Our First Date

I opened my phone to find a text from Justin.  We’d been hanging out in a mutual group for a while, and I thought he was funny, smart, and definitely a dream boat.  He was strapped for time at work but wanted to take me to dinner, so he decided to go the texting route.  We were in that weird nebulous of wondering whether asking someone on a date via text was acceptable or not; but as I said he was hot, so I was willing to overlook it and give him the benefit of the doubt.

He pulled up in his Pontiac; it definitely wasn’t a nice car, but I really wasn’t into that.  Most importantly, I had a thing for guys who could drive stick, so it worked for me.  I’m not going to lie, I still love to watch him with a manual transmission–I’m weird like that.  We chatted on the 30 minute drive to Mesquite, and about 5 minutes from our destination, he casually mentioned his family would be there.  Now, Justin didn’t have sisters, and he was a bit clueless in the whole dating department.  He had no idea this isn’t a usual first date practice.  I am sure he would have learned much faster, but his dimples and blue eyes charmed girls into things other guys wouldn’t have had a prayer pulling off.  I will say, he learned quite quickly; and you won’t find anyone more charming now.

Back in the car, I started to panic a bit, but quietly in my head while staying as collected as possible.  First dates are awkward enough without throwing in possible future in-laws.  Luckily, they were nice and accommodating.  At dinner, I discovered Justin’s deep love of crab legs when he returned from the buffet with a plate full of them and little else, and I was entertained with many stories of Justin when he was younger.

We left with the promise of a mini golf game in St George.  While dinner was fun and memorable, and I pretty much thought that was the end of the evening, that was really only the beginning.  We began the drive home with me asking him to expand on his childhood stories.  The smoke appeared suddenly under the hood only 10 minutes into our journey home–just far enough from Mesquite to completely lose cell service.  A quick pull over to the side of the road, revealed a spurting and bubbling radiator.  The 105 degree temperatures were unforgiving to the old girl, and it didn’t look as though we would be moving anywhere any time soon.  

While I knew we were definitely in a tight spot, Justin completely kept his cool.  He was laughing and taking the opportunity to get to know me, and that’s when I knew I really wanted to get to know him.  Shortly after, a kind citizen pulled over to rescue us, cooled the radiator with water from his trunk, and left the rest of the bottle with us.  we carefully began the journey up the road.  Not 5 minutes later, the sight of a huge backup in the gorge, followed by the fantastic pyrotechnics under the hood once more left us by the roadside again.  Feeling a little more sheepish than last time but still with high spirits, Justin was still playing it cool.  We decided an overheated car in the middle of the shoulderless gorge was less than ideal, so we opted to sit on the car and wait for the traffic to die down.  

Our situation was clearly disastrous, and in the back of my mind I wondered if I would in fact make it back home, but most of me really didn’t care.  Justin has the ability to make any situation fun, and that was the first time we laughed in the face of a crisis, though it definitely hasn’t been our last.  No less than an hour later, we made our way forward through the deeply cut trenches of the gorge and thankfully didn’t cause another traffic jam in its walls.  With thoughts of a mini golf game long gone, Justin asked if I would accompany him on a trip to Walmart to better equip his trunk with emergency supplies.  Oil, transmission fluid, funnels, jumper cables, and more later; he dropped me off.  

Though it wasn’t your conventional first date, the most important thing we both got out of it was that we could keep a cool head in a tough situation and the ability to laugh through hard times because heaven knows even though we have had a lot of fun and good times, everyone knows those tough times will hit you too.

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