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Little did I know it was actually about a pedophile raping and murdering girls.Afterwards I was mortified thinking he would think I was weird for picking that as a first date movie, but when I explained what happened, he thought it was adorable and we had a good laugh.But I didn't want to get in the car with him right away so I convinced him to go back to the first park with the sundial and the Japanese tea garden thing, where you rake through the sand? So we raked the sand until I realized he wasn't an axe murderer and then got into his car, where I saw he had a little red stuffed cow by the gear shift.I named her Cindy, short for Cinnamon, because she is bright red, like a red hot candy.In these days of Tinder swiping and hookups, dates can almost seem like an anachronism.And yet, good first dates live so strongly in our romantic imaginations.We shut down the coffee shop we talked for so long and then he took me to a fabulous dinner at a Thai restaurant.

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We had SO much to talk about on the walk home, what with comparing notes on what freaked us out the most, etc, and since it was a beautiful night and we were both hungry, we ate Chipotle outside on the edge of a fountain.

Doing something new and scary like that made me vulnerable in a good way--it opened me up to the dude and forced me to trust him a little (not usually my strong suit), and it gave us something memorable to bond over. Every Friday at our school during football season we had a school spirit raffle.

Blame it on the ubiquity of the rom-com if you’re cynical or on that fluttery feeling you get in your belly if you’re romantic, but there’s just something so awesome about first dates.

Personally, I love the slightly old-fashioned nature of actually going out on a date — although, as I’ve recently learned, not all first dates are so old-fashioned.

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