I tend not to use daily writing prompts, as many of them I find silly or just stupid. However, every once in a while, one will come in the email that makes me go “I haven’t written about that” or “That might be fun to write about.” Today, the prompt was “Do you remember your first date?”
My first date happened when I was a sophomore. It was the first year that I was in marching band. I wasn’t the one who asked, it was actually a girl who asked me out! A senior!! This, in itself, was pretty mind blowing to me, but it didn’t blow my mind at first … because I thought she was joking!!
Let me say that I never went to dances in junior high school. I suppose if I had a steady girlfriend, I may have went to a dance, but I didn’t.
In high school we had two bands. One was the varsity band, which was made up of all freshman (there were a lot of us) and we all knew each other from being in junior high band. By the time I got to concert band in 10th grade, there were plenty of upper classmen that I hadn’t met yet. I met many of them for the first time when we gathered for Band Camp in August.
Homecoming always happened in October, and I guess it was sometime in late September that I was in the band room after class and one of the French Horn players walked by me and said “So, Keith, you’re taking me to Homecoming, right?!” I remember answering “Oh, sure” or something like that. I kinda blew it off and kept walking. Who in the world would want to go to a dance with me??!!
If memory serves me correctly, she asked me one or two more times after that and I again, chuckled, said yes in a joking way and blew it off. She must have figured out that I didn’t know she was serious and the other French Horn player came over to me one day and said, “You do know that she is 100% serious, right?!” THAT blew my mind!
I could not even imagine that anyone would want to go to a dance with me. Hell, I had never danced with a girl before in my life! My mind was racing with all kinds of things. “What do I do on a first date?” “What do I wear to a dance?” “What if I can’t dance?” You know, typical high school questions….
Once I was told she was serious, I think I asked her – just to be sure! She laughed at me and said, “If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have asked you!” So now I have a date! I came home and told my folks. I remember my dad saying I needed to wear a nice tie. He had to tie it, because I certainly had no idea how to tie one! My mom said I needed to get a corsage (“What is a corsage?”) for her. I think they thought it was cool that I was going to be going out ….. on a date …… with a girl!
I didn’t have a car, so I am sure we went with a friend. They picked me up at my house and my date was already in the car. I remember my folks with their camera, snapping pictures (which have been lost somewhere, sadly). Once we were able to break away from the paparazzi, we were off to the dance. I remember walking in and feeling out of place, but my date quickly made me feel better by making jokes and making me laugh.
My first dance? I don’t remember much about it, as I was kind of spaced out. I sort of remember the slow song (probably a Madonna song) starting and my date asking me to dance. I told her I had never danced before and she pulled me out anyway. Butterflies?! Boy, did I have butterflies!!!! So there I was, both hands on her back, swaying back and forth to the song. I remember later dancing to another slow song and her laying her head on my shoulder. More butterflies.
You’d think I would have a better recollection of such a big moment in a teen’s life. I wish I did. Outside of those two dances, the rest of the dance is kind of a blur to me. For what it is worth, it has been over 30 years since my first date. What I DO remember about that night is actually very embarrassing.
Our Homecoming happened all in one day. We were up early to be at the Pancake Breakfast. Then we headed to the band room to prepare for the Homecoming parade at 9 or 10. After that we got an hour break to eat lunch and then head to the football game. Kickoff was like 1pm or so. We were there early for the pregame show and then stayed through the whole game, which ended about 4 or 5. The dance would follow that evening in the gym at 8. So it was a long day.
After the dance, my date and I went with the others who drove us to Chi-Chi’s. This would be a very popular “after dance” or “after concert” place to eat. The dance had probably ended at about 11pm and then we all went out to dinner. I was usually in bed by 10pm. So here we are at dinner and I am literally fighting to keep my eyes open. I know I probably put my head down at some point. I was a light weight. I couldn’t hang with the big boys and girls! I probably dozed in the car on the way home, too. It was pretty embarrassing. I know the others got quite a laugh. I was a terrible date for her.
I’m sure one of the others may read this and correct any misinformation or add to the story, but this is what I remember. It must not have been THAT bad, as I remain friends with her to this day.