Reggie and I met at a conference in Washington DC. At the time, he lived in Tennessee, I lived in Florida, and he was scheduled to move to South Africa six months later. About one month into “dating” long-distance, we decided it was time to actually have our first date. So we agreed to meet in Atlanta. I had friends there (helpful in case this date was a complete bust), and it was about the halfway point for both of us.
From the time we met, Reggie and I found it very easy to talk to one another. We could stay on the phone for hours, talking about everything. But, we excited to actually be together. The plan was, he would meet me at my friend’s home. Then, attend another friend’s birthday party with me, and later we would go out for dinner. The social setting would give us time to get the initial jitters out before our date. Perfect plan. Except. It wasn’t.
Turns out, the birthday party was attended by all women. All women. And, several of them were my friends. So. They were checking him out. I knew that they were checking him out. HE knew that they were checking him out. Because, friends do that. They want to make sure you don’t end up with “crazy”. It’s a great thing. Except, when they are all in the room together, and all women, and you are the only man. I think he has described it as “interrogations.”
We then left for dinner. But, it was a weekend, in the Atlanta area. So, there was a one and a half hour wait. Typical. Except when you are not from Atlanta (or other larger city). Or nervous. Or hungry. Then, the wait is unacceptable. So we left, and decided to find a different restaurant, with a shorter wait. Perfect plan. Except. It wasn’t.
See. I had become quite acquainted with the area in which my friend used to live, but this was a new area. In the days before GPS was standard on phones. Or Yelp and Urbanspoon was popular. So, basically, the decision to leave a recommended place, without directions, and head to a new destination is what they would call “a crap shoot.”
We ended up finding a restaurant. It had moose heads on the walls and venison on the menu. It was tucked away, off the beaten path, in Georgia, at night. And we are an African American couple, with no idea of where we were, and no one else knew where we were. Yeah. Not our best decision. I still don’t know if it was the regular first date jitters or the unspoken “we must be on guard so we don’t get lynched and no one will ever find our bodies” feeling – but that date was absolutely awful. Couldn’t conjure up a decent conversation to save our lives. By the end, I determined he was not the man for me.
Fortunately, there was breakfast (and redemption) the next day.
This is titled first date(s), because I think we kept trying to redeem that original first date. So we had one in Florida. But…no. I ended up with diarrhea. After my 2nd or 3rd (or 4th) discreet (so I thought) trip to the bathroom, my future husband kindly asked “Do you think you should just stay in there until it all comes out”.
Third attempt. This time, Tennessee. Reggie took me to a park so we could have a sweet romantic picnic. Grabbed lunch. Went to the park. Reclined on a blanket. Sometimes afterwards I jump straight up. I am jumping up and down – asking for his help – but not really – because, I don’t know how much help a man can provide when an insect crawls down the back of your pants, and bites you on the butt.
Yeah… It’s a wonder we ever married…
Lessons learned about first dates:
- If you are a planner, plan and research as much as possible, but also have a plan B (or C).
- Things will quite possibly not go as you planned. Know this, so you can…
- A sense of humor helps, so that you can…
- And, even if the first date bombs (and it is not a character/crazy issue), there is redemption, so just…