2011 was my year of tragedy, loss and earth-shaking life challenges. December was terribly lonely: I was still smarting from being jilted by The One That
Got Ran Away, I had only been living alone for
about two months, my dog had passed away six weeks prior and I was still trying
to adjust to the ups and downs, the highs and lows, and the rollercoaster of
elation followed by the devastation of singledom and dating. By New Year’s, I was more than eager for 2011 to be over. I was looking ahead to 2012 with a small
sense of optimism, hope and romance.
Mid-way through January, I received an email from the type of girl that would never usually look twice at a girl like me. Now, I don’t mean to say that I’m not attractive or intelligent, or I don't possess any other great dating qualities. I’m aware of my self-worth and I also know that I have a lot to offer someone. But the thing is, I’m not necessarily the kind of girl that stands out in a crowd (unless that crowd is made up of a group of midgets and then all 5’10” of me stands out like a fucking sore thumb) and when “the crowd” is an online dating pool of thousands, I don’t expect much attention except from people that I wouldn’t ordinarily find attractive or consider dating. (Hence the dating difficulty.) So imagine my surprise when a stunning, young, bright, funny and ambitious woman emails me to tell me that she finds me appealing.
Helen of Troy’s email was deliciously charming. She had just a hint of flirt and a whole lot of adorable in her writing. Her photos were beautiful in that girl-next-door, high school cheerleader sort of way (fresh-faced with a natural, easy smile). I read her profile: self aware, down to earth, very charming, and… oh shit … she’s into androgynous women? Damn it! Wait – What the fuck is she doing emailing me? I’m not even the least bit androgynous – I can barely pass for a tomboy. There must be some mistake.
I emailed Helen immediately. I’d love to say that I played it cool and waited a while to return her email but that’s just not the case when I’m dealing with a girl that hot. I told her that I thought she was very pretty and I really liked reading her profile but that I was concerned about the attraction towards androgynous women because that is most certainly not me. And within minutes, she e-mailed me right back. (I always take it as a good sign when someone emails me back within twenty-four hours. It’s an even better sign when someone emails within twenty-four minutes.) She said that what she saw in my profile was attractive to her and who the hell knows what that means in real life, but she wanted to meet up sometime. (Ummm… hellz yeah!)
Helen and I emailed and texted fairly often for nearly a week before we had our first date. We made plans to meet privately for a drink and then head to a club to go dancing with some of my friends. Brave girl! First of all, I’m not a great dancer (yes, I forewarned her) and secondly, meeting a group of your date’s friends on your first night out together? Major bonus points for class and bravery.
I was kind of nervous on the day of. How could I not be? Despite all the flirty emails and texts leading up to our date, I couldn’t help but feel like Helen was still out of my league, and that she would catch a glimpse of me in real life and wonder what the hell she was thinking. On top of all of that, we were going dancing, and I am probably the least confident dancer on two legs.
The club where we were planning to go dancing was having a “Prom Night” theme. Club-goers would be wearing bad prom dresses and bow-ties (I opted for a button down shirt and a neck tie). Knowing this and trying my best attempt at pulling off ‘charming’, I ran to the florist and bought Helen a corsage of miniature white roses (I had no idea what she was planning to wear, so white seemed the safest color choice) with a hot pink ribbon that matched the tie that I would be wearing that evening.
The weather that night was miserable. Heavy rain and winds forced me to taxi over to the bar where Helen and I would meet for a cocktail before heading over to the club. As per my usual, I arrived early and waited for my date to arrive. I ordered her a cocktail and sat, fidgeting and nervously waiting. When she walked through the door, I had to consciously keep my jaw from hitting the floor. Whoa – she’s even better looking in person. This could spell trouble for Miss-Adventures.
So we sat, and we drank, and we talked, and we smiled, and we laughed… things were going really well. As soon as I presented Helen with her corsage, I felt myself relax. She was pleasantly surprised and she accepted it graciously. Yes, things were going really, really well.
We made our way to the “Prom Night” themed club event where a friend was DJ-ing and my little posse were waiting on me. When I walked in the door with a devastating blonde as my date, my friends waiting for me with enormous smiles and hugs, and my friend, the DJ, playing some fantastic old school hits, I felt just a little bit like a rock star.
Helen and I sat in a corner and we talked, drank and laughed. Eventually, I mustered up enough courage to ask her if she wanted to dance. Sweet girl that she is and knowing that I wasn’t a confident dancer, she was totally willing to let me off the hook and told me that if I didn’t want to dance, she was perfectly happy to keep talking. No – we were at a club, she was amazing and fun, and I wanted so badly to appear cool and confident. I dragged her by the hand to the dance floor and attempted my best white girl hip shake. Half-way through the first song, I caught Helen giving me a thorough look straight up and down. I’m not sure she was even aware that she had done it but I caught a glimpse of the look and I took that as a very good sign. So I slid my hand around her back, pulled her in and danced with her long and lean body pressed up against mine.
We took a break from dancing, we sat and talked some more while my friends periodically chatted with us or danced on their own. I was having a great night and couldn’t believe that a date with a perfect stranger could ever go so well. And then a miracle happened. Ok, ok, it was a minor miracle in the grand scheme of miracles, but it was miraculous to me: my pal, the DJ, played my all-time favorite sexy song, “Pony” by Ginuwine. I practically squealed with delight, grabbed Helen’s hand and dragged her to the dance floor as fast as I could. Once we were on the floor, I pulled her close one more time. With my cheek pressed against hers, I lightly brushed my lips against her neck and without so much as a second of hesitation, she turned her face to mine and I kissed her right there on the dance floor. (Thank you, lady DJ. You had my back that night and you may not have even realized it!)
Aaaaand just like that, a night of epic make-outs was born. We kissed on the dance floor, we kissed at our table, we found a more private corner in the club on top of a heap of jackets and kissed there too. We kissed for what seemed like hours without much regard for the other patrons at the club. (I had heard from a friend some days later that one club patron asked the bartender to retrieve her coat when we were finished and that she would pick it up another day.)
I confess, I was not the world’s greatest friend that evening. My little posse went largely ignored for the better part of the night. So it’s without great surprise that when they found us kissing on top of a very large pile of club-goer jackets, they gave me a round of quick hugs and left for the evening. Now, on one hand, I could feel guilty about being a shitty friend and not paying them more attention. But on the other, they are the world’s greatest wing-men/women and I know that they were happy to see Miss-Adventures get her groove back. (Those are great friends, if you ask me!)
After my little posse left the club, it wasn’t long before Helen suggested that she drive me home “so that we could keep kissing”. I was never so glad to be without my motorcycle. When we arrived at my house, we sat on the couch and continued making out, only occasionally stopping to talk or catching our breath but then getting right back to the epic kissing we had been so enjoying.
Helen of Troy: “I think this might be more comfortable in your bed.”
[Cue Miss-Adventures sense of shock. Cue parade music. Cue the ‘oh shit! – I haven’t done this in months butterflies!’ Do I still remember how to do this?]
Helen of Troy (probably sensing my utter disbelief): “Is that ok?”
Me: “Only if you can promise that this isn’t the last time I’ll see you.”
Helen of Troy: “I think I can make that promise.”
Me: “Ok, then follow me.”
Yep, that could have been one of the best first dates I’ve ever had. It was filled with surprises, much like Helen herself. Just when I thought I had it figured out, just when I thought I had her figured out, she always managed to surprise the shit out of me.