But, before you start thinking stars, moonlight and romance, let me curve your thinking. It was none of those things. In fact, it was pretty much the worst date I've ever had.
Before I go into the gory details, let me make a case for the man I love. He was young... really young... only 17. And I was 20 (almost 21). He had never been on a "real date" before and he was very nervous. After all, I was (am... will always be) the girl of his dreams.
Mauricio and I had known each other for years before this "first date". Which may have made it more awkward. We were friends. And now all of a sudden we were trying romance. Awkward. We had been in the "friend zone" for a whole 6 years before deciding to take it out of there. And, for those 6 years, he had a wicked crush on me... I thought he was a cute kid, but he was so much younger than me that I never really thought much of it. I would torture him and say things like, "Oh Mauricio, if only you were older.", part of me knowing that he could never be and the other part genuinely wishing I didn't care about the age difference.
|Here we are... He was 13, I was 17.|
We were on the phone one evening and he asked me if I wanted to go see a movie with him. Uh, yes. So he told me he'd meet me at the theatre at 8.
Strike one. Meet me?! What?
I told him that if he wanted to go out with me, he'd have to pick me up. To which he replied that he didn't want to waste the gas to come get me and drop me back off.
Strike two. Waste the gas?
I told him it wasn't "wasting" it... it was "spending" it... and there's a difference. So he did me the honor of picking me up at my house.
On our way to the theatre, our conversation was lacking. I don't remember the details about what we talked about but I do remember it being awkward and forced. I was pulling teeth to get him to talk to me. I couldn't wait to get to the movies so we didn't have to talk anymore.
As we get up to the ticket window, he steps in front of me. And I think to myself... wow, how nice, he's gonna pay for me... at least! Then he says to the cashier, "one student for Stuck On You".
Strike three. ONE ticket?! Aaaaaalright then.
So I went up to the window and bought my own ticket. Which would have been ok, but everything else leading up to this point was going so poorly that I thought and hoped, that he would have tried to redeem himself. He was so clueless.
We briskly walked past the concessions, not offering or asking if I wanted something to drink, and found our seats.
During the movie, I kept my hand on the arm rest, begging him to take it. But he didn't take my cues. Eventually, I just went ahead and grabbed his hand. Finally. We were on the right track. Maybe this date still had some life in it.
But then, he got up, and without any explanation or even a look back, walked out of the theatre. He walked out.
Strike FOUR. What the heck!?
I was so confused, I called my friend, Jen, and told her to be on stand by in case I needed a ride home. I really didn't know where he had gone. I was partially hoping he went to get us some drinks, but thought that it was also likely that he just left. I now know that he went to the restroom, but really!? Couldn't he have at least told me!
I don't even remember watching the movie. I was in such a state of disappointment that I couldn't concentrate. On the way home, conversation was just as awkward as before. And all I could think of was: I knew he was too young to date me. I knew he couldn't handle it. I knew it would be too hard of a transition from friend to more. I shouldn't have pushed this. Now how could I go back to just being friends without this awkward weight between us?
As we pulled up to my street, I was already anxious to get out of his car. I was fuming. When he stopped his car in front of my house, he leaned over and pulled out a dozen yellow roses from his backseat. What a sweet gesture! But it was wasted on me. I was already so upset, that the roses only added insult to injury. I said thank you and got out... slamming the door behind me. What did he think that those roses would make up for the rest of our debacle?
After that date, we went back into the friend zone... and it wasn't until the end of March that we tried again and succeeded.
I always tell Mauricio that he's just lucky that I forgave him for that first date and gave him another shot.
But really... I'm the lucky one.