Always First

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...

A cup of coffee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s Daily Prompt: “Tell us about your first day at something — your first day of school, first day of work, first day living on your own, first day blogging, first day as a parent, whatever.”

Life’s full of firsts. After all there is always the cliché “today is the first day of the rest of your life.” I’ve had a huge number of firsts that might qualify. I’ve just had a first day at a new job, I still have a number of memories of my first full day as a Dad.

However I’m going to choose another first. Tonight on the ABC the Agony Aunt program was about dating with some wonderful Australian women talking about first dates and first kisses so I’m going to talk about a few of those moments.

A first date. Two in particular stick in my mind strongly. One must have been a failure, though at the time it didn’t feel like it, and the second a success.

Firsts are always fraught with anxiety and I can’t think of any other first able to cause me more anxiety than a first date.

It starts with the contact to arrange the date, the phone call or email. Jessi’s favourite radio station had a discussion this week on the eternal question – do single women have it easier than single men? I come down strongly on the side of us blokes having a much harder time of it – we are, after all, meant to do most of the “chasing” so we are the one’s attempting to discern if the reason for that “no” we get when we ask if you are free for dinner Saturday week is due to indifference or a busy social calendar.

So with Sue it was a couple of attempts before we settled on a Saturday afternoon.

Then there is the “where”. Obviously you don’t want to go too hard with the best restaurant in town, but you aren’t going to McDonalds. You also have to tailor it to the time and event. A Saturday afternoon is casual. I had decided on coffee together at “Bar Italia”, an excellent coffee shop in Leichhardt.

The next anxiety is what to wear. Saturday afternoon at a coffee shop asks for that horror of clothing choice “smart casual”. On this occasion I go for a proper shirt and some blue chinos.

It was a warm, mild Sydney afternoon. We were seated out the back in a small courtyard. I don’t remember much of the actual conversation but I remember it was easy to sit there in the warmth drinking coffee and both talking and listening. After we had been chatting for a few hours I was hungry so suggested something to eat and we ordered a light dinner and kept on talking.

That seemed like a great first date. We had easily chatted away and nothing seemed too uncomfortable or forced. That’s why I find it impossible to believe that Sue ignored both phone messages and emails. I never heard from her again.

That seems downright rude. First, if she had such a bad impression why stay so long? Why allow me to order something for us to eat? That would have been the perfect time to say she had to go, after all the date had been for afternoon coffee and it would be perfectly reasonable to have somewhere else to go after a few hours.

Second, you have arranged a date and spent some time together. I’ve even spent a small amount of money on a couple of meals and a bunch of coffees. It is only courteous to say “Thank you, that was a nice afternoon but I don’t think I see us going further.” To totally ignore the other person is ugly and discourteous. Frankly, I’m glad it was a failure because I don’t think I could have a relationship with someone who could do that.

That’s my first, first date story. It’s getting late so I might leave the other for another time. (I’ll try and write it tomorrow and link to it here.)

18 thoughts on “Always First

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