As I sat on the sofa with my laptop open this evening, my husband looked over and said somewhat dejectedly, “Why don’t you write about the guy you’re married to?” I think he’s feeling left out. After all, I have this new flame called Mr. Blog (am I infringing on a Sex and the City copyright here?!) that demands a fair bit of attention. For example, my poor husband now has to ask me to come to bed most nights, which is a complete reversal of our old pattern. Don’t get me wrong, he’s hugely supportive of my new creative outlet, but it’s about time I paid a bit more homage to his very important role in my life.
How about some romantic storytelling, folks? Here’s the story of our first date.
J asked for my number by passing his phone across the table and saying, “Put your number in.” I did, passed it back, and he said, “Now, are you going to answer this number if I dial it?” “Just try it and see.” He shoved it back at me, but there was nothing to correct. I was interested.
He called me a couple of weeks later and asked me if I wanted to go to shopping. I thought I’d heard wrong. Shopping suggested by a guy as an idea for a first date? This was an experience I didn’t want to miss out on.
It was one of those February mornings that are frigidly cold but brilliantly sunny at the same time. He was late, then I got a call. “I can’t find the number on Bathurst north of College!” Bathurst?! Discovery number one about J – the guy is clueless when it comes to directions. I lived on Ossington, not Bathurst. Eventually he showed up in his hot red sports car with miniature boxing gloves hanging from the rearview. No borrowed Buick from his dad. Nice.
He chatted about his heavy metal band named “Blood Runs Cold” (seriously?!). I learned that the music playing in the car – Jamiroquai – was one of his top five favourite albums, and he liked kickboxing. I covered the normal safe topics: my job as a church secretary (yes, I know, it didn’t quite fit the image he’d gotten when we first met at the Hard Rock), my second-year undergrad studies at the University of Toronto, which led to the mandatory school-bashing that two alumni are entitled to, and the randomness of the fact that we both have red hair. (Weird, because I usually am never attracted to redheaded guys.)
I quickly realized why he wanted to go shopping. It was all an excuse to go into stores and try on T-shirts that defined his upper body muscles in alarming detail, and then ask for my opinion. What was I supposed to say? (He claims this is a complete falsehood.) I remember saying a firm “no” to one shirt in particular, but clearly he wasn’t there to consider my opinion and bought it anyways. He still wears it to this day, and now I won’t let him throw it out!
We went out for coffee at Second Cup. Discovery number two about J: he’ll always choose Second Cup over Starbucks because it’s Canadian. I had yet to introduce him to the world of fair-trade coffee and locally owned coffee shops. We shared a piece of cherry cheesecake, then I made a dash for the bathroom just to compose myself. That fell flat on its face because I had to wait forever in line, in direct sight of the table, so he spent a good five minutes inspecting me from head to toe. I wished I hadn’t chosen such tight jeans that morning – the kind that make your voice an octave higher, according to my dad. When I returned, J commented on my conservative black turtleneck sweater. (Ah, my mother would have been so proud!)
He drove me to the subway station to drop me off. Then he leaned over and kissed me! It felt great, I’ll admit, but I was utterly horrified. Who did this guy think he was? How could he even be sure that the date had gone well from my viewpoint? I mulled it over on the subway. Despite my irritation, a smile started to grow. I had liked the feel of that kiss and, even more, liked hanging out with him. I definitely wanted to see him again.