Our First Date (and How I Did Not End Up Dead in the Trunk of His Car)

The first thing that impressed me about Kevin was that he didn’t “wait three days” to contact me after our initial meeting. The first thing that annoyed me about Kevin was that he asked me out via text.

Looking back, I really don’t mind; a phone call might have been extremely awkward. But at the time, I was like, Really???

As a tech savvy female in the digital age, I decided to do my due diligence before this first date (set for 3:30 PM at Volta, a coffee shop in downtown Gainesville). I needed to know what I was getting into. I didn’t know Kevin’s last name, so I used Facebook to find the Music Law Conference event page, on which I found the Music Law group, in which I found a bald guy named Kevin Hublou. He was the only Kevin, so it had to be him! Pleased with my detective work, I looked at the few things I could see on his Facebook page: his likes and profile pictures.

The first Facebook photo I ever saw of Kevin.

The first Facebook photo I ever saw of Kevin.

Speaking of profile pictures, of the 17 that existed at the time of my detective work, only 8 of them were actually Kevin. The others were a handful of bald doppelgangers (Jason Statham, Kevin Spacey, David Beckham, etc.) and little-known pop stars. I found all of this just a little bit creepy.

While there were a few things that I was happy to see on his profile (Harry Potter, Gladiator, Kill Bill), there were a lot of things I was not too excited about. To put it simply, Kevin had a lot of “epic” interests—those nerdy sci-fi/adventure-type shows and films that I have never really been a fan of (save for those few classics that everyone has seen, like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings). I was initially scared off by:

  • Books: Game of Thrones, Sword of Truth, Wheel of Time
  • Movies: Stardust, Serenity, Count of Monte Cristo (seriously, who puts that as one of their favorite movies?)
  • Games: League of Legends, DoTA, Magic: The Gathering
  • Music: Basshunter, Alizee, Enya, Lights, Ace of Base, Cascada

Clearly, Kevin was a huge nerd who loved trance music and books that followed the [noun] of [noun] naming convention. Fantastic. Suddenly, I was filled with dread; we had nothing in common and now I had to endure coffee with this strange creature. (Sidebar: I now love about a quarter of the things on that list.)

Next, I tried Google, where I found Kevin’s blog. (Later, he would tell me that he started the blog to increase his “web presence.”) He had a “Currently Reading” section on his sidebar, which showed that he was reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Ok, that’s something, I thought, since I too was re-reading the HP books (though I was on Goblet of Fire).

I moved on to his most recent blog post, which was an exposé on candles. Yes, candles. Apparently, Kevin had found an online deal where he could cheaply purchase four small Yankee candles. His blog post was about his experience with said candles and his opinions of each scent. It. Was. Hilarious. This guy definitely got points for personality, no matter how nerdy he may have seemed, and the candles thing showed he had a soft side. I tore through the rest of his blog (though there were only a few posts); even his “About Me” was ripe with humor and quirkiness. What I liked most, however, was that he wrote well and used punctuation appropriately.

There seemed to be a disconnect between Kevin’s blog and his Facebook profile. How could one person be so charming and witty and yet also extremely nerdy? I knew one thing: this was sure to be an interesting date.

I arrived at Volta slightly late, only because I didn’t want to be there first. Kevin was sitting inside, reading a book and waiting for me. He greeted me with a hug (He really likes me!) and led me toward the counter to order coffee. He went first...and paid for himself! (Oh, no, he doesn’t really like me.) I was really turned off by this. Now, I would not expect a boyfriend to pay for everything all of the time. But I thought it was at least understood that the guy paid for the first date. So maybe this wasn’t a date after all?

Kevin's profile pic, in place since February 2012!

Kevin’s profile pic, in place since February 2012!

Annoyed, I ordered my own coffee, and we sat outside. We talked until the coffee shop closed, discussing books, movies, college, jobs, etc. I knew that, at this point, the date was over, but I really didn’t want it to end. Kevin had a lot more to him than those nerdy Facebook interests, and I was dying to know more. We left and walked toward the parking lot.

“Well, here’s my ride,” he said nonchalantly, as he stopped in front of a motorcycle.

Yes, a motorcycle. As if this guy had to gain any more points, the bad-ass motorcycle just earned him over 9,000. (And motorcycles do not have trunks in which to stash the dead bodies of first dates you might have murdered.)

Standing around the motorcycle, continuing to talk, I got the sense that Kevin didn’t want the date to end either. One of us suggested dinner, and so we walked to Boca Fiesta. We had a great meal that he paid for. Now I was super confused. Had I just not earned his liking yet at the coffee shop? Did he want to test me before he paid for things for me? Had I now charmed him enough into buying me things? I felt like I was dating a girl; guys didn’t play games like this, right?

To this day, Kevin still does not know what made him pay for my dinner that night. I think he is afraid to admit that he was utterly smitten and just couldn’t help but suspend his miserly ways.

But even dinner wasn’t enough time for us. Kevin asked if I’d like to get a beer and play shuffleboard at the bar around the corner. I wanted to scream, “YES!!!!” but I very coolly replied, “Sure.” After a drink or two and several rounds of shuffleboard (at least one of which I won), it was 9:00 and finally time for this date to be over. (He said he had to study, but I think he just was going through video-game withdrawal). He walked me back to my car, gave me another hug, and said goodnight.

Now, at the beginning of the date, I had decided to leave my cell phone in my car so as not to be rude or interrupted. (Kevin had not had the same thought and even took a phone call outside during dinner!) Getting back into my car that evening, I was most alarmed to find 20+ missed calls, at least that same number of texts, several voicemails, and a Sprint pop-up alerting me that my mother had turned on the Sprint child tracker. Indeed, although I had told her of my plans, my mother had freaked out around 6:00 (which would have been a normal end time for a first date) when she could not reach me. Of course, I called her back instantly, assuring her that Kevin was not, in fact, the next Ted Bundy and that I was not tied and gagged in the back of a van on the way to my rape and death. (So I guess you could say that I literally survived our first date.)

For our second date, Kevin invited himself over, requesting that I cook dinner and giving me only about an hour to prepare. (Such a charmer!) Thankfully, he redeemed himself by showing up with a bottle of wine and enduring one of my favorite films, Amelie, and the rest is history.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

But even after all this, my mom was still not convinced that Kevin was not a murderer out for cold blood.

Fast forward three months. I’m about to move into my new apartment, and Kevin has generously agreed to help me paint my room. Knowing this would only take about an hour or two, I left my cell phone at my old place; this seemed perfectly acceptable since I was not expecting any calls. Kevin left his phone on silent and in my car. In under two hours, we were done (and Kevin’s voice had gone hoarse from bitching about painting for the entire duration). Back at my old apartment, I checked my phone nonchalantly, expecting a blank screen. What I found instead were 40+ missed calls (from my mother AND sister), 20-something text messages, and endless voicemails. She had also called Kevin’s phone, though (thankfully) slightly fewer times than she had called mine. Mother had struck again.

But she didn’t stop there.

No, Kevin also had missed called from his family. My mother (and perhaps this is where I got my own detective nature from) had stalked my Facebook to find Kevin’s name to figure out his last name. Then she Googled “Hublous in Tampa” and found his parents’ phone number. HIS PARENTS! She had called and spoken with Kevin’s little brother, who then called Kevin and asked, “Why are Carly’s parents calling us? Are you guys okay?” My mother had put everyone on red alert, even people she hadn’t met, because I had not answered the phone in an hour. And all this after Kevin and I had been dating (albeit long distance) for three months, both of us traveling to/from Tampa/Gainesville to see each other while he was gone for summer vacation!

When I was finally able to speak to my mom and convince her that I was, indeed, still alive and still not dating a serial killer, she gave me one of those, “I’m sorry, but…” apologies. She was not backing down from what was one of the most embarrassing experiences of my life.

I will never know why Kevin didn’t just walk away from the crazy that day and never look back. Perhaps something about it enticed him and sucked him in. Perhaps something about my mother’s mania charmed him. Regardless, everyone loves everyone now and we all shit rainbows and lived happily ever after.

(And in all seriousness, I guess I should be very grateful to have a mother who is really more like a mother wolf that looks out and fights for her children, even to the death—though luckily it has never come to that…yet….)

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Rebuttal: A Fairy Tale

For those that read Kevin’s version of how we met, I think it’s clear that he may have over-exaggerated a few details. This is the tale of what really happened.

For a few weeks, I had been planning to attend UF Law’s Music Law Conference—not because I am a nerd but rather because I am a lifelong lover of learning and music. And at the time, I was considering going to law school. Like all things that require me to show up at a specified time, I promised myself I would wake up early and be there on time. But it was Saturday, and even for a working woman who is used to 8:00 AM starts to her days, 8:00 AM on a Saturday is just cruel (though it probably didn’t help that I had gone bar-hopping with my co-workers the night before). I’m still not sure how Kevin managed to be there before noon.

Of course, I was late, but not by much. I arrived around 8:10, furious with myself but prepared to issue the appropriate apologies as necessary. Besides, being a little late doesn’t really matter when you look as cute as I thought I looked. I was wearing an adorable new dress, and my bangs were nearing perfection. And I was newly single, so I was ready to go full-concentration mode on this seminar. The last thing I was going to do was scan the room for datable men.

The cost for attending this event included breakfast and lunch. As I was approaching the entrance, I noticed two men walking parallel to me, their arms full with breakfast supplies. Suddenly, one of them dropped a gallon of milk. Again, newly single and working on my kindness towards others, I saw this as my opportunity to get a good deed in for the day. I hurriedly changed course, scooped up the milk jug, and locked eyes with the non-dropper. Though his arms were overflowing, he managed to offer me his little finger and said:

“Here, you can put that on my pinky.”

Guys, for real, it was like meeting Gaston.

Note: Kevin is not roughly the size of a barge.

“No, it’s okay, I can take it for you,” I said.

So I followed them to the breakfast area, only to find that I was the first one there (aside from those hosting the event). I guess 8:00 AM means something else in law school.

Having earned 10 karma for my good deed, I then focused on making breakfast for myself. I toasted a bagel and waited patiently as the coffee was brought in (catered by Panera). One of the event staffers noted that Panera had only brought one bucket of decaf. In a booming voice loud enough for all (and by all, I mean the six people who were there “early”) to hear, that same non-dropper guy gawked, “Who drinks decaf!?” (I should also note that he made eye contact with me during this interjection, which I interpreted as his version of flirting.)

Sheepishly, I raised my hand.

What followed was a never-ending silence that I had to break, so I said, “I have issues with caffeine.”

Finally, someone else said, “No problem, here’s the decaf!” and I felt slightly less awkward.

Decaf and bagel in hand, I sat alone, eating, observing, and waiting for the event to begin. Perhaps because I had kindled his curiosity, or perhaps because he felt sorry for the girl sitting by herself who had been damned to a life of decaf-only coffee options, non-dropper guy came and sat with me. He introduced himself (“Hi, I’m Kevin”), and the conversation flowed easily as we discussed our pets, my half-blue eye, our shared love of coffee and bagels, summer jobs, fire-bellied newts and the fact that they can regrow their limbs, and probably Harry Potter (I don’t remember, but knowing us, I feel like it happened).

Eventually, the event began, and though it was interesting, I caught myself glancing over my shoulder occasionally, curious as to Kevin’s seating location. In true Kevin fashion, he skipped about half of the morning lectures and finally appeared (and sat in the back) for the last seminar of the morning.

When the lunch break came, I made myself a plate and again sat alone, observing other people and lazily reading a book. I noticed that Kevin was sitting at the check-in table several yards away, and I noticed that he was checking my whereabouts every so often, and I noticed that he noticed that I noticed him noticing. But I am a dreadfully shy person, and there was no way I was going to just walk up to a stranger and start talking. And I was newly single and not looking for anything…remember?

After what seemed like hours of Twilight-esque glaring at each other, Kevin finally approached me. He asked me more serious questions: what was I doing here, what did I do for a living, what did I go to school for. We chatted for about 15 minutes before he said he had to go; he was heading to the springs with some friends. (Are you keeping track here? Kevin only attended one hour of the morning lecture and was completely skipping the afternoon series! Later, I would discover that this also happened to be his general approach to law school.)

“But can I have your number? We should get coffee sometime.”

I hesitated for what felt like forever. Yes, I would love to get coffee! This Kevin guy was charming and handsome, and I was completely surprised that he liked me and wanted to see me again after only speaking with me for maybe 30 minutes. Let me be clear: this had never happened to me before. Up to this point, I had met all of my boyfriends at school, band practice, or work, so giving my number to a random guy (while I was sober) was a very new experience for me.

But I was single and not looking to date anyone!!!

Alas, I replied, “Sure,” and pecked my specifics into his BlackBerry.

Too excited to sit through an afternoon of boring lectures, I too snuck out and went home, giddy with excitement and the idea of new beginnings.

 

A Fairy Tale

I told you in my last post that I would tell you the story of how Carly met Me. This is that tale:

Θnce upon a time there was a little girl who lived far away in the magical land of Gainesville. This little girl was not a normal little girl; she was a type of magical fairy-girl known as a “Nerd.”

Nerd Carly.

The little Nerd girl was very sweet, but also very strange. She refused to dress like normal girls and insisted on wearing nothing but large sacks! And, fortunately for her, she also liked showing up super early for boring lectures put on by the great wizards of the exquisite University of Florida Levin College of Law.

On one such occasion, the little Nerd girl decided to attend the Mystical Music Law Conference. The sign-in time for the conference was announced by the town crier as 8:30 AM, but the little Nerd grimly determined to arrive an hour early, even though the arcane lectures did not actually begin until 9:30. So on that cold and frosty morning, before the sun had even peeked over the horizon, our little Nerd donned her second-best sack and set out on a grand adventure.

Angry coffee!

As the intrepid Nerd left her hovel, trouble was brewing (quite literally) at the College of Law. The coffee elf was late with her magical energy potions! As everyone knows, wizards lose all of their powers and turn into angry trolls if they don’t drink their coffee potions regularly, so this was a BIG problem. Fortunately for everyone, there was a dashing knight working at the College that day.

The courageous knight was also an amazing wizard, and he used his magic mirror to find the lost coffee elf in the eternal desert of the Parking Lot. He waved goodbye to the college courtesans and gallantly rushed out to save the coffee elf, killing 14 dragons, 2 bears, and a cockroach along the way. Upon his arrival, the coffee elf swooned with delight at being rescued by the handsome knight-wizard, who had the strength of 10 men.

While the courageous, handsome, and amazing knight-wizard cared for the swooning coffee elf and began to load the heavy coffee-potion cases and milk jugs onto his pinky finger,

A courageous, handsome, and amazing knight-wizard.

the little Nerd girl was picking her way through the barren parking lot. Being sweet of spirit, when she saw the beleaguered coffee caravan, she rushed over to offer her assistance. The courageous, handsome, and amazing knight-wizard was touched by the little Nerd’s sweetness and pretended to drop one of the milk jugs hanging off the tip of his pinky so that the little Nerd would feel useful.

Even though it was obvious that he had the strength of 10 men and would never actually drop a milk jug, the courageous, handsome, and amazing knight-wizard possessed incredible subtlety, and he was able to trick the little Nerd into thinking that he needed her help! The Nerd picked up the milk jug (which took all of her strength) and began bouncing her way to the College of Law, large sack flapping in the chilly breeze. She was delighted at the privilege of helping the courageous, handsome, and amazing knight-wizard, and he smiled inwardly, enjoying his good deed.

Unfortunately, that smile would soon fade.

Upon reaching the College, the coffee elf cursed. In her excitement at meeting the courageous, handsome, and amazing knight-wizard, she had forgotten the de-energized “Decaf” coffee potions! The knight-wizard flashed his crystalline smile and smirked, “Who drinks decaf?!” mocking the very idea of such a fool. As it happened, the poor little Nerd girl was one such fool, and with a trembling voice full of shame and sadness, she whispered, “I do….”

The little Nerd was terribly embarrassed by her foolish love of decaf coffee potions, but she was even more ashamed that the courageous, handsome, and amazing knight-wizard now knew the horrible truth about her. You see, like so many others, she too had been enchanted by the courageous, handsome, and amazing knight-wizard‘s noble features and charming wit. The poor little Nerd girl turned bright red.

As he observed the Nerd girl’s shame, the gallant smile faded from the lips of the courageous, handsome, and amazing knight-wizard. He felt terribly guilty! Being a noble knight, he immediately decided to try to comfort her. Obviously, because he is amazing at everything, the knight-wizard succeeded.

Mandatory romantic picture.

The courageous, handsome, and amazing knight-wizard and the little Nerd girl exchanged noble tales and silly pointless stories (respectively), and the knight-wizard found the Nerd’s antics so amusing that he invited her to share a coffee potion with him later.

And they lived happily ever after…

Especially after the incredibly fashionable knight-wizard convinced the little Nerd to wear real-people clothes instead of large sacks!

Carly being fashionable.