Hello, everyone!! Most of the date ideas I will create derive from the mistakes that I have experienced in the past. I have had my fair share of bad relationships filled to the brim with awkward dates. It seems like everyone enjoys claiming they are “awkward,” and I suppose that everyone does have an awkward moment every once and while in their lives. And I envy those people with everything I have. I live in a constant state of awkwardness. Anyone who is aquatinted with me knows that I am literally the smoothest and coolest guy ever. (Note the sarcastic tone.) I hate to burst your bubble, but underneath that calm, cool, and collected demeanor, I am freaking out about every, little thing that I say and do, afraid that I have messed something up. That introduction should serve as foreshadowing for the rest of this post.
I am considering my first date to be when I was asked to attend a local public school’s homecoming by this girl that I knew from church. It was the first time I was ever asked by a girl to go anywhere together, so it was pretty monumental. The year was 2011, the grade was 9th, and the young William had no idea that he was going to have one of the most uncomfortable nights of his life.
It all started when my mom decided to start a book club at my church. The members: my mother, my younger brother, the girl in question (Jane*), Jane’s younger brother. We were a rowdy bunch. It was a very short-lived club, but through it Jane and I became much better friends. And by that, I mean that I could talk to her about Percy Jackson, and she could look at me as a potential future boyfriend. Her school homecoming was quickly approaching and she had no one to accompany her to the dance. I guess I wasn’t exactly asked directly by Jane, but actually by my mother who was asked by Jane’s mother, but it’s the thought that counts. I was against the whole ordeal, but arguing against my mother is a losing battle from the start. I told mom to tell Jane’s mom to tell Jane that I will go with her to the homecoming.
My mom drove me to her house because I was 14 and couldn’t drive. Speaking of things I couldn’t do, I was unable to tie a tie by myself, but I tried my hardest and, by the end, the knot was larger than my knuckle. The night started off with pictures being taken consistently for a good hour. Finally, my mom left and Jane’s mom took us to the Italian place down the street to meet with some of Jane’s friends for a pre-homecoming dinner. I made sure I sat at the end and I don’t think I spoke more than 10 words. After making zero connections with anyone, Jane’s mom picked us up and took us to where I would spend the remainder of the uncomfortable night.
For my entire life, I went to a private school. That’s to say that going to a public school homecoming as a private school freshman was already an uncomfortable experience, but going to one with a girl that I didn’t even like and barely knew, except for her love for Rick Riordan’s writing, was absolutely terrifying. Walking in, I saw two girls making out in basically underwear and three guys hiding their flasks in their suit coats. We stood in line for what felt like an eternity. While in line, Jane handed me some of her stuff because she didn’t bring her purse. The only thing that I really cared about was her iPod. That thing became my best friend for the night.
We finally make it through the line and we immediately go to take more pictures. Once that is over, we head to the dance floor. I guess we were pretty early because there were only two couples dancing in the gym. In their defense, they were really getting into it. The group I was in began their dancing and just as every other awkward, white boy at a dance, I stood there with my hands uncomfortably hanging by my side watching everyone else dance around me. It was to become my classic move, because took me a while to be comfortable to dance around others. Since I wasn’t dancing, everyone in the group was begging me to join and as hard as I tried to convince them it was a very bad idea, they never gave up.
I wasn’t entirely sure how to dance there, though. One of Jane’s couple friends were grinding on each other, like hard core and the other one’s were nearing that level. I knew this girl from CHURCH and, before this, she was really just an acquaintance. I did what I thought was the smartest move: I ran to the bathroom. Although I ran there, I didn’t actually use it because there a bunch of dudes in there being extremely loud and obnoxious. I passed by the bathroom and headed back to the gym and found a seat alone. I pulled out my savior: her iPod. I found a puzzle game and went to town solving stuff. I thought that I could just sit out here the rest of the night and she wouldn’t even notice.
I was extremely wrong. She came out and asked if I was having a good time. I told her that the game on her iPod was pretty fun. (Not my best answer). She led me to the snack table and asked if I wanted anything. I declined. My mom warned me not to eat or drink anything because someone could have spiked it. At the time, I didn’t know what that meant and I thought that meant someone poisoned it, so I stayed away to make sure that this night was not my last. After I rescued myself from what I thought could have been my untimely demise, we ventured back out to my worst nightmare: the dance floor.
The slow music just had to start when we got out there. As soon as it started, everyone immediately paired up and started the slow waltz that all high schoolers do. I tried my best to keep my distance. However, one of her friends basically pushed me into her, and then there I was, dancing with Jane. I had both hands on her waist, and I felt like I was violating her somehow. My hands were easily producing more water than the Atlantic Ocean and I was staring off into the distance because eye contact would have been so unsettling to me. We didn’t say a thing to each other the whole time. Then all of a sudden, she moves in close and hugs me while still dancing. So now, we are hug dancing which is something I had never done before. She whispered thank you to me and her friend behind her gave me a thumbs up. I felt good for a second there, but I was quickly reminded that I was hug dancing with a girl that is attracted to me and for whom I had zero feelings. I was only there because I was forced. I felt awful, but I needed to leave.
I prayed for the song to be over and God delivered. I pulled away very quickly and asked if we could head out. I was in high school choir and we were performing pretty early the next morning. It was 10 o’clock and I thought that was way too late to be out. (I’m so much fun at parties). She texted her mom and she arrived 10 minutes later. I was never so happy to see Jane’s mom. They took me home and the first thing I did was download that puzzle game onto my iPod.
I was still friends with Jane for a little bit afterwards, but after my dad left that church a few months later, I never spoke to her again. I still haven’t spoken to her. I still do feel bad that I wasn’t much of a homecoming date, but when I am in an uncomfortable situation I make some of the worst social decisions ever.
Thank you for reading my long tale. I will definitely tell a dating story of mine from time to time, and so will Abigail. Don’t worry, these aren’t our suggestions for dates. They are more here for fun and so that you can learn more about us.
*names changed for privacy