Adventures in dating: part 2.

Electric boogaloo.

After exchanging numbers with Andrew, we agreed to meet a fortnight after the engagement party. The weekend after the engagement party was my 12 week challenge gala and I had bought an amazing, tight dress. I wasn’t going to go out on a Friday night with a boy and risk not fitting into my dress on Sunday night.

We agreed to meet for drinks and a movie in Fremantle. I had a few doubts about which movie to pick. We’re both a little bit nerdy. I really wanted to see Ex Machina or Mad Max: Fury Road. I was worried that I was making myself look like a “Cool Girl” to impress him. You’d think that after all these years of overthinking, I would have thought up every possibility in the world to send me into a spiral. Turns out that I can overthink any situation.
I decided that since I did actually want to see these movies that I didn’t care if he thought I was trying to impress him. After all, we got along because we had things in common. This was just one of those things. If he thought I would go to a movie I didn’t want to see just to impress him then he didn’t know what kind of girl I was.

I dressed in a black crop top with high waisted jeans and boots. I don’t know if it was nerves or the slight chill in the air but my arms were covered with goose bumps.

Like I did before the practical test for my driver’s licence, I swallowed a shot of mouth wash and pretended it was a shot of vodka. That way I would have full use of my arms and not act like a weird, anxiety ridden robot.

As it looked like it was going to be a late night, I chose to drive into Fremantle rather than take the train. As my friends know, I hate paying for parking. I feel like it’s renting a shitty concrete apartment for my car that I can’t even enjoy. I would rather take the train in and not have to worry about looking for parking.

The other problem with my driving is that even with GPS and maps, I tend to get lost…A LOT. I am much better than I used to be as I now recognise when I am going in the wrong direction.

If I go on a bus or train, then it’s usually a short walk from the stop to my destination. There’s less chance of me going around in circles.

As it so happens, I did get lost driving to Fremantle that Sunday night. I took the same route to park in the one car park that I was familiar with. I thought I did. I had to pull over as Andrew messaged me that he was wearing a blue Superman shirt and standing outside.

By now, I had goose bumps on top of my goose bumps.

At this point, with the nerves and excitement and the stress of getting lost going to the one spot that I was sure I knew how to drive to in Fremantle, I frantically messaged him back that I was lost. I may or may not (definitely did) tell him to come save me.

I silently thanked Steve Jobs as I sent Andrew my location. If I had gotten lost in the 90s, I think I would still be driving in circles today.

After a few deep yoga breaths and a silent chant to remind myself to be cool, Andrew approached the car.

I blurted out an apology. That I usually made cooler entrances than this. To his credit, Andrew was very cool and calm about the whole thing. It didn’t seem to bother him. Andrew directed me and by the time I parked, I felt like less of a dingleberry.

********************************************************************************

I paid for a ticket for a shitty concrete apartment for my car and the date was on.

I remember we chatted as we walked along the train tracks. A large gust of salt water breeze seemed to swirl around us which made my right nostril run. I hated my right nostril in that moment. As if I didn’t already look like a big enough dickhead, now I was going to have a runny nose. Suuuuuper attractive.

Andrew didn’t seem to notice my sly movements to rub my nose (a reminder to my right nostril to buck and act right or go away) as he had gotten into a good story telling rhythm.

He was easy to talk to and listen to especially when he wasn’t obnoxiously drunk like he had been a fortnight earlier.

The people who worked at the bar all seemed to know Andrew (I guess working in hospitality is just like that) and I imagined myself easily slotting into a group of nerdy, drunk friends who would teach me to stop drinking crappy, cheap wine.

********************************************************************************

My wine and the shot of mouth wash kicked in as we waited for the movie to start. I began asking random questions like “would you ever get a tattoo? If so, where and why?” because I thought they were more entertaining questions than the usual small talk. Sometimes when you throw a random curveball question, you’ll get a more honest answer because people haven’t had time to rehearse an answer.

And when I say people haven’t had time to rehearse an answer, I mean like when people ask you how you’re going and you say “Good thanks, and you?” and they reply “Well, it’s Monday!” and you both laugh. Even though fricking Bernice says that EVERYDAY of the week. Come on, Bernice! Get some new material.

Andrew replied that he would get a Superman tattoo on his chest. I motioned for him to come closer then I whispered in his ear, “neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerd” and giggled. He laughed and said that he couldn’t help being a nerd. I thought the warmness of my breath tickling his ear in such close proximity was a pretty bold and sexy move for someone as awkward as me.

********************************************************************************

As Andrew walked me back to my car, I started dancing in the street. I couldn’t control my happiness. Everything was amazing. I made a joke about Avatar: The Last Airbender and my butt and Andrew looked at me with awe.

Every step closer to my car brought a thought closer to the front of my mind.

This was a date.

And people usually kiss at the end of dates that went well.

Would Andrew try to kiss me?

That was too much. That didn’t make sense. I wasn’t even good looking. I wasn’t even that funny. Surely he could find someone better.

I thought all of this and more as Andrew cupped my face and brought it towards his…and I burst out laughing in his face. In his mouth, really. As if I were trying to inflate a balloon with a large gasp of breath.

Maybe it was the wine. Maybe it was the nerves.

But I felt bad for him for being attracted to me.

I had to turn around and compose myself as the giggles wouldn’t stop.

“Are you alright?” asked Andrew who was only trying to get a kiss, how did it end up like this, it was only a kiss. It was only a kiss.

I wiped away a tear of laughter and was able to make it halfway through the kiss before erupting into giggles again.

It can’t be nice to try to kiss someone who keeps laughing at you. It would be easy to get offended at that. After all, it looks like they’re laughing at YOU.

I think the reason that I couldn’t stop laughing is because I hadn’t told Andrew that I hadn’t been on a date in a year. I was so self conscious about the loose skin on my stomach that I hadn’t wanted to leave myself exposed physically or emotionally with someone. That’s why it was such a big deal that I had worn a crop top on this date (although the high waisted jeans didn’t leave much room for skin exposure)- I always wore long, loose tops to completely cover myself up. Now I was ready to put myself out there. I could handle it.

I closed my car door and waved goodbye to Andrew who was walking to his car. I waved goodbye to him and sped off to hide the massive grin on my face.

But as I drove over the train tracks, a thought crossed my mind. I should offer Andrew a life to his car. It was only fair. Maybe that would make up for the laughter a little bit.

I (safely and legally) performed a U turn and honked at Andrew to get his attention.
“Do you want a lift to your car?” I asked him. The grin on my face hadn’t really faded.

“It’s alright. I don’t need a lift”, he waved me off.

“Oh come on, it’s fine!”

“The thing is, I don’t drive. I can’t drive.”

What?

I hadn’t had sex for a year but he didn’t drive?

Now, that was weird.

Did I want to date someone who could never be the designated driver?

To be continued…

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