Sunday Stories

Lake Eufala at dusk.

There wasn’t much to read on the internet this week. I feel like it’s all redundant about COVID. I did go camping with some friends and we had a marvelous time. We drank Coors Light, sat by the lake, and talked about boys around the campfire. I told them a story about the first great “real” date I had when a boyfriend and I had broken up. It was the summer I turned 19 and my neighbor wanted to set me up with her daughter’s boyfriend’s brother (yeah, I know). I knew who he was. He was a legend for his incredibly good looks. His family lived down the road from us so I had seen him. I reluctantly agreed.

One evening he called me with his mild drawling baritone and said, “Hello, may I speak to Jennifer?” He proceeded to say endearing things like “Well, Susie thought I would like you and that I should take you out.” And, “I will pick you up Thursday for dinner and a movie.”

Thursday rolls around and, frankly, I was indifferent. I was mooning over a guy I had met right before the semester ended and I was “forced” to move home for the summer. The doorbell rang and I went to answer and opened the door to a Greek god. He was taller than me, dark skinned, full lipped, and brooding. “Hi, I’m here to pick up Jennifer.” he crooned. I indicated that was me. He did a double (maybe triple) take and said, “Oh, ok. Are you ready to go?” As we were walking to his truck he stopped midway and said, “I don’t want you to think I was shocked or anything but you are very pretty and my brother told me you were just ok.” I burst into hysterics which made him chuckle (his brother was kind of an asshole).

We went to dinner at a local steakhouse and proceeded to order steak (what else?). When we were served he said, “I like you. You didn’t order a damned salad.” We cleaned our plates and headed to the movie (of course). Once seated and the previews concluded, he took my hand and laced it through his arm and patted the top of my hand and smiled. I’m not gonna lie, it made me nervous. I kinda liked this guy.

He drove me home and walked me to the door, just like any other Oklahoma gentleman. We chatted for a bit and he bent down to kiss me with those pouty lips. HOT. DAMN. A proper, proper first date.

We hung out several times after that. It fizzled out once summer ended. I came home the following December for Christmas break and our neighbor came by to visit. I asked about my Greek love and she said he had gotten back with an old girlfriend. “Yeah. He really had a great time with you. He also told me that whatever guy ended up with you better be great because your expectations are high.” I pondered that statement and decided to store it away as a complement.

The girls loved that story. When I say we talked about boys, it was all about the expectations of a date. No one dates like Zeus and I did anymore. No one calls you on the phone to ask you out and picks you up at your door and takes you to dinner and a movie and kisses you goodnight. Why? Is it us? Is it them? Are we in too big a hurry? Are we lazy? I want my daughter to know what a date should be and I know her dad would too.

Camping with girlfriends is great for your self esteem. Never have I been in a group that continually tells me how badass I am and nudges me to do the damn thing. At almost 40 I can tell you that there are clusters of incredibly secure and loyal women that can be your friends without the threat of jealousy or competition. Refreshing to be able to assure my daughter that she can find her tribe like I have been able to.

Oh and check out this hilarious guy.

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