01 February 2011

No Strings Attached

The first time I ever really went on a date with a guy was to an amusement park - roller coaster rides, cotton candy, the works. We had it all planned out. He would get the tickets and transportation and I would look through the rides ahead of time to see which ones would be worth the wait in line. I searched for reviews and carefully cross-referenced with the map. You know, wanting to get the biggest bang for our buck. By the time he picked me up, I had the battle plan all laid out!

We get there and find a TON of people. The more we packed into the bottle-neck of the entrance, the tighter I held onto “The Plan” I had printed out. After we got through the entrance, I asked him where he wanted to go first. It wasn’t the first ride on the battle “The Plan” and found myself throwing caution to the wind within five minutes of arriving. But how could I say no when he looked me in the eyes and smiled?

The first ride was great and had a military theme to it. One of those rides where your feet dangled down, whipping side to side around sharp corners. After the first big loop, I laughed with a great big grin. When I glanced over at my date, he looked at me through sunglasses with a slight grin seemingly oblivious to the ride itself. This only made me grin more!

The second ride was a swing that flipped you upside down and shook you – which sounded great. Paying little attention to the sign that said to “Secure all personal items,” we went gung-ho to find seats. The ride started building up momentum to invert us. Just as we were flipped upside down, it stopped with a jerk. With that jerk, my glasses fell off into the water below. Those few seconds seemed like minutes as I watched my glasses, the only things that brought clarity to the world, fall into the gray-green water below. I wanted to die, crawl under a rock and die.

The ride ended and I was lost. Fortunately, my date took me by the shoulder and we talked to the operator. They stopped the ride – COMPLETELY – and turned away all the people in line. Mortified and blinded, I was solely dependent on this guy who HAD to think I was an idiot. I certainly thought I was one. They got a maintenance guy who waded into the murky gray-green water to fish out my glasses. After a grueling 10-15 minutes, he found them. I got them back and clutched onto them for dear life. We headed to the nearest bathroom so I could wash them off. After, I put them on. In the relief of them having found a pair of glasses, I failed to notice these were NOT my glasses. More mortified that I thought possible, we went back, they stopped the ride again, and the maintenance guy once again waded through the murky water - again he found a pair of glasses (this time mine).

I was done. I was thoroughly embarrassed. With my tail between my legs, I apologized to my date and asked if we could just leave. But then he placed his hand on my shoulder, took his sunglasses off, looked me square in the eye, and said “It’s alright.” We ended having a great time the rest of the evening – but only after we got one of those strings to hold your glasses on your head!

Point of the conversation: While no strings attached makes for interesting stories, “it’s alright” with them.

- Rusty Peters

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