Well, I did it. I managed to bag a man just in time for Valentine’s day.
…Or am I?
“T” and I have been together for just about 7 months now. I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know how he managed to keep this aimless, distracted, clumsy (minded) girl infatuated with him (7 months isn’t that long, I know, but believe me when I say ‘distracted’. My track record for losing interest in people is 2 weeks on average, 2 months tops), nor how I managed to keep him believing I’m not some harebrained she-devil from the depths of hell. But I’ll tell you what I do know (hold on to your diapies, babies): Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. And I went on a Sappy Valentine’s Day Date.
I’ve always had a completely unoriginal idea of what I wanted to do for a real date with a man, thanks to all of the movies and books and the illusions of grandeur they gave me. I wanted to put on a nice dress, some makeup, a bit of jewelry, and have a romantic dinner where there are two different types of forks, wine glasses and a whole lot of staring lovingly into your partner’s eyes, maybe while holding hands and smiling because you can’t help it. It wasn’t exactly what I pictured, but I feel I can check it off my bucket list.
My boyfriend didn’t pick me up at my house, bouquet of red roses in hand. At the moment, his alternator is out in his car, so I picked him up in mine and sent him an unceremonious text message: “I’m here”, partially because it didn’t even occur to me to be romantic and I didn’t even have the money for flowers (go figure) and partially because it’s been many months since I’ve taken on the challenge of walking in heels and, quite frankly, I could have been better and a bit more comfortable. He didn’t open the passenger side door for me, either, when I relinquished the driver’s side to him (while it had been months since I’d walked in heels, driving in them was a whole other ball game, and I suck at ball games), and I stood awkwardly at the passenger door waiting for him to realize that it was still locked, feeling somewhat like a (hopefully pretty) giraffe trying to accomplish people things.
It was a twenty minute drive to Pappadeaux, his restaurant of choice, a pricey-but-casual cajun-themed seafood joint that gave us the vibe of sitting right in New Orleans (really, the crowded space and sea of tables reminded me of Cafe Du Monde, most popular home to beignets in the French Quarter). It wasn’t a quiet dining facility by any means, though somehow it still managed to be intimate. It was the kind of place where multitudes of waiters and waitresses adeptly dodged each other and a chorus of ‘oooh’s’ erupted at every sound of a glass falling (it happened at least twice while we were there), and where, especially on Valentine’s day, you could wear a red dress and heels or a button up and slacks and still find a few in the crowd more spruced up than you (although most of the other patrons were wearing jeans and t-shirts). There weren’t any candles or quiet, calm waitstaff. But what they did have were Mardi gras-themed drinks (we ordered a tropical drink called the “swampthing”; 10/10 would recommend) and deserts and giant mozzarella sticks stacked up like Lincoln Logs. They served huge portions that seemed to be at least 75% fries, and we ate like kids at a diner; fried catfish and shrimp galore. We even managed to go home with complimentary mementos.
I didn’t remember to give him the card and letter I’d written him until we were back at his place, ready to pass out by way of full stomachs. He’d given me a monkey that sings 24k Magic (it didn’t work at first and he painstakingly hunted down a tiny screwdriver and some AA batteries because he had to show me) and a card in a punny “Let’s Avocuddle” bag the night before.
True to my blog name, we definitely bumbled through this date and probably both looked back on it thinking of things we could have done better. The textbook dating things that don’t matter nearly as much as being able to love and be loved and forget our inhibitions, even in $200 outfits and the slight urge to be fancy.
TL;DR: It’s hard to be fancy while eating giant mozzarella sticks.