Oh, the Places You'll Go

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The first time I went on a date in a boy's car, I was 17. This particular boy--for anonymity's sake, let's call him French Christmas--had been semi-interested in me throughout high school. And why not? With my poorly shaped eyebrows and penchant for wearing socks with my Adidas slides, I was a pretty hot commodity.

Anyway, French Christmas called me one evening after my shift at McDonald's had ended to see if I wanted to see Armageddon at our local cinema the next night. I wasn't the tiniest bit romantically interested in French Christmas, but I was romantically interested in Ben Affleck, so I jumped on that pretty quick. I hadn't been on enough dates to know that you NEVER accept a date within 24 hours. That's just bad form. But let's be honest, if I'd said no, I'd have spent the evening bouncing basketballs off the side of my parent's garage while listening to Puff Daddy and waiting for the Sun-In to take effect.

"OK, I'll pick you up at 7:00," French Christmas confirmed before hanging up.

Oh snap, I thought, that's right! French Christmas has his own car. This could be a very convenient arrangement, indeed. I rubbed the palms of my hands together, and some twisted version of Dr. Seuss' "Oh The Places You'll Go" started forming in my head.

Today is your day.
You've got access to a vehicle!
You're off and away!

You have a boy that likes you.
That boy has a car.
You can steer French Christmas
to places near and far.
You can go to the mall. You can go to the store.
You can make him drive you anywhere. It doesn't mean you're a whore.

Sooooo, date day rolls around. I showered away the McDonald's greasy after-smell (you ex-fast-fooders know it, the odor of grease lingers huge time after you finish a shift!) and got ready for the big date. Mom flitted around the house like some sort of ADHD butterfly. Mom loooooved French Christmas because he worked at the local Save-Easy grocery store and helped her find cupcake liners once. "That French Christmas is SO NICE! And SO POLITE AND HELPFUL!" she swooned.

"We aren't GOING OUT," I told her about a dozen times. "We're going to the movie AS FRIENDS."

7:00 sharp, French Christmas pulled up in his Chev Corsica, freshly washed. Like, he couldn't have timed it more perfectly. The clock turned over to 7:00 and he pulled in--obviously he parked down the road and waited until he was precisely on time. He didn't sit in the driveway and honk the horn either, oh no. French Christmas came straight to the front door to introduce himself and say I'd be home by 10:00. Perfect gentleman.

While we had never had any trouble talking before and had been friends for years, suddenly, making conversation with French Christmas became supremely awkward as soon as we were alone in the car. I decided to talk about guy things...cars seemed like a good topic. I pointed at a Pontiac Sunfire--the car of my dreams in Grade 11, for whatever reason, I had one later in life, and it sucked--and was all "That's the car I want! Black two-door and everything!"

French Christmas barely gave it a sideways glance. "Why would you want that? They're garbage," he said. "It's like the crappiest car you can get."

Well, um, OK. Excuuuuuse me, I didn't realize the Chevrolet Corsica was the epitome of quality automobile manufacturing. I settled into my seat, humming along with Savage Garden (!!!!) until we got to the cinema. French Christmas bought my ticket and asked if I wanted snacks. Primly I said no, because boys don't like it when girls eat in front of them.

We shuffled into the almost-empty theatre, the lights went down, and immediately I thought...oh shit. He better not try to hold my hand. I saw his mitt dangling over the armrest, dangerously close. I folded my arms and tucked my hands into my pits. Forget it, pervert. To this day I haven't been on a date where there was less chemistry.

I stared at Ben Affleck, wishing he was driving me home in the Corsica instead. Ben Affleck wouldn't come to the door like an eager beaver. He'd just lurk in the driveway. And he'd be 10 minutes late.

French Christmas drove me straight home after the movie (he offered to get us Wendy's, but again, girls don't eat or poop so I declined). I was home before 10:00, as promised. I thanked him for a nice date and leaped out of the car before he could try any more of his greasy sexual moves, ie. a hug.

A couple of days later, I heard that French Christmas was telling people that we were going out, as in, boyfriend/girlfriend. I called him and told him in no uncertain terms that one movie does not a relationship make. And that was the first and last date I ever had in the maroon Corsica.

Unfortunately, it also meant I was a pedestrian for the rest of the summer.

This post was inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop!

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  1. LOL This was awesome! I'm sure being a pedestrian was a hell of a lot better than dealing with Greasy French Christmas :)

  2. :) Loved it! Can't believe he said you guys were going out after one movie together..
    Stopped in from Mama Kat's.

  3. Thanks ladies! Mothers' Hideaway: it was an OK tradeoff in the end :)