Bad dates are the topic of Stephanie Bond’s Blaze blog today, and I ended up writing a novel for my response to her question, but I ended up liking what I said, so I’m pasting it here, too.
It started with my hair. See this guy who’d asked me out a few times when we were in speech class at the university together but he was a “good guy” and I wasn’t interested in good guys. Or sweet guys. Or smart guys. Flash forward a couple years and I’d changed a lot. Funny how getting left to raise a precious baby alone by the bad boy you’d been in a long-term relationship will change your opinion on nice guys. It was my first night out in over a year. New Year’s Eve and my friends dragged me out dancing because they said it was time I remember how to live as something other than a mother. So I was out. And I was miserable. And I two-stepped because it was that or sit at the bar and drink one tequila sunrise too many. And there Mr. nice guy was. And he asked me out. Even when he found out about my daughter. And I started to say no because I’d decided to swear off men for anything other than dancing, but my friend grabbed me whispered MOVIE AND DINNER and instead of declining, I gave him my phone number and said, call me and we’ll work it out.
So the bad date and the hair.
First date in forever and I wanted to look good. And good back then meant hilights. At least it did in Wichita Falls. So I gt hilights. When the hairdresser (my best friend’s mom) told me the color was rocket fire read, I should’ve known better. I didn’t. And when she was done, my hair was magenta. I went home and cried and tried washing it out with Dawn, but all that did was turn it a little more pink, a little less purple.
While I was showering with my bottle of dish soap, a freak ice storm blew in. I thought about calling it a sign and breathing a sigh of relief that I wouldn’t have to go out with my hideous hair, but he said no, he still wanted to take me out.
I dressed in my favorite gold silk dress with a huge metal belt my daughter like to play with. The baby sitter was on her way over when my daughter started crying and crying and crying. One diaper change later, I had to change clothes because…well, if you’re a mom, you can imagine.
When he showed up, I made sure the lights were down low so maybe my purple hair wouldn’t show so much, but I could tell from the way his eyes widened, saw. I really wasn’t surprised. I swear my hair was glowing in the dark.
The ice was a couple inches thick on the concrete so he walked on the grass to get back to the car. He fell and slid down hill to the curb. I remember he was wearing these amazing boots. I got a close-up view of them as he was skidding down hill.
We thought about skipping the date then. It was dangerous and nasty and cold, but he said the Interstate was totally clear. The baby sitter was there. I had on makeup. I figured what the heck. We could go.
We went to dinner at Olive Garden. My hair matched the napkins.
I don’t remember what we talked about other than my hair, but I remember thinking it was going to be horrible and then getting there and laughing until I cried. When we started home, it had iced again, so the 15-minute drive took an hour. He walked me to my door and was a perfect gentleman, just like I’d always known he would be.
When that date ended, I figured that was it. I’d forgotten how to date, how to be sexy, how to be anything other than a mom. I mean seriously, I had mascara streaks down my face, and he’d barely even held my hand. I remember rocking my baby girl and thinking I could live with that. It would be okay. And I cried because it sucked to be a 20-something and to want something more than Cosmo promised but wanting some of what Cosmo promised too. 🙂 And then there was the purple hair. UGH!
We’ve been married 15 years this year.
And we’ve laughed and laughed and laughed.