There is a trademark cartoon skit in which a cartoon character reaches a highway or train crossing and needs to cross it. The character takes a look one way, it is quiet, clear for miles and miles. They look in the other direction, it is clear, no one in sight. It has been made apparent for the viewer that it is safe for the cartoon to proceed. The character takes one step forward and then BAM! A train or truck slams and flattens them like a rolling pin does to dough. It was unexpected, it came from nowhere! That was what meeting Chris felt like. He came from nowhere! He was the train or truck that flattened my life like a cartoon (Real life photo of Chris flattening me to below).
I never had a long term relationship before Chris. Heck! I never dated anyone or flirted with anyone until I opened up the Tinder application at the age of 22 (Always had my trusty book and film fictional boyfriends in high school). Since then I experienced my underwhelming first kiss and first short term boyfriend (we were only together for about 4-5 months and we never passed any real couple milestones. I did not even fart around him, which to me is the ultimate milestone). Going on first dates I felt I was a professional at, but getting to a serious relationship part now that, that was new territory for me. Chris, on the other hand, had a one long term relationship but never had a first date and never really used Tinder. So we both had experiences that the other had never had before.
He was the first one to message me on Tinder. He asked, “So how nerdy are you?” This was in response to my short introduction on Tinder in which I put that I was extremely nerdy. I felt like this was a challenge. Someone questioning my nerd standards. How dare he! How dare he indeed! Trust me, I gave him one heck of a lengthy response back with details of all the personal lives of DC Superheroes and confessing all the money I spent on comics and conventions over the years. For some odd reason that did not scare him off and he asked me out for a coffee/date. This was the first British guy to straight up ask me on a date after a day of just talking to which I was like thank you (I was pretty desperate I will not lie)!
First Date Mr. Cool to Boyfriend Chris
It was early January 2016, I vividly remember him walking down the street towards me and my first thought was Thank God he is attractive! When I first saw his profile on Tinder I wasn’t sure of him because some of his photos were of the “Are you cute?” nature. I couldn’t tell if he was cute or a nice person from his photos because in all his photos he never smiled. No smiles in none of his photos! Did this guy ever smile!? And most importantly was he a robot? Let me show you what I was working with. This photo is him with a lion (on the left). A not as epic the other “big cat” photos I have seen in the past, but still cool because the lion was photo bombing him. I would be smiling and excited near the lion, but Chris, just straight face.
Then there is this photo with the only panda in the UK next to him. Little did I know at the time that this face WAS IN FACT his “excited” face! (When Chris told me this I literally could not stop laughing at him for 15 minutes straight and every now and again it bites back and haunts him like what I am doing now). Despite not ever smiling in photos and presenting himself in this serious demeanour, I was like yeah he could be cool at least he visits animals so I swiped right and thank goodness I did.
I don’t remember much that was said on the first date except I blabbed on and on about comics, weird things I have done and ate, writing, etc while Chris added in things here and there when I asked him but mostly stayed quiet. I thought he was being Mr. Cool and I thought I was ruining it by being Miss Too Much Information girl. I swear I reveal too much when I first meet people. Words just project from my mouth like the Mean Girls Word Vomit. Gosh, why did you tell him that dad joke or why did you tell him that the first thing you mastered as a baby was pooping on the toilet (remember when earlier in this post I said I was a professional at first dates? I bet you are questioning this statement now). I kept thinking I was the stereotypical loud mouth talkative American girl with this quiet cool British guy. However, in meeting up with him face to face I got to see him smile (Yes his mouth can form an actual smile!) and laugh at my dumb jokes, which made me like him even more. Ladies, lesson for today: A guy who genuinely laughs at your jokes is a keeper. His smile was the best thing about him. We spent two hours on this coffee date and I got the feeling that Mr. Cool liked me but wasn’t sure.
When it was time for us to end our date we went outside and said our goodbye, which goodbyes on first dates are always a wee bit awkward. You first do the awkward hug, then you look at each other. You wonder if we are going to kiss or not? Always awkward even if you both want to kiss each other. We ended up kissing, briefly, like for three seconds, and Chris jolted back, said bye, and left in a rush. Okay bye? I stood there a bit confused and watched him leave. Maybe the kiss repulsed him I thought? I kept thinking I ruined it in some Michelle fashion.
I enjoyed our first date. He was nice and easy to talk to and although the kiss was short I felt something whether that something was the fantasy spark every person talks about when they have met “The One” or the fact I have not been kissed for a long time and really wanted to make out with someone I don’t know; however, I do know I was sad that it ended and I could not stop thinking about it. If the kiss lasted any longer I believe it would have had the potential of being worthy of the Princess Diaries’s foot pop.
Later on that day I received a very polite British message from Chris apologising for the date and kiss. He revealed that it was his first ever date and he was super nervous hence why he was quiet and awkward about the kiss. I just told him that if he wanted to make it up to me he needed to go on another date with me again. And we did. We went to Nando’s (a chicken restaurant for Americans who don’t know), watched the snow fall, and kissed for WAY more than three seconds.
From there our relationship blossomed. I think by the third date I even deleted my Tinder. We went on little adventures and even had nights in watching films I forced Chris to watch like Disney and Rocky Horror Picture Show. It wasn’t until March (it took me awhile to sort out my commitment issues) where this man who literally came from nowhere and I finally agreed to call each other boyfriend and girlfriend and made it official on the ever powerful holy social media, Facebook. PART THREE: First “I Love You”s (Sitcom Style) and The “Proposal”.