Women who date me have to know that their name may end up in my journal. I find this as a good thing because my handwriting slows down my mind to articulate honest feelings about women I like. I wrote her name at the top of the page and left a blank space wondering if I would like her enough to take down notes about her.
We met up at the Split Button, the center of the University of Pennsylvania campus. I figured it would be easy to find, however she arrived 30 minutes late and I was getting annoyed. But, I liked the sincerity and politeness in her texts so I waited a bit longer next to a statue of Ben Franklin whose face was more relaxed than mine.
Her approach was subtle, yet caught the attention of a few strangers and myself. I watched the corners of her mouth turn, the dimples in her cheeks appeared as her whole face showed the amusement of the moment because I couldn’t tell her outright how attractive she was. Her smile reached her eyes, lighting them, causing me to stop in my tracks. She wore large dark brown glasses that framed her different color eyes; one brown, one green. The gold watch on her right wrist blinded me as she firmly shook my hand finding myself out of words to say. In that moment she was everything I had hoped for and I wanted to get to know her better.
As we walked in stride, we settled on a restaurant located in a tight alleyway. I was impressed by how swiftly she moved, as we were seated at a table so small, that privacy was transparent. I remember saying “Hey, what’s happening,” and next thing I know, her fast lips, with lipstick missing from the corners, expressed an interest in philosophy, art, and even stand up comedy. I tried to focus my line of sight on her bangs to show I was being a good listener.
Knowing that her pace of conversation was too much for me to handle, I asked her thoughtful questions about her college experience, where she was from, and what she was up to. She kept saying I had “a great poker face” and, for a brief moment, her lips were fidgety when I told her I like to write for fun. She would chew on them while she was thinking or listening to what I said and I couldn’t break my attention to them.
Appealing to her artistic side lead to an interesting discussion about a paper she wrote about Socrates and her favorite artworks. She started to blink slightly faster than normal with her nostrils flaring up as we continued to banter. We were getting somewhere with my curiosity, so I suggested we head out to build more momentum.
A few blocks down the street, I found a hidden bar with no sign of any kind from the street. A zebra head greeted us on the wall. Inside was a hodgepodge saloon with twinkle lights hanging from the ceiling. The dark interior and clusters of lounging space made me at ease for a perfect first date drink. It was like I was having a drink in a rich aunts’ living room with the massive antique collection around the place. Even the bartender dressed the part with a nice mustache and was pulling for me giving me a high five when she excused herself to the restroom.
We sat on a leather couch next to the window where the streetlight lamp lit up her face and shoulders. However, this worked against me, because the intimate space caused us to be more serious with each other, discussing how dissatisfied we were with our work lives and how far away we were from achieving our childhood dreams. She retreated to her cell phone as she told me how much she missed her best friends who lived far away. I felt even worse when I told her my best friend lives close to me and we hang out a lot. We took a few breaks from talking to watch a group of couples enjoying their night on the town, wishing we ordered what they had.
With midnight approaching, I needed to come up with something unconventional to save this date. Appearing like I wanted to call it a night, I offered to walk her to her car. When she took out her keys and pointed them to me, she offered to drive me home. At first I refused, but then said “why not.”
When we arrived at my doorstep, I stared at her closely and waited for her response. She said the usual “let’s meet up again sometime soon” and “I had a fun night.” Not satisfied with this, I decided to play the last card I had in my deck–I would stay in her car till we kissed.
Think about this scenario for a second. She couldn’t physically throw me out of her car and she was comfortable enough to keep talking–I was really in the driver’s seat.
However, I didn’t know when to make my move. We were in her car for a good 20 minutes as she continued to look at me with bewilderment because I kept mentioning how proud I was that I made her laugh earlier to buy more time. She could only smile at me, as the console in her car was a big wedge between us, restrained also by winter coats, gloves, and scarves.
When I saw her stare at the clock and turn on the ignition, it was now or never. I somehow got my hand underneath her scarf between her jaw and neck, felt her rush of helplessness, and a tide of warmth, as we got closer. The sounds around us were going silent–the engine of the car, necklaces swinging back and forth, and the tunes of Vampire Weekend–all quiet, as her lips met mine.
I stopped us, after a few seconds, and said, “See? I’m pretty good at this.”
She laughed and we resumed kissing. But as we pulled away, I put my face into her neck and let out a sound of frustration saying, “Do you wear this perfume on purpose?”
She just laughed with a confused look on her face and said, “No, I just wear it because it smells nice.”
To sidestep this awkward moment, I kissed her with even more intensity as her lips shook, sending tremors along her nerves, evoking a sensation she didn’t know she was capable of feeling.
Once we both felt the fear and excitement of what transpired, we couldn’t pay attention. Out of a trance, I wished her good night and stepped out of the car, afraid I maybe went too far, overstepped boundaries, or terrified her.
But then I realized, as her car slowly pulled away, that we would both remember that moment. And isn’t that all you can ask for on a first date?