After my last breakup I spent a few months being Sad Single Drunk Girl before deciding it was time to try again. I signed up for an online service and before I knew it I was going on a first date.
Being my first first date in a long time, I was nervous. Should I hug him or shake his hand? What would we talk about? My mother’s voice in my head reminded me that under no circumstances should I take him home with me. But the rest was a grey area. I went for a run before the date to work out some nervous energy.
I planned a three-mile run. At the end of the route, I had the urge to call him and cancel so I decided to go farther. After six miles I was feeling better about the situation so I went for eight. I realized that if I didn’t get home soon I would miss the date entirely.
I got ready and left the house without eating. I assumed that since I was going on a date, I would get to have dinner soon. It was a rookie mistake after running on an empty stomach.
He suggested we have a drink. After a second one we decided we liked each other enough to commit to a meal. The hostess said there would be a table ready in a little less than an hour.
He suggested a game of pool, which I played both aggressively and badly — due to shaky hands. By the time we sat down at our table I was so jacked up on adrenaline, endorphins and sugar from the cocktails that I couldn’t stop giggling.
As I became more lightheaded from nerves and hunger, I got strangely confident. Even though my voice was shaking, I was charming and quick-witted. I was unstoppable. I was the best first-dater in the whole world. In fact, I was the best dater in the whole world! Why was I even single? Who wouldn’t want to date me!
“I just love your energy,” he commented. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that it wasn’t my energy. It wasn’t even human energy. It was hummingbird energy. And the risk of my heart exploding seemed pretty high.
We ended up dating for a few months. Long enough for him to understand that my real “energy” is more on par with a sleepy kitten.
Liz Marsh’s “Running Under the Influence” runs twice a month in the Colorado Daily.