Yes, everyone, I went on a date. I know it’s hard to believe, but I promise it happened. We had hung out with a group a hundred times, but let me tell you right now, there is a difference between a group date and a real date. In a group date you can rely upon your friends to keep the conversation going, but when you’re by yourself, you have to supply all of the conversation, and keep the lovely lady entertained (a skill at which, in my own opinion, I proved to be deficient). I spent the whole day leading up to it preparing conversation topics and funny things to say to keep her smiling. I put on my favorite outfit, brushed my teeth (a few times), fixed my hair (a few times), put on cologne (a few times), and said my prayers, just in case my overwhelming case of pre-date nerves caused my heart to quit beating. (If the reader is wondering why I was so nervous and hygienic in my date preparation, the girl I was taking out is very pretty, and I, unless a very large amount of effort is applied, am not very pretty.)
My mom drove me to her house (which was, no offense to my mother, somewhat embarrassing , because my date was about to turn seventeen, and I wasn’t even old enough to get my license), and I walked up to her door, cleared my throat, wiped my nervous, sweaty hands on my jeans and knocked. When I heard the door about to open I contemplated running away and hiding, because I was so afraid I would say something stupid (which was inevitable), but it was too late. The door opened and I saw her pretty face, which made all intentions to flee seem foolish. She looked absolutely lovely. I walked her to the car, making sure to get the door for her, and we were off to Starbucks. On the way there, my mom halfway made conversation with her and halfway interrogated her about her family life and interests. I didn’t say a word, because I didn’t want to waste any of the carefully planned out conversations I had stored in my brain to use when I was on my own.
When my mom drove away, leaving me all alone with my date, I’m pretty sure I could see tears streaming down her eyes (“My baby boy, all grown up!”), but she would probably deny the fact. We waited in line to order our coffee, making light chit chat about the wonderful smell of the coffee beans, or the awkward gentleman sitting in the corner, and then I made my first bad move. I ordered my “hot, grande, caramel Macciato” with soy milk. I thought to myself, “Oh no. She’s going to think I’m one of those pretentious, organic, gluten free, lactose intolerant losers!” and sure enough, she said, “Soy milk? Eww, isn’t that gross?” (This is ironic, because the lady in question has just recently found herself to be lactose intolerant, and now drinks her coffee with soy milk.)
Once we took our seat, I used every last conversation topic I could think of, which took up all of about twenty minutes. When I finally shut my nervous, babbling mouth, she just smiled a breathtaking smile at me, and we sipped our coffee in silence for a few minutes. I like to think she spent these moments of silence thinking of how attractive I looked, or how much she loved the smell of the cologne I had practically doused my body with, or possibly how white and shiny my teeth were (because I had brushed them probably three times beforehand), but I must accept that she was most likely thinking about all the cupcakes she could look at on Pinterest once I (with the help of my mother) took her home. I, on the other hand, used these minutes to review everything I had said previously, to make sure I hadn’t said anything offensive, and, at the same time, I thought about how pretty her eyes looked when she smiled at my attempts to be funny (yes, I’m sappy, but at least I’m open about my feelings).
Afterwards we walked across the street to Target, where we looked at hats, scarves, necklaces, watches, and, for me, the Nerf swords. The date was going to have to end soon, so we sat down in the Target Starbucks, and, by the grace of God, we actually talked non-stop until my mother arrived to pick us up. I walked her up to her front porch, told her mother hello (with as much politeness as I could possibly muster), and went home, having successfully completed my first official date with the lovely, Ms. Taylor Elaine Ferguson.
(Since that evening, we have happily, and with much conversation, sat in the same spot at Starbucks many times, so much that the baristas know our names and know that we both want a “hot, grande, soy, caramel Macciato.”)