The story everyone knows:
We’d met online in the middle of December. Having hit it off through e-mail, we decided to start talking on the phone during our Christmas breaks. M asked me out on our first date just before the holiday, and we planned to start the year off together, at a New Year’s Eve party with his church group.
On New Year’s Eve, I drove across town where I met him at his house, although reluctantly. He drove me from there to a nearby restaurant for a pre-party dinner, and the place became our restaurant quickly. The party itself had a black-and-white theme, so I was wearing my brand-new black pants, a wonderful gift from Santa; they made me look tall (as hard to believe as that is) and made my butt look awesome. I looked great, and I knew it.
Neither M nor I is great in social situations, so after meeting his friends and pushing myself to my social limits, M and I decided to leave early. We were definitely hitting it off, and we were anxious for time alone anyway. We headed back to his house, a little less reluctantly on my part than earlier, where we rung in the new year alone. We toasted with goblets of milk–since neither of us drinks–and chocolate chip cookies. We had our first kiss at the stroke of midnight, the only time I’ve ever kissed on a first date. From there, the rest is history.
What really happened:
We did meet online and went through the usual route of e-mailing and then talking on the phone over Christmas break. Our first date was supposed to be the black-and-white church group New Year’s Eve party. Unfortunately, we hit it off over the phone much more quickly than we expected when we set the first date. M flew back from his parents’ house over Christmas break on Wednesday, December 29, and neither of us could wait a minute longer to meet.
On his way home from the airport, M called me. I was somewhat nervous about the idea, but I gave him directions to my apartment. That could have been incredibly stupid, especially since nobody but one friend knew I even might meet him earlier than the publicized first date, but everything worked out well, obviously.
I’ll never forget that moment when I opened the door and saw him for the first time. M looked exactly like he did in his pictures, but there was an electricity about him that no picture could contain. I remember standing in front of that open door, with one hand still on the doorknob, for what felt like an eternity. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I knew in that moment that I would love him, the closest I’ll come to admitting such thing as love at first sight.
Finally–really probably about two seconds later–I remembered my manners and invited him in. We decided to go eat at my favorite restaurant, but when we got there it was closed, probably for the holiday. Instead we went to the one across the street, the one that we supposedly went to on New Year’s Eve, our place.
After dinner, we went back to my apartment where we chatted for hours. Finally, we got the nerve to do what we’d both been wanting to do all night, and we kissed for the first time. It really was the only time I’d ever kissed on the first date. It was magical, and I knew without a doubt that I’d be seeing him again.
That happened the next day, and the next, and the next. We spent every free moment together from then on. We spent New Year’s Eve together, of course, but we never made it to that party. Instead, we stayed at his place and watched a rented movie. The cookies and milk and kiss at midnight happened as I tell everyone, though. Both are now a tradition between the two of us.
I wonder why I’m still so afraid to tell the real story of our meeting to everyone else. At the time, I kept it hidden because I knew how stupid I was being, and I didn’t want anybody else to tell me what I already knew. But now that everybody can see what I saw, that this thing was real from the start, why do I persist in telling the made-up version of our first date?