I didn't know much about him, but what I heard, I liked. He was a varsity baseball player with a cool car. Long before the days of Facebook "poking" and wall posts and 'tagged' photos, Samantha presented him with my 10th grade school picture and he must have deemed me marginally acceptable. After one awkward phone conversation and adding each other to our AOL Buddy Lists, the night arrived.
Samantha picked me up - it was a double date - in her white Mustang convertible and after considerable
We pulled into the parking lot of MiCasita (only now do I appreciate how greatly I could have used a margarita the size of my head) and after what seemed like an eternity of me hoping they just wouldn't show up, I heard Samantha squeal, "There they are!" and sure enough, there "they" were: My mystery date and his friend Marc, who Samantha was dating at the time.
I remember almost every detail about the way he looked when he got out of the car. His hair was short and dark, he wore a flannel shirt, jeans and glasses. He didn't smile, he didn't talk. He was beyond attractive and I remember my heart sinking, realizing we would never work. Disproportionately hot, I remember thinking. Too hot to be on a date with me, let alone be my boyfriend. He wasn't smiling. He knew it, too.
At that point, I threw in the towel. I stumbled through dinner and it wasn't the worst night I've ever had, thanks to charm in equal parts from Samantha and Marc, but I still counted the minutes. He didn't sit beside me, talk to me or pay for my dinner.
Relief washed over me when I realized it was time to go. Then, Marc suggested we all go back to his house and watch a movie. ..Ugh.. The dread. Another two, possibly three hours with someone who clearly hated me? No, thank you. ..but I saw the way Samantha's eyes lit up, and I knew I was stuck.
She chattered on the way there, giddy with the endorphins only produced in high school on a date with a boy you like. I sat brooding, questioning the universe the way only a 16-year-old on a bad date can do.
The night continued with much of the same. I nervously watched the clock tick and he didn't talk. As the movie drew to a close, I was positively bathing in the aforementioned relief.
As I gathered my purse and what little self-confidence I had left, Samantha made the most horrifying proclamation of the night - that my date should just drop me at home, because it was on his way home.
I nearly fainted, Scarlett O'Hara-style. While I managed to stay on my feet, I felt the color drain from my face, wondering how I could bear 10 minutes alone in a car with someone who obviously abhorred my very presence.
As my teeth chattered (yep, still chattering) audibly (I know, because he asked about it) on the drive home, we stumbled through a few minutes of small talk normally reserved for the first few minutes of dinner and ..ahh, at last, I saw my street sign come into view. He didn't walk me to the door, but offered an ill-timed, ass-out sitting hug that left me fumbling for my keys and asking silently for someone to put me out of my misery.
I walked away thinking that he was, surely, the biggest jerk I would ever meet and that if this was dating, I didn't want anything to do with it. I never wanted to see him again. ..and I didn't even care if he hated me or had a bad time. I hated him, too. My teeth chattered intermittently into the night and next day as I relived the most awkward moments.
My teeth haven't nervously chattered like that very often, since that night.
Most recently, it happened when I looked into his eyes about 5 seconds before our baby girl was born.