The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. --Robert Burns
A friend of mine told me this story the other day, and I thought it was too good to pass up sharing on my blog. I asked her permission, and luckily she said it would be fine.
About three months ago she started dating this great guy and they decided to wait a relatively long time before doing the deed. This, of course, only builds the expectations of both parties. She was nervous enough because the guy is about 5 years younger than she. Now, thanks to this "waiting period", she had ample time to worry about everything in their relationship: What if he doesn't know what he is doing? Will he take offense if I tell him what to do? What does that say about me that this is the first guy I have really been interested in since my divorce? What does that say about him that he is interested in an older woman that smokes like a chimney, drinks like a fish and cusses like a sailor? What if people at work find out? (Yeah, she just decided to add in "office romance" to make it interesting.) So by the time they decided to take things to another level, they were both adequately schizoid.
Eventually, she started to get so freaked out with anticipation and expectations that she couldn't communicate clearly to him what she wanted or hoped for in bed. When they finally sat down to actually talk about consummating the relationship, she panicked and instead made jokes about what she imagined would be their first, super-cheesy romantic rendezvous. She tells him that she wants candles and rose petals and body oil and soft music--the whole schpiel. She was kidding. She even called me to laugh about telling him all that cheesy stuff-- she thought she was being hilarious. But remember, he was also panicked and full of anticipation and nerves. So he took her literally and began collecting all the cheesy props needed for a stereotypical romantic seduction. When she was telling me this story, she said, "Well, secretly, I really did want all the cheesy stuff. But I didn't think he would realize that! I thought he'd think I was kidding! Which I wasn't...really." (Raise your hand if you think this relationship so far is a paragon of communication. Yeah, me neither.)
So, she came over to his house, where he surprised her with roses and petals and a bubble bath, etc. She is pleasantly surprised and excited at his ability to understand what she really wants, despite her encrypted message. Maybe they are meant for each other. So, it's time for the show to begin, and just as they are getting down to business, they are interrupted. The pillowcase was on fire. I think her hair might have been singed a little bit, too. They had inadvertently gotten too close to a candle. You'd think that this would be a mood-killer, but the show must go on, apparently, because they just simply put out the flame, took the battery out of the fire alarm and went back to work. If they had known what was about to happen, they probably would have taken this as a bad omen and stopped. But then I wouldn't be telling this story.
A few minutes passed when she asked, "What's that smell?"
They look down on the floor to find that another candle had not only completely melted into a puddle on the floor, but was now proceeding to burn its way through the carpet and flooring. The apartment was on fire. Now, for some reason, people sometimes do stupid things when they are faced with small apartment fires. This guy decided that he would stop the blazing candle using nothing but his bare hand. A split second too late, he learns about the connection between melted wax, second-degree burns and the number of nerve endings in one's hands. She then also tries to think quickly and gets the brilliant idea to smother his hand with ice, which proceeds to stick to his burned skin and peel patches of it off with the removal of each cube.
"Did you take a trip to the emergency room?" I asked, trying hard to control my laughter and selfishly hoping that was what happened next, as it would make for an even more hilarious "first-time" story.
"No, we didn't," she said, sensing the ulterior motive behind my question, "...but the doctor told him he should have."
"So, did you guys....?"
"Oh yeah. We did it before the whole burn thing happened," she explained.
"Well, that's good. What did he say when the doctor asked about how he got the burn?"
"Oh, he made up some story about a cooking accident. He's had to tell the made up story to like 10 people now. He kind of has to since he is wearing a huge bandage on his hand. Everyone asks. He told me his only regret was that it wasn't a third-degree burn because those burns kill your nerve endings and then he wouldn't be in pain."
"I guess you can always describe your first time as 'hot'!" I laughed.
"I hate you. Shut up."
There is now a huge, black, melted-wax-and-burned-carpet area in his bedroom. The carpet has to be replaced, in fact. So to anyone out there reading this who thinks it's a good idea to reach a fever pitch of delayed gratification before doing the deed with a new person, just remember this story. And forget the candles.