What a first date! We were all set to watch the musical Godspell at the Marion High School Auditorium because I received free tickets as an usher. But something was wrong. There weren’t any cars in the school parking lot. I had misunderstood the dates it was playing. It was actually not scheduled to be performed until the following weekend. There Paul, Tiffany and I stood in an empty parking lot of the high school on a Friday evening waiting for Greg to arrive.
Greg showed up a few minutes later in his little green Volkswagen Rabbit along with his mother. After explaining the misunderstanding to him, his mother volunteered to let Greg drive us. You see, they were late because they had just visited the DMV. Greg had just gotten his driver’s license.
There we were, all four of us crammed into that little hatchback complete with a manual transmission “bounding” to the newly constructed Wal-mart. We walked through the new smell of the new store until Paul picked up a hula-hoop and began practicing right in the middle of the toy section. An employee reproached Paul, “There is a playground out back.” I was sort of disappointed when I found out that there wasn’t, but I was even more embarrassed that someone had to say something to us about our behavior.
We then rode, lurching forward and backward as he shifted, to a northside burger joint. I don’t remember what we ate or even if we ate. I just remember seeing the red words which made the patty between two yellow buns encompassed by three quarters of a blue circle (the Burger King sign). For some reason when I look at one of those signs even to this day, I remember that night in April of 1989.
So half of our night was over, and he still had not held my hand, put his arm around me or anything. Was it what I was wearing? Or how I looked? My black denim skirt matched my black cropped jean jacket. My pearl leggings where the same shade of white as my t-shirt and Mary Jane shoes. It wasn’t the clothes! After checking my reflection in the car window, my bangs were still at least three inches high and my hair was perfectly plastered into place. Nope, it wasn’t the hair.
It must have been while we were at the restaurant that we decided to go to a movie because we went to some Kevin Bacon movie. No, I don’t remember the name, but I know it wasn’t Footloose.
It’s humorous now, but Paul had to ask permission to hold my hand. No, he didn’t ask me. He asked his friend, who asked his girlfriend, who asked me as she accompanied me to the bathroom at the theater. I squealed, “Yeeeeesssssss!”
I waited with my hand palm up on the armrest for more than half the movie, of which I remember nothing because my heart was in my throat in anticipation of him holding my hand. I waited until one of his fingers touched the side of my hand. I couldn’t wait any longer; I grabbed his hand. I don’t know if fireworks can go off inside of a person, but my blood pressure was so elevated it certainly felt like it. However, it didn’t make watching the movie any easier. He was holding my hand; what could be better?
After the movie ended, we headed home. Greg was kind enough to drive Paul home first all the way to south Marion. You see, Tiffany and I lived in north Marion where the theater was, but because he wanted to spend more time with her, he took Paul home first. That allowed me to have more time with him too.
As we pulled up to his house, I was certain he would lean in for at least a peck good night. But he didn’t. He was the perfect 15 year old gentleman. And so ended my first date with my dearest Valentine!