This was after the Tall Timber Snow Retreat/How we met weekend..... We'd been carpooling to our church volleyball league for a few weeks, going out for coffee with the team after the game. It was all casual and friendly and a lot of fun but I sensed what was building between us could use a little more exploration, best done in a more intimate setting. At coffee one night we talked about a very popular movie playing in the theaters at the time: Schindler's List. Neither of us had seen it and I casually but very intentionally said I would really like to go.... giving him the perfect opening should he take the hint. He didn't respond but I wasn't put off. After all, I'm the girl who rattled him only a few weeks prior with my allergic to men comment. Why would he want to intentionally date me?
I called him a couple of nights later and after a bit of small talk, announced that I had decided to go see the movie that coming Sunday and wondered if perhaps he'd like to join me? There was a moment of silence on the other end of the phone and I thought perhaps I'd shocked him with my straightforwardness.... but once he'd recovered, he seemed amiable to the suggestion and a date was indeed made!
We agreed to meet at the same location we'd been meeting for carpooling.... a local grocery that bills "where friends meet friends" on their store front. Before the day of our date rolled around however, he upped the ante. He asked me if I would like to go for dinner after the movie (we were going to the matinee) and that's when I started thinking this might really be a DATE!!! Not just two pals taking in a movie, but a real Date. Like Capital D.
Suddenly I was all a flutter.
I jokingly told a friend I'd know by the choice of restaurant whether he was thinking serious thoughts about us or not. I said, "If he takes me to -- oh, I don't know, McDonalds, it means he just wants to be friends. but if he takes me to... someplace like... The Black Angus (my favorite place but he didn't know that!) then it means he's really interested in me." LOL, I remember my friend said "he'll probably take you someplace in the middle-- like Sizzler's."
Sunday, March 20th, rolled around. It was the 1st day of Spring and I thought what a significant thing this was. Spring to me signifies the birth of newness. And our willingness to explore taking our friendship to perhaps a new level by going out seemed like the birth of newness as well. I was getting nervous and I can only imagine what was going on in his head and heart as he prepared to meet me that day. I tried very hard to maintain my cool but I remember pulling into the parking lot at the grocery store and seeing him in his car and our eyes meeting and thinking who was I kidding, meeting like this was just a carpool to the movies instead of volleyball type event, when it was really and truly an honest to goodness date.
Well... the movie was amazing. Schindler's List is a serious mind-blowing account of the Holocaust and one brave man's attempt to save as many Jews as he possible could. It was not the sort of movie you go to and come away from untouched. You don't make small talk after a movie like that. We sat in silence when the movie ended and then walked shoulder to shoulder back to his car. Inside the vehicle he reached over and squeezed my hand. "Thank you for asking me to come with you to see this movie." was what he said but I felt more than a simple thanks in that gesture.
He drove out of the parking lot asking me if I had any preference on where we went for dinner. We were just down the road from The Black Angus but I was not going to suggest it. I shrugged and said anyplace would be fine.... and he drove to The Black Angus!! Scoring multiple points!!!
Oh yah, this was definitely a Capitol D date.
We sat in a booth and started talking. We talked about everything; single parenting (he had a 15 year old son he was raising alone, I had my 12 year old daughter living with me and a 15 year old son who was living with his father) We talked about our work, our faith and our families. Of course we discussed the movie and other movies we'd seen. We talked throughout dinner and were still talking as the waitress pointedly removed our plates, brought us the check and made uncomfortable noises as she walked past our booth... and we finally realized how late it was and that the place was closing.
Back in his car he held my hand as he pulled out of the parking lot. There was a beautiful moon on the rise and as he passed the lake and the pretty little park on the edge of the lake he asked if I would mind if he pulled over there.... and hastened to assure me it was because he just didn't want the evening to end, he was enjoying our conversation so much and could we prolong it by looking at the moon on the water? And I never for one second thought that seemed scary or like a line out of a movie but was enchanted by the whole idea. So when we had talked for another hour or more and our eyes met in the moon-lit front seat of his car and we found we couldn't break away from the gazes, it seemed only natural and perfect for our first kiss to take place....
and it was the stuff they write about in romance novels.....
You can understand, perhaps, why we still celebrate every year on the 1st day of spring, that first date. It was, and is, a perfect first date.
|practice makes perfect ;)|