Being online and not actually face to face played very heavily into why we hit it off with each other. In the non-virtual world, I am not what would be called a 'player.' I have never had a way with the ladies. Of the women I have dated, in most cases I never even asked them out. We would end up together because, due to some life circumstance, we spent a considerable amount of time together, grew to have a mutual affection for each other, and just found ourselves together. On the rare occasions that I actually did ask a girl out, it was only after I was confident that she already liked me and would say yes.
This is in stark contrast to me proposing marriage to Red when we had hardly even conversed online. YES, I was flirting. YES, I was being bold, but she lived all the way in Delaware and we had all of cyberspace between us. It was a pretty safe environment. In the real world, I behave much differently.
I am not a shy person. I can talk with anyone and enjoy making people laugh. I wouldn't be afraid to talk to a woman, but to openly flirt or ask out just wouldn't happen. If we go a little further back in time, I wasn't even able to talk to them. I didn't have a girlfriend or even go on my first date until I was a junior in high school and nothing that happened that night gave me any confidence to make dealing with women any easier in the future.
In high school, I was friends with a guy named Jeff that didn't have trouble talking to women. While I was the nerdiest guy in the school, Jeff was Mr. Popular. He was friends with everyone, was on the basketball team, and had dated more girls in the year I had known him than I had even talked to in my entire life.
While hanging out one Friday night, he suggested we double date the following weekend. I don't know why he made this suggestion. Even more, I don't know why I agreed, but I did. I was sixteen years old and had never been on a date or had a real girlfriend ever. There had been girls I liked, but I just admired them from afar. I left his house not knowing what I was going to do, but was determined that I could do this.
There was a girl at school who I had a crush on, but couldn't wrap my head around actually talking to her. She was out of the question, so I had to think of someone else. After days of mental anguish, I remembered someone who might work.
When I was in junior high, there was a girl that used to come to church with another family. I had been told that she liked me, but I thought she was pretty strange and I would never have pursued it even if she was 'normal'. It just wasn't in me. However, now was a different situation and I refused to be the guy that couldn't get a date. She liked me once before. She was my best shot at getting a 'yes'.
It had been three years since she had this crush on me and I hadn't seen her since then, but I remembered her name. This was before the days of Facebook or even the Internet, so I pulled out a phone book and looked her up. The only listing with that name was for a doctor and I had no idea if he had any daughters.
Before I could even fathom the idea of asking this girl out, I had to find out if this would be the right number. I summoned up all my courage and dialed. A woman answered the phone and I asked if Jennifer was home. She said, "Just a minute" and called for Jennifer. I immediately felt my heart try to jump out of my chest and hung up the phone. At least, I had the right house.
I knew I couldn't call right back, because she might know it was me. I had to let some time pass. I waited three days before trying again. I probably would have put it off longer, but it was now Thursday and we were supposed to go out on Friday. I couldn't put this off any longer.
I picked up the phone and dialed. As the phone started to ring, the self-doubt and panic began to set in.
What if she has a boyfriend? I have nothing to go on.
Will she even remember me? I couldn't remember having ever actually talked to her.
Oh, wait! What if she says no? I hadn't really considered this until now. If she says no, I will have less than 24 hours to come up with a date.
VOICE ON PHONE: "Hello"
ME: "Uh…hello. Is, um, Jennifer home?"
VOICE: "Who's calling?"
As she left to get Jennifer, I could feel my courage start to falter. I was in unknown territory and way over my head. I knew it and was convinced she would know it as soon as she got on the phone. I had just decided to give up and tell Jeff I was a loser when she picked up the line.
JENNIFER: (excited) "Hey, Brad, what's going on?"
ME: "This isn't Brad. It's Brett."
JENNIFER: "Brett who?"
I knew it. She has no idea who I am.
ME: "Brett…Brett Minor."
Even after telling her my name, she still wasn't sure who I was. I had to explain that we met at church a few years ago before it jogged her memory. However, even then I wasn't convinced that she actually remembered. I believe she was just trying not to be rude.
After several failed attempts at catching up (my poor excuse for small talk, but we had never really known each other), I finally managed to get the words out. There was no turning back. I had asked her out for the following night.
Without hesitation, she agreed.
At that moment, I was at a total loss for words. I had put so much thought and concentration into the asking part, I hadn't even considered what I was supposed to say afterward. After several awkward seconds of silence, she spoke up. "Pick me up tomorrow at seven."
We said our goodbyes and hung up the phone. It occurred to me that Jeff and I had never discussed a time or where we would be going, but none of that mattered because I HAD A DATE!!! I had actually pulled this off.
I called Jeff to
JEFF: "Sorry, man. I forgot about all about that. We're going out of town this weekend. I can't go."
This post has gotten long enough. I will conclude this story in my next post. For now, I will only reveal that I did show up at her house the following night.
TO BE CONTINUED…