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"The desire of the man is for the woman, but the desire of the woman is for the desire of the man." - Madame de Stael

(wc 1199 – sorry!)

Yesterday I began the saga that tells the true story of one of the “firsts” in my life.  Sidey’s weekend theme was a fill-in-the-blank  affair – “My first. . .”  As you can see, I decided to write about “My First Date.”  Herewith the conclusion:

When last I left you, I was nervously wondering if my first date would actually happen, because I had no idea what time he would be coming to pick me up.

I was so insecure about the whole affair, that I let this small detail completely overtake my conscious mind.  Was he going to back out?  Has he lost my phone number?  Has he been kidnapped and denied any access to the important people (me) in his life?  Was he alive?  Wait – I knew that he was. He was still attending choir rehearsals.

I had the small satisfaction that he did elect to sit next to me or near me in choir, so I figured he was still interested, but still no pick-up time was mentioned.  So I walked directly into what could (and perhaps should) have been my fatal dating error.

I started calling him.  Not just once or twice, and although I have forgotten the precise number of times I called, I believe it was only once a day.  Now, mind you, I always had another pretense for calling.  Right now I can’t imagine what those pretenses were, but I do remember that I spent considerable time coming up with them.  I quit calling him eventually.  That was when he started to sound like asking me in the first place might have been a mistake.   He probably thought he had hooked up (in the old-fashioned definition of the term) with a nut.  I wised up and quit. . .finally.  About two days before the actual date, he called and told me what time he would be coming by.  The concert was at 8 p.m. and he would come at 6 p.m. to take me to dinner.

Perhaps you think I’m going to write that it was huge fiasco.  It wasn’t.  I had a great time, and as we went out several more times, he must have too.  We were never really an “item,” as it were, but we thoroughly enjoyed one another’s company. During our dating period, we took a few occasions to engage in “PDA,” (Public Display of Affection).  I got my first kiss. . . es.  In spades.  It wasn’t until much later that I recognized what a desperate play for the attention of others I was participating in.  I didn’t want the spotlight on me for its own sake, necessarily – I just wanted other boys/men to see me as an object of desire, and to a really handsome guy, to boot!

I do not remember when we stopped dating.  We remained friends all the way through college.  The last time I remember having any significant conversation with him was the fall semester that I returned to school after taking a year off between my junior and senior years.  We ran in to each other in a parking lot near the fine arts building.  He was happy to see me, and I to see him.  But he had an anxious and nervous look on his face, the reason for which he proceeded to tell me.  All his life he had planned on being a physician.  I knew of his desire, and throughout the time we were dating, I believed he was doing very well academically.  He was.  But his senior year he began to have some problems.  He was almost in tears as he told me he thought that he was not going to make it, and that his dream would not be realized.

I recall I spent a bit of time telling him that I was sure he would do well.  I advised him to get a good tutor who could drill him, and also someone to get him ready for his MCAT’s (Medical College Aptitude Tests), required of all applicants to any medical school. He shrugged and nodded.  He didn’t sound very positive.  I remembered when he used to tell me about his summer jobs working at a hospital, doing “scut work,” but loving every minute of it, and I allowed myself some time to ache for him and his fears.  A quick peck on one another’s cheeks, and we parted.  I have not see him since.

My first date was everything I dreamed it would be.  I had a ball.  We laughed and talked through dinner, and after the concert.  We took a long drive in the country in his Mustang.  He tried to teach me how to drive straight shift.  I learned a little.  When I said we dated a few times, I really don’t know how many, but I know in reality it was probably a number that I could count with ten fingers.  No matter.  I had – at least once in my life – a boyfriend that I could point to and say, “He likes me.  He likes being around me.”

Besides, he gave me the most romantic gift ever for our first Christmas together.  He had picked me up for a choir party date, and when it was time to leave the party, another girl asked to hitch a ride back to her dorm.  David being a nice guy, agreed.  She was one of the many girls (equally as unpopular as I), who was seeking his attention.  I didn’t know what to think, but I couldn’t very well protest, so I let her have the front seat, and I climbed into the back.  I didn’t know at that time who he would be taking home first.

It wasn’t me!  Turns out he had a gift for me.  There was a very popular ad campaign going on in the late 60’s, early 70’s.  Arpege perfume, by Lanvin, had a slogan:  “Promise her anything, but give her Arpege.”  My gift was a bottle of Arpege cologne. I still have it.  You can see it in the photo above. Yes, I used it occasionally, and loved it.  I still do.  But for some reason or other I have always wanted to preserve it – along with my Mom’s bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume.  There is something about the scent that takes me back in time.  I feel that first kiss, I see David’s smiling face, and if only a little bit, I am that young woman who so wanted to be desired.

My dear Hubs certainly fulfilled and fulfills all those desires, and more.  But after David, and before Ashley, there were no more dates.  There were lots of friends, but no overtures, until one very strange day.  Since I have gone on so long, I think I’ll tell you about that day another time – if you want to know about it, that is.  I have answered Sidey’s prompt.  That’s enough. . .

P.S.  I found out through Google (just last year) that David did indeed become a doctor.  He has a family practice in Connecticut.  Some day, maybe I’ll give him a call.