One of the best first dates I’ve ever had (which is, I’ll admit, a low bar, because if it’s not universally accepted that first dates tend to be uncomfortably awkward at best, it’s certainly been my experience) was my senior year of high school. I finally got the nerve to ask the pretty, artsy, quirky redhead in my algebra class out on a date. We’d been clumsily flirting with each other for a while in that adorkable teen way, exchanging music with each other (she came up to my desk one day in class, asked me, “Do you consider yourself open-minded?”, and then handed me a cassette tape of Louis Armstrong) and hanging out with friends after school, but we’d never been alone together and neither of us had directly said “Hey, kissing would be nice, wouldn’t it?” to the other. But I managed to shut down my inner voice of insecurity just long enough to ask her if she wanted to meet up on a weekend night, just the two of us.
It was terribly sweet for two teens who were into Romantic poetry, Shakespeare, and alternative music. At my request, she met me at a park around the corner from my house. A not particularly well-lit park. Long after dusk. We sat at the park and just…talked. A lot. About our feelings and our families and our shared interests. Then I walked her home and we had our first kiss. Simple, sweet, and no money spent.
But also, WHAT THE WHAT?! That is a crazy date to ask someone to! I would never, ever ask a woman “Wanna meet me in a dark, secluded park, alone at night?” now. I definitely wouldn’t expect a woman to say yes to that, unless she’s absolutely set on being murdered and hoping I’m the serial killer to make that happen.
She and I were talking about this date the other day and how insane an idea it was, how it’s not something any woman should ever say yes to, and she said “Ha! Never again.”
Oh, sweet innocence of youth!