My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose by Kendall Defoe

Again with the flowers? There should be a law about this. Every single time with roses. Who wrote that rule, anyway? Why ruin a perfectly good plant by taking it out of its home and – let’s be fair – killing it for some sort of mating ritual. There should be a law…

Are you really going to wear that? I’m sure she’ll be impressed by the way everything you own clashes.

Where do you go shopping, anyway? Amity? The Salvation Army’s annual fire sale? You really need to do something with your look and fast! You’ve only got two hours!

You’re leaving now? Don’t you know anything about dating? You gotta show up a little late and not look too anxious. She’s gonna think that you haven’t gone on a date in a while. Is that true? When was the last one? The leaves weren’t on the trees (and that’s all I’ll say about that). Just wait a while and don’t worry. She probably won’t be ready.

You want him to think that you’re easy? Take a break from the short skirts. You have to keep him guessing. And what did you eat today? Watch the carbs or you’re going to be buying a whole new wardrobe every time you meet a guy. And this one is a nice guy; nicest one you’ve met in a while. You should feel lucky.

Did you remember to get gas? I hope you did. She’s gonna get strange ideas in her head if the car suddenly “breaks down” in some shady place without a gas station. She’s gonna think you had plans. There’s a station three blocks up. You should be able to pass by it and not miss her place, or “stall” before you get there. And use unleaded (you don’t want to pollute)!

Is he going to show up early or late? If he’s late, you should just tell him off. He’s going to give you some lame excuse about running out of gas or his car refusing to start. And does he have a car? He doesn’t commute to work, does he? A man should drive.

So…knock. Try the doorbell first. Okay, take her arm, if she’ll let you. Don’t forget to hold the door open for her. You can’t expect her to always be opening doors. And say something nice about her hair. She already knows about your interest in her dress (good move!) Yes, it is a little tight, but it is right for her. Watch the road!

Where is he taking you? He said that he knew an out of the way place, but you seem to be really out of the way here. Maybe he got lost. No, it’s not that dark yet. Why would you think that? You’re on a highway. Just let the man drive you. There are lights everywhere. He isn’t going do anything to you. Unless…you want him to. I told you about that dress. He couldn’t stop staring, could he?

I hope she likes Chinese. You talked about it, I hope. Still, you’ve gotta wonder about MSG and all of that fried food. Don’t go to the buffet unless she is up for it. And you are paying! Don’t let her think that you would drive all the way out here so that she could pay for her own dinner. And I hope that you made reservations (it looks busy inside).

He made sure that you two would have a private booth. Is he thinking about something more than dessert? You tell me. At least he moved the chair out of the way for you. Did you thank him for that? Wait until after the date. If it doesn’t work out, then you will always know at least one good thing about him. Believe me, it works.

Stay away from the mustard! Your stomach and colon will thank you for it, and so will she. And remember the fried stuff. Just stay with chow mein and steamed vegetables (are they the same thing?) That’s all you need right now. Your stomach will get used to it. It’s just one night.

Look at him go with the vegetables. And he didn’t order any alcohol. Smart man… Is he a vegetarian? Is he religious about that? Did you bother to think about that? No, you didn’t. But he never talked about it. He just asked you out. Now he wants to talk to you. Don’t put anything in your mouth yet. Listen and wait. He won’t hear what you have to say to him if you’ve got sweet and sour spare ribs flying out of your mouth. Just try and keep up with him.

Well, let’s look at that bill, then. You have to pay. Don’t look her in the eyes. Just drop your Visa on the tray and let the waitress take it. Not bad looking, is she? Don’t stare! She’s right in front you, remember? She’s your date! You don’t want to ruin this, right?

He paid without asking you for anything. You’d better hang on to this one. But why did he slip the card on the tray like that? Did he want to hide it from you? Did he think you had no money? He saw your purse. It’s on the table – don’t forget it! – and you left it open. Maybe he thinks you just keep make-up and breath mints (might be a good thing to do some touch-up work in the ladies room, if you know what I mean; check around the eyes – hint, hint).

Okay, you’re taking her home. Just drop her off and wish her good night. And that’s it! Maybe just a peck on the cheek and the promise of a call. Just open the door for her. The car door. She can handle her own. Now walk her to her own door. She’s smiling. Looks good in the security light. She’s still smiling. She wants her kiss. Now!

Awkward… What took you so long? You thought he would just grab you and give you a big kiss? It’s the first date. Just take it easy. Don’t expect him to call you right away. Relax. You don’t want to rush things. Nothing should stand in the way of true love.

Writer/Reader/Poet/Dreamer... Kendall is a college instructor, experimenter with the written word, and someone who thinks that books are worth saving. (Also: librarians and snail mail—damn you, Canada Post and certain school boards!) I just hope that someone gets a laugh and enjoys my work...