A Story of My Life, Part 7: The First Date

What a thrill it was to be so young! I remember well my very first date.

I was attending Albany State University, and living in my brother Louie's and his wife Hilda's house in Albany, on Orange Street. I got a phone call unexpectedly one Saturday morning. It was Tom Smith (whose name is sufficiently common to protect his anonymity). He asked me for a date! I was never so surprised. He got my phone number from Mom, back home. He and I were friends from high school, but he never evinced any interest in dating me!

It was my very first date. The whole household got into the act. I was so giddy from excitement! I'm not sure what I expected--a handsome prince? But I knew Tom, and it was somewhat reassuring--the guy I knew at least wasn't scary.

I was thrilled to the soles of my shoes. I dashed about my bedroom, looking for something to wear. An Albany friend of ours, Sasha, was the general manager of a Salvation Army Store, and thanks to that store, I now had a wardrobe that fit in with my peers--all jeans and tops and sweaters. You got the best deal there, provided you could put up with the smell of used clothes long enough to pick through the assortment, get them home and launder them.

But I had nothing that would do for a first date! It was such a big deal to me. There were many times in high school I thought I'd die a virgin. I thought I'd never have a date!

Hilda helped me out. We went shopping! Man, what fun! I had a few beans in the piggy bank--I normally didn't spend hardly anything, and was very careful with money. This time, this occasion, I decided to rip loose a little. We found the PERECT little black dress with lacy sleeves and a wide red belt, and then I had to find SHOES! I found the PERFECT shoes to match the red belt. Yep, that's right! Red stiletto heels! I loved 'em. A woman would understand.

Hilda, who had evidentally decided to take me under her wing on such a momentous occasion, offered to do my hair. She worked over my head, pulling on my hair, but I said nothing, because I could see in the mirror that I'd like the results. She did my long dark hair into a French braid, and it looked MARVELOUS! I never felt beautiful before in my life.

Stephanie, my three-going-on-four-year-old niece, was alive with the excitement. She kept popping in and out while Hilda was doing my hair, and she also ran up and down the stairs, shouting, "Aunt Joyce has a date!"

I think our little Steph went out on the street to announce the news. I saw her flash by the front window with Melissa from next door in tow, and I swear I could read her lips, forming the word, "date".

Tom came to pick me up in his car. He drove a neat little Subaru; much better than the crate I drove. I approved of the way he looked, too. He had filled out a little since high school, and developed more muscles. I was still taller than him; the stiletto heels added a couple of inches to my height as well. He was dressed neatly but not gaudily in clean blue jeans, a white shirt, and a brown leather jacket. I thought he looked good. I didn't know quite what he thought of me, in my little black dress with the red belt and red shoes, and my hair neatly coiffed in a French braid. He was quiet while trying to figure out the right exit to take, to get us to Troy, where he was living on the campus while attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

He was a quiet person, back in high school. He never said very much, but he was a very bright young man. I was quiet, in the car, too. I was nervous, all of the sudden, and I didn't want to say the wrong thing, to put him off. So we drove to Troy, which is about and hour away from Albany, in silence, mostly.

Tom took me to a movie theater in Troy. We saw "Cabaret".

It was the very first time I went to a movie. And this movie was such a great movie! Unforgettable. Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey. What a film! I got lost in it, immediately. Never having been to a movie before enhanced that experience for me. Liza Minnelli was great! A terrific dancer, a great entertainer. She registered every impression with her mobile, sensitive face. I didn't much like Joel Grey--that white kabuki makeup with the red lipstick made him look scary to me.

I got engrossed in the story, immediately, though. It was funny; I was half in love with the handsome blond man, until a pivotal scene in the movie. It was some time also, before I realized the movie was set in pre-WWII Germany, with the Nazis in power and WWII imminent. That pivotal scene, when Liza said she "had" the rich man, of whom both she and the handsome blond fellow-tenant were house guests; when the handsome blond man said, "So did I", I fell out of love with him right away. I nearly fell from my theater seat. What a waste! That guy that Liza flirted with so desperately was gay! He was such a nice guy--it didn't surprise me when he and she remained friends.

After the show, Tom asked me, "Do you want to get something to eat?'

I said, "No, I'm not very hungry. Are you?"

The truth was, I was still in thrall to the movie. I didn't want to come back to the real world. So I'm afraid I answered Tom at random, and it put him right off his stride.

There was nothing for him to do but lead us back to his car, and drive us back to Albany. I was silent on the way back home, mentally revelling in the movie I'd just seen.

Poor Tom! Whatever he hoped for from that date never materialized for him. I didn't have any idea what he thought. When he delivered me back to my door, he tried for a kiss, which I unintentionally avoided. That poor guy. He wasn't a bad guy, either. He never called me again.

I opened the front door with my key. It was about 11:30 pm, and I expected the house to be asleep.

No.

Louie was sitting on the living room couch, crying.

I went to my brother and folded him in my arms. I made soothing little noises. I put the kettle on for tea.

Louie finally became composed enough to speak.

Hilda was pregnant. Louie didn't know if the child was his.

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Comments 20 comments

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thank you again, internet writer. It was a magic night. It was!


Internetwriter62 profile image

Internetwriter62 6 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

That must have been a magical night full of emotions for you, you had your first date and saw your first movie. I wish Tom would had called you again, he seems like such nice guy, he would have really treasured the relationship once he got to know you better.

I'm sorry that you had to come home to a distraught brother. Hilda really is a fool, for not valuing their relationship more, she should have at least held on for their daughter's sake.

Your life an incredible journey so far, can't wait to read the next installment. Excellent hub, you really should publish this.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thank you so much, Justine.


Justine76 6 years ago

Oh man, life huh? You get those rare glimmering moments of pure magic, oenly to be slammed back to earth almost instantly. Im glad you can still remember the magic. Im really not just saying this either, your an amazing writer. I can feel and smell and see everything you type.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thank you, Jen. My poor Louie. So right. I tried to help him but I don't think I could do very much for him at that time.


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware

Oh no, poor Louie. What a loving sister you were in his time of sorrow.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thanks so much, Sweetie Pie, for your comment, and I know just how you feel NOW, as opposed to THEN!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

I remember my first date when I was twenty-three, and it was so much fun. However, it was a double date with my friends, so I think I thought I had more in common with the guy than I did. In the years since I have gone on dates, but the charm is just gone. I am unique in that I just do not want to date anymore, and it would take an exceptional person to bring me out of this. I enjoyed your story!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

Well, so am I! (Looking forward to the next installment, I mean!) Cheers!


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thank you, Duchess. I''m gla dyou could relate to that first date thing. I wish you could have seen that outfit, back then. It made me feel like a "looker"! I look forward to the next installment, too!


Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

I could related to the "first date" scene you wrote so well. Glad you found your own "little black dress" - And the SHOES! Perfect outfit. I felt a little sorry for poor old Tom though, I gotta admit. And heartbroken for your brother.

What a night that was for you.

Good job keeping us all coming back! Waiting for the next one!


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Dear Laura, you're welcome. Thank you for following this story so faithfully. I like the idea of your daughter's first date. I never had a daughter, only sons (stepsons), and I can just imagine how much fun that would be!

Dear Dohn, YES! So there my friend. A cliffhanger for a cliffhanger. Now we're even! I love your story, by the way, and so does everyone else. Next installment on Sunday, I think.

Hey Scarytaff! Good to see you here! Young love, ain't it wonderful! I think we were BOTH too scared, and there wasn't really that much to be afraid of. It took me a long time to figure that out.


scarytaff profile image

scarytaff 7 years ago from South Wales

That poor guy! I think I know how he felt. I remember taking a girl to the cinema when I was about 15. We hardly spoke, I was so scared. We never dated again either.


Laura du Toit profile image

Laura du Toit 7 years ago from South Africa

Thanks for sharing!. You are lucky to have such vivd memories. The closest I can get is remembering that same sense of excitement with my daughter's first dates!


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Geez! Are you getting back at me for leaving you at a cliffhanger? Okay, when's Part 8 coming out? Friday?

Yeah, I agree with you. Tom would definitely take it the wrong way since you refused dinner and then "unintentionally" didn't let him kiss you (he shouldn't have tried as there was no apparent chemistry between you two). You know I'll be back!


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Thanks for the comment Catherine! I know, I was SO CLUELESS! He was probably mortified and thought I didn't like him. After being brave enough to ask me on my first date! He certainly didn't deserve that.

But he probably found a wonderful woman and had a nice life someplace. He was a good guy, I know he did OK in the world.


Catherine R profile image

Catherine R 7 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

Oh - poor old Tom! He didn't stand a chance. Loving the installments - keep them coming!


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York Author

Oh, sure, RM, They had magic for each other, and I will write about it.

Hey Veronica. You know, sometimes I'd give my eyeteeth to be that young again, knowing what I know now, and other times...eh, I'm too tired to think about living all that life all over again!


Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 7 years ago from Georgia

Wow! What a way to end the date - I hate that Tom didn't call you, he did seem like such a nice person - but sometimes we girls can get carried away when we are in the presence of such fine talent. (whether it be on the movie screen or in real life). You blew my mind however with that ending, and I'll be waiting in anticipation for the sequel. By the way, I love the shoes - although I'd fall flat on my face in them :)


rmcrayne profile image

rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas

Poor Tom, second fiddle to Liza! How crazy that you had 2 milestones in 1 night. A lot to process. It’s so cool that you have such vivid memories of your first in-the-theater movie. And the date.

Poor Louie. Did he and Hilda ever have magic? Will you write about it?

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