The Longest First Date

Sixteen years ago today I went on a first date.

There were weeks of conversation leading up to this date. Late night phone calls until we could barely stay awake. Faxed cover sheets at work. (People still used fax machines 16 years ago!) Phone calls during the work day when we should have been actually working. A couple of office visits where we tried not to make it too obvious to co-workers that we were smitten with each other. And 1 particular office visit when I placed an article about al fresco dining on his desk and said “when are you taking me out?”

I was living alone at the time so I was careful not to give him my exact address. I mean, I didn’t really know this guy, right? But my name was on the mailbox for my apartment and he is a smart guy.

A friend had stopped by under the pretense of borrowing a book but I knew that she just wanted to meet the guy I had been gushing about. There was a knock on my door and she and I looked at each other. I was a little surprised but smiled. She laughed.

When I opened the door I looked at him and I knew at that moment that I would marry him. I felt it in every part of me, my heart, my mind, my soul.

I am sure you’ve seen a movie or read a book or even simply heard the phrase “you’ll know when it’s right.” I knew. I had had weeks to fall in love with him. And I surely did.

I remember the date so vividly.

I lived in a little town where there was a car show every Friday night in the summer. People would park their old and fancy cars on the street. Many other people would wander up and down the street looking at the cars and eating at the various restaurants. It was, and still is, a really great Friday night tradition.

After my friend left my apartment, he and I wandered the street looking at the cars. We walked close to each other, close enough that our arms would touch occasionally, but didn’t hold hands. We chatted about this and that. He displayed his knowledge of cars. He didn’t know everything and didn’t try to impress me by pretending to but he knew quite a bit.

Once the sun went down, we headed to dinner. We got in his truck and drove to a little place that had al fresco dining. Of course, we sat outside. The night was clear and warm. And we continued to talk. There was no topic off limits.

We didn’t want the night to end.

We went to his apartment to feed his cats; the cats he saved from drowning when they were really tiny. (Of course this endeared me to him even more.) Then we went to my apartment and watched a movie.

This might sound mundane or even boring to you. But that night, that first date has led to so many amazing days and nights, months and years. I am so glad that Dear Husband wasn’t scared to take me out.

I got to marry my best friend and make a life with him that has been interesting, challenging, loving, joyful, and most of all amazing.

Thank you, Dear Husband, for that first date.

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