I remember the first time we went on a date. It happened after a couple of months of our random encounters, glances that questioned each other, and thoughts about all possible pros and cons of falling in love.
I remember being nervous, questioning myself over and over: Should I even go on that date or not? He was a stranger to me, someone whose eyes I would feel on myself while going home from work, always passing the same street, same bus stop. He’d stay there, leaning casually on the traffic sign, waiting. I would stop breathing for a moment, pretending like I didn’t see him, even though I’d curiously examine the bus stop the second I’d leave the shop on the corner where I’d buy the ingredients for my dinner, wondering if he is there? Is he wearing those jeans that casually hang on his narrow hips and make me think about things that should not exist at 5 pm on the street full of people wanting to rest from the long working day?
I would glance at him the very moment I’d pass by him, and every time I’d meet his blue eyes gazing at me with great interest.
It was only a matter of time when some of us will do the first step. I firmly decided that I wasn’t going to be the one, tempting faith, wondering from day to day, would this be the last time I see him? Will I witness the traffic sign standing alone, without strong, broad shoulders leaning on it? And not knowing anything about him, be forced to let his existence to oblivion.
“What if he’s some kind of crazy person?! Sex maniac?!” I panicked to my friend the evening I was dressing for our date and putting my make-up on. I knew how he looked like. I knew his name, the name he said to me when he stepped out in front of me at the bus station and asked for my phone number. Everything else was the complete unknown, waiting for me to explore it.
One part of me felt the adrenalin running through my body while thinking about all the possibilities that were lying in front of me, that sweet taste of something new and exciting, the second part was scared to death of the unknown.
After countless outfits and constant doubts, with sweaty palms and restless heart, I went on a date. I was sitting in my car in front of the restaurant until I saw him approaching. I observed him carefully. Jeans, a t-shirt with a print, which turned out later to be his favourite music band, and a suit jacket. Dark, short hair and confident walk, one of those that say: I know I look good. I snorted, believing how he probably thinks that he could have any girl he wanted. The worst thing, I thought it too.
Our meeting excelled all my expectations. I can still remember every detail; from clothes he was wearing, mild nervousness that was present until we both realised that we had more than enough subjects to talk about for hours, food and drinks we had, to every smile he gave me, and small but clear signs that we liked each other.
Typically for a woman, in my brain, I carefully took notes about everything I’d believed was necessary, so that tomorrow if we last more than one date, I could fuss about, say something like: How is it possible that you don’t remember, I remember everything! Even the stain from the red wine which, thanks to my clumsiness, I made on the snowy white tablecloth. Even the colour of the candle holder, and the little plastic flower bouquet that was supposed to contribute to the atmosphere, but was actually utterly redundant.
Women and details.
Carefully, we will memorise even the dullest thing, glorify it, raise the monument to it. In our brain, we will spin situations, search for signs of faith, some higher force, and use it in a relationship when it’s good and bad.
Here’s an ideal example:
“I should’ve known the moment I saw you entering the fine restaurant in jeans, that you can’t be the one!” I’m yelling at him, collecting his clothes from the floor, throwing it at his face.
“Who’s listening to Dire Straits today so obsessively, like they are the only music band in the world worth of attention? Someone who accepts changes very hard, that’s who! Back then, I thought it sweet but look at me now! I’m stuck with a guy who thinks that changes are something like remains of the patriarchate in Balkan society; it still happens, but it’s ok as long as you turn your head and pretend that is not there!”
Haven’t I said that we, women, take notes about everything?
Or in case of an idyllic situation:
“Your choice of jeans for our first date was enough for me to fall in love, I knew you were someone who’s not obeying to boring social conventions”, I throw myself in his arms, enchanted.
“Dire Straits? Only someone who is exceptionally loyal and faithful can have in his car excellent collection of the music band that time run over long ago”, I sigh proudly because I know I’m right, because he is loyal and faithful to me too.
To have an eye for details is a praiseworthy virtue in numbers of professions and relationships with others where we can easily see the unspoken in communication. But sometimes is a source of significant disagreements and a cornerstone to imaginary problems which serve only to the creation of tensions in the relationship.
Do you know how his story goes?
“I’d wanted you from the first moment I saw you. That long legs of yours… It took me days to gather the courage to approach you. I felt fear of rejection, and I believed that I was out of your league. Of course, I was nervous on our first date. I still remember the black lace top you wore, and your hair swaying around your head seductively. Dido was playing in the background, and even today when I hear her, I remember the day I fell in love with your smile, the colour of your voice that I could imagine whispering not so polite things to me…
I don’t remember the wine we had or the candle holder, or a flower bouquet. I don’t have any idea what I wore that day, our conversations are foggy to me, and the last thing I thought about was will somewhere in the future our date turn out to be a mistake or not. I wanted you. You were interesting to me. We were something I wanted to repeat every day, something I still want today. In the end, isn’t that the only thing that matters?”
I don’t believe I’m saying this but dear men, you are right.