There’s a first time for everything (a belated Weekend Assignment)

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.

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  1. Amy Reads – I absolutely agree. For us, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship (and more!) – AND of daily use of random pop-culture references, as I quote the last line of our favorite classic film, Casablanca :-).

  2. I have heard that story before, but I love to hear it again! One day I think I am going to have to be brave and try the internet dating thing. Not getting anywhere with any other type of dating! LOL!

  3. Karen – Thanks for the extension on this Assignment :-). My next one will be posted on time!

    Marg – I know I've written about parts of it before, but it's one of my favorite stories to tell. Thanks for indulging me in telling it again :-).

    Online dating isn't for everyone, but I definitely lucked out with it!

  4. Speaking if belated, sorry i'm late to this and most other posts.

    Anyway, this is a great story. It's funny how you can tell things right away. A five hour conversation on the first date is definitely a good sign. 🙂

  5. Mike – You'd tend to think so, right? Unless it meant you'd run out of anything to talk about on the second date – which, luckily, didn't happen :-).

  6. Michelle – I take it that's what you did too :-)? I honestly never expected it to work out so well, and I don't think Paul did either – but we're very well matched, and I'm not sure we'd have met each other any other way.

  7. Wendy (Literary Feline) – You'll have to meet him one of these days and see if you still think so! (We're almost as cute a couple as you and your husband are :-D.)

    And, clearly, I never get tired of telling this story either.