DISCLAIMER: Names and identifying features have been altered or hidden to protect… ME. TO PROTECT *ME*! ME, okay?!
“It was the best first date I’ve ever been on. …Not that that’s saying much,” I shouted in my friend’s ear.
Sara turned away from the stage and grinned at me.
“Let me see his picture!”
I hesitated. “They don’t really do him justice… He’s REALLY cute. And tall! And has great teeth.”
I thought back to the previous evening. I had walked into a popular restaurant, the usual butterflies-or-is-that-just-dread filling my stomach, and a handsome guy had grinned at me expectantly.
Nope. Wrong color hair. Not him. …Shoot.
Further down, I had spotted a familiar face.
“Jules, hi!” the man had greeted.
I had been pleasantly surprised by his, well, everything.
“So you just moved here?” he had begun, and the conversation had flowed from there.
I had been in shock. A tall, attractive man, in his 30s like me, financially and hygienically sound, AND he had known how to ask questions? Well, I’ll be. A normal first date!
I had had to shake off the memory of my only other first date in my new hometown. Maybe the Oregon dating pool really would put New Jersey’s to shame! Please don’t do anything weird, please don’t do anything weird…
The date had lasted a record-breaking four hours, and ended on the promising note of future hang-outs.
“But my gut is still saying no,” I had texted to a few friends. “It was like hugging my brother goodbye.”
I had wanted to slap myself. What was wrong with me? Over the next 24 hours, I wrestled with whether or not to text him. He had left the ball in my court, and the decision to reach out felt like trying to decide between Oreos or Nutter Butters.
“Come on, show me his picture!” Sara insisted.
I reluctantly pulled out my phone and found his online dating profile, holding it out to her.
“JULES. OH MY GOD. NO. NO!” she shouted, staring at me with wide eyes.
“What. What?!” I replied, my heart stopping.
“THIS IS THE GUY I TOLD YOU ABOUT,” she said. “HE’S. CRAZY.”
Sara started recounting details – details fresh in my mind because she had indeed told me the tale several weeks earlier when we’d first met and exchanged dating war stories.
Yup. She too had been out with my tall, handsome, “normal” guy.
“He’s the rage-a-holic who told me to buy Magnum condoms and badmouthed his ex the ENTIRE TIME! MY WORSE DATE EVER! ”
I scooped my jaw off the floor. “Oh my god! I’m showing you every photo from now on! Jesus. This IS a small town.”
“I’m sorry,” she said.
“What? Are you kidding? HE HAS GUNS. You saved me!”
Her face crumpled a little more.
“I’m so sorry that was your best first date!”
I burst out laughing. “I told you it wasn’t saying much.”
What do you think? Should I give him another shot (pun, um, actually NOT intended, but now that it’s out there…)?