Ten years ago tonight I was primping in front of the mirror in my small one bedroom apartment getting ready for a date. I struggled with picking out the perfect outfit but finally opted to wear denim Capri pants and a red button down shirt. I even went to Victoria Secrets and laid down $40 for the "miracle bra" hoping that it would deliver its promise.
I was a teacher for visually impaired children. My position forced me to travel between several schools, resulting in my never feeling as if I fully belonged in any one place but affording me the opportunity to meet a lot of people. The 2000-2001 school year was my first in the high school where Scott taught which is where we met.
Scott had one of my students in his class. I was immediately struck and determined to get to know this cute teacher. I started popping into his class, offering my student a lot of extra assistance in her course. Scott was oblivious to my flirtatious efforts, as evidenced by the fact that he kept referring to me as "Miss Flemming" (my maiden name was Friedman).
Undeterred, I managed to weasel an invitation to the Happy Hour that many of the teachers, including Scott, frequented on Friday afternoons. Initially there was a large group at the restaurant/bar. Slowly, as teachers began to leave, Scott worked his way closer to my seat. After nearly two hours, it was just the two of us and another couple.
We were invited to the other teacher's house for drinks on his deck. I agreed, excited about the prospect of making "progress" with Scott. I remember recanting the details of the bar date with my Mom on the drive to Anthony's house.
Scott and I talked all evening sitting on the deck. He asked me about my foot (it was already injured and I was on crutches). To my shock, he didn't seemed phased. Talking with him seemed natural.
We talked so long that Anthony had gone inside with his family, leaving us alone. What happened next still seems surreal, but I remember it as vividly as if it was yesterday. Scott stood up and began to walk towards me. My heart began to flutter as he approached. He began to bend over, causing the hair on the back of my arms to react by standing up. I began to pucker my lips in preparation for our first kiss as I felt his arm slip around my neck. I closed my eyes. And then, I felt it. He sat down on my lap and continued chatting without missing a syllable.
So there I was, sitting on deck of a teacher whom I did not really know, with the cute teacher I was flirting with sitting on my lap, happily yapping away nonsensically. I remember thinking, "This is strange. He's sitting on my lap. I thought he was going to kiss me, but he hasn't shut up. Why is he sitting on my lap?" I decided to just go with it.
The next day Scott picked me up to take me to dinner. I spent the afternoon cleaning my apartment so everything looked perfect when he arrived. I danced around and sang It's Raining Men. By the time he arrived, 40 minutes late, I was belting out I Will Survive. I had to wait while he moved an imposing pile of trash from the passenger seat to the backseat before I could sit down in his car.
My Mom taught me from an early age to always be prepared. On her advice, I made it a habit to carry cash with me whenever I went out on a date. In all fairness, Scott tried to pay for our meal. Unfortunately he didn't have any cash, and the restaurant was not equipped to accept debit cards. Thankfully I listened to my Mom and had money handy. My Mom is a smart woman.
The story of my last first date is not overly romantic. We did not go out for a lavish meal but I was able to pay for our cheeseburgers and french fries. I wasn't doted upon, but the object of my affections did curl up onto my lap. I am glad that I made the decision to just go with the flow ten years ago. Our date was anything but traditional but then again, I think tradition is overrated.