptive, not prescriptive.) Jeff later told me that he didn’t have too much time to get nervous as he had to shower, figure out a basic plan and drive to my place.
So, he picked me up. He walked me to the car. He opened my car door for me. In the car, he said that he was thinking about going to Rick’s Boatyard for dinner – if that was okay with me. It was. And Omaha’s Pedestrian Bridge was just a little bit away from there, so he thought we could walk over there and walk along the bridge over the Missouri River. Sounded good to me.
That’s what we did. Dinner wasn’t super fancy (but kind of fancy – more than an Applebee’s anyway). Not too many awkward moments or anything. Having known each other for a year already, we knew the basics about each other like families and jobs and churches and hobbies, so really, it felt quite comfortable. We did dig a little deeper than we had before, but truthfully, I was just in awe that I was on a date with him!
After dinner, he asked if I wanted to walk or drive over to the bridge. It was just a few blocks away, so I thought we should walk it. But then it all of a sudden felt really cold! (And I didn’t bring a jacket. In late November. Doh!) So he offered to drive us over there or he had a blanket in the trunk for emergencies. I took him up on the blanket and we walked over.
It’s a neat bridge and I don’t think I had been on it before – particularly not at night when it’s all lit up pretty. We walked across it, so that I could touch the Iowa side of the bridge.
After the walk, he suggested that we head to a coffee shop. Neither of us drink coffee, but we both got cider. They have an upstairs loft area that opens up to the restraurant, so we took our drinks up there and continued talking. By now, it was about 9:00 p.m. and I could tell that Jeff was getting really tired. He wasn’t talking as much as he had been. He yawned a couple of times. I must have been pretty boring!
Luckily, he said something about how he had an early morning, and it wasn’t me, but that he was getting tired, so could we call it an evening? I said of course. I’m so very glad that he said something otherwise I probably would have wondered if it really was me. Was 4+ hours with me too much? Was one date enough that he now knew that he didn’t really like me? What could I possibly have said? I was further reassured when he asked me for a second date on the way home. So very nice to have that knowledge!
He pulled into my driveway and I got out of the car (should I have waited for him to walk around and open my car door? I didn’t know – I just got out.) He walked me up to the steps in the front of my house and stopped on one of the lower steps while I got my keys out and unlocked the door. I said Thanks. He said You’re Welcome. I said Have a Good Thanksgiving. He said You Too. We both said Goodbye.
Here’s where his memory of that moment and mine differ. He says:
- I had my keys ready to go in the car even before getting out.
- I bolted up to the front door.
- I acted super nervous that he would try to kiss me.
- He was at least 4-5 steps below my front porch, where there is no chance that he could try anything.
- I said Good Bye super fast and slammed the front door.
- I walked at a normal speed to the front door.
- He was just a step or two behind me.
- I said Good Bye in a normal speed.
- I unlocked, opened and shut the door like a normal human being.
I learned (later) that he was really scared of ending the date so early. He had an expectation that when you took a gal out, you’re not supposed to have her home by 9:00 p.m.. He was worried about me seeing him as boring or dull or cheap or something. Which those thoughts never entered my mind, but I can see how a man would build those expectations for himself, given our culture.
- Just because a guy yawns during a date, it might not be the end of the relationship. He may genuinely be tired.
- Your definition of walking and talking normally might not match his.
- How far away someone seems to be from you is relative to your nervousness.