Wednesday, June 17, 2009

26 + 1 First Date = 27

I went on one date when I was 26. It had all the makings of a great first date. I was so excited. I’d met her through a friend and then run into her, a second time, at a bookstore. Having a mutual friend seemed promising for the chances. I love books so I figured meeting again in a bookstore gave us at least one more thing in common. She was reading a book by an author we both could quote, and she invited me to sit down. We talked for a while, even laughed.

After that we became friends on Facebook where the conversation continued. Things were looking good. Two weeks later we were on our first date. I had tickets to a play adapted from that same author’s works. I had found a little Argentinian café just down the street. I thought she was gorgeous, and she had said yes.

I picked her up and we drove a half-hour to the theater. As we talked, I learned that she’d thought about doing more schooling, getting a theology degree, but hadn’t taken the plunge. She said she was frustrated with her big church. It was too big and impersonal. I resonated with that sentiment. I was tired of big church too. And her interest in school, in theology, resonated in me too. I loved serious thinking, about anything, but especially about God.

Smart. Beautiful. Spiritual. Everything seemed to add up. I couldn’t have orchestrated things better if I’d been a control freak.

We got to the theater a few minutes late. I apologized. The usher led us in and we slipped into the back row quietly. We hushed to hear the actor’s voice. The audience was rapt.

When the play let out, it was still early, too early to really be hungry. So we passed the café and kept walking, talking. We found ourselves 5 blocks down, looking at a red light, on a blank corner. I looked around, nothing promised anything better. We turned around and retraced our steps to the café.

There were blank silences as we drove home. I let them hang, hoping out of the emptiness something more genuine might emerge. We sat waiting for a green light with nothing to say. I dropped her off, and we thanked each other for the evening and the company.

I was at a loss. I couldn’t find an explanation. I’d done the math and it worked out nicely. It made sense. But the flat contour of the whole evening told a different story. The math worked, but the chemistry didn’t. I couldn’t explain it more than that.


Dan said...

Read. And appreciated.

Mike Moore said...

Read. And can't do the math either.

Crystal said...

Wow. I want to thank you for this post. Really. I recently had my first date at 24, and my experience was similar enough to be eerie. I'm glad I'm not alone.

seriously said...

I get this, I really do. But you know, if we are going to use the chemistry analogy to talk about love, then we should acknowledge that some chemical reactions are immediately explosive yet fizzle out, and some are slower to react, but the bonds created are much stronger.

Anonymous said...

@seriously,I like that comment