When I was 15, a sophomore in high school, I went on my first ever Valentine's Day date.
This date was not only my first Valentine's Day date; it was my first date ever. (I mean, I was 15 so this was probably still on the young side of normal for a first date.)
The date in question may have also been my worst date ever, and if not that, it was definitely my worst Valentine's Day date ever, but I've only had maybe 6 of those in my life. So it was my first and my worst. Do you follow?
Something really odd went down on the date and I'll tell you all about it now.
So I'm 15, a sophomore in high school (as you know), and this senior boy asks me out on a date. The details of how he asked me out are foggy, but I had been an active texter since I got my first cell phone in 8th grade and was still definitely using AOL Instant Messenger at this point (as you do). It's possible he asked me out in person, I suppose, but I'm pretty sure it was either via text or AIM.
Here's a photo of me at age 15 for some context, I guess. I was really tan and I had a resting bitch face before it was cool. (Was it ever cool??)
Anywho, he asks me out and for some reason, our first date is set to take place on Valentine's Day. I think this is likely because Valentine's Day fell on a Friday that year (2005). So we book each other's company and don't talk at all until the actual date (as you do).
On the big day, he picks me up in his car and we drive one town over (a town that has real restaurants) to a small—but actually kind of nice—little Italian restaurant.
We sit down and order some nonalcoholic beverages and food. I'm pretty sure I ordered fettuccine alfredo because it's all I ever ordered at Italian restaurants after tasting that creamy nirvana for the first time at The Outback a year or so prior. We start talking and considering it's my first ever date, I am pleased with the conversation and also relieved that I wasn't melting into an anxious puddle of shyness, which I was known to do on dates from ages 15 to 24-ish.
So the scene is set. Now this is where things get weird.
A man and woman walk into the restaurant and the woman has a mullet. My dates goes, "That woman has a mullet."
We laugh, and upon his lead, we start talking about her mullet. Then we go on and on about how ugly and outdated mullets are, why people may still select this as a hair style post-1980s, how frequently we spot people with mullets out in the wild in the small town we live in, et cetera, et cetera. We talk about mullets for about twenty minutes.
Dinner ends and the waiter (a friend of my older sister's, naturally) comes over to the table and says, "Your dinner is actually covered. Happy Valentine's Day. Have a good night!"
And we're all like, "Whaaaaaaaaaaa???? Why did they comp the dinner? Who did this good deed? We're so lucky!!"
We skip out of the restaurant and he drives us back to his house to "watch a movie."
He puts a movie on in the family room and we cozy up on the couch. We start making out (sorry, Joe) and before long, we hear someone opening the front door.
"My parents are home!" he says with a jolt. He seems understandably bummed about this, especially after his lucky streak of the free dinner and brief make out sesh.
About 30 seconds later, his mom pops her head around the door of the family room to say hello and it's......
You guessed it: THE WOMAN WITH THE MULLET.
The free dinner! Aaaaarghhhhhhh!!!
I was mortified. He had me going on and on about mullets and more specifically, his mother's mullet. I'm sure he was mortified too, but I mean....jesus. Then he turns to me and in a please-forgive-me voice whispers, "My mom has a mullet."
He must have driven me home shortly after, but the details are fuzzy here too as I was still re-processing the whole evening. Needless to say, we did not go on another date.
Well, Happy Valentines's Day, or Galentine's Day, or candy day, or eat-a-tub-of-ice-cream-and-watch-a-rom-com day or whatever! Be yourself!
Stay lovey-dovey, kids.