Exactly twenty-nine years ago, I was on a double date with a college pal. While neither my friend or I were romantically interested in our dates, they did prove useful, fetching drinks for us at the overly crowded bar. On their second trip to replenish our cocktails, a stranger slipped into my date’s chair and introduced himself.
I had seen this guy before. He lived down the hall from our dates in the same co-ed dorm I called “home” my senior year and had a curious way of appearing when and where I least suspected him – at the mailbox as I was rushing to my room after class, in the residence hall laundry room when I was without make-up and wearing shabby sweats, and in the cafeteria as soon as I rolled out of bed just to get some coffee and cram before my weekly grammar quiz.
I hadn’t paid much attention to him. After all, he wasn’t my type – not that I had any idea what my type was back then.
This latest intrusion, though, was a wonderful surprise. Seems I had grown accustomed to his smiling face and, in the midst of an otherwise terribly dull date, he was a very welcomed distraction.
And he was smart. Given the crowd and the distance between our table and the bar, he knew we only had a few moments to chat. To the best of my recollection, here is how the conversation went:
Me: What are you doing here?
Him: I’m here with some friends. What are you doing here? And with Terry (my date)?
Me: Why do you care?
Him: It’s just that if you’re going to go on a date, you could’ve picked somebody a little more exciting. Somebody that can make you laugh.
Me: Oh, and I suppose that’s you?
Him: Heh, I wouldn’t date you, even if you dared me.
Me: OK, I dare you to date me. Now will you leave us alone?
Him: Great. I’ll pick you up Sunday night at five.
I had fallen right into his trap…
…and, twenty-nine years later, I’m so very glad I did.