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.
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?
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.
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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….)