When I was 17, I was set up on a date at the Red River Ex. Freshly out of my first relationship (for anyone out there wondering this very same thing, dating a boy who becomes born again after 6 weeks of dating and tells you that you're going to hell is a really fantastic first outing into romance), I decided to let a friend set me up. (Note: this is the only time a friend has offered to set me up. Thanks a lot, Mennos.) The girl doing the matchmaking was not a particularly close friend, but she was nice enough, very bubbly and looked not unlike this. 'Cept with brown hair. That's irrelevant. Anyway, she offered to set me up with her friend Joshua and what better way to make a good first impression than with your lips peeled back over your face whilst on the Gravitron. If nothing else, it's demonstrative of a certain dexterity that could come in handy later.
I had never really been to the Ex before (though I've occasionally been to the Y) but was fully confident that I would be a superstar on the rides. This...was not to be. My stomach can handle pretty much anything that I throw in it, from Indian food to quintuple espressos, but on the first ride it took one look up at me, put it's little tummy hands in the air and said, "I'm out." I did not actually vomit, but unless you're trying to date Miss Piggy, green is not the best look for a first date.
After dismounting this first ride and realigning my eyeballs, the girl gigglingly suggested that Josh and I ride together on this little Ferris wheel with closed-in carts. Sounds innocent enough, yes? No. No, it was not. These sadistic little cubby holes twirled with the motion of the wheel. Imagine those Spinning Apple rides in 3D. I could have punched her in the neck. The boy was not exactly an X/Y model, but he was cute enough, with this kind of dopey (perhaps stoned) bear look to him, and ralphing all over his black rayon Bootlegger pants wasn't reeeeeeally the way I wanted to exchange our bodily fluids for the first time. Fortunately, the ride didn't move quick enough to inspire any lurching, but the carts had a way of landing on their sides so that, while still held down by the bar across our laps, we were pretty much on top of one another. This might have been fine had I a) not been more nauseous than Estelle Getty in an Imax, b) not been 17 and very sweaty-palmed at this whole date situation (because I'm so much better at 24) and c) not had a metal pole sticking into my thigh every time Josh landed on me. Oh, Cupid, you shouldn't have.
I really don't remember anything about the rest of our night at the Ex, although I seem to remember him coming over to my house afterwards and us awkwardly making out in that divine 17 year old way. Remember when all you did was make out? Wasn't that better?! No, not for me either, BUT there was something lovely in the intimacy. For the next three weeks, we would make out some more, go to the zoo, get poison ivy from making out in Assiniboine Park (him) and be dumped (me). You know it's not going to work out when the guy asks you not to use such big words, meaning multi-syllables. Still, I remember trying to convince myself that it could still work.
I still do that, in some ways, try to compromise to get what I ultimately want; I've just learned how to gauge more quickly when the battle is lost. I think, to a certain degree, I still want to have a pole jabbed into me whilst at an amusement park *ahem* but I'm a bit pickier about the one sprawled out on top of me.