1. Faith
    Faith was a cheerleader, and before you all congratulate me at once, know that my first and only cheerleader girlfriend was in 7th grade, where they let anyone who could hop up and down a spot on the roster. To prepare for our date, I went to the mall and bought one of those heart charms and had our names engraved on either side. I kept the half with my own name, like a moron. I got us tickets to see Graffiti Bridge, and she never showed up. I still have the unripped ticket somewhere.
  2. Jenn
    A family friend, as religious as she was drop dead gorgeous. She went to catholic school during the time we went out, and because of her strict upbringing, the lone date we went on - to see King Ralph, which I had just seen the day before - could not be a real date. I would have to sit behind her at the movie, while she sat with a girlfriend. I never got to talk to her and she never turned around. The next year, she went to my school and had sex in the bathroom with a guy during an assembly.
  3. A long period of no interest
  4. Beth
    Beth was my 1st official kiss, in a darkened priest's office after her mother's remarriage, our 1st date. I had found a phone in the office and used it to call a friend to get me the hell out of there. She found me & kissed me. My mouth did not move. I agreed to meet her at a movie shortly thereafter, but did not show up. I heard later that she walked five miles to the theater. She asked me to choose between her or my friends. I chose my friends. I was 18. I'm 37 now and she won't let me forget.
  5. Patty
    Patty was Annie Hall. She really was. Her goofiness and free-spirited nature were exactly what I was looking for. I had liked women before, but she was the first I loved. She dated a few abusive guys, guys I had played little league with who couldn't play the field for shit, then went out with a series of guys who could've played me in a movie. It was a year before we went out. Our hands fit. We kissed after Toy Story. It was bad. I found out from her sister that I was not her real boyfriend.
  6. Prentiss
    Prentiss was my first serious girlfriend. We were friends from school, but I wanted to date her friend Wendy. One day, Prentiss disappeared, & in the intervening hours before she eventually surfaced, I realized that she was the one I couldn't live without, not Wendy. We dated for four years, but accrued a lifetime of in-jokes that continue to this day. We broke up when she started going with this photographer/art major who I am still convinced was an actual serial killer.
  7. Gena
    Gena was my first rebound. She was a librarian, and though that is absolutely a thing with me, she did not look like one at all. Friend of friend set me up with her via her personal information at Circuit City (not my idea). I cold called her & she seemed neat. She did not have a good sense of humor, but despite this, I invited her to watch High Fidelity & The Royal Tenenbaums. We held hands, but then she turned away both times I went in to kiss her. I broke up with her via email. Wasn't for me.
  8. Victoria
    The big one. Saw a picture of her on Myspace, of all places, decided to write her, despite her living in LA and me in Pennsylvania. We talked every day. Moved to LA, married her, had a son (one of the things each of us thought made this fate was that we both always wanted a Sam). Moved to NC a few years later, and one day, I saw the first Twilight was on demand. I said, "Hey, you wanna make fun of this with me?" We were about 20 minutes in when she said "Shh shh shh." The marriage was lost.
  9. Tracy
    My first post-separation date. Interesting note about Tracy was that I recognized her from my divorce hearing cattle call (all the divorces happened one by one in a courtroom). We did bar trivia together, a first for both of us, and almost won. When I walked her to her car, it started to rain lightly. She saw it as a sign. I did not. We kissed anyway. She was too agreeable with everything I said, which makes banter impossible. I did not return her phone calls.
  10. Anna
    Anna was most beautiful when she looked unhappy, she being the "I myself am strange and unusual" type. We met at a record store that was mostly CDs (like, a 1990's amount of CDs; it was kind of beautiful). She laughed easily and was more into smoking than me by 100%, so I knew it wouldn't work out, but I thought she was super cool. She wrote me and said basically the same thing, that she wasn't the girl for me, good luck, etc. I wrote a brief rebuttal and she said, "OK, come over if you want."
  11. Lesley
    Lesley farted in a book store and acted like it was a rare book. I knew it was her.
  12. Katie
    A beautiful paralegal. She did not laugh when I pretended to not know what that meant, asking "Is that when someone ties you onto the back of a boat with a parachute?" I had actually turned her down months before, because sight unseen she was asking for sex, and I'm not that kinda gal. I ordered some salad bullshit, thinking she was too classy for bar food. She ordered the chicken fingers. Before we hugged goodnight, she said, "We're just going to be friends." Shoulda shown up for the sex!!!!
  13. Diane
    Diane was so pretty in a "married to her for six years" kind of way. I actually work right next door to her now, aaand nope, can't see her from my window. Diane did not talk. I thought I talked too much on our first date, so I deliberately did not prepare for our second. Forty minutes into date #2, I was weakly asking if she liked baseball hats and if she had seen The Shawshank Redemption the night before. "Oh, was it on?" she asked. "No," I said. She emailed me a thanks but no thanks.
  14. Barbara
    Oh, Barbara. On & off OKCupid, I somehow always grabbed her right as she was lurking before she disappeared again. I read her blog, unbeknownst to her, all 7 years of it. I admired her like a character in a book, her writing and art simple in a before-TV way. I talked her into going out, but she canceled due to boyfriend. They parted and I asked again. She agreed, then canceled due to same boyfriend's return. Again they parted. Finally, a date. I adored her. She felt differently. She moved away.