Date 1: Painting in the Forest

Thanks to my wonderful friend who is an art major, I eventually got some paint and with these supplies plus some vodka, sprite, cranberry juice and a block of ice stuffed in my tote, I headed off to meet S.

Before the inception of this date, I had traversed into the forest with my roommate to look for a clearing in the glen that was comfortable but secretive.

So I led S down the path, my belly full of worms, dreading the awkward silence. Always, always, I dread the awkward silence. Luckily, I don’t think there was any. I found the path, though being the directionless klutz I am, I did stop several times to reassess my route.

This clearing was high up. On one side, it overlooked a ravine. On the other side, we could see mossy logs, the forest’s fall foliage and any passersby that might wander through. S came equipped with a large picnic blanket, which was lucky for me, as I had only brought a thin, measly throw-over. Neither of us being artistically inclined, we were quick to disavow our artistic skills (but both of our end products were beautiful! It was no Rembrandt, but still an admirable effort nonetheless).

It’s funny because to me, this was so clearly a date (we matched on Tinder, I mean what other signs do you need??), but later, S told me that she wasn’t sure whether this was a date or not until halfway through, King Princess was blasting through my (roommate’s) speaker.

We painted for 2 hours and talked about everything and nothing, from our astrological signs (I know nothing about astrology and she didn’t either, so I’m not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to bring that up. She’s a Taurus though, and I’m a Virgo, so make of that what you will), to our massive arachnophobia (there were a lot of colorful, frightening-looking spiders on the blanket that day, and I surprisingly neither sobbed nor screamed, as I’m known to do when I stumble upon a spider), to our respective bisexuality. She said she knew her junior year in high school, and I told her that I just kinda found out this semester and that I hadn’t told my friends yet. To that end, I asked her to keep this on the DL for now, because I wasn’t ready for anyone to know yet. I was (and am) still figuring it out.

Later, as we packed up, I kept trying and failing to ask whether I could kiss her. I wanted to but my voice was failing me. We were heading out of the clearing when I suddenly blurted out: Can I kiss you?

She stopped, surprised by the abrupt question, and I took her hesitation as a negative, very bad, terrible sign. Immediately I said, Of course, if you don’t want to or don’t feel comfortable, that’s totally fine too. Also, COVID restrictions, so I get it.

Some mess of words like that arranged in that order more or less spewed out of my mouth.

I mean, she said, we were definitely closer than 6 feet for 2 hours, so I think we had COVID, we would’ve already gotten it.

Okay, I said.

Okay, she said.

Okay, I’m unsure if we both said okay like that, but that’s pretty much how that interaction occurred. I turned around awkwardly to place my tote against a tree trunk, and she placed her backpack on the ground. We looked at each other and started giggling nervously.

We’ve both never gone on a date with a girl before, much less kissed a girl. Also, we’d both never kissed someone sober (I mean, I had, kind of, but not really), so it was strange to be doing this in daylight, sober, with a girl.

It was so awkward but so wonderful. She prefaced our kiss with a “I’m not a good kisser” disclaimer, and we were still giggling so we couldn’t kiss. We had to force ourselves to stop laughing, which was very very awkward, but the actual kiss was lovely. No movie sparks or anything but quiet and sweet.

Ahh!!!

I told her she was not a bad kisser in any way, and I came back to my room with a big smile on my face and sank onto the ground immediately. My roommate, who was waiting for my arrival back, told me with a mischievous smile that she knew who I went on a date with. She confidently but erroneously uttered the name of my date. What? I almost screamed. But then she said, it’s so obvious. I saw him skating out with a picnic blanket

I laughed, giddy and relieved. Same name, different sex, wrong person. I felt so happy and light and was honestly just tired of keeping this a secret, so I told her that she was utterly and completely wrong. I confessed it was a girl, and that was why I had told her earlier that she’d never guess it.

It’s a girl, it’s a girl, it’s a girl.

She was briefly surprised, but nothing else really happened. I’m not sure what I expected, but everything felt pleasantly normal, as if I had told her that I had gone a date with a guy. Date 1 had gone wonderfully without a hiccup, and I was slowly telling my close friends the truth. Everything, it seemed, was going wonderfully.

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