First First Date

I went on my first date after being in a relationship for a year and it wasn’t as intimidating as I thought it would be. It helped that the guy asked me out and I didn’t have to plan a date. I was surprised when he did ask me out because we hadn’t chatted that much on the app, let’s call him Zach. He picked a brewery about thirty minutes away that I’d never been to. No matter, I like trying new breweries and I was excited to try this one. I was lucky that my sister was able to do my makeup for the date because I’m not skilled in cosmetology. I was late leaving the house because my mom decided that my eyeshadow needed to be blended more than it was initially. I doubt that anyone would’ve noticed the lack of blending, but I digress. 

I hadn’t driven in the direction of the brewery in a while and the drive was very pleasant. I forget sometimes how pretty the area where I live is and how much there is to see. The city where the brewery was has parking that is regulated by an app. You download the app and pay for parking. I hadn’t done that before but it wasn’t overly complicated. Shout out to my hometown for not charging for parking though! You know who you are. Once I’d parked and carefully jaywalked across the street, I made my way down to the taproom. I could tell by looking at what was on tap that nothing was going to be what I’m comfortable with. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m picky with my alcohol consumption. I never drink wine and only occasionally drink beer. When it comes to beer if it’s not a pale ale. I probably won’t like it. There was no pale ale on the menu and I ended up asking the bartender to recommend something. I drank about two-thirds of the beer I bought and that was more than enough for me. 

Now that I’ve set the scene for this date, we can introduce Zach. He was dressed in khakis, loathers, a blue and white striped button-down, and a pullover fleece vest. My first impression was that he dressed well and he was good-looking enough. I’ve never fallen for someone physically first, it’s always emotional than physical later. We got in line and bought our drinks and then found a table to sit at. Everything went well until he started talking. He started talking about his job and never stopped. Let’s say he was an architect. He talked about how he got an internship at his current firm in high school. He talked about where he went to school and gave me an analysis of the merger his alma mater has since undergone. He talked about how he knew so many places in the state because of his job. One would’ve thought that he was born an architect, which was the only feature of his personality. Every time I tried to interject and say something about myself that he could ask questions about, he ignored it and went back to talking about himself. On top of the non-stop monologue about his fabulous job, he seemed to have persistent acid reflux.

I thought him blowing air out of his mouth every minute or so was a nervous tick. Then I remembered how a friend in high school when she was stressed would start to burp. This is when all the pieces fit together. He kept talking because he was nervous and he was having acid reflux because of anxiety. After about an hour and a half, I wanted to leave but I didn’t know how to leave politely. Since there was never a break in the conversation, I couldn’t mention that I had other things to do. I also made the rookie mistake of telling him when my parking meter would be up, so he figured he had me for the whole two hours. When my meter was about to expire, we got up to close out our tabs. Zach found everything around us more interesting than continuing the conversation. He stared up at the ceiling, at the wall, at the floor, literally everywhere else besides at my face. I tried to make a few jokes that could lead to an exchange but he was having none. After we closed our tabs and started to walk towards where we’d parked, out of nowhere, he gave me an awkward side hug. Still, without looking at me he said “Pleasure to meet you” and walked away. 

As I drove home after the date, I started thinking about how weird of an interaction. I soon decided that wasn’t a useful train of thought and realized that this was the most confident I’d ever felt on a first date. I’d grown into myself and knew my worth a lot in just a year. I’m sure this is the first of many first dates to come. I thought it would be more terrifying to jump back into those waters, but it wasn’t that bad. I’ve often found that the fear of a hard thing is often worse than the hard thing itself. 


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