Cue stumped/nervous/WTF-is-this-guy-thinking look from my just over five-foot tall date named S******.
S******: “Where are we going?”
Swamp Thing: “It doesn’t matter where we’re going. What matters is that I only have fifteen minutes!”
I would like to acknowledge Josh Radnor, Sarah Chalke, and the entire writing staff of “How I Met Your Mother” for being the inspiration behind this entire night. If it wasn’t for Ted Mosby’s attempt at swooning Stella away, I would have probably settled for the usual dinner and a movie.
I would also like to mention that the build up for this fifteen minutes took more than just an exchanged phone number and introductory phone call. This quarter of an hour escapade had been brewing all summer. It had been cancelled and rescheduled, evaded and procrastinated to the point where I was about to throw in the towel for going on a date with S******. But the Ted Mosby inside of me still set this entire night up after what seemed like months of child’s play, and if this girl was only going to give me fifteen minutes of her life, it would be the best damn fifteen minutes that she would ever experience.
S******: “So uh, where are we going?”
Swamp Thing: “Oh, its this fancy new restaurant that I just heard about downtown. Word on the street is that it’s called ‘The Park’.”
S******: “Wait, you’re taking me to dinner at a park?”
Swamp Thing: “Not just ‘a’ park, ‘the’ Park. It’s gonna take off, trust me.”
Cue Swamp Thing’s Nissan Rogue pulling up to Vernon Worthen park in downtown St. George, where a candlelight dinner of fresh cut oranges was awaiting us. Oranges because this girl said she was on some kind of cleanse and could only eat fruits and vegetables for a week. And so that’s what we did. We sat in a gazebo for three-and-a-half minutes and ate sliced up mandarin oranges, meanwhile exchanging the pleasantries of getting to know one another. After all, it was a first date. Looking down at my watch I yelled out.
Swamp Thing: “OH SHOOT! WE GOTTA GO!”
S******: Half amused/half confused reaction “Go where? We just got here!”
Swamp Thing: “We have a movie to catch!”
S******: “A movie? Are you serious?”
Swamp Thing: “Yep, grab your purse.”
And with that we ran to my car. Fumbling with my keys, I opened her door, ran around the vehicle and rushed in to my side. Igniting up the car I drove a whopping ten feet before jerking it to a halt.
S******: “What are you doing? What time does the movie start?”
Swamp Thing: “Right now.”
Reaching into my glove box I pulled out an iPad and placed it on my dashboard, the film “500 Days of Summer” already playing at full volume. Cue the scene where Joseph Gordon-Leavitt is singing “You Make My Dreams Come True” with the UCLA marching band behind him.
Swamp Thing: “Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve heard that drive-in movie theaters like this are making a comeback."
Cue blushing by S******.
After another three minutes of formal talking to each other, exchanging the regular “getting to know you” questions that usually accompanies a first date, I looked down at my watch again in a frenzy.
Swamp Thing: “Shoot! We have to go!”
S******: “What? What are you talking about?”
Swamp Thing: “There’s this club that we have to get to before it closes. I’ve heard it’s a really popular place these days.”
Putting my Rogue in gear I drove as quickly, and as cautiously as I could around the entire perimeter of the park we had just been enjoying our flick at. I stopped in the exact spot that I had been parked at when we were there just a few minutes earlier for our exquisite dinner at ‘The Park’.
S******: “What are we doing?”
Swamp Thing: “Going to this great club.”
S******: “Great club? We’re at the same park!”
Swamp Thing: laughing “No we’re not. What are you talking about? I’ve heard that this place is great. It’s called the Gazebo. But the G is silent. Come on, let’s go!”
Rushing out to the same gazebo we had just enjoyed our exquisite dinner at seven minutes earlier, there sat a metal container with a fresh bottle of spring water on ice, with two champagne glasses waiting for us. Cue background music by Ben Folds on my iPod for full effect. Pouring the water, I instigated yet another customary conversation with S****** and enjoyed the remainder of the fifteen minutes that I had left.
S******: “I will have to say, I’m pretty impressed that you threw all of this together at the last minute, especially because we have such a short amount of time tonight.”
Swamp Thing: “I know, if my flight for Morocco wasn’t leaving in two minutes and 45 seconds, I think this night could have gone a lot better.”
And with that, I looked at my watch again, let out a yelp of surprise, and rushed S****** back to the car just in time to drop her off on her porch before my car turned back into a pumpkin.
S******: “We’ll have to do this again sometime.”
Swamp Thing: “For sure. Only next time, I hope you’ll give me more than just fifteen minutes.”
A quick hug, a split-second glimpse at each others lips, and I was back in my car as she shut the door behind her. It was a great date I thought as I drove off to catch the flight to Morocco that was waiting for me in my apartment bedroom. Some of the best fifteen minutes that $7.48 can buy in this troubled world that we live in. I would have enjoyed the night carrying on, but then again, she told me that she only had a short amount of time that night to spend with me.
Now you may be wondering dear reader, did she call back? Was she amazed? Did the sparks fly hot enough that there was reason enough to be a second date between the two of us?
And the reason is that girls don’t want Ted Mosby’s like me. Girls don’t want to be swept off their feet in a hurry and be romanced like the dread pirate Roberts in a black mask. Girls these days are content with being treated like a 12 oz. porterhouse stuffed away watching B-list movies while the man gets whatever gratification that he needs. Girls are no longer treated like the queens that they should be. And when a charismatic, exciting, respectful man shows up to their door to give them the best fifteen minute courtship of their life, they delete it and restock their dating experiences with dinners at Applebee’s and 1 am booty calls.
Back to the drawing board I guess. We’ll see what the next fifteen minutes are like.