One very hot summer day in Dallas, Texas, I was set to meet a lovely, ambitious girl for the first time. She was a very busy girl. She was going to school to be a doctor and also balancing a job as a research assistant at a hospital. And that’s where I was picking her up for our lunch date.
I was happily driving there when I noticed my car’s air conditioning starting to blow warm air. Then my car started to overheat. I noticed that if I turned off the air conditioner, it didn’t overheat as much. This was bad. I got to the hospital and waited outside for her. I kept thinking, How I can get away with not turning on the air conditioner? It’s a blazing 100 degrees in Texas. What possible reason do I have to NOT turn on the A/C? Well, I was going to try.
I saw her come out the hospital and I could see her smile.
Men, you know that feeling when you get your first smile on a date. It’s motivating. You want to make her smile again. You want this date to go well.
But that was not in the cards for me on that day. We started driving with my windows rolled down. I played the card of, “Oh, it’s breezy. Let’s let the wind blow against our face.” Well, at 100 degrees, it feels like a dog is breathing down your face.
Her: “Um, you think we can turn on the air conditioner? It’s pretty hot today.”
Me: “Yeah, no biggie.”
Seriously, y’all. I knew it wasn’t going to work. I prayed for a miracle, but the Lord has a sense of humor. We drove for five minutes when she noticed something:
Her: (Puts hands over vents)
Me: (Drives like there’s nothing wrong)
Her: “Umm, so … It’s seems there’s no cold air coming out.”
Me: “Huh? Yeah. So I did notice my car overheating earlier, so I think that may be why …”
At this point, I wanted to die. It’s freaking hot and my air conditioner doesn’t work. First-world problems right? This was OK, though, because the pizza place we were going to was close by. I wanted to get there as fast a possible. For one, my car was still slowly heating up, and two, there’s air conditioning at the restaurant. But God had other plans because I looked at my rear-view mirror and saw the cops asking me to pull over.
Me: “Yeah. No clue why he’s pulling me over.”
I do have a heavy foot, so I’m usually guilty of speeding, but not today. I actually had no idea why I was being pulled over.
Officer: “Good afternoon.”
Me: “Hello, officer.”
Officer: “Did you know that your tail light is out?”
Fifteen minutes into the date and I have no air conditioning, an overheating car, a tail light out … and I get pulled over.
At the end of the day, we had our date and a good conversation. We did go on several other dates after that, but it never went anywhere. I kept remembering that day as the worst first date ever, and it still makes me laugh.
A few years passed; she’s now married, but we remained friends. Recently the local radio station had listeners calling in their worst dates. I remembered mine, and then I decided to message her in good fun about the radio station and the date we had. This was her response:
It’s funny you mention that, because my view of the date was totally different. I mean I have had BAD dates in the past, but that one wasn’t so bad. If nothing else, I thought that all the things gone wrong just made it a day to laugh at the idiosyncrasies of life. At the end of the day, you left a really good impression on me with your great personality and wonderful conversation. So, not so bad in my book after all.
As much as I stressed out about all the details of the date, what was most important was what’s inside.
Matt Chandler says that “godliness is sexy to godly people.” I believe that. I thank God for this date to show me that.
I don’t stress out about dates anymore like I used too. The Lord has done a tremendous work in my heart, and all I have to do is be me.
The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. –1 Samuel 16:7