Random memories: Airless nights

I was in my mid-20s, and still rather unsure about how the dating world worked. I couldn’t always tell if a guy was flirting with me, mostly because I always just assumed he wasn’t. (Years of being told I was the “least attractive” Cook Girl had destroyed my self-confidence.)

This is a story about those missed clues.

It was a lovely summer evening and I was at The Brick with my friends. As you do in my small town.

Anyhow, at some point in the evening, Fred (not his real name) asked me to dance and I happily said yes. After all, he was a well-educated, world-travelled software executive from the Big Bad City and I quite liked him. He was even a single dad, raising his little girl alone after his wife left him. (Swoon!) We’d had loads of conversations over the previous months and even a couple of meals – but all about his travels, as I was getting ready to embark on my year abroad.

After our dance, I thanked him and walked back to my friends who were shocked that I’d returned so soon. I said the song was over and they said it was clear he wasn’t done dancing. But, as I didn’t want to look silly in front of him, I felt it was best for me to just steer clear of him the rest of the evening – turning down future offers to dance.

The next weekend, the same thing happened. I was too unsure of myself to notice his clues and I feared my friends were only trying to embarrass me.

Each time I saw Fred in town, I was rather stand-offish as I didn’t want him to think I was misreading his clues.

So, another weekend came around and he asked me to dance. I then went to sit with my friends.

Only this time, he turned around and asked another girl to dance. A girl I didn’t like. A girl who told me how stupid, ugly, and fat (what?!) I was throughout high school. A girl who was very mean and unpleasant. I was crushed. I was completely … deflated.

My friends, however, were vengeful.

So we left.

We went back to my house where everyone came up with a plan.

We changed into black clothing and then piled back in the rig to head back towards the bar.

(Don’t worry, two of us were sober. No drink-driving for this girl!)

And when we got there, some of us acted as guards whilst others surrounded Fred’s car to let the air out of the tyres. (I stopped another from siphoning the gas tank.)

Then it was off to The Cottage for a late-night breakfast. (As you do in my Small Town.)

I ran into Fred the next week and he told me about meeting some woman at The Brick and offering to give her a lift home, only his tyres were flat. The woman apparently threw a complete fit and he decided that he didn’t want to spend his time with such a drama queen.

It was then that he asked me out on a proper date. He said he was tired of trying to flirt with me and he just wanted to know if I was interested in him or not.

Only by then, I wasn’t. So I told him I was too busy preparing for my year abroad to think about dating.

And that was that.

Now, any time I think about misread dating clues or flat tyres, I think about Fred.

Of course, Fred has since realised that I wasn’t his type. But he did meet a lovely man who was his type. So it all worked out in the end.

Sorry, as I think more and more about dating, I’m remembering all of these dating stories from before I met The One. I’ll probably share a few more of these old stories with you, too. Although hopefully my quest for The One, Take-Two doesn’t provide more crazy stories to share. (Happy stories, maybe …)

(Don’t worry: I’m well past the statute of limitations for this crime of vandalising. Plus that, I don’t think Fred would press charges anyhow. Maybe I should get in touch with him to fess up …?)

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