the first date

Sat, 02/28/2015 - 22:43 -- mhui

today is the first date, and you’re not you.

 

he pulls the chair out for you

and you sit.

your nerves are thoroughly wracked

and your palms are clammy,

you put your phone on the table

and you wait.

 

he’s watching you now.

is the lie written on your face? your expression? your movements? your clothes? your makeup?

it’s a bittersweet sort of nervousness.

you look down

and he looks away.

 

the silence is deafening.

it’s different

because you have nothing to hide behind.

 

instead of a screen, there’s only air

and instead of filters, what you see

is what you get.

 

you want this to be real. you’ve decided that

for once

you want to be the real you

on the first date.

 

but it’s difficult.

you have tried so hard to be

perfect,

be the “Ideal Girl.”

 

“Ideal Girl” was

party girl

hipster girl

wanderlust girl

fashionable girl

make-up girl

artistic girl

funny girl

and pretty girl

all rolled up into one.

 

and on Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Tumblr

Pinterest

and Snapchat

that girl was you.

 

but now

without the help of filters

or emojis

or editing

you’re scared.

 

you wonder whether he will like you

for you.

 

you,

who likes reading in the dark,

staying home with family

playing video games in bed

watching documentaries 24/7

making ugly faces at yourself in the mirror

wearing sweats and t-shirts and no make-up.

 

the you that the world knows through a screen

versus

the you that lives, guilt-ridden, in your heart.

 

will he understand that you’re not the

glossed-over

head-tilted-just-right

selfie-game-strong

fashion-queen

fake

perfect

girl

that your photos and music and videos and emojis and likes and texts

say you are?

 

will he want

that second date?

 

today is the first date, you’re not you,

and you’re about to find out.

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