My First Date
By: Garland Davis
Let me tell you about my first date. It was with a girl who lived almost directly across the river. I had known her my whole life. We were the about the same age, although, I think she had a couple of months on me.
We played together as children. As a matter of fact, for about six years, between the ages of five and eleven, I had it in mind to be a doctor especially when she was around. I never missed a chance to give her a physical. She helped me greatly with my studies of anatomy. I worked extremely hard on the study of gynecology. From our medical experiments I think she was seriously considering becoming a urological nurse. About the time we hit puberty, the study of medicine became uncomfortable for her and she brought an end to my doctoral studies. Fortunately, I had a couple of other patients who also helped me continue with my studies.
And now I was going to take the girl on a serious boy/girl date. Her house was across the river. The Yadkin was extremely shallow at that point and it was possible to wade across and barely get your ankles wet as long as you knew about where the two deep drop offs were. If you stepped into one of them then you were asshole deep in muddy water.
I was supposed to meet her at her house at seven o’clock and walk her about a quarter mile to the barn where the dance was being held. I tell you, I was as nervous as a long tailed cat on a porch with seven or eight of my aunts in rocking chairs. I took a bath, and it was only Friday. I had laid out my clothes for the date. I had a pair of blue jeans that fit just right and were just the right length when rolled up about an inch. I had a new striped shirt, just like the one Elvis wore on the Ed Sullivan show and a new half inch wide belt just like all the other boys were wearing. I shined up my penny loafers and laid out a pair of brand new whiter than white socks. With that shirt collar turned up in back I would be “knock-them-dead stylish.”
I probably used about a half tube of Brylcreem (you know, they still make that greasy shit, available from Amazon)” getting my hair just right. I had this little curl above my right eye, you know, like Superman. Nothing I did could make that hair stay in place. I could paste it down and within a minute it would be hanging over my eye. I thought about cutting it off but was afraid it would look strange. Later after learning that girls thought it was cute, I accentuated it.
I liberally splashed my dad’s Old Spice on and got dressed. The choice I had was to wade the river and take a chance on getting wet. Those two deep holes sometimes moved. Or I could walk a mile and a half up to the bridge and then walk a mile and a half back to her house. The third choice, I could ride my bicycle to her house and leave it there while we went to the dance and it would be available for me to ride home. I figured if I rode slow, I wouldn’t get so sweaty and stinky before I got to her house.
I set off on my bike, pedaling slowly so as not to work up a sweat. I got to her house about quarter to seven dry and still smelling sweet. Her dad was sitting on the front porch whittling on what looked like a stick of stove wood, chewing tobacco and spitting off the edge of the porch. Seeing him there, I could feel the sweat suddenly running down my spine. He yelled through the open window, “Betty, yer boy date is out here!”
He turned to me and said, “Now boy, you have her back here by ten o’clock. Not a minute later. She’s my only daughter, no fooling around and treat her with respect. Do you understand what I’m sayin’ here boy?
Yes sir, Uncle Jake,” I replied.