Dating Diaries: I Wore a Dress With A Hole In It On My Date And I Didn’t Know- Ella’s story

Ella is a 29-year-old salesperson. She says “You can always find me in high heels and lipstick when I’m  in town, and in leggings and hoodies when I’m at home.” Ella is “kind, charismatic, outgoing, candid, loud, and full of gumption.” She likes “walking my dog, sipping a glass of red wine, and catching a movie.” “I like guys who are ambitious, intelligent, athletic, passionate and driven.”

My friends wanted to set me up with a guy they knew from the Sunday  football matches. They said “We’ve got just the guy for you.” Famous last words from a happily married couple! I Googled the candidate, and couldn’t find anything — could this be the last man in Lagos,who isn’t on social media? I threw caution to the wind. A true blind date is almost impossible in today’s society, and here I was.

Justin and I set up the date via text. He seemed very funny and grown-up. Standing in my apartment lobby(I didnot want him coming into my house), I awaited my fate with this mysterious man. Eventually, he pulled up in a pickup truck, which was a surprise. I said to myself, “I’m rugged, I can do this.” Lies! I don’t even like a breeze because it ruffles my perfectly blown-out hair! I opened the door and was greeted with a friendly smile and a firm handshake.

Seconds later, we were driving to my destination of choice: a bar near my place, obviously. The 10-minute drive allowed me to size him up. Justin was slender, attractive, and polite: so far I wasn’t panicked. In fact, I was getting excited.

We talked about ourselves over wine, for me, and a bottle of beer, for him. We both love to travel and watch sports. He was very different than other guys I’ve gone out with: from the country, drives a truck, no apparent interest in keeping up with Facebook and Instagram. However, it was noisy in the bar and he was quiet, and I only heard or understood maybe every third word coming out of his mouth. Smiling and nodding was my saviour. As I polished off my first glass of wine (not a hard task for me to do), I realized how much I was enjoying this date. I had an inkling that Justin was, too: he was smiling and leaning toward me. I’ve dated so many guys in the past who were bad for me, and I could tell that Justin was just different.

I decided that the date was going well, and that I should wave the waitress over and order my second glass of California red. She took my order, and looked over at Justin, who declined a second pint and opted for a glass of ginger ale. I was stunned. Times to drink ginger ale: when you are sick, when you are hungover, or when you are not into your blind date and are trying to make a faster exit. A first-date ginger ale is new territory for me. I clearly misread his signals and was being forced to pathetically and quickly sip this glass of red alone — although, admittedly, that wasn’t too difficult for me.

As I sipped my wine, I looked down and realized the awesome new shirt I had chosen for the date had a giant rip in it. In the front. I thought, sarcastically, “This is going really well for me.” He must have thought I was a drunk, and completely sloppy. We wrapped things up, he paid the bill, and we headed to the car. I felt defeated.

In the car, he kindly offered me a wrapped candy from his pocket. I put it in my mouth and within seconds, ever so gracefully, spit it out in my hands. It was kind of gross; I couldn’t help it. Justin had a look of horror on his face as he proceeded to tell me that the candy was specially ordered, and one of the last he had. I had officially run out of strikes.

He pulled up to my house. I suddenly realized that I was nervous, and had been all night, which made me realize that I liked him. He walked me in, and trying my best to look sexy under bright lights of my lobby lighting, I prepared for a goodnight kiss, just as he offered a firm handshake and an efficient “Goodbye.” I walked away quickly, almost bailing in my heels.

Somehow, he enjoyed himself enough despite the mishaps to ask me out on a second date. I was overjoyed. It took a third date to get kissed. He is too sweet to have ever mentioned my ripped shirt. We’ve now been together for over a year. My friends nailed it.

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