If you missed Accidental Date: Part 1 (I don't know how you could. It's the huge wall of text after the wall of text below this one), you can read it HERE
When we last left our hero (me), he had just found himself in an especially precarious predicament:
I was on a date (and had realized it only moments before). I had just eaten the most beastly cheese pizza of all time. It was also very garlic-y. Lauren (not her real name), my date, had done the same. I knew my body wasn't going to handle it well - no one's body could gracefully handle that much cheese. We had plans to do the Lexington ghost tour right after eating - a solid hour-and-a-half tour of walking around with no access to any facilities. We both also had a lot of water to drink.
I wasn't totally sure how to act because I had only figured out that I was on a date midway through the date. That, plus tons of cheese, lots of garlic, lots of water, and impending doom when all those things are combined.
That pretty much brings us up to speed.
We left Pizza Hut with a box full of half a pizza. After placing the pizza in my backseat with a slight twinge of disgust (and neglecting to open my date's door for her once again), I climbed into the driver's seat of my little silver Mazda 3 named Kuto. My goal for the next 10 minutes was to not panic and drive to the DMV. I pulled out my Knowledge Brick (smart phone), consulted it, and then made Lauren navigate. This whole time, a time bomb was churning in my stomach. Lauren was probably the same.
There were no surprises for us in the future. We knew exactly what we had gotten ourselves into.
With heavy support from a smart phone, we managed to find the Visitor's Center (and then realized that there are huge blue signs all over town pointing you to the Visitor's Center). The phone may have gotten us to our destination, but WE found a place to park. Take that, technology!
We walked up to the Visitor's Center, stood, and waited. It was cold outside. I had forgotten gloves and so had she. Hand holding - out of the question. It was like The Universe was blatantly telling me that the touch barrier was more like a touch barricade, and there was no breaking through that thing tonight. I already had to pee and my stomach kept gurgling from all the curdling cheese that had become a wrecking ball in my intestines.
In most other date situations, we would have stood there in kind-of awkward silence while I try to fill the silence by saying the first thing that comes to my mind - often exacerbating the awkwardness (and the silence). Not so with Lauren - we didn't have any trouble filling the silence and killing time until the tour started. We talked about jokes and embarrassing moments and stuff. It was good fun.
Then she quoted Star Wars.
Now, I'm not a HUGE fan of Star Wars movies. I find them mildly entertaining at best. But I definitely understand that when an attractive girl quotes Star Wars to you on a first date, you've just stumbled upon a beautiful unicorn.
So I stared in awe for several seconds (making her uncomfortable, I'm sure). Then she launched into how she watched all the Star Wars movies while traveling home over the summer and how she was so emotionally invested in them that she cried when Anakin turned dark.
I was so amazed, I almost puked on her.
The ghost tour started. I was pretty excited to hear all the stories and walk around and stuff. I had been looking forward to it all day. We walked around and saw different sights and buildings and the cemetery and all that. But here's the thing - none of the stories were really scary or made you look around all paranoid-like or anything. They were really more of a history lesson. The way the lady told the stories was way more informational than theatric. It was still cool, but I was a little disappointed by it. Plus Eric had told us all the stories the night before (and frankly, he did a better job on most of them). I could go into detail on what each story was and all that, but to be totally honest, there was nothing special about it.
But it was still fun to interact with Lauren after each story while we were walking to the next sight.
Lauren was listening to the stories. I don't know how closely she was listening. I made sure to keep an eye on her at all times because, firstly, she was my date and a man needs to be aware of his date at all times even if he already made up his mind that he was going to purposefully be a crappy date - keeping consistent with his behavior - in order to keep from weirding her out (saying that out loud makes me feel sad); secondly, as a result of all the gaseous cheese and water interacting in my belly, I had to make sure I was standing downwind of her at all times.
And so the night went on - with me trying to gauge how interested my date was in our date activity and making it a point to neglect her even though I didn't want to but I was afraid I might weird her out if I started treating her like I was on a date with her because I didn't know it was a date at first but then when I decided it was it was too late, while simultaneously and silently relieving myself of any excess pressure built up in my system without letting her know. I felt bad for the people behind me. Second hand smoke is disgusting. Second hand post-cheese pizza must be absolutely wretched.
There was one point when I loudly launched one right into the face of the little girl standing right behind me. She must have been 4 or 5. She shouldn't have been there.
Have you ever seen a cute little girl's silky blonde hair blowing beautifully in the wind on a Spring afternoon? It was kind of like that, only she was gagging (and then crying).
It was cold outside and I could tell that Lauren was cold because she was standing there all rigid with her jaw clenched (either that, or her insides were also in revolt and she was trying to hold it in). I weighed the options in how to help her warm up.
Option 1) Do nothing. This would be consistent with my behavior all night, but it would also make her be cold and I wanted to take care of her and make her feel comfortable. But I was still self-conscious about randomly changing my behavior.
Option 2) Offer her my huge coat. Dating 101 for men - when you're going on a date outside and it's gonna be cold, always overdress. That way you can offer her your coat without being cold yourself. You stay warm, she's comfortable and thinks you're being a gentleman; everybody wins. Luckily, even though i didn't know it was initially a date, I was still overdressed.
Option 3) Cuddle-stand to keep each other warm. You know what I'm talking about - when couples hold each other while standing. I don't know what the actual word for it is, so I'm just gonna call it cuddle-stand from now on. It's like a prolonged hug. This option was at the top of the list, but I also had to consider the viability of the option - we hadn't touched at all yet and The Universe had told me in every way it knew how that breaking that touch barricade wasn't gonna happen that night, plus I couldn't judge if she even wanted to be touched, we were in public and while that doesn't bother me, I'm not sure if it bothers her, and I was pretty bloated from the pizza and I was afraid that any pressure on any part of my body would cause a sudden loss of control of my "gatekeeper" muscles.
So while option 3 was my favorite, I went with option 2 because that was the one that I was most prepared for.
She refused the coat. So I defaulted to option 1 - the worst of the 3 options.
In normal dating situations, I would have insisted, taken it off, and physically put it on her. But she was lying to me and saying that she was warm, plus I hadn't had a chance to air out my long coat after that poor little girl nearly passed out. I decided to keep my behavior consistent as I had previously decided and continue to neglect my date. I'm such a charmer, I know.
She said that she was actually pretty warm except for her face. My first instinct, then, was to correct her having a cold face with... well... my face, but then I restrained myself. Partly because I was pretty sure she wouldn't go for it, partly because we hadn't touched yet, partly because we both had garlic breath, but mostly because I didn't want to belch in her mouth.
So I kept consistent with my behavior for the night and continued to neglect my date because I'm cool like that.
No doubt, I was having trouble taking care of my personal discomfort while also trying to interact with Lauren. But I was doing a pretty good job of keeping things quiet - being sure to air out my big coat from time to time so that when I leaned in to whisper something funny in her ear, she wouldn't get a whiff of something foul. But all this walking around was really starting to take its toll on me. However, despite all my pain and discomfort, I'm proud to say that there was only one point on the tour where I felt almost certain that I was going to crap my pants.
The tour was over and we were walking back to the car. I told Lauren that I needed to find the closest bathroom ASAP. She agreed. We got in my car (after I didn't open her door for her again), and the smell of the cheesy pizza in the back seat was so potent that I considered just locking her in the car and running for it. That would probably be consistent with my neglectful behavior for the night, anyway.
We began our journey home. We talked about the tour and stuff. I don't remember too much from the conversation because I was a little preoccupied. I know we listened to The Darkness because I love The Darkness and she said she did too but I think she was lying and had never really listened to them. But our conversation continued as it had before - funny, fun, comfortable, great.
Then she said that she thinks farts are funny.
While swerving wildly and screaming "I AM TAKING YOU TO DINNER AGAIN!!!" I literally and figuratively almost shat myself.
We stopped at a gas station. I decided to fill up my car and then I booked it to the bathroom. I won't go into detail on what took place in there, but after I was done, there was a mushroom cloud over that gas station. The janitor sobbed and quit later that night.
Although our stop at the gas station provided relief, that relief was only temporary. There was still plenty of cheese inside of me that my body desperately wanted to expel.
But the night wasn't quite over, yet.
As we were driving home, I told her that we had options (I always like to give my dates options and never pressure them into staying with me if they don't want to). I said we could go to my house and watch a movie, or we could call it a night. It was probably around 10:20pm at this point. She said she wanted to watch a movie with me. I was super excited because she wanted to still be with me, but I was also panicking because deep down inside (literally), I was having a tough time keeping my composure.
We drove home.
While pulling up in front of my house, a really good song started to play. So I stayed there for just a few extra seconds in order to listen to part of it. But after realizing that I wanted to listen to more, I just turned up the volume and Lauren and I rocked out for a good minute or two until the good parts of the song were over. If I could choose to be one thing for the rest of my life, it would be a rock star. This is a little geeky, but I'm comfortable sharing it anyway - in any online game or forum or anything that I do, my name is always Rockstar. Living my dreams through my online persona. Ahhh yeah!
Anyway, rocking out was great spontaneous fun that she took part in rather than just watch me make a fool of myself. Then we went inside.
My roommate was watching some rock concert thing on the TV. Under normal circumstances, I'd be like "hey cool, a rock concert" (what with being a Rockstar and all). But that night, I was trying to play The Game.
I don't know why but I thought the concert was almost over. I later found out that it had just barely started. Lauren and I went over to the movie rack to pick out a movie. I couldn't see anything, so I just left it up to her. For some reason, I expected that my roommate would see us picking a movie, realize that a brother is trying to play The Game, and maybe go watch his concert someplace else or something. I severely overestimated him.
She picked out a movie for us to watch - Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. I love that movie. So does she. We had talked earlier about how we love that movie. It was a very strategic move - picking a movie that we were both already familiar with. I'm not sure if she schemes the way that I do, but if I picked that movie, it would be because it's something to watch, but it's also an easy movie to ignore in case you start, um... "talking to each other". But chances are she just wanted to watch that movie because most people aren't as strategic as I am in social situations.
We sat down and waited for the concert to end. It didn't. Ever. We watched that concert for two freaking hours. TWO. HOURS!! I didn't want to get up and use the bathroom because that would have been a long time of just leaving my date sitting there alone (I was comfortable treating her more like a date now that we were on my home turf).
So I endured to the end. The entire time, I wanted to go and do something else, but I couldn't judge how interested Lauren was in the (stupid) concert and I didn't know what we would have done - the rest of the house is literally covered in beds and it's pretty obvious what their purpose is, and we hadn't even come close to hitting that point of comfort with each other yet. For some reason, I feel silly telling someone, "Hey, let's go someplace else and talk." Looking back on it, she most likely wasn't interested at all in the concert and would have been glad to just go someplace and get to know each other a little more. Watching hair metal guys play the guitar and change chords like it's some kind of magic trick kind of gets boring after 10 minutes. But yet we still sat there for two hours, not interacting with each other in any way.
"Do I put my arm around her? Do I hold her hand? Do I cuddle with her? Do I even want to cuddle with her specifically? or just cuddle in general? Does our current seating arrangement lend itself to cuddling? Does it even matter? Does she even want me to do those things? Is sitting perfectly still and not doing anything still an option? Yes? Good, I'll take that."
I offered to go get her some water. That wasn't me trying to escape the situation or anything - I really did want to know if she wanted water; she hadn't had anything to drink for a few hours and I wanted to take care of her. That doesn't mean that I didn't personally benefit from it, though. The kitchen is way over on the other side of the house and I crop dusted all the way there and all the way back. It was glorious and I couldn't help but grin a little when I sat back down next to her.
At around 12:30, she said that she was sleepy and probably wouldn't make it through our movie. Was that the truth, or was she hurting from the pizza? It didn't matter. I didn't even try to make it sound like I was disappointed because I was so physically uncomfortable. I immediately asked if she wanted me to take her home, she said yes, and we were out of there like a fart in a windstorm. I didn't open her door for her (this time on purpose); there was no time to lose. I drove her back to The Lofts.
We pulled into a parking spot at The Lofts to drop her off. I'm about 65% certain that we parked next to her ex-boyfriend's car (and he was inside it). I'm not sure if she noticed him or not (I'm sure she did - she probably spent a fair amount of time in that car).
Our goodbye was one of the shortest and most efficient goodbyes I've ever had on a date. Given the circumstances, I think we both had something more important that we needed to take care of. We started saying goodbye as we were swiftly walking to the door, talking about how much fun we had as well as making references to our favorite parts of the date. She thanked me for such an awesome time. Having an "awesome time", according to my interpretations, means "Second date, please!"
When we finally got to the door to The Lofts, all we did was a really quick hug, an about-face, and then sprinted to the closest accessible bathroom like our dignity depended on it. No lingering, no key jiggling, no prolonged hug - nothing. It seriously was like "Gudnitekthxbai".
Overall, I had a ton of fun. One of the funnest dates I've been on in a long time. The activities themselves weren't anything special. The dinner made me feel gross (and the aftermath, as you've just read, was borderline disastrous), the ghost tour was more of a history lesson than something scary, and watching that concert DVD was just kind of strange. The fun parts of the date were when she and I were interacting with each other - driving in the car, talking at dinner, rocking out in the car - that's what was fun for me. I think that's a really good sign. I didn't go into much detail about what we talked about and stuff during the story, but that's because I kind of want that to just be something between her and me (and not published on the internet).
I texted her the following day saying that I had a great time and that I was still laughing at parts and that I hoped we could go out again soon. She, in essence, said "me too".
Will there be a second date? Definitely. Am I interested? A little - there might be some potential; we'll see. When will we go out again? I dunno - she's super busy and as a result she is super hard to hang out with. But I keep trying. Again, we'll see. Things should free up for her in the next two weeks or so.
Does she read this blog and find this whole story hilarious? Yes.
Am I using this blog as a means of shamelessly communicating to her my views and interpretations of our date and telling her that I had a lot of fun and that I want to do it again sometime soon (minus the OMGCHEESE pizza)?