Yesterday I took my son to ice-skating. I did a few rounds in the ice rink with great worry of falling and breaking my bones. This type of worries only comes with aging. Aging is also good for reminiscent. Here I post again one of my earlier writing pieces initially posted on 13 March 2019.
I was a misfit trying to blend in with my peers. I wasn’t alone, quite the opposite, I was somewhat popular with groups of friends throughout school years. I was really lonely though when I was surrounded by people. I have always been enjoying my own company, definitely way too much against the healthy alone time standard if there was such a measure.
Growing up, I have never experienced princess, fairy tale, wedding bride dreams. I just wanted a buddy to hang out with, preferable a quiet dude on the geeky nerdy side, wearing checkered shirt and glasses. So when it comes to first dates, my skull has gone prickly and itchy even now while I am tapping away on the screen.
Regarding principles for first dates, most that I know about girls or read about girls, they usually have some restrictions on first dates. For examples, only vanilla kiss is allowed, French kiss is of the limit, Aussie kiss is absolutely a ban; no sex on first dates; guys must pay, pick up and drop off; only showcasing the bright side both appearance and characters. I did have some first date principles, sadly none of the above. Now I suspect maybe that is why my first dates never went quite well.
My principles are quite straight forward in my view, and my view only of course.
I dressed as plain as I could on my first dates, casual with minimal to no makeup. I consider it a strategy rather. I could not stand the disappointment on his face when he saw my messy bed hair, rubbed off make up and runny mascara in the morning after a passionate night. So I figured if I was plain then no complaint really. And I must say it did work.
I was really poor at small talks, it made me wanting to carry a portable hole in the ground with me. For that reason, my other principle for first dates is choice of venues. Aquarium, zoo and amusement park are my top choices for their relaxed, fun and semi social elements. Art gallery, museum and library are the second tier for they are the places I go on my own a lot, so going with my date is still within my comfort zone. Unfortunately, none of these of my choices made it to my first dates venue list. I still blame my awkward first dates on the wrong choice of venues.
When I was 17 years old, I went on one of my first dates. We went to a cinema and selected a random movie which is ok because I did like spontaneity. I like watching movies so it started grand. He got us soft drinks (I didn’t like drinking soft drinks) and nuts (with shells). Maybe he was both nervous and trying to be attentive, he drank his soft drink quickly and slurped the last bit LOUD and kept passing me nuts and crunching on them himself LOUD. I was nervous too and trying to focus on the movie. But the scrunching, slurping and plastic bumping noises made me barely keeping myself still on the seat. I closed my eyes focusing on my breathing and trying to think of the positive things like he was not trying to have a conversation in the middle of the movie and he did all the right things (although I didn’t care) like picking me up and walking between me and the traffic. Half way through the movie, he quietly put his arm around my shoulder and leaning a little bit closer to me. While I was trying to make myself get comfortable with the fond gesture, the characters on the screen started to undress and make out. Oh how I wished I did have a portable hole in the ground. I half stood up and retreated myself from the seat quietly and walked out of the cinema with my cheeks burning and heart racing in massive embarrassment.
At 19 years old, I went to another of my first dates. I agreed to his invitation to an ice skating rink. I was quite warm to the idea because I had noticed him for a long time and it took him quite a while to ask me out. I also imagined ice skating in a pair is romantic and cute and if I fell hope he would catch me just like the movie scene. I could basic ice skate like going forward without aids and slowly turn around. I was in my comfortable jeans and jumper with plain face which I was at complete ease. We set off to the rink and gliding along the curve following the circle. Oh one thing I need to mention, he was super good looking with athletic build. The possibility of him not knowing how to ice skate was totally inconceivable. He fell hard on the ice and I didn’t try to hold him to stop him falling. I assessed the situation and judged that I wasn’t going to be strong enough to save him falling. So I just let him fall. In hind sight, I probably should have held him so at least both of us would fall together and fulfil the romantic movie scene with giggling and even kissing in the end. Not only I let him fall, I kept gliding further away from him without knowing how to brake. The worse was coming at this point. An athletic gorgeous looking girl with short skirt skating to his rescue. Who would wear short skirt to an ice skating rink? My eyes rolled around in a full circle while I was still attempting to resist the natural forward tendency to stop, in vain of course. Say no more, the date ended with us three sitting in the first aid room. Actually is me in the corner and they are drinking milkshakes at the bench sitting next to each other. Damn my lactose intolerance! Grrrrrr….
At age 24, you would think I should have had dated enough to avoid the awkward first date moment. But no, I have never leant. I said yes to this guy who I met in a local bar. We had been talking for quite a while over beers. I was trying to talk him out of asking me out. I even lied to him that I was an international student working in the local charcoal chicken shop. He would not barge. He persuaded me to have dinner with him at the pizzeria and a walk down the beach afterwards. I basically said yes to get rid off him. I didn’t give him my number and told him we would meet here at the bar before dinner. I was so going to ditch him. Then the first date night came, I didn’t have the heart to do a no show on anyone, let alone him. Both of us arrived at almost the same time. When we saw each other, we sighed and grinned with relief. The hunger struck us so ordering pizzas and polishing them off left us only about 20 minutes in between for small talks. I got to know he surfed and was studying an Art degree but mostly hanged out with mates and baked way too much cookies. He told me he had stutter when he was little and with speech therapy help he improved. I told him I was working 3 jobs and studying at TAFE evening classes. The conversation was light hearted and easy. I thought to myself it was going well. With full pizza bellies, a walk down the beach seemed to be perfect. To help with my nervousness, I slipped my hands in the pockets of my shorts, strolling along the wet sand by his side. The sound of the waves were lovely and soothing as always. There was silence between us. I quite enjoyed it and tried to take in the moment of romance I constructed in my head. To break off the silence, he started to whistle Yellow by Cold Play. It’s one of my favourites. I was thinking would he kiss me? ‘Do ya wanna swim?’ His question took me out of my dreamland. It took a while for my brain to recognise what he was asking me. He must have had seen the haze look on my face but mistaken it to be an affirmative non verbal response. The next thing I realised was he was carrying me into the water with my both hands still in the pockets of my shorts. I was hopelessly out of balance and all of me were in his arms and chest. And he started to run towards the waves. Fuckkkkkk!!! Fear rushed to my mind. A massive wave covered us and split us apart. I couldn’t get my hands out of my soaked shorts’ pockets. I swallowed mouths full of bitter gritty foamy saline. When the wave finally tossed and spit me out to the shore, I was crawling to stand straight. Fuckkkkkk!!! I was both shocked and furious. I couldn’t see him on the shore nor coming out of the water. I was swearing ‘Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fucking fuck!!!’ I breathed and straightened my shorts, singlets and hair. I finally composed myself as he emerging from the water and walking towards me. ‘I lost you’ he said. I said ‘ Yea it’s a massive wave. Let’s go! I didn’t bring dry clothes, don’t wanna catch a cold.’ I was trying to be reasonable and end the night. ‘Come to my pad and I’ll dry you off.’ he said casually. ‘It’s alright, I got an early shift tomorrow. I’d better head home now.’ By then I got the cold shivers. We walked silently to my car. I put my hand in my pocket for the car key while he was pulling me in closer. I looked up to meet his eyes while the realisation hit me that my car key was missing. His mouth was almost on mine, ‘Fuck! Fuck you!’ escaped my lips. There was no turning back. I might just let it out. ‘ Why the fuck did you throw me in the water? Now I lost my fucking car key in the fucking sea. Fuck me!’ …
These are the awkward first dates with near miss romance fantasy. It would never turned out that awkward if we had gone to the aquarium, zoo or the amusement park, or would it?