dear boy who asked me out on a date in 1980,
i know you went to the trouble of asking me out and everything and i don't know if you'd actually bought tickets to a concert by a band i'd actually heard of or if you were just going to buy them, but pretty soon after i said i'd go i called you and said i wasn't going to.
i don't know if you were heartbroken or not.
from where i'm sitting now i know that probably it was no small thing for you to call and ask me on that date, in terms of resources and courage.
i didn't break the date because i liked someone better. i didn't break it because you weren't cool enough.
i broke it because i was flat-out terrified.
going on a real date with a real boy who has purchased real tickets for something is kind of a big deal the first time you do it and it's not like a school dance, not even a fancy school dance and it's not like the sort of date where a boy takes you to a thing that a group of your friends might have gone to anyway.
i was so scared because it was so foreign that i totally did not know what to do and THAT'S why i cancelled.
i do not know if this makes a difference to you, but to this day i still have not gone on the kind of date where someone who wants to get to know you better calls you up and says "i have tickets to a thing- will you go with me?"
i think our paths have crossed since then; i think i did not recognize you when i saw you more recently, which i would like to blame on brain damage.
you have a wife and kids as old as we were then and you have a house a few towns over from where i live and we have friends in common, so i guess you turned out ok.
i'm sorry about that date. i hope someday it will come up in conversation and i'll get to tell you that it was because i was scared and not because you weren't cool enough. the 1980 version of you would probably appreciate knowing.