(you can catch up here)
It was Sunday evening and I had just gotten back from a very long drive back out East. I had crashed in my suitemates’ room, and I believe I was telling them it turns out Ethnic Boy, whose name was Ben believe it or not, wasn’t so bad after all. And then their phone rang. One of them picked it up, assuming only her boyfriend would call after midnight.
But it wasn’t her boyfriend. It was Ben. Calling me. My no-game-playing get-it-done potential boyfriend had called campus safety looking for my number. I am hoping that (though it worked out fine for me) Campus Safety no longer considers it safe to give out the phone numbers of its students, but whatevs.
Ben was calling me at 12:30 a.m. just to “see if I got in okay.” I was beginning to remember the fanny pack and him offering me his car, thinking “remember, Sus, this guy’s a little weird.” But then I remembered that he had shown no signs of feminine behavior, an over-interest in fashion, or highlighting his hair, and I decided that I could give him a chance.
So, I agreed to a date for the following evening. He wanted to pick me up after his evening class and take me to the beach. At this point, I was pretty sure he wasn’t at all gay, but the over-confidence and the beach date in November had me fairly certain he was a player. I made a mental note not to let him touch me (the aforementioned bitterness and resentment manifested itself in a strange version of self control) and told him I’d see him tomorrow.
I remember exactly what I wore: my Dad’s snowflake sweater, jeans (probably the super-cute button-fly pair), and my orange fleece jacket. I believe Ben was wearing his Hobart sweatshirt, but I’m sure he was also wearing a Gap button-down shirt about two sizes too big for him (it’s nine years later and I’m still trying to talk him into giving those away). He escorted me to his shiny Rav 4, which I noticed was purple. Interesting choice. A few dates later I asked him why in the world he had a purple car and he seemed pretty sure it was not purple, but maroon.
When I saw the car, which looked awfully shiny and new for a full-time seminary student, I decided he was probably rich. And, definitely, I was convinced, a player. Oh well, he could do his best, but he would be no match for my bitterness or resolve.
We went to the beach and sat on a blanket. I honestly don’t remember much about the evening, other than I’m sure we had some quasi-deep conversations, and I found out that he was, in fact, Indian. I couldn’t wait to get back to my suitemates and tell them I was right and they were wrong. I’m sure I told him about my one Indian friend (Now that I’ve been married to an Indian man for a while, I’m guessing Indian people get sick of us white people telling them about the one Indian person we know), and that was probably the extent of our cultural discussions.
I also remember something else. Ben kept touching my hair. I hate that. I really hate it. I have some personal space issues, and I do not like anyone touching my head. Seriously. My baby boy, who melts my heart and has me wrapped around his finger, turns me into a crazy lady when he gets too close to my head.
Other than the compulsive hair touching, it was a good first date.