What is considered a first date? Is it when a boy carries a girl’s books home from school? No, not really a date. When a teenager gives a girl and two of her friends a ride to the mall? I don’t think so. When two old classmates have a drink at a class reunion? Nope. By my own definition a date is when one person invites another person, on purpose, to go along to something fun or interesting. Like going to a movie or concert, or out to lunch or dinner. So, having loosely defined what makes up a date, let me tell you about my very first date. As the story unfolds, try to guess where it took place. There is no prize for guessing the location correctly, and no peeking to the bottom of the page to find out.
Never having been on a date, at the ripe young age of fifteen I never thought it would be with an older woman. Diana was seventeen. She and her parents were vacationing, traveling on a bus tour with my parents and me, and a group of others. Sometimes Diana and I would sit next to each other on the bus and play chess on a little magnetic board. (video games were still a long way off in the future.) During one of the nightly stops, the tour group was having dinner at some elegant restaurant, which both Diana and I thought would be boring. We saw a menu in advance, and couldn’t even pronounce any of the entrees. Teenagers need simpler fare. The two of us asked permission to walk to an informal restaurant a few blocks from the hotel. I don’t remember whose idea it was, but it did fall under my definition of “date.” It was July and the weather was warm. It was beginning to get dark, and we chose to eat at a place which had outside tables. Wow. First date, sun starting to set, sidewalk cafe. It would have been romantic, had we known what that meant. To enhance the mood, we each ordered a grilled cheese sandwich. Too young for wine, we each ordered a bottle of soda. What was it about this date that made it so memorable? I can’t recall what we talked about. There was no romance included. Not even any winking. I don’t know, maybe Diana didn’t even think of it as a date. She was quite a bit older, two full years, so she had probably been on dates before. Considering everything, it had to be the location that made it memorable.
a sidewalk cafe….
…on the Champs-Elysees, in Paris. . . a block from the Arc de Triomphe. . .