Friday, November 8, 2019

The worst date I've ever been on: Part 7

Chapter 7
The final, weird interactions

I began to avoid Jacob (Jared?? Legit can never remember what name I gave him on this blog) at all costs, but I knew it was inevitable.

I can't remember how long it had been since the date, but it hadn't been too long before I saw him again.

I went to a service project organized by my church congregation and, lo and behold, Jacob showed up.

Anxiety filled my chest and I ran to my friend, telling her that I had to remain by her AT ALL COSTS.

She had known about the terrible date, and I agreed.

We teamed up and began vacuuming the building we were assigned to clean. And who followed us?


And guess what he did? He began "flirting."

AKA: insulting.

Legit everything I was doing, he'd butt in and say, "You're doing it wrong. You should actually be doing it like this."

And demonstrate what I should be doing by using his vacuum.

I kept ignoring him, and he kept 'correcting' me and telling me how I was doing it wrong, and even said stuff like, "Look — I'm doing it better than you!"

Like . . . he was acting like a 5 year old.

I continued vacuuming and COMPLETELY IGNORING HIM, when he said, "What, are you stupid? You're doing it wrong."

Being called stupid is a huge trigger for me.

Once again, I completely lost it.

I literally slammed my vacuum down, dropping the handle, turned around to face him and yelled, "You. Are. Mean."

It was the comeback of a child, but I was dealing with a child.

Regardless, it seemed to work.

I saw shock fill his eyes. His posture changed and he took a step back and said, "It was just a joke."

Image result for liz lemon i'm doing the talking now gif

"I don't care if it's a joke. It's not funny at all," I said. "It's insulting, it's rude, and it's hurtful. So stop."

I can't remember his words after that, but I know he began to justify his actions to me, to which I raised my hand and said, "Just stop."

"Sorry," he mumbled.

I picked up the vacuum and said, "Don't talk to me if you're gonna keep saying stuff like that."

Rage filled my whole body. It was awkwardly silent after that, but I didn't care. I was proud of myself for finally saying something and standing my ground.

Jacob didn't talk to me the rest of the evening. I moved a few weeks after that incident, and didn't have to see him at church anymore. I was relieved and grateful to be done with him.

. . . and then 2 years later, I went back to that congregation while visiting my parents.

I knew he was still going to that congregation, and I wanted to avoid him at all costs. So, I decided to show up ten minutes late.

. . . but they had changed the time they met at, and I was actually 20 minutes early.

I frantically texted my mom: 'Should I hide in the bathroom?'
Her response: 'No. Maybe. Yes.'

And so that's what I did.

But let me tell you, sitting in the bathroom for 30 minutes is a lot harder than it sounds, especially when you're filled with anxiety over the situation.

Looking back, I should've just left and gone to my parents congregation or something. But I was stubborn and have always had this attitude of "don't let someone stop you from doing something."

It's . . . healthy for the most part.

Anyway, I ended up leaving after 15 minutes in the bathroom, which I thought would be okay, because the program started in 5 minutes, and he'd probably be there by now so I could just sit somewhere else, right?


I sat down . . . and Jacob came in after me and sat down right next to me.

"Hello," he said.


"It's been a while," he said.

"Yup," I said.

There was a brief silence, then he stuck out his hand and said, "Would you like to touch my wenis or my waddle?"

Image result for 30 rock what the what gif

"Why the hell would you ever ask someone that?" I said, filled with disbelief.

It had been 2 years since I'd seen him, and I still had zero patience for him.

He pointed to his elbow and said, "Wenis." Then pointed to the skin in between his thumb and pointer finger and said, "Waddle."

"No, I know what those are," I said. "I just don't understand why on earth you'd say that to someone."

He shrugged and said, "It's funny."

"It's weird."

"You should try it in a job interview," he said.

Related image

"You try it first and let me know how that goes," I said.

"I'll probably get the job for standing out."

"I'm sure," I said.

Church began and we fell silent. I pulled out my coloring book and began doing my thing: coloring and listening to the speakers and trying not to fall asleep.

About 20 minute into the program, homeboy STOOD UP. MID SPEAKER. WALKED TO ANOTHER BENCH, AND SAT BY ANOTHER GIRL.

I didn't know how to react. On one hand, I was very grateful not to have to sit by him anymore, and on the other hand, I was just insulted.

Image result for liz lemon rude gif

I think I was also shocked that he just did that in the middle of someone's speech. Like . . . wouldn't you at least wait till there's a break in between speakers?

But, whatever. I was relieved, even if I was annoyed.

Church ended, and I dashed out of there quickly, eager to tell my friends and family the latest in the Jacob saga.

That was a year ago, and I haven't seen or heard from him since.

And I'm REALLY not complaining.

What I learned from this experience. 

Writing out this story made me realize how much I learned from it. It was horrible, it was awkward, I hated it, but I learned a lot and changed a lot from it.

So, I'm going to share my life lessons with you in hopes of you following them, or passing them onto your children:

1. Trust your gut

Image result for 30 rock my gut gif

I'm extremely grateful I got out of the initial date. Sometimes I wonder what would've happened if I had ignored my gut and had gone on the date. Although I still went out with him, my gut wasn't screaming at me the second time, and I felt better because of that.

2. It's okay to say no to dates. 

Image result for 30 rock no gif

It took me wayyy too many years, too many horrible dates, and a couple therapy sessions to get this into my head. I felt some sort of weird obligation to say yes to every date. I rarely got asked out, and I felt like if I said no to the ones I got asked out on, then God would like . . . make guys stop asking me out?
Guys, it's SO BACKWARDS. But it was my anxious brain was saying, "If I don't go on these dates, then I'm not showing God that I'm grateful that I'm getting asked out, and I'll stopped getting asked out."
Again. IT'S SO BACKWARDS, and I'm SO embarrassed by it now, but I'm sharing this to help anyone else who may have this unhealthy perspective.
Saying no to dates is awkward, uncomfortable, and can be interpreted as rude. But honestly, it's a good thing. You save the other person time AND money by being upfront with them from the beginning.
And if the person reacts poorly to you saying no, I think that just reaffirms that it's a good thing you said no.

3. Be clear, firm, and upfront with people. 
I wish I would've been upfront with this guy a lot sooner. It would've saved me from a lot of painful interactions. Sure, I was hinting to him that I wasn't interested, but I never flat out said, "I don't want to go on a date with you" or "I am not romantically interested in you."
I've applied this into all my relationships now. I no longer hint at anything. I no longer hope the other person gets what I'm saying. I say exactly what I expect from a person, what I want out of a situation, what's bothering me, etc.
People can't read minds (as far as I know). Unless you state what your expectations are, no one is going to meet them.
Image result for 30 rock let me be clear gifs

4. Sometimes the right thing and the awkward thing are the same thing. 

Image result for 30 rock sometimes the hard thing and the right thing are the same thing

There have been many times in my life when my gut tells me to do something, and I push it away thinking, "No, that's awkward."
But 90% of the time, it's the right thing to do.
So I started doing what my instincts tell me, even if it's awkward. Even if I'm clumsy, stumble over my words, or do it poorly, I at least do it.

I'm still learning a lot in life. I'm still clumsy at practicing these 4 things I learned (except now I'm getting married and don't have to worry about saying no to dates anymore HOLLA!!!), but I learned them, and am practicing them in my everyday relationships.

I hope this series not only entertained you, but taught you something as well. And if not, I'm still grateful you read it.

And thus concludes the Saga of Jacob (or Jared).

The End.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The worst date I've ever been on: Part 5 and 6

Chapter 5
The Date, Part 1

The day of the date came. I hadn't heard from him all day, so I honestly had no idea what movie we were seeing, what time we were going at, if I should eat dinner, etc.

I sat at home, doing the dishes, when the phone rang.

"Hey," he said. "I'll be by in like, an hour to pick you up. Okay?"

"Okay," I said, hiding my annoyance.

I really like my day planned out in advance, so this really annoyed me.

"And I was thinking, what if we went on a hike instead of seeing a movie?"

I looked down at my outfit. I had just gotten home from work, where I dressed professionally. The rest of my clothing was packed, because I was moving back down to college in a couple of days.

Not to mention that being alone in nature with this guy was far too sketchy for me, especially by how angry my gut got at me when he first asked me out.

". . . I'd rather do a movie."

"But come on! The sunset will be really pretty!" he said.

"I'm in a skirt and flats," I explained.

"It's not a hike! It's a nature walk!"

"No," I said, finally learning to stand my ground.

"Ugh, fine," he said sourly. "I'll see you soon."

I hung up the phone and gripped the edge of the sink, pleading to God to give me strength.

Image result for lord beer me strength gif
The hour had passed, and my phone rang again.

"Hey, I can't find your house," he said.

I wasn't too surprised. I was staying at my parents house, which is on kind of an obscure street. I gave him directions to their street and said, "I'm at the house with the blue car in the driveway."

". . . I don't see a blue car . . ." he said.

"Okay, what street are you on?" I asked, assuming he had to be on the wrong one.

"No, I'm on the right street, I just don't see a blue car."

I literally put my head down on the counter.

"Well, I don't know what to tell you, cause my car is blue," I sighed into the phone.

"Okay, well, I think I'm here. You can come out," he said.


I said another prayer to God as I cursed myself for getting myself into this situation.

I walked outside, and he stood next to his car.

"I can see now that you car is blue," he said. "But it's so dirty it looks gray."

"Uh huh," I sighed, and he went over to the passengers side door to open it for me.

. . . and the car alarm went off as he did so.

Image result for the office car alarm gif

He frantically grabbed for his keys, silencing the alarm, and opening the door for me.

And with that, we were off.

We drove past a Korean restaurant.

"Man, that's the best Korean restaurant I've ever been to. We should go sometime," he said.

"Oh, I don't really like Korean food," I said.

"That's cause you haven't had good, authentic Korean food," he corrected me. "Anyone who doesn't like Korean food just hasn't had the right kind."

"No, I've had authentic Korean food —"

"No," he interrupted. "You haven't, else you would've liked it."

And with that, all the patience that had gotten me this far with him, was gone.



Lost it.

Image result for the office rage gif


". . .oh. . ."

(Okay, look. I've been to the Korea airport, where I had a smoothie, and I flew on Korean Airlines, where I had Korean airplane food. But I don't like Korean food, and I wasn't about to let him diminish my opinion again.)

It's like every ounce of patience I had with this kid left my body. I was done. I was so done dealing with him.

. . . but we were 5 minutes into the date.

So I mustered what little strength I had left and put it towards being polite.

He was silent for the next few minutes.

"So, how was work?" I asked.

"Ugh, horrible. I had to install insulation into a wall today," he said.

"Oh man, I've done that before, and it was awful. I'm sorry,"

"No, you don't even get it," he corrected me . . . again. "You haven't had to do it in 90 degree whether like I had to!"

"No, I actually did —,"

"And you haven't had to do it in the middle of the day when it's the hottest —," he interrupted me . . . again.

My turn to interrupt.


" . . . oh . . ."

The movie theater couldn't come fast enough.

. . . but instead of pulling into the movie theater, he pulled into a candy store.

Which, alright, I'm chill with. I had been to this store before. I knew I liked it, and I knew exactly what I wanted.

"So, what would you like?" Jacob asked as we walked inside.

"Dark chocolate covered almonds," I replied.

"No, I think you should try this," he said, pointing at some sort of marshmallow thing.

"No, I don't like marshmallows. I wont like those."

"Oh, but you'll like this," he insisted, and ordered two before I could say anything else.

As he ordered them, he looked at the cashier and said, ". . . why aren't you wearing a uniform?"

"Oh, we don't actually need to wear a uniform here," the cashier responded.

Jacob scowled and said, "Well, at the other location I go to, they wear uniforms."

The guy looked mortified, and just shrugged.

"HEY MAN I LIKE YOUR SHIRT," I yelled, trying to ease the tension.

Jacob walked around, looking at the candy that was displayed.

"Do you have [certain treat I can no longer remember]?" he asked the cashier.

"No, we don't carry that here, sorry," replied the cashier.

"What?!" he said, "They carry it at the other location."

Image result for the office chocolate gif

I can't remember what the cashier said in response to this, but I was CRINGING.

Jacob came back up to me and said, "What else do you want?"

"Dark chocolate covered almonds."

"No, I think you should try this," he said, pointing to some caramel, pretzel thing.

"That doesn't look good to me. I just want my dark chocolate covered almonds," I said.

"No, you'll like it. It's really good," he said.

"You can get them, but I'm not gonna eat it," I said . . . . . . . and he ordered two.

Jacob smiled at me as if he had just done the nicest thing ever and said, "Anything else?"

"Dark. Chocolate. Covered. Almonds."

"But that's so boring," he exclaimed.

Ah! Good! Another insult!

I'm 90 percent sure I rolled my eyes.

Image result for the office eyeroll gif

I walked up to the cashier and asked for my stupid dark chocolate covered almonds.

Jacob paid for the sweets, and we began walking over to the movie theater.

"This date is turning out to be more expensive than I planned," he said, then looked at me. "But you're worth it."



We walked into the movie theater and sat down. He handed me the marshmallow and the pretzel thing he had bought for me after I said I wouldn't like them. I took a bite of each, then said, "You can finish mine. I don't like them."

"Then why did I bother buying them?!" he said.

Image result for the office scream gif

Oh, man, I was about ready to scream.

But the movie was starting, so I munched on my dark chocolate covered almonds instead.

Chapter 6
The Date: Part II

I didn't particularly enjoy the movie. All my friends who have seen it like it, so I'm left to assume I don't like it because I was sitting next to Mr. dark-chocolate-covered-almonds-are-boring-and-your-opinions-are-stupid the entire time.

The movie finished, and I was grateful he hadn't tried to pull a move on me. As the credits rolled, a remix of a song by The Beatles began to play. Being the huge Beatles fan I am, I began to sing quietly along.

"I don't recognize this song," Jacob said.

"The original is by The Beatles," I said.

"Oh, I hate The Beatles."

It took everything within my power not to call him, or his opinion, stupid (like he had done to me SO MANY TIMES).

He began driving me back to my house, and the one-upping stories began.

Now, here's the thing. Usually, with one-uppers, I let them win. I don't care. They can think they're better than me. It's fine.

But with Jacob?

Oh, I was not about to let that happen.

And here's the thing: 90% of the time, when he wanted to one-up me, I was just trying to relate to him! Ugh, it was so annoying.


I don't know how we got started on the topic, but I mentioned that, after I had gotten back from my religious mission, I was very tired all the time.

"You don't even know," he said, which seemed to be one of his favorite phrases. Because I, apparently, knew nothing. "Try having a 16 hour flight back from Korea."

". . . I literally did that—,"

"No, your flight was like, 4 hours."

Again, all patience I had previously had with this kid was GONE, and I snapped, "I LITERALLY TRAVELED FOR 23 HOURS COMING BACK FROM SINGAPORE."

". . .oh. . ." he said. "Well, I traveled for longer than that coming back from Australia."

I can't remember how I responded to that, but then he said, "You don't even know. I came back from Australia when it was winter here and summer there."


That was a lie. I came back in April. But I just wanted to one-up him because he had killed all patience in my body.

. . . I think I still haven't regained all the patience I had before this date.

Image result for the office patience gif

Anyway, we finally get to my house, and he walks me to my door. At some point, we had begun talking about school, and how he was in various science classes.

"I'm a feminist, but," he said as we walked to my door, and I knew this was gonna be good. "Women just aren't as good at math and science as men are. Like the girls in my science class just aren't as good as the men are.

"But I'm a feminist," he reassured me.

"Mmmmmm," I responded.

Image result for the office feminism gif

All my energy was gone. I knew I couldn't convince this guy otherwise. His arrogance made him untouchable to reality and me going on a feminist tangent wasn't going to pop his balloon brain.

I unlocked the door.

"Okay, well, I'll see you on Sunday—."

And he kept talking.

And talking.

And talking.

And talking.

I literally had the door open.

I was literally standing inside.



I don't even remember what it was about now.

I probably wasn't even listening.

Finally, with the door open half an inch, I said, "Okay I'm gonna go bye."

And closed the door.
Image result for michael scott closing door in face gif

Now, this may be the end of the date, but it wasn't the end of my interactions with him.

The next blog post will cover the aftermath, and what this experience taught me.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The worst date I've ever been on: Part 3 and 4

Chapter 3

This is just . . . it gives you an idea of the kind of kid I was dealing with. 

It had been a few weeks since I had cancelled our date, and it had yet to be rescheduled. I wasn't complaining. I thought maybe he wouldn't ask me out again . . . except he was still flirting with me. And I quickly found out his way of "flirting" was actually just insulting.

He called me stupid for liking heat over cold, stupid for having an iPhone, and stupid because I had never gone skiing.

Cause, you know, I always melt over a guy who insults me. 

I had stopped flirting with him. I stopped engaging in conversation with him, but he was relentless. 

As I mentioned in Chapter 1, there's a lot of things I did back then that I wouldn't do now. Putting up with his crap is one of those things. 

One day, he sat next to me during church. Now, to prevent myself from falling asleep in church, I color. I have a plethora of adult coloring books and twisty crayons. So, I'm sitting there, coloring, and Jacob plops down next to me. 

". . . you hold your pencil wrong." 

Now, this isn't exactly news to me. I've been told before that I hold my pencil differently. But guess what? I'm still able to write/color just fine. 

"Oh, I know," I said, and kept coloring. 

"Let me show you how to hold your pencil." 

"No thanks," I said. 


Image result for olivia benson eye roll gif

I yanked it away from his hand and said, "You know, writing this way has been working really well for me for the past 20 years, okay?!" 

"No, just let me show you how to hold it!" 

He grabbed for my pencil AGAIN. 

"NO." I said. 

"No, I'll show you how to hold it!" 

"Fine," I grumbled angrily, and handed him my twisty crayon. 

He positioned it in his hand and said, "See?" 

"Great," I said, and snatched my twisty crayon back, and went right back to how I was holding it. 

Image result for olivia benson eye roll gif

I just . . . I couldn't deal with it.

I told my coworker about it the next week, and his response was, "Okay, that's the worst case of mansplaining I have ever heard of." 

". . . oh my gosh it totally is!" 

But I still wasn't done dealing with his mansplaining.

Chapter 4
The Wedding Reception

I have to say, I admire this man's persistence. I certainly don't have the kind of dedication he does. It'll probably get him far in life.

I was at church again, heading towards the main room, when I turned the corner and BOOM, there was Jacob.

"Hello," he said.


"I was wondering, would you like to hang out this weekend?"

I had come to the conclusion that I would just have to go out with this kid to get him to stop asking me to 'hang out' with him.

"Honestly, I'm pretty busy. What day were you thinking?"

"Oh - what are you doing?" he asked.

"I'm going to a wedding reception on Friday, and on Saturday—"

"Oh! Whose is it?"

"A friend from my religious mission...."

"Okay, I'll go with you!"

Image result for you gotta be shittin me gif

I was stunned that he had just invited himself to a random wedding reception, and tried to tell him 'no' in a round-about way.

"Well I'm carpooling with two of my friends there," I said.

"Oh, I can meet you there. Where is it?"

"Provo - and honestly I think it'd be awkward if you came because . . . well, I'm going to be hanging out with my friends, and you don't know them."

"But if I come, people at the reception won't ask you why you're not married or dating anyone!"

". . . . they already don't ask me that," I said.

And I don't want them asking if WE'RE dating. . . I thought to myself.

"They do at the ones I go to," he huffed. "Anyway, do you want to carpool, or want me to meet you there?"

Again. His persistence will get him far in life. Just not in this case.

"Honestly, I think it would be uncomfortable for me if you came," I said.

"That's fine - I can meet you there."

Oh dear goodness. 

"No," I reiterated. "I'd feel uncomfortable if you came."

"What?" he asked.

I wasn't sure if he didn't actually hear me, of if he just didn't understand.

". . .It would be uncomfortable if you came. I feel uncomfortable . . . with you."

"Oh, really?"


"Oh, okay. That's fine," he said, disappointed.

Guilty Carmen came in and I sputtered, "But we can hang out after if you want!"

Dang it. 

Thankfully, he declined, and my friends and I at the wedding reception had a good laugh about it that weekend.

The next week, I was back at church, and once again, he cornered me.

"Hello," he said.


"Would you like to go on a date with me this weekend?" he asked.

"Yes," I said, in pure shock that he actually said 'date.'

I'm not even kidding when I say 'shock.' Cause it's like I had an out-of-body experience saying 'yes.' I just wasn't even aware that I said it. It just came out. I just blurted it out. Just . . . yes.

"Great!" he said, "How about Saturday?"

"Friday would work better."

"Okay. Would you like to do a movie or a walk?"

This time I knew better than to say 'either,' and so I said, "A movie."

"Okay, we'll go see a movie. I'll text you more details."

And with that, he walked away.

The inevitable date had finally been set up.

Image result for i am inevitable gif

And it was gonna be a doozy.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The worst date I've ever been on: Part 2

Chapter 2
The Petty King

It was the next day. I had arrived at church and was making my way to the second hour of it: Sunday School. 

I sat down, when Jared (or Jacob? I can't remember the code name I gave for him) walked in. He stared at me, and started doing that thing where he rubs his two pointer fingers together. 

You know, like: 

Image result for shame hand gesture gif

I stared at him. 

". . . what?" I asked, as he repeated the hand gesture. 

"Shame on you." 

I furrowed my brow. 

"I'm not sorry," I said, cause I wasn't. 

"Well shame on you." 

I shrugged and said, "Okay." 

He was just proving to me the bullet I dodged. 

Jared moved to the front of the class because, as fate would have it, he was teaching Sunday School that day. 

The lesson began, and he asked for a comment. I raised my hand to offer one. 

And the bro made eye contact with me . . . and called on someone else. . .  while maintaining eye contact with me. 

I was confused, hoping that he hadn't just done what I thought he had done. 

He asked for another comment. 

I raised my hand again.

And he - once again - made eye contact with me, and called on someone else. 

"Oh he did not just do that," I mumbled to myself.

After that, whenever he asked for a comment, I raised my hand, whether or not I actually had something to say. I just wanted to challenge him.

And guess what happened? 

He ignored me every. single. time. 

My arm was tired, but I raised it nonetheless. 

I felt like freaken Hermione Granger. 

Image result for hermione granger hand raise gif

After about 15 minutes of doing this, he — once again — made eye contact with me, and called on someone else. 

"Rude," muttered the woman next to me. 

Image result for hermione granger rude gif

"I know right?" I said. "I'm not making this up, right? He's ignoring me?" 

"Oh he totally is." 

He asked for another comment. I raised my hand. NO ONE ELSE HAD THEIR HAND RAISED. And you know what he did? He looked at me, and while making eye contact, called on someone else WHO DIDN'T EVEN HAVE THEIR HAND RAISED TO MAKE A COMMENT. 

"Oh my gosh," I said. 

"Ridiculous," said the woman next to me. 

She became my new best friend. 

Thankfully, this time, a good amount of people laughed, cluing him in that what he was doing was obvious to everyone.

"Okay, Carmen, do you have something to say?" he said. 

"Yes, I do," I said, and pulled some comment out of my butt. 

I kept my tired arm down the rest of class. 

I thought I was done with him.

But there was more to come. 

Monday, November 4, 2019

The worst date I've ever been on: Part 1

I've tried writing out this story so many times. Each time, I get so exhausted. It's a good story, but it is LONG. And it's so frustrating, I get drained partway through telling it.

This took place 4 years ago. I was young (I mean, I know I still am, but . . . still), and I did a lot of things in this situation that I would no longer do. That's partly why I hate telling this story. There was so much I should've done that I didn't do. But it's okay, because this experience taught me a lot.


I've broken this story into parts, and each post will be one part of the story. Hopefully, I'll actually be able to finish the story and you all can enjoy this painful, painful experience for me.

So, without further ado,

This is the story of the worst date I have ever been (and will ever be) on:

Chapter 1.
The shortest chapter

I met Jacob at church (name has been changed). He was pretty attractive, though looking back now, I don't know what I saw in him, because he really isn't my type. He was kind of funny, kind of nerdy.

One day, I was feeling bold, and approached him after church and began flirting with him. I was hinting that he should ask for my number, and lo and behold, he actually asked for my number!

I happily gave it to him, then walked away . . .

Feeling absolutely sick to my stomach.

I had never experienced this before (and I haven't experienced it since), and I don't know if ya'll have either, but I walked away just thinking, "I should not have done that. I do not feel good about this."

Image result for hagrid i should not have said that gif 

But I didn't know how to get out of the situation. So, I walked away hoping he'd chicken out of asking me out or something.

A few hours later, I was awoken from a nap by an unknown number calling me, and dread filled me. I knew it was him, and I knew I had to answer and get it over with.

"Hello?" I said.

"Hi Carmen. It's Jacob."


"How are you?" he asked.

"I'm good."


. . . . . .
. . . . . .
. . . . . .
. . . . . .
. . . . . .

"So, what's up?" I asked, finally breaking the silence.

"I was wondering if you'd like to hang out on Saturday?"

I rolled my eyes.

Image result for liz lemon eye roll

Okay, now look. Asking people on dates is nerve wracking, intimidating and hard. I've done it, I hate it, I get it. But it still bugs me when people say "hang out" instead of "date."

Not to mention my stomach started to fill with extreme dread upon hearing these words.

But I didn't know how to get out of this situation. I had flirted with him, hinted that he should ask for my number, had given him. I felt awkward. How could I turn him down?

If this situation had happened to me now, I would've said, "Hey look, I'm sorry, I thought I was interested but I'm not. I want to be upfront with you and let you know that. Thanks for asking, but I'm gonna say no."

But I didn't hadn't yet learned that it's okay to say no to dates.

In fact, this would be the experience that taught me that it's okay to say no to dates. Sure, it may sting, but at least they're saving money, ammiright?

Anyway, instead of turning him down like I should've, I said, ". . . Okay."

"Great! What would you like to do?"

I repeat: I know asking someone on a date is hard, intimidating and nerve wracking. You also want to make sure you do an activity that the other person likes, and sometimes you're not entirely sure what they'd be into.

. . . . . but I also hate when they ask me what I'd want to do. You asked me. At least come up with a couple options!

Which is (kind of, not really) what I said.

"What are my options?" I asked.

"I was thinking we could watch a movie, or go for a hike!" he said.

"Oh - um, I'm fine with either."

"Okay! Let's do both!" he exclaimed.

"O-okay." I said, when really I was thinking, 'BOTH?! FOR A FIRST DATE?! HOW BOUT NO?!'

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"O-okay." I said, when really I was thinking, 'BOTH?! FOR A FIRST DATE?! HOW BOUT NO?!'

So, the conversation ends, and I hand up feeling even more dread. My gut was telling me to run, but I didn't know how to get out of the situation.

The day of the date came, and I was still filled with dread. I didn't want to go, and my gut was screaming at me repeatedly not to.

 I was eating lunch with my friend, expressing my frustration to her.

"I just don't want to go, but I don't know how to get out of the situation," I said.

"How about this," she said. "You tell him that I'm having a panic attack, and you need to cancel."

"I don't know . . ." I said, thought my brain was saying, 'YES.'

"Either that, or I can actually put myself into a panic attack and you can stay with me --."

"Don't do that," I said, taking out my phone. "I'll cancel."

'Hey,' I typed out in a text to him, 'I'm with a friend and she's having a panic attack. I'm going to have to reschedule for another time, because I want to be with her and make sure she's okay.'

'Okay, that's fine :) ' he responded.

'Thanks for understanding. See you at church tomorrow!'

Relief filled me. It's like my body and gut were thanking me. I thanked my friend, and we spent the rest of the evening Jacob-free.

But that's not the end of this story.