The title of this post may be misleading – I don’t think this actually is my first belated Weekend Assignment. But since Book Blogger Appreciation Week took over the blog last week, I asked Karen for an extension on this one:
Weekend Assignment: #284: Tell us about your first day of…well, anything, really. It could be your first day in school, your first day as a legal adult, your first day in a new town or dating that someone special – you get the idea. This time out I’m looking for tales of new experiences, not new possessions. (The latter was last week!) What made that particular day memorable for you?
I’ve actually written about this particular “first” before, but it was about a year ago and it may be a new story to some of you.
My first date with the man who became my second husband was excellent, as first dates go. (Can’t say I’ve had too much practice, but going by what I’ve heard…) It wasn’t a fancy, sweep-me-off-my-feet kind of excellent, but it was a that-went-really-well kind of excellent, especially since it wasn’t just my first date with him; three years after my divorce, it was my first date, period.
A few days after Paul and I were “introduced” by an online-dating site, we were e-mailing each other several times a day, and we had decided we wanted to meet in person. We planned lunch at a local mall for the following weekend – we had to work around his custody schedule, and I wanted a little more time to correspond in the meantime. I like to be prepared when I meet people. We chose the location – an Italian restaurant in the mall – and the time – Sunday at noon – because they were pretty casual and open-ended. If things went well, we could wander around the mall afterwards and talk more; if not, one or both of us could manufacture a shopping errand.
I arrived first, and settled on a bench near the mall entrance (with a book, of course) to watch for my date’s arrival. I’d only seen a couple of pictures of him, but they were enough for me to recognize him in Target the day before our lunch, so I was quite sure I’d know him when I saw him. (I e-mailed him about the sighting at Target after I got home, to confirm that it was him; he said later that he thought it was a good sign that I didn’t want to call off the date after that.)
He impressed me right off by having actually made a reservation at the restaurant. We talked easily over lunch. The e-mails we’d been exchanging had been quite chatty, and we knew enough about each other already to ask good questions and follow up on things we’d mentioned previously. After we’d split the check for lunch – at my insistence, we did this for our first several dates – we weren’t tired of each other yet, so we decided to walk around the mall and talk some more. We landed on another bench and stayed there for a couple of hours, until both of us were feeling parched and decided we needed drinks. Even though I’d wanted us to split the cost at lunch, I didn’t reject his offer to buy me a lemonade when he got himself a Coke. We took our drinks to yet another bench, where the conversation kept going until we realized we’d been in each other’s company for five hours, and we probably should think about calling it a day – once we’d traded phone numbers, that is.
I wish I could remember everything we talked about that day, but after over four years together, a lot of it flows together now. We talked about our kids. We talked about how we’d grown up. We tried not to talk too much about our exes. We talked about movies and TV, music, and even books we’d both read. We made each other laugh, and we impressed each other by catching one another’s random pop-cultural references – which have remained a daily part of our conversation, by the way. (I do remember the way that, after one such catch on my part, he grinned approvingly and said “You are quick!”) We confirmed what we already sensed from our correspondence; we saw much of the world from a similar perspective, and we had a lot to talk about. We were definitely clicking.
Five hours later, we both knew our first date wouldn’t be our last. We hugged goodbye (the first kiss was on the second date), and went off in separate directions – for the time being. Till our second date – dinner, three nights later – at least. And we’re still talking about everything.