So, I told myself that I would never tell this story to anyone, but I guess the time has come to let the world know. As a rule, first dates have a 50/50 chance of going incredibly well or horribly wrong. In this case, the odds favored the latter. Right before I moved to Atlanta, I started talking to this guy. We got along pretty well online, so I invited him to meet me for a drink after work one Friday.
It was an atypical Friday in corporate America. Everyone was actually happy to be at work and were anxiously awaiting a recognition meeting featuring a catered meal. I’m soaking up the good energy, getting numerous compliments on how I was dressed. First impressions are always crucial, so you know I had to look good. Meeting time rolls around and I pop downstairs to enjoy the most delicious company meal I’ve ever had, even managing to get through the whole thing without spilling on my white and blue striped shirt.
It’s about two hours to quiting time when all of sudden, my stomach starts cramping something fierce. Must be gas I tell myself and continue working. I’m feeling better by the time I leave work and since I had some time on my hands, (my date was running late) I decide to spend thirty minutes on the treadmill at my gym (mind you, this was when I was exercising like a fiend. What happened to that person?).
So, I’m at the gym working out when the first nausea wave of the night hits me. I immediately bee-line to the locker room to hover over the toilet. Nothing happens. Wave passes, but my stomach starts cramping again and a little more painfully this time. Now, a sane person would have called and cancelled any further plans for the night, preferring to go home and hold court in their on personal bathroom. Somehow, I convinced myself that I was okay. I guess it’s because the pain and the nausea had begun to subside. I finished my workout, showered, dressed and prepared to meet my date at this really upscale, sports bar.
He arrived and looked incredible. We complimented each other’s attire, went inside and found a booth. As soon as I sat down, another wave a nausea hit me and it was a big one. You know the type where you can feel your stomach juices in your throat? I smile politely at him and excuse myself to the restroom. Stayed in there about a good five, ten minutes. Nothing. I even tried to make myself vomit, but my body wasn’t haven’t it. It would vomit when it was good and ready and right then it wasn’t ready. Wave passes. I swish with a little bit of water from the bathroom sink, put on my best smile and walk out.
I get back to the table and he’s already ordered drinks. He pushes a Captain n’ Coke my way and my brain is like, “Are you kidding me? Don’t drink that,” but I have to be nice, so I take a few sips. We talk. We laugh. Things are going great and I’m wishing that the flips my stomach is now performing were flips of joy. No such luck. My date finishes his first drink and orders another round for himself. He asks if I’d like another and I decline. Seeing my pallid demeanor, he asks if I’m okay. Perfect excuse to bow out and head home. What do I do? I tell him everything is fine. I’m just a litttle flushed from the gym.
After we’d talked for good while, me laughing through the cramps ripping their way through my abdomen, we finally get up to leave. He asks if I’d like to go back to his car to sit and talk some more. I’m like sure that would be great. We get in his SUV (can’t remember the make) and immediately the fresh scent of just-clean car induces another wave of nausea. The only thing running through my mind is, “Please! Do not let me throw up in this man’s clean car.”
As he chatters away, only briefly interrupted by my intermittent “oh yeahs” and “that’s interestings,” I am willing my digestive tract not to reverse itself with my mind. At this point the waves of nausea are rolling over me like high tide. Luckily it was dark, because I’m sure I was turning all sorts of colors. All of sudden, the conversation (monologue) stops and things get real quiet. It’s the quiet when something big like a kiss is supposed to happen. From this point, things start to move in slow motion:
-“I really like you. I’ve never had so much in common with a dude before. I can really see us together”
(Weak smile from me.)
-“You’re not feeling the same way, huh?”
-“No, no it’s just-”
And, that’s all I got out… in words that is. The thing I really hate about vomiting is the audio. Not only are you making this horrible retching sound that is both liquidy and chunky at the same time, you’re also hearing the vomit land: on a console, on a dashboard, all across seats, all down your shirt and, judging by the exclamation of “OH SHIT!”, all over your date. With my stomach empty and feeling much better, all I’m able to is hang my head, rub my eyes and just say I’m sorry over and over and over again.
The craziest part about this whole story, is we actually dated after that date, but then I moved away. I wonder if destiny will have me meet up with this guy again and fall madly in love with him, just so the story of how we first met can be repeatedly told? That would so suck.