11:34 PM

So today we had the big christmas party. Over 100 people on a huge four-story yacht for 4 hours.

This was also my very first time out on a date.

I left work at 2:20 and picked up my dress shirt which I had ironed at a dry cleaner. I got a quick haircut, then went back to my apartment, took a shower, dressed up (dress pants, dress shirt, jacket, tie). I was going to stop by the mall real quick to pick up some cologne, but I saw the parking lot was packed, so I passed it by. I wound up in a traffic jam while heading over to meet everyone, and found out I was going the wrong way anyway when I called them to tell them I was going to be late.

I got the right directions to Amanda's house and arrived there around 4:15. I met Amanda's sister and mother and managed to immediately step on Sara's foot when I went to greet her. At least I got that out of the way in the beginning :)

Sara, Chris, Amanda, and I all got in one car and left at around 4:30. Sara was wearing a one piece black evening dress with an open back and two slits in the skirt. She was beautiful. Chris and Amanda wore dark-colored clothing as well and looked pretty sharp.

We arrived at the boat at around 5:00 (an hour early), so we walked around a bit. We discovered another boat that was the same size with the same name a block down from where we were parked. Everyone started gathering around the first one though, so we lingered around there. I got a lot of complements throughout the night about how nice I looked. I normally go into work with a very causal set of clothing, typically including tacky hawaiian shirts. So I guess a lot of people were stunned to see me in a formal attire.

At around 6:00 everyone boarded the boat, but it didn't leave until around 6:30. It was 4 stories tall, the top two are open mingling areas with a bar on each story. The second story was a dining area, and we didn't go into the first story area; it looked like a living room setting. As we travelled down the water, we saw many houses decorated for christmas. Some of there were quite elaborate. Most of the boats were decorated as well. I think throughout the whole night, I didn't see any other boats as large or larger than the one we were on.

After about an hour and a half of crusing down the intercoastal waterway, we had dinner and then dessert. Finally they cranked up the music and there was much dancing. I was dragged into it by a co-worker, but Sara didn't want to dance in a large crowd. She stayed by the side and just kind of danced by herself. Several other people tried to convince her to join the crowd, but she resisted.

At around 10:00, the boat docked back where we started. We all departed, and I got a few pictures, as well as getting someone to take a picture of Sara and I.

We stopped by Dennys, while still all dressed up. I had a hot fudge sundae and some water (I was really thirsty after the event). Sara had some of my sundae. After eating, I tried to refuse her payment for the bill, but she put her money down as a tip.

We drove back to Amanda's at about 11:00. Sara and I hugged and agreed that we had a good time. I complemented her again; she was very pretty. She had an hour drive back home and had to get up early, so she had to get going.

Some deeper, personal thoughts

I loved the way she kind of casually scratched at my back as we sat. Actually I liked it just sitting closely next to her. Every time she touched me anywhere, on my shoulder, my back, or just holding my hand, I felt really good. I have a hard time reciprocating these kind of actions. I don't know why. I want to, but I feel like I might do something wrong.

I kind of went into this event assuming that Sara was just tagging along to be there with her friend Amanda, but she was following some of the rules of a regular date. I told her I don't know much about the protocols, and she said she felt the same way a nd that we would just "make it up as we go along". We were pretty close together for most of the party.

We held hands going up and down stairs and when just walking around. She usually intiated any contact, except I put my arm around her once while we were sitting (that was actually hard for me to do).

So I figure that she was more of a date than just being a friend who was along for the ride. I kind of figured this when she paused for a moment as everyone was getting into the car, but by the time this clicked in my head that she was waiting to see if I would open the door for her, it was too late, she had already opened it herself. Doh! Bah. Next time, I will assume the opposite, no harm can be done that way.

I am kind of tired, but I feel good. It was one of the best days of my life so far. I will probably remember it forever.

I think I'm going to get to sleep a little early tonight.

Life is good.