People probably assume that Mr. Speedy’s first date with me was simply perfect.
And many parts of our first date was absolutely perfect- from the appetizer of fried green beans, the two full-bodies wines that enhanced my sudden need to get to know his curious lips, and the way he focused in on me when I spoke, as if I was the only person in the restaurant.
But one thing about our first date was totally wrong. Almost unthinkable. Completely my fault.
First date hat? Only if we are going on a safari or you own a very large water vessel.
I have been on first date’s prior to the one with Mr. Speedy and without fail have had some sort of epic malfunction. I always had a tendency to work myself into such an state of anxiety and nervous sweat over my outfit and fashion choices that I usually ended up causing more trouble and less appeal.
For example, years ago, I went on a date one evening during the hot summer and selected a beautiful, backless black dress to wear. With beautiful black strappy heels. Two problems- backless dresses are unforgiving for those who wear a bra and strappy heels are not good for a runner’s feet. I ended up using SURGICAL TAPE to attach a strapless bra (basically it looked like swim goggle for boobs, minus the straps) to my bare sides and getting a blister so bad that I bit my lip throughout the date, and caused my lip to bleed.
I have never wore that dress again. And ripping surgical tape from your ribcage is not worth any date- no mater how fine the food or man.
Another mishap was when I wore a tiny strappy salmon colored shirt that had a shelf-bra (a.k.a. not a real bra). I had no idea we were going golfing for the day in the scorching sun, with no golf cart. By the end of Hole 8, I had so much boob and armpit sweat going on, not to mention the shelf-bra conveniently misaligned with every swing of the gulf club, I was lookin’ for a sand trap to do a face-plant in and die.
But all those other dates were just mere practice, leading up to this memorable first date with Mr. Speedy.
Mr. Speedy set the bar high, from the feeling that jutted down my spine after I first saw him and the way he flashed me a smile. I knew I had to contemplate and plan out my outfit carefully. An outfit that represented me and all that I was and shoes to match. And maybe a piece of jewelry that was classic and timeless. My taste.
Without question, I knew I just had to wear my most-loved Ann Taylor necklace-
I love this necklace. Also, my cousin and I are weird.
I also remember telling myself to not show-off my tongue-in-the-nostril trick during the date. Mr. Speedy didn’t need to see that.
I wanted to be comfortable, but didn’t want to wear jeans or a dress. It was the beginning of May and fairly warm, but not warm enough for shorts. For some reason, I got it in my head that I was going to wear black leggings.
Let me just state that I NEVER EVER WORE THESE LEGGINGS, other than underneath my jeans in winter for extra warmth. I was not one of those fashion-forward girls with cute long tunics and sweater dresses and ankle bracelets that seem to dazzle freely when leggings are worn.
This was probably my first mistake, trying to introduce a new article of clothing that day of the date, and if you are reading this – please DON’T EVER DO THAT ON A FIRST DATE. It is like suddenly deciding to get your eyebrows waxed an hour before you have school pictures. You show up with your flesh red and irritated and everyone can’t decide if you were rubbing your forehead on a tree trunk or contracted some kind of eyebrow chicken-pox.
Since I had no experience wearing leggings and lacked a top that went beyond my waist, I had to go shopping hours before the date to find something decent. With my cousin beside me, we scoured through racks of clothes until I finally found what at the time, I thought was the coolest top I could find.
It was a midnight blue tunic top with three-quarter sleeves and a boatneck collar. It had no real form to it, other than it cinched around my waist, and fell down past my hips. It was completely plain, with no pattern. The sleeves connected to the main shirt not at the armpit, but at the elbow. It was completely out of the ordinary and not something I had ever worn.
It looked very similar to this-
The sleeve was like this. Totally connected.
In my mind, this top was the culmination of what I was trying to present to Mr. Speedy. It was hideously shapeless, offering absolutely no indication if I had a shape. Boobs? He wouldn’t be able to tell. Could he see down my top? Nope, he would see an ankle if he was lucky. Did I have sexy little curves? Who knows because with this top I looked like a flattened pancake. I basically was wearing a burlap sack with a pretty chain of pearls around my neck.
I was leaving literally everything up to his imagination. Nothing was to be revealed.
I showed up to the date, wearing this terrible top, my skinny legs sticking out beneath my shapeless torso. I remember feeling SO incredibly self-conscious wearing this odd top, unable to judge how my chest may have looked or where my armpit was hidden beneath the webbed-like sleeve of the shirt. I kept thinking that if I were to lift my arms out, I would totally resemble a starfish.
“Hi, I’m Lillian and am a human starfish. Please accept me.”
This is basically what I felt like the entire night.
OH AND MY SHOES. If the top choice wasn’t terrible enough, I wore these really old black ballet flats. The only pair of ballet flats I owned and the only non-flipflop shoe that would go with the leggings. These babies were so abused that one of my shoes was losing its sole and would kind of make a clapping noise with every step I took. Clap-clap-clap! It was applauding throughout our entire date. Thrilling.
If Mr. Speedy had any negative thoughts about my outfit, he didn’t show it. He was charming. Intelligent. Talkative. Intense. Honest. And all the kind of good looks you hope to find in one man one day.
Half-way through our date, I excused myself to the restroom even though I didn’t have to go. I just had to get away from everything that was passing between us over the table and take a deep breath. I could feel it weighing down the air, as we talked more and smiled and laughed, it was closing in on us. It. It was finally here. That immeasurable lifelong love. It was happening. It was right out there, sitting down at a table, just waiting for me.
I took a deep breath, looked at my reflection, and told myself this was it- he was here.
I completely forgot about my starfish costume of a top and applauding shoe, and went back to the table, excited to where the night might lead.
I won’t go into further detail about the rest of our date but I will say that there was the kind of kissing that lasts for hours and such a feeling of calmness, I felt like I finally was where I belong.
And my outfit? I have never wore the leggings or the top since that date even though the night was more than I could have imagined. My shoes Mr. Speedy threw into the garbage one day, when I wasn’t looking, and replaced them with brand new shoes. What a gentleman.
If you ask Mr. Speedy these days about my first date outfit, he usually says-
“That outfit was… tastefully conservative and… left much… to be explored.”
In the end, it doesn’t really matter what you wear or don’t wear when you go on a date. In the end, if you are sitting across from the person whom you were put on this planet to spend a lifetime with, all that matters is if they see truly see you and you truly see them.
Lesson of First Date Outfits: Do not wear something you normally don’t wear, especially if it makes you feel like a starfish. Also, be sure your shoes are noiseless.