I’m not one for tea or coffee but going to this coffee shop became one of my favorite past times during my lunch break. I was never late, or ever too early but always on time to be seen walking in, spot on in style and presumed to be in need of a hot drink. To be seen by him – the one always sitting at the corner at the far left. Yes! I went just for him! You can judge me later but just read on and get my drift.
On this faithful bright day, looking my very best, I took my usual seat 3 seats away but just alternate to him. Just good enough for both of us to have a good unnoticed view of each other. He nodded in recognition and I twitched my lips in response like I could care less, but boy! It was a breakthrough! The very first form of communication we’ve had in months. Anyways, I went about ordering the usual boring, bitter-tasting coffee and sipped it down while I read my conference papers to keep me busy and occupied.
Long day at work? Someone was saying, but there was no response. I lifted up my head to see who was dissed and there he was, sitting at my table, right with me, in my space – asking that question. I was stammering, hiccuping and jumping all at once (in my head of course) but appeared calm and cool as I smiled back. Oh me? You can say that again! I muttered like the stress was on my shoulder, which really got him amused and giggling at my forlorn expression. His boyish looks and smile easily warmed my heart, and from that point on, I was oblivious to anything else other than just the two of us. When It was time to go, I wished I didn’t have to and I noticed he felt the same way. So, I picked up my bag, feigning being late and needing to bail, but not before he got my phone and dialed his number to get my number and promised to give me a call while I sped away feeling accomplished and excited!
I looked at the phone all evening as I got home, waiting for a twitch, a flash, a ring or a vibration and none came. Then it rang suddenly and in a big flash I picked it up hurriedly without noticing who it was and I put up my best thick but clear British-Nigerian accent. “Hello,” I called out so subtly and smiling while at it, but Emilia’s voice came back at me annoyingly and broke the bubble! Oh, by the way, Emilia is my best friend who has tried to hook me up with all kinds of men; slim, long, fat, bulky, bald…….. name them, she’s brought them. Emilia is connected. So this was her calling to keep up with my love interest or to offer a next candidate. As I was in no mood for her sermon, I practically begged her to hang up ASAP. I threw the phone on the bed, exasperated! But just then it rang again, and I’m thinking… ‘Emilia will not give it a rest!’ So I picked it up and barked.. ‘WHAT?’ and then I hear his voice, laughing at me hilariously. That’s definitely not how I pictured you responding to a peaceful call, he muttered, still laughing. I come in peace he begged.
We talked the whole night like we knew ourselves in some ancient time back. I was glad, happy, feeling gooey in my stomach and rolling to and from my queen-sized bed like a love-struck teenage girl. I was going to sleep well that night dreaming of us sitting by the beach, holding hands and just watching the sun set. Hmmmmmm…. a girl is allowed to dream, right? I was ecstatic throughout our deep convo and he blew the roof top away by asking for a first date the next day. Many hours after he rang off, I stayed awake, wondering what to wear! Back in the office the next day, my choice of wear was all I could think about. I thought of going out to pick a new dress, but I didn’t want to make it such a big deal. I was distracted all day and in complete knots and dreaded the close of work clock, chiming in my stomach.
After work, I rushed home instead of lingering around to gist with my colleagues, as usual. Everyone knew I had a big night coming up because of Emilia’s big mouth and so they let me off easily and wished me good luck. And good luck I definitely needed as I rummaged through my unrecognizable and malfunctioned wardrobe, uncertain what a perfect first date attire should look like. By the way, I have since come to understand that:
‘It is very important that you have a functioning wardrobe, arranged in categories of events…casual, formal, etc. to ease the stress of choice making.’
I was going mad! I had all worlds of outfits mixed up together, almost forming Lagos 3rd mainland bridge to the connecting room. I tried 6 different looks in counting and after much dilemma, I finally settled for a sleeveless long black V-necked sequins gown, with a wicked slit in front, a matching sequins purse and very high black glassy stilettos and of course, with very simple accessories to go with all the bling already on the dress and purse. Less than 5 minutes after I was all dressed, made up and ready to go, my door-bell chimed and my date stood waiting. Excitedly but confidently, I took a last look at the mirror – impressed with the outcome and walked straight for the door, switching off all my lights and appliances, to avoid unnecessary bills being accrued in absentia. Yea, I am prudent like that.
Opening the door, all I saw first was his eyes, which made me smile. When I had the time to get over my crush and take in his full looks, my eyes popped out (like they do in the cartoons) and back into sockets as I realized I had majorly goofed in my choice of wear. Dude was dressed in casual T-shirt, jeans and sneakers! And here I was dressed like I was going to the presidential ball!
It was a major blunder for me and I vowed never to let myself down again like that. That is why I have curated these first date style ideas that are vibrant, playful yet classy, very fashion-forward and would fit into any scenario your date decides upon if you are clueless on your destination like I totally was. Click the gallery above to see a variety of style inspirations.
Stay stylish Ravens!
Written by Sema Bassie
Photo credit: Pinterest, Sashapua