Where did I go right?

I have a problem. OK, I have lots of problems but I am choosing to ignore my fear of telephones and unfounded hatred of cat people in favor of a more pressing issue.

There's a girl. No, woman, you prefer the term woman right " or is it Gyno-American? Is that the correct way to say it?

Anyway, there's a girl who I met while speed-dating. We both agreed that we'd like to talk more. So after speed-dating we started e-mailing back and forth, her asking pertinent, relevant questions and me asking if she thought pianist was a funny word. Then I asked (begged) her to dinner and she said yes.

OK, time for our actual first date. Alrighty brain, let's plan this. Gotta be good you know, gotta stand out and be unique. How bout Jack-in-the-Box, everyone loves hamburgers!

Seriously brain, you're fired. Just pack up the synapses and go home. Jack-in-the-Box, dumbest idea ever ... Or is it so dumb it's brilliant?

After punishing my brain by poking it with a Q-Tip, I decided to go with Italian, figuring if nothing else, there would be plenty of wine.

The night of the date arrives and I hoped to arrive early, (So that I could see her coming and make sure I was looking good and not "adjusting" anything), but she beat me to it.

That's one of the best parts of a date, the first look. That initial reaction when you first see your date speaks volumes about how the experience will go. If the first thing you notice is positive, it's a good date. If the first thing you notice is that he's that guy from the newspaper, bad date. (As luck would have it, she doesn't read the newspaper).

I walked around the corner and this curly blond-haired girl with huge blue eyes and stunning white teeth was standing outside in the cold. Here it was, my opportunity to be witty and make a good first impression.

OK, time to use that huge writer's vocabulary and compliment her. She looks ... scrumptious? She's not a sandwich. She looks ... decadent? That means in moral decline you idiot. She looks . . . infectious? (Pause) ARE YOU EVEN TRYING???

So what do I mutter but, "Hi. You look nice." $80,000-worth of college education and I pull out "nice." Fan-freakin-tastic.

But back to my problem. I have since grown to like this blonde beauty and despite my best efforts, I'm pretty sure she likes me back.

Now for you "normal people," with your Jell-O pudding and your sweaters, you don't consider this a problem, but I do.

Sidenote: Yes, I firmly believe that Bill Cosby is the standard of normal. Let's just consider that problem No. 4 on the list.

Here's my problem: There is no problem. Everything's good. For a guy who thrives on something always being slightly off with the girls I date, I got nothing.

Most people would say, "Maybe she's perfect for you." I say, "Maybe she's a man."

To answer the question everyone is thinking. Yes, I am seeking professional help and no, it is not working.

Oh, wait. My parents are in town and want to meet her " brain, you're back on the job.

I think I'll take them to Jack-in-the-Box.

Next week: Meet the parents. Got a good first date story? Tell me about it.


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