And now for a note from Amy's soapbox. When it is a Sunday, and a person says "next" Wednesday, it should be assumed that they mean the Wednesday that is a week and a half away. Because the Wednesday in 4 days would be called "this" Wednesday. See: Figure 1.
This has a point. When "THIS" Wednesday rolled around, I went for a nice afternoon run. After my run, I met my friends at Chipotle, because the logical thing to do after running 5 miles is to eat a 1,000 calorie burrito. It should be mentioned that I decided against showering, and just went all sweaty, because I am disgusting. It should also be noted that during my summers home from college, I never brought my cell phone anywhere or wore makeup, because I really loved spending the whole summer enjoying the dating practices of a nun. For reals though, I truly looked forward to 4 whole months without having to worry about flirting or giving phone numbers or shaving my legs regularly.
That is beside the point. The point is, there I was, blissfully pounding down my burrito, when my friend gets a text from my brother, telling her to tell me to call home ASAP. I call home, and my mom informs me that Cary has called my phone twice and called the house, looking for me to make sure we were still on for our date tonight. Whaaaa?? I told her that she needed to tell him that I can't go, because I just ate a massive burrito and I am in no condition to put on pants that require a zipper and button. But Cary was only in town for a day before he had to head back and wouldn't be back again until Ring Dance. And my mother, being much afeared that I would never be asked a date again in my life, forced me to come home, shower, shove myself into my jeans, and go on the date. Despite my major bloating from the burrito and awkwardness from being me, I thought the date was great. We went go-carting, and the temperatures got a little chilly towards the end, and Cary offered me his jacket over and over. And even though I was freezing, I kept saying no because I was honestly afraid that it would be too small, and that would really be depressing. Cary was still sitting pretty in the friend zone at this point, but the evening had been most enjoyable. The date ended with an awkward side hug, as most of my first dates tend to, but I had way more fun than I was anticipating. He was so much fun to talk to. And he was pretty dang cute for an Air Force nerd.
So. The next week and a half go by, we text and talk a little, and it's ring dance time! I did my hair 3 different times and mentally rehearsed possible conversations starters for our hour and a half drive down to the Academy. He came to pick me up, we took some highly original and not awkward pictures by the stairs and such, and we were on our way. I didn't even have to delve into my conversation starter topics at all and we talked and talked the whole drive there. Horrendous traffic and rain turned our hour and a half drive into 3 hours, but conversation flowed perfectly. And guess what? He talked back! Anyone who has ever met me knows that I could easily fill 3 hours with nonsensical babble without breaking a sweat, but we both contributed to the conversation, and that alone caused me reconsider his placement in the friend zone.
Ring dance started with a dinner and presentation of the class rings to the new Air Force Academy seniors. Right before they started handing out the rings, Cary leaned over and whispered, "There's something I should probably tell you." In my head, I was preparing myself for several possible confessions. I have food in my teeth? I spilled on myself? He's gay? He fumbled with his napkins and soldiered on: "They have a tradition here... For christening the rings." He looked really nervous and uncomfortable and I feared that the christening involved sacrificing a goat or your date or something. I stared at him in anticipation. "See... The date usually takes the ring and drops it into her champagne (sparkling cider) glass. And when she drinks it, she's supposed to catch the ring in her teeth and give it to the cadet... Through a kiss. But you don't have to if you don't want to.... I mean, if you want to... we can... But, um... yeah." All I could respond with was, "Oh!" I was so relieved that no goats or dates would be sacrificed that the reality of this situation didn't really sink in. Our first kiss was going to be around approximately a billion people, and giant metal ring was going to be involved. It really wasn't quite how I pictured it going down. But I still wasn't too concerned. Cary was still fairly solidly planted in the friend zone, and I thought it would just be a cute little story and another tally for the "Boys I've Kissed" list.
|The ring, in the bottom of the glass. Cary cracks me up in this picture. He looks so nervous.|
1. What if I choke on the ring? I am really not all that coordinated and that would be horrible way to die.
2. What if I kiss him... and it's more than just a funny kiss for tradition? That would really ruin my summer plans of not shaving or showering with regularity.
3. I hate sparkling cider. I have to drink a whole glass? Ugh.
So I drank the sparkling cider, miraculously caught the ring in my teeth, and leaned in to give it to Cary with a kiss. It was awkward, staged, metal-y, and perfect. I remember perfectly the feeling of the ring clanging as it touched my teeth teeth and the feeling of shivers that went down to my toes when Cary's lips touched mine. We laughed and blushed and I immediately knew that this boy was going to be more than a tally.