Some of you might remember that I was in a show last Saturday night–a two woman show with my good friend Betsy. It has got to be one of the most fun things I have ever done. The way everything came together was incredible. I can’t wait to do it again! (Although, last night I dreamt we did it again, only this time, Betsy wasn’t there so I had to improvise the whole show with Dan and two strangers.)
Anyway…there will definitely be more shows in our future, but until then, I thought it’d be fun to share one of my solo pieces that I performed. It’s pasted below….and this time I changed the guy’s name = )
A picture of the set we got to use so you can imagine little ‘ol me standing front and center telling the story.
I met Tyler on a Tuesday night after a comedy show at Lucky’s in Wicker Park. He was a comedian and came to support a few friends. I was a waitress and came because of the discounts I received on my night off.
Tyler impressed me out on the dance floor with a few smooth moves and a story about the last time he went dancing.
“A guy knocked my beer out of my hand,” he said. “The cup flew into the air, did a flip, and I caught it without spilling a drop!”
I impressed him by saying I remembered him from a previous showcase at Racine Plumbing.
“You told some story about dating a girl who thought Alaska was a country,” I said. Then I did a back handspring in the middle of the dance circle.
I finished up my gin and tonic and decided it was time to go home. Tyler looked upset, sad that we weren’t going to talk anymore. So he did what any level headed guy would do–he asked for my number.
Hmmm…. I thought. That was bold. I kinda like him! But wait! What should I do? I’m in a bar. I can’t give him my number. He’s probably not a Christian. He probably wants to have sex with me. I can’t say yes. But I can’t say no! He’s so cute. Look at that chiseled jaw line. And he’s tall. And blonde. I’ve never dated a blonde before. Do I like blondes?
No one ever tells you, when you’re an adolescent, that one day you’re going to want to expand your dating pool beyond the small circle that your Bible teacher (who also happened to be the weather man) drew for you in middle school. No one ever tells you that in adulthood, youth-group dating rules don’t apply and you are free to do whatever you want, whenever you want, with whoever you want.
How’s a girl like me supposed to handle that kind of responsibility???
I’ll tell you how! You give your number to that hot guy in front of you and answer the phone when he calls!
Tyler and I met for our first date, five nights later at HopLeaf in Andersonville. I stood to give him a hug when he arrived. It was awkward. Maybe you’re not supposed to hug on the first date?
Tyler commented on my outfit and told me that he liked my t-shirt. He asked where I got it, and I said a concert.
“Oh yeah? Which one?”
“Oh.” he replied. “Me and my dad don’t really like Maroon 5.”
Oh. I didn’t know your dad would be joining us on this date.
Eventually we moved from the bar to the back room where the restaurant served dinner. I admitted to being nervous that I would end up as his next “crazy girl” date story. He said that wasn’t possible, that this was already way better than the date with Alaska girl. In fact, he said this was the best first date he’d ever been on!
I couldn’t figure out how that was possible; we’d only been together for 20 minutes. Best-first-date statuses should at least be reserved for two hours in.
At the dinner table, we talked about more bands, told stories about travel and bad first dates. I liked him. the date was really fun, and I was thoroughly enjoying myself.
As the night went on, I prayed a silent prayer that I’ve prayed on many occasion…”God please. If you don’t mind, could you just keep religion from coming up? I know, I know…it’s easy for me to talk to people about you, but tonight, I just want to enjoy a fun evening. I want to get to know a guy and have him see ME before he sets me apart because of my stupid religious values. Ugh…being a virgin sucks. I really hope he doesn’t find out.”
My prayer was interrupted by Tyler asking me if I smoked. I told him No, and he said he needed to go grab a cigarette real quick and call his mom.
What? Call your mom?
Apparently his mom had called while we ordered dinner. He ignored the call, but felt it important enough to find an excuse to call her back.
When he came back he informed me that his mom was doing well and that she was really excited for us to be on a date. I was flattered, but confused.
After dinner, we headed back to the bar to have another drink. I eventually went against my better judgement and ordered a third. Somewhere in the midst of all this, Tyler asked me about my tattoo….my stupid tattoo that is plastered across my left wrist – it’s Isaiah 43, the reference to my favorite Bible verse – a whole chapter about God’s goodness and how he’s making all things new. I love the verse, but I didn’t want to talk about it then. I was in the middle of an inner battle about what I was going to do if Tyler tried to kiss me.
No kissing on the first date. I thought. Kissing leads to sex and I can’t have sex yet. Or maybe I can. Maybe I can just get it over with and see if its as big of a deal as everyone says it is. I bet if I do it once, that’ll solve everything and I’ll never want to do it again. It’s settled. I’ll do it.
Wait….no I won’t.
I gave Tyler an abbreviated story about why I got my tattoo. I told him that it comforted me and that when I read it for the first time, it let me know that God was for me.
He told me that it was cool. That he liked what I believed but wasn’t so sure about the whole Jesus thing himself. We then proceeded to have a 20-minute conversation about Jesus. I gave God a quiet head-nod, saluting him for yet another win with me. It never fails, put a new person in my path and I will talk to them about God . It’s just something that happens. Don’t hold it against me.
Tyler excused himself to go to the bathroom. When he came back, he turned on the charm, rubbing my back and kissing my cheek like we had already been dating for a month. It was weird. I pulled away, then leaned back in, and let the weirdness continue.
Around midnight, we finished our drinks and decided to leave. I had to be at work at 6 a.m., and he…well, he probably didn’t have to be anywhere since he lived off of unemployment while pursuing his comedy career.
We walked the entire mile to get to the Berwyn redline, stopping at the corner of Berwyn and Lakewood to have a little make-out sesh. He pulled me in without hesitation and I let him. I hadn’t kissed anyone in 8 years, and I needed to find out if I could still do it. Apparently, making out is a lot riding a bike. Once you learn how to do it, you never forget how because Tyler pulled back and said, “Wow! you’re such a good kisser!” before leaning back in for more.
We finally made it to the train platform, kissed a little more before I headed north and he headed south. I sat on the train questioning every single decision I had made that night.
Why did I make out with him? I never do that on a first date…especially in public! why didn’t he invite me to his place? Would I have gone if he had? Maybe he has weird roommates! I told him I’d see him again. Should I see him again? I don’t know. Probably not. But yeah. I should see him again!
The next day, Tyler and I agreed that we would meet up the following Tuesday. He said he’d text me and let me know where we should meet. He made some joke about celebrating my escape from working at Starbucks, then I never heard from him again! Not on Tuesday, not on wednesday, not ever.
At first I was angry….hurt by the fact that some guy just stood me up. Didn’t he say this was the best first date he’d ever been on? Didn’t he say his mom was excited for us? Didn’t he kiss me and tell me it was good? Urgggghhhh!!!
A week later, my emotions settled. I took deep breaths and let reality set in — I had become the crazy girl. The girl too intimidated by her own standards and too ashamed of what other people might think to make her real desires known.
Tyler, himself, was a crazy boy. He called his mom on our date, talked about his dad’s opinion of my outfit, and made me pay for a round of drinks. But Tyler did nothing but act on his honest feelings. He did what he wanted and came out okay because of it.
A couple months later, I was able to remedy the awkward situation. I had run into Tyler a few times here and there, at various comedy shows and dramatic readings. We never acknowledged one another, and I decided that needed to change. He needed to know I wasn’t crazy and that we could probably be friends. So, after a night of drinks at a Southport bar, I typed up a facebook message covering all the above mentioned material, hit send and sat back, fully satisfied and convinced that he would never think I was crazy again.
We added a few personal touches to the set, here and there.
Me and Betsy before the show – Betsy is showing the excited part of how we felt and my eyes are showing the terrified part. Love this photo
*Stay tuned! My next post will feature an interview with the producer of our show!