First dates are always a little bit nerve wracking. Will they be the same as you imagined? Will it get weird? Is this going anywhere? It’s an anxiety inducing situation. Add in cosplaying adults and an all day comic book convention and things can get weird. What follows is a mostly true story, with some details changed to protect those involved.
A guy I had dated a several years ago was in town. We had dated years ago. However, since we met just before he had to move for work, we never properly dated beyond the first couple of dates. We stayed in touch, and one day he let me know he’d be in town because he might be moving back. He asked if I’d be down to go with him on a double date to Comic-Con, and I happily accepted. The day came, It was a coldish-April day, that also happened to be 4/20. He was staying at a friend’s house for the week, so we met there to chill before heading out to the con. The friend lived with his girlfriend, and she was pretty interested in playing hostess, so she made a nice breakfast before we all headed out. They had only recently moved in so they were still in the “yes, babe,” “anything you want babe”, stage. Things were pretty lovey dovey, but since this was still a fairly early date for me and The Guy, we just exchanged cute glances. The Guy’s friend had a vape, so we called a ride, and vaped outside, just before heading into the convention.
A comic convention is an amazing date if you’re into someone by the way. We didn’t cosplay, but the number of people dressed in cool costumes is basically a non-stop conversation starter. It’s easy to ask questions and get to know each other based on what you like. Anyway back to my story. We had just gotten to the main floor of the con, and were laughing and relaxed after smoking together. Things were going great, when all of a sudden, we noticed a guy standing near us, standing as if waiting to talk to us. We weren’t in line for anything, so there was no chance that he was waiting for his turn to get an autograph signed. The laughter died down as he approached, and we got silent waiting to hear what he had to say.
“Hey, isn’t your name Grace?” he said to my date’s friend’s girlfriend. Apprehensively, she replied, “Yes, who are you?”
“My name is Martin,” he said. “Didn’t you used to work at [he named a decent bar in the city]? I used to come there all the time.”
“Yes,” she said, the light of recognition flooding her eyes. “I haven’t seen you in forever! I left that place a long time ago! How have you been?” She went on to introduce us all to him as a person who used to come to the restaurant regularly.
“I’ve been good! I had cancer, but I’m better now,” he said as nonchalantly as if he were saying he had just come back from the grocery store.
We all looked on, shocked. The boyfriend stood with his arm around her, protectively. Martin stepped in closer to the girlfriend. “Hey, I’d love to see you some time. Would you want to give me your number?”
This was getting awkward. My date and I excused ourselves to go check out some comic books nearby (within hearing distance, of course).
“I have a boyfriend. You just met him,” she replied. Said boyfriend stepped closer to put space between them and the man encroaching on our days.
“No problem,” said Martin, “but if you want a change of pace, call me.” And off he went.
I’m not going to lie, things were tense as hell for the rest of the day, and it made our date that much more weird. My date and I broke away, smoked a little more and enjoyed the rest of the day together. I heard later they had broken up, but for other reasons. My date and I did get into a relationship, but we laughed for years about that encounter. I guess the guy was feeling like he beat cancer, and wanted to go for it. I can’t blame him. I still think about him from time to time, and hope he found what he was looking for, because he was part of an extremely memorable 4/20.