I was attending a large university.
I was away from home for the first time.
I had a on-again off-again boyfriend.
We had dated in high school.
He was nice but old news.
I was ready to date other guys.
As Luck Would Have It
One day, a friend shared that her 23-year old cousin was looking for someone to date.
He was a law student, recovering from a break-up and wanted to date someone who was over 21. Someone sophisticated.
At 19 years old, I decided that I fit the bill.
I convinced her to give him my phone number minus the fact that I was not 21.
After all, I was as sophisticated as a young girl from a small town could be.
All’s fair in love and war, right?
The First Date
He was handsome with perfect manners.
We went to dinner at a fancy restaurant.
He ordered an alcoholic drink.
What would I like to drink?
I stumbled as I did not drink. (After all, I was underage.)
Embarrassed, I order a glass of Creme de Menthe.
Oh yes, I drink it all the time.
No, just plain.
The waitress served me a small glass of sickeningly sweet Creme de Menthe which I sipped on with my dinner.
It was not the same as my parents putting a little Creme de Menthe over ice cream for dessert. However, it was the only alcoholic drink in my repertoire!
Back at the Dorm
It was time for a high level strategy session!
I relayed the story to my girlfriends with a plea for help.
He had asked me out again for dinner. Another dinner!
Someone suggested a Manhattan. She did not know much about it except that her parents drank them.
I seized upon it right away.
A Manhattan! The name rang with sophistication.
A Little Research
Now, you may ask, why didn’t I at least try a Manhattan before the next date?
It never occurred to me.
Also,there was little chance that I could walk in someplace and order one.
If I had called my Mother, she would have been suspicious.
She did not want me dating older, more experienced men.
So, a Manhattan it was.
Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead!
The Second Date
This time, I was prepared and confident.
Yes, I would love a Manhattan with my dinner.
Was that a little smirk on his face?
I tasted my first Manhattan.
I hated it. The bitters made it almost undrinkable.
How I longed for a glass of iced tea!
Being so clever, I poured it bit by bit in my salad when I thought he was not looking.
I am not sure my sleight of hand worked.
The Third Date
For our third date, he suggested a picnic by the lake.
Hallelujah! A picnic with soft drinks, lemonade, water…anything but booze!
He carried the big cooler to the picnic site.
We sat down on the blanket to enjoy the beautiful view of the water.
Yes, thank you!
When he handed me a cold beer my face told the story.
He returned the beer to the cooler.
He looked me straight in the eye and asked,
“How old are you?”
The Gig Was Up
Never had I been happier to “fess up”.
I was tired of the charade.
I just wanted to have fun…not try to be someone I was not.
I would like to say that he still wanted to date me.
However, I never saw him again.
His cousin and I remained friends for our college days.
I don’t remember her name.
I don’t remember his name.
I do remember this little escapade.
I chuckle and shake my head at my naivete.
My old high school boyfriend looked pretty darn good!