Movie dates can be a sweet intro into dating when you are young, but what if the whole date is a surprise?
I thought nothing of it when my friend John asked me to the movies. With only a driver's permit in my purse, my mom dropped me off at the movie theater, where I unknowingly waltzed into my very first date. I saw my friend John sitting at a table near the snack counter, alone. He wore a pea coat and nice shoes. He said that he already bought tickets and that no other friends were joining us for the movie. Wait, what?
In well-concealed confusion, I went to buy some snacks and realized--duh!--John had invited me out on a date. As a junior in high school, I felt genuine panic, mostly because I didn't know what to do on a date! Stranded at The Regal with a large popcorn tub in my hands, I considered the situation.
When I got back to our seats, he handed me a small gift box: a souvenir from his family vacation. Wrapped in Disney paper, I was expecting a key chain or some other reasonably priced souvenir. Instead, cradled in tissue paper, I found a silver necklace with a heart and a Tinkerbell charm dangling from it.
This shouldn't have been complicated, but being a teenage Bridget Jones, it naturally was. Aside from feeling awkward by receiving a gift on a date I didn't realize I was going on, I happened to have one of the worst topical allergies to metal my doctor has ever seen. I practically break out with terrible eczema just looking at jewelry. Despite the obvious consequences, I slipped the necklace on and said thank you.
My teenage Romeo wanted to hold my hand for the entire movie. And in case you live under a rock and didn't know, The Lord of the Rings movie is three hours long. Frodo & co. were boring me so much that I couldn't move and my hand fell asleep in his. Instead of fluttery emotion, all I was feeling were pins and needles. The hand holding also foiled my plan to remove Tinkerbell from my increasingly itchy neck.
I finally excused myself, shaking my numb hand the whole way. I bolted to the bathroom, leaned into the mirror and discovered a bright red rash developing around my neck. I put the necklace in my pocket, then I called my mom to pick me up as I wrapped my scarf around me to conceal the growing rash. When the movie was over, I thanked John, told him I'd talk to him soon and dashed for my mother's car. We did talk later that evening, but our teenage romance wasn't going to develop past playing SNES on the weekends. We never ever spoke of our super awkward movie date again.