Easter long weekend of 1993 was upon us and a lot of people had gone home for a few days. I stayed behind. So did Corinne and a bunch of us. I had the phone number to her dorm and was psyching myself up to do “the call”.
The big moment where I asked a girl on a date had rarely gone off without a hitch. In most cases it resulted in a bomb not seen since the Manhattan Project. But I was past the point of no return now and was pacing the halls of my dorm so much I was burning a hole in the carpet.
Self-doubt was at an all time high. Corinne was a whole new level since we really were tight friends and the last thing I wanted was to shut that all down because I was going into rut season. I consider stepping away from the phone and retreating to my usual defensive posture. However, the Ghost of Christmas Past decided to pay me a visit.
In a moment, I suddenly hear a voice from years before. The thick Kenyan accent flashes through my memory…
I grab the dorm payphone and make the call. It takes a few moments as someone fetches her. I do my best to keep it cool.
“Hi Corinne! I was wondering if you were busy tonight and wanted to get out for the evening?”
“That would be great! What do you want to do?” she says, not skipping a beat. It suddenly occurred to me I had not actually planned anything for her saying ‘yes’. Think fast man!
“Marry you and have four kids.” Thankfully I did not say this.
“Uh, how about a movie and diner afterwards?” I was maybe going a little above any beyond what should have been a simple coffee date, but it was still under par for the course. Hey, I was still getting the hang of this, so shut up.
“Ok! What time?”
Odd, she sounds like she legitimately wants to go. Nuts! I haven’t planned for this contingency! I blurt out the only words I can thing of.
“See you in the lounge around four?” Why four? No idea. I could have just as easily said ‘Liverwurst’.
“Great! See you at four!” Wait, did I just successfully ask Corinne out on a date? Holy crap, I just asked the hot brunette out on a date and she agreed. I play it cool and slowly hang up the phone. Witnesses would say I did a rather impressive moonwalk back to my room. I knock on the door across the hall and Andrew opens.
“Guess which guy is going on a date tonight?”
“She said yes?” Andrew was clearly happy for me.
I’m strutting now. “She. Said. Yes.” I check the clock. It’s three hours until show time. Andrew asks me the dreaded question, “Where are you going?”
“I said diner and a…” I hesitate. “…movie.”
Time for your Cultural Clarity Lesson moment.
Movies were discouraged for Bible college attendees during this time since the subject matter generally contained a fair amount of T&A. It was a “Keep Your Eye on the Ball” way of governing the students, and it made sense from that perspective.
I however, was still adjusting to this way of thinking which meant I was technically breaking a dorm rule and asking Corinne to do the same. I really didn’t mean to, I just had no frame of reference for what made a good date. You might say I had minimal experience on the subject.
“Oh.” Andrew was a straight Baptist shooter and a little put out. “What movie?”
“I ah, don’t know. I didn’t expect her to say yes so I, um…improvised.” Panicked was more like it. There’s hint of desperation in my voice.
“Well, we better get you ready, “ Andrew says. I’m walking the halls in an old t-shirt and underwear. I look down then agree. “Yeah, this might be a little forward.”