Moves and Grooves with the (not so) King of Salsa: My First Date Told From my 19 Year-Old Self

Throughout most of my life, my nose and eyes stayed in school books and towards any school activity and campus program or organization I was involved in. Unlike my friends who were excited to peep all of the eye candy (ahem...little boys) on campus, I was more excited to have a bathroom in my bedroom in my dorm room, and even more excited for college essays and being the president of three clubs on campus. All while still learning to love myself (Biggest test ever by the way).

Any involvement I had with guys was definitely private, limited-except for one ball player-and short-lived. DEFINITELY short-lived. I lost interest quickly, was up on game (Mom wasn't gonna have it...and I have brothers), and I still sorta kinda hated kissing at that time (it was stressful...even when you have lips). I understood we were all young and (they were) experimenting. So, why this older tall cup of hot chocolate ran into me one day, I don't even know!! It's blurry how we met-because I tried to erase him from my mind-but I remember exactly what he looked like, his walk, and his tone. I know how we met is scribbled down in one of my journals somewhere, but I believe I was 19. And I think he was 27...but he was gorgeous! Deep voice, tall, fit, great smile, facial and head hair. This man's number found its way into my phone, and I waited what felt like a decade to use it, but I did. I'd blown him off, ignored a majority of his offers, but I caved. The night of  the date (after I did all homework...because, you know, school first) I went over in my mind that this man had to want SOMETHING. Had to...(which is totally not fair to assume all men have some negative, selfish underlying motives by the way my fellow beauties).

How could this FINNNEEEEE creature in a button up with dress pants and shoes, and a watch as heavy as my head ask ME out? ON. A. DATE. Not the "Can I come chill?" 'date' either. He was cordial. I almost passed out!!! He was looking me right in the eyes (all four of them because I can't even think of having the audacity to not wear my glasses at all times), and had the nerve to sweeten up that deep voice, ask me what I like, compliment me, and then ask me out (insert heart eyes slash petrified emojis)!

Anyway, he picked me up one spring/summerish evening after we'd been communicating for some time. The car ride to where we were headed-he hadn't told me prior- wasn't too bad, but I definitely sent a text to my private investigator Mom and gave his information.

I was extremely nervous. And uncomfortable. I went back and forth with myself about turning him down. He liked me. I wanted to like him, but I had stopped myself from liking anyone because of the idea of a relationship, things I'd seen, and because I wouldn't have time for him. I had too much going on. Too much I wanted to do. No way, Mr. FineBeautifulIntelligentChocolate. NO. WAY.

Anyway we arrive and we're standing outside of a building I was familiar with. I'd been there once before with my friend. They held Salsa and Bachata dance nights and lessons there and I'd told him I loved dancing. He remembered (CRAZY, I know)! I froze. He gently pulled at my hand, smiled at me, and he paid for our way in. The music was loud and so perfect, the vibe in the room was amazing, and his dancing...was HORRIBLE! He was so adorable, but severely needed help, so I went to coach. I hadn't laughed so hard in a while and his mistakes and smile were everything. He was so dreamy...until we had to get closer. He was gentle, and his cologne was amazing (Drool worthy type of amazing), and I was about to pass out (again). I knew what I was doing out there. Why was I afraid?! I did it though...and I closed my eyes and I laid my head on his shoulder and right underneath his beard and on his little (totally not little) muscular chest, and it was perfect. The whole night was perfect. He asked for nothing but my company (and help with those terrible dancing skills he had), and it was everything I deserved for a first ACTUAL date.

He liked me...and unfortunately, I pushed him away. I never saw him again so I couldn't tell him thank you. So this is me, J,  telling you thank you for my actual first date. And I could be wrong about was memorable...just as you were. Thank you for being kind with me and wanting me for who I was. For remembering what I liked. For trying to keep my attention. I hope you found that love you once asked of me during the existence of our friendship.

-B. Elae

B.Elae; Indiana native; victims intake advocate; poet; motivational speaker; over-lover; junk good keeper; peace searcher.