I remember our first “study” date. Actually it was the first time we were together outside of class, and had spoken more than a few words. I had been interested in him because he was tan and hazel eyed and addressed the teacher as ma’am. I figured any college boy that polite was worth knowing. He was from Colorado, and I soon learned that the manners he used in class were either cultural, and applied only in school, or were completely fake. Whatever the case he was NOT what I expected.
I met him after play practice, probably before 4 o’clock. I have lived in New England all my life, yet I remember this fall was on of the exceptional ones. I suppose they are all pretty amazing, yet there are a few that leave the rest behind. This was one such autumn. The leaves simultaneously blazed forth from the trees in golden glory, carpeting the earth and brightening the sky. It called to mind Tolkien’s Lothlórien , filling me with mystical delight. I was glad we were going to walk together to his residence, somewhere off campus for both the exercise and the view. We made small talk as we walked past some of the dorm houses of the small Catholic college. I was very nervous for some reason-more nervous then usual for a date. My roommates thought me confident, because I auditioned for a play (I had to sing) and was not afraid to ask questions in class. I suppose I was confident in some ways back then. I figured was away from home and so what could hurt me? I was convinced I had learned all I needed to know from bad highschool relationships. I was 18 now and experienced. Besides, I usually had very good intuition, something I had learned to depend on. I trusted my first impression of him, not recognizing my flip-flop stomach may have been how my intuition was really trying to communicate with me. Anyhow, I was used to that feeling so I thought it was normal.
We were not five minutes off the campus (which was small, very small) when he turned to me and asked “Do you want to be my girlfriend?”I found this very odd because we did not know each other at all. I felt like a deer in the headlights-the car that would run me over was approaching, and I just stood there. “I..I..Guess…” Now my stomach was really churning.
I have no clue about the conversation and where it went after that exactly, but we talked some more. I may have told him I wasn’t a drinker or smoker and I was a technical virgin. I also went to Mass every week, mostly because I wanted to find some way of connecting with God. I believe these things came up because I remember his reaction. “You are a good girl, and you are gonna get tired of me.” He shook his head. “I am a dirdy dawg. A low down dawg”
Why would he tell me this? Now I was really nervous. Wait…Did he want me to lose interest in him?
“Ooohhhhh I get it you are trying to scare me away. ” I was thinking out loud. “You’re not a dirty dog, you just think you are. I am not going to be scared off. You just need someone to believe in you.”
He just grinned at me, which I found encouraging. Challenge accepted.
I don’t remember anything after that except he started making out with me on the couch as soon as we got to the place he was staying. I felt we were moving too fast, yet I didn’t know what to do. He was a pretty good kisser, I guess. I found he kept catching me off guard, and leaving me feeling bewildered. I kind of liked the idea, however, of having a boyfriend. It made me feel like somebody, like I belonged.