The First Date

red car on muddy road near trees
Photo by ahmad syahrir on

You know being as I write romance, this issue of the first date comes up often for me. At some point, my characters must make the leap and go on that often times awkward, always nerve-wracking, and rarely perfect first date. I love this part of my stories, the contriving of the first date! During this process, I can tap all the fantasies of the first perfect date I or any other woman out there has ever conceived of. Sometimes the dates turn out perfect, sometimes they’re less than stellar, and there are times the first date is a veritable disaster.

Ever had one of those? Ever been on a first date that was a complete disaster?

Back in 2012, when I was contracted with a small press out of Indy and blog hops were all the rage (does anyone do those anymore?) a few of the authors with that house got together and hosted a blog hop. The theme was…you guess it, sugars!…first date disasters. It was absolute terrific fun sharing my disastrous first date story and reading about everyone else’s epic failures in the dating scene. This morning, I was filtering through some old files and happened upon my blog post from that hop. Not only was my piece about a first date disaster, it was about my first date ever. Back then, writing posts didn’t come as easily for me as they do today, and the post is a bit choppy. I thought I’d revise it a bit, do some polishing, and share it with you today. So, without further ado…read on for an epic first date disaster in the life of Dixie…

First date disasters…boy to I have a doozy.

I was raised in the 80s when it had just become en vogue to begin dating as early as the 8th grade. Not only were boys alien to me in the 8th grade, my parents were those parents who were insistent that I would not be going on car dates until I was at least 16. I was three months from that mark when an upper classman, God bless him—he recently passed away and this memory is such a fond one of him, finally got up the courage to ask me out. He was as nervous as I was, I think.

Looking back, I think my parents struggled with me going out even so close to turning 16, but they knew the boy’s parents and relented.

The big night came. The first Friday I’d be having a real car date. After dark even! My date came roaring into my drive-way in his dad’s four-wheel drive pick-up to get me and had another boy with him, which was unexpected and my parents weren’t too happy with it. But my date assured them we were going to fetch the other boy’s date as soon as we left.

We didn’t exactly get that far. Allegedly we had a while before she would be ready and the boys thought it would be a good idea to go muddin’. Now if you’re not from the south and aren’t a redneck by blood, you might not be familiar with this term. Let me describe it. You take your daddy’s four-wheel drive vehicle out and find the muckiest, muddiest road you can and see how many deep puddles of goo you can make it through. Oh yeah, it’s a lot of fun, as long as you don’t go getting stuck.

Like we did.

I grew up just outside an Army installation and on the back side of it was what used to be a bombing range, but was no longer in use…Oh, and before I go any further—it was the middle of December and colder than a well digger’s ass.  And it had rained and rained and rained and rained and rained for days and days and days. Oh, yeah. The boys thought this was terrific idea to go the “range” and do this muddin’. We made it through several tough spots which had the boys hooting with glee, but then the disaster portion of the date struck. Before my date could get stopped, he drove into a swampy overflow area of the river. Yes, the river was out of its banks and not looking too pretty at all. It wasn’t all that deep where he managed to get stopped (and thank the Baby Jesus he did get stopped at all!), but boy’s howdy were we stuck! To the axles I might add. And the temperatures were dropping.

Bear in mind, this was long before cell phones.

Now, I’d taken great pains to look my very best for this first date and had on my best jeans and best button-down shirt like was all the craze and had on my best pair of white sneakers. Yes, white. And here we were knee deep in mud a few miles off the road and away from civilization. And thus, the walk began. Luckily, oh, a couple of miles into our little stroll, a coon hunter happened by and picked us up. After he’d dropped us off at a friend’s house, the boys tried to figure out what to do about the truck, about me, and what the flip to tell my parents that wouldn’t bring hell raining down on their heads.

Luckily, I did make curfew, but my parents were a bit infuriated. I was grounded until after the New Year and my date’s parents were none too happy to have to have a wrecker go pull the truck out the next morning after the ground thawed. Yes, men folk out there, the axles were busted at that point as was the pumpkin.


Uh, yeah! Of epic proportions.

I think of that boy with fondness. Hope there are plenty of puddles to splash through in heaven, honey.



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