Who am I kidding, I have no idea what I’m doing to repel guys. Especially this time. I thought I was getting the hang of this whole dating thing. Apparently not.
It didn’t start out as a date. I really just wanted to got skating. There’s something about skating on an outdoor rink in the winter-the sound of blades slicing through the ice, that muffled sound of laughter on snow-I can’t get enough of it. All of my friends know that my winter obsession is getting people to go skating with me.
So I swear I didn’t have an ulterior motive when I invited Tim to go skating. Lis, my go-to skating partner was away for the holidays, Cor thinks skating is lame (ie. he can’t skate and is too embarrassed to ask me to teach him) and all of my city friends were, well, in the city. So I texted Nee and Tim begging them to come skating with me.
Nee was in until about half an hour before were going to leave; she got called in to work or something. Then there was this conversation:
Tim: So do you still want to go?
Kay: Uh der. I’m. Obsessed. With skating.
Tim: Then maybe we could get hot chocolate after?
Kay: Yeah that would be nice
Tim: Okay. It’s a date.
I swear that’s what he said. It’s a date. But I didn’t get too excited, I mean “it’s a date” is a generic figure of speech.
Okay, who am I kidding, I got super excited.
The thing about Tim is that I’ve known him for years now but whenever I see him it’s always briefly and with a group. He’s friends with all of my town friends, but I’ve never actually gone to school with him, so the first time I met him it was kind of like “I’ve heard a lot about you.” “Ditto.” He’s really close with Lis in particular, and Lis is always like, Kelsey, you should get to know him better, he’s super fun but he has this super deep side blah blah blah.
I just ignored it because, well I don’t know. I mean, Tim and I always have a fantastic time together (read about our summer fair hi-jinks here) but I always pegged him for that type of guy who just goofs around and flirts with everyone and is great to invite to parties, but that’s about it. Anything about a “deep side” seemed like a load of bullshit to me to be honest.
But I mean, he’s really cute, and fun, and did I mention cute? So I wasn’t exactly opposed to the idea of a date with him.
In the first five minutes my dreams were crushed. Tim started talking about this girl he met a camp in the summer who lives in Europe or something and how they totally would have dated if she didn’t live in like Croatia or something. At that point I was like, oh, I guess this isn’t a date.
Looking back, I feel like that was what made the night so amazing though. Because as soon as I decided it wasn’t a date, the pressure was off and I felt like I could say anything. So we skated and I teased him about his skating skills and we made up life stories for the other people at the rink, most of which involved drug deals gone bad and illegitimate children. Then, when our toes were blocks of ice, we curled up in comfy chairs by the fireplace at Tim Horton’s (if you’re American, I swear this is the name of a coffee chain. Just trust me on this. It’s super popular. If you’re in Canada and you want to act all Canadian go there. For real.). And we just talked. For like four hours. The store closed except for the drive through, and the drive through guy must have been entertained by listening to our conversation because he didn’t kick us out and he gave us free donuts. We started out making stupid jokes and complaining about how we couldn’t feel our feet, but then we started talking about people we both know, and then our families and our futures and who we are and who we want to be. It sounds lame when I try to summarize like that, but at the time it was really special. Part of it was because it came so naturally I think. I didn’t feel like I had to impress him or act a certain way, and because I didn’t think it was a date I felt like I had nothing to lose. I told him about how weird everyone was and still is about my mom dying, and how my dad is wonderful to me but sometimes I just get so mad at him for no reason other than the fact that he’s not mom. And Tim told me about how suffocating his family is, with his perfect older sisters and his mom who treats him like everything he does isn’t good enough, and his dad who pretends like nothing is wrong. He feels the same was as I do about the end of high school: it can’t come too soon.
Finally we both realized that we really couldn’t keep talking. It was 1am already and I had a 7am flight to catch to my grandparents house in Phoenix, and he had already missed his midnight curfew. We were saying goodbye but then we went outside and kept talking and then it got cold so we sat is his car to warm up. I just remember laughing so hard that I was inches away from crying, and thinking that I wish we could just hang out forever and never leave. And okay, I was wondering what it would be like to kiss him. Then all of a sudden he stopped laughing and looked at me, completely serious.
“So is this like, a date?” he asked. It came out of his mouth so innocently. I wanted to kiss it. His mouth, I mean.
I told him that it kind of felt like a date. After a short pause I added that I really wanted it to be a date. So we decided that it was indeed a date, and then he asked me if he could take me on a second one. By this point my stomach was going all crazy fluttery and I couldn’t stop smiling or staring at him, but I tried to play it cool. Yes, I told him. I would like that a lot.
And then it was almost 2am and I really had to go. So I got out of the car while still smiling at him and he kept smiling at me and I walked to my car while still exchanging smiles and I don’t know who looked away first, but I know I didn’t want to.
At this point I don’t know if I can say the same for him.
To be continued…