Where did I leave off? Oh yeah, Antoine and I were at the stage where we were both giddy at the sight of an email from the other (although, I should say, "the early part of that stage", because I think it lasted like 6 to 8 months). So, after about a month or a month and a half of emailing pretty regularly the topic of meeting each other came up. Now, I should note that part of the headline of my Craigslist personal ad/post described me as "shy", which I am, to some extent. In H.S. I was voted shyest girl in my class, however my friends scoffed at that, saying I was anything but shy. See, I'm the type of person who takes a while to warm up. I'm generally quiet when I first meet someone, but once I'm comfortable then I'm a horse of different color! And in truth, my shyness has gotten better. In college, I think it might have been at its worst. I disliked bars and parties, because the idea of talking to someone I didn't know made me a little nauseous (that might be why I was single?) and in class I generally went unnoticed by my fellow students and by my teacher (which I believe, was often to my benefit).
So, I was shy, and Antoine knew that (plus he knew my lack of experience in the realm of dating and guys) so he was prepared to move super slow. But after about a month of emailing I was expecting to hear him mention meeting up, and as much as that would have terrified me I must admit that I was itching for it! Finally, he casually (as he usually does) asked if I would want to go to a movie with him and some of his friends. Now, that's really not the ideal first date, a movie with not only the guy you're meeting for the first time, but also a group of his friends whom you've never met. The idea of it made my shy little heart jump out of my chest! I declined, not because I was nervous (at least, not entirely), but because they were going to a really late show and I had to be up before 6am to get ready for work. So I waited for a reply that suggested an alternative meet-up plan, but no such plan was proposed. So I waited a couple days (which seemed like weeks) and I finally mustered the courage to ask if we could finally meet. I think Antoine was a bit shocked by my asking, but I think pleasantly surprised as well.
So we coordinated our schedules and picked a day for our first date! At this point I think I was a ball of nerves, but at the core I was just excited. So the day of the first date came, I got home from work, I might have gotten a shower and got ready for the second time that day, except this time I was a little fancier (aka I put on a blouse instead of a t-shirt). I think Antoine was supposed to pick me up around 6:30pm or 7pm, but I remember being totally ready an hour or so before he was supposed to get there (that's just how I am). I knew we were getting dinner, where, I didn't know (he wanted it to be a surprise). But besides dinner I had no idea what the date would involve (and yes, several people knew I was going out with him and expected phone calls from me when I returned to make sure I was okay [you know, in case he was a serial killer or something]). So, I was all primped (as primped as I get, I might have even put a little eye shadow on!) and ready to go, so I started waiting for him to arrive. My eyes shifted between the clock on my wall and out the window to my driveway. The pick up time came and went...he was 5 minutes late, 10 minutes late, 15 minutes, 20 minutes (and here's about the time I went from being calm, thinking maybe he got lost, to angry at the possibility that I was being stood up). 45 minutes later I heard a knock at the door. Yes, that's right folks, he was 45 minutes late!! But that's Antoine for you, he is perpetually late (although he's gotten better about it). It is surprising however, how a knock on the door can melt away all that anger and the excitement can just go over you in a wave.
So, here's the part where the mystery date is revealed...I open the door to find a worried, slightly sweaty, VERY nervous Vietnamese guy wearing a slight puppy-dog expression (I love that face he makes!) and a horrible beige polo (he hasn't worn it since because he knows how much I don't like it) and khakis. Not what I had imagined, but I flashed a smile and said "hi" while he apologized for being so late. He nervously opened the passenger door of his car for me and I suddenly felt very calm. The rest of the night progressed like this, me astonishingly calm and talkative and him supremely nervous...it was definitely a first for me!