He had been trying to set up a first date for a bit over a week at that point. The dates never lined up those first ten days due to plans I had already made with a girlfriend and a trip to Idaho to see family. Finally we were able to meet on the 21st. After we both got off work he met me at my apartment and picked me up in his little Hyundai hatchback. It wasn’t a beauty, but it was reliable and could get around in the snow. Applebee’s it was. I was pretty nervous as we had been long time acquaintances through mutual friends for a long time. He was very handsome and quite the catch, but I never thought we’d ever align to connect as he had been a bit of a bad boy and I was a bit of a church girl awkward dork style.
At dinner I remember debating if I should be dainty and order a salad, but I was really quite hungry so I ordered a steak I believe. Something with some meat. We had a good dinner with good conversation. I think the stars had aligned to bring us together best neither of us really understood why the connection and draw was taking place to have a meal. We weren’t each other’s types by far but we both had an intrigue in each other. He was a gentleman and paid, was respectful as ever and held the doors open for me. He said it was his 21st birthday the next day and his friends were hosting a party for him. We met through these parties and I knew how wild they could get. I also knew a 21st birthday for him would be an epic blowout. What did I do? I decided to pass and let him enjoy the epic experience without my subpar awkward drinking we just had a first date type of energy.
He was super excited to tell me he had moved into his own apartment and had it decorated. He wanted to know if I wanted to see it. Usually this means some sort of a move that doesn’t involve apartment oogling, but for some reason I went along because he just genuinely seemed pumped about his place. He was so proud he had worked hard to make it happen. We pulled in and he excitedly led me to the door. I walked in to find it tastefully and modern my decorated. Every item in its place. No second hand furniture in sight as each item was carefully chosen. I took the tour and we sat for a moment on the couch where we talked. No pressure. No ulterior motives. His friends began to text that they were almost in town from being on the road coming into his party for tomorrow. They were going to crash at his place for the night. He drove me home with a cordial and sincere goodbye where I walked in and thought wow what just happened?
The next evening I went to the store to buy a birthday card. What kind of a card do you give a guy after just a first date? Nothing too crazy or insightful. I finally found one and drove to his house to drop it outside his door. When I walked up I could hear the raging party inside. It was his 21st. His best buds were there and they were having an epic memory. I was happy for him and dropped the card and went home. The next day he called me in a confusion. He said the card must have been brought in because it was found on his counter by him the next morning. He panicked because he thought maybe I had showed up and for some reason he didn’t see me. That’s the man I married. He hasn’t changed to this day with his care and love for others.
Tomorrow 17 years later he is taking our boys to a football game while he drops his wife and daughter off at a cheer competition. After we are going to get dinner as a family. I am so thankful.