Our First Date

The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.


Few people believe that I took Stephanie to the infamously greasy and not-quite-good Skip's Restaurant in Chelmsford, MA on our first official date. The truth is, every other place we looked, from the 99 to countless smaller restaurants around the Greater Lowell area, was full to the brim on a Saturday night.

We ate a cheap meal, the perfect kind of meal for two college students with very little money, and we had a good conversation, although it was a bit sparse. I remember being particularly aware that I shouldn’t ever let my eyes drift if I saw an attractive waitress. There aren’t usually attractive waitresses at Skips, so I don’t know what I was worried about, but maybe there was one that night.

After dinner I was really unsure of what to do next. On a typical ChrisClark date, a movie was the next natural step. We were low on cash though, and this wasn’t a typical ChrisClark date. I didn’t want it to be. I didn’t want it to be a typical ChrisClark relationship.

So, seeing as we’d traveled all the way south from Bradford to my hometown of Chelmsford, I decided to take Stef by my house. I didn’t know whether my parents would be there or not, but it wasn’t really an issue. If they were there, I’d get the chance to introduce her. If not, I’d get the chance to be alone with her for really the first time.

As it turned out, my parents were not there. We ended up flipping through old photo albums on the withering loveseat in the living room, which my parents had covered carefully with a blue bedsheet to effectively have themselves a new living room, if only for a short while. It was a short visit and she enjoyed looking at the pictures of me as a kid, and we got out of there before my parents came home from wherever they were, though I think she finally did meet them during a similar visit where they weren’t there at first and then they showed up.

We drove back to Bradford. We probably kissed each other goodnight, though I can’t recall, and then we went to our separate rooms and I was as happy as I’d been in a long time.