It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Someone stole my date!

November 23, 1998 was my first date with Michael. 

Long story short, we started talking about a date in late September....I will have to go back and fill in the details from that month. It involves my Dad saying, "...over my dead body." It also involves much prompting from a crazy football player, skipping class, and fried chicken.

Yes, we will just stick with the short version for now.

Let me preface the story with this: it is difficult to date in a small town. You more than likely grew up with everyone in your dating pool. In addition, those people have probably dated someone you are already friends with or related to in some way. It just makes things a tiny bit complicated. So going on a date to get to know someone doesn't usually happen.

Weird for those of you who went to high school with thousands of people?

Is that about right for people who went to small schools in small towns like me?

A first date with Michael was going to be weird because I didn't know him. We lived 30 minutes from the nearest dinner & a movie spots. I wasn't sure I wanted to be in a car with someone I didn't know for a minimum of 1 hour round trip plus date time.

We compromised on staying in town, eating at the local Pizza Hut, and seeing a play at the high school.

He paid for the pizza. I paid for the play tickets.  He argued this arrangement but I didn't want to be beholding to him for anything if this date was as weird anticipated and I wanted to bail early.

Yes, I fully expected him to be weird. After all, I kept arguing as I put off this date, "What is wrong with him that he is willing to go on a date with me?" I didn't say that because I had low self-esteem. (I think that I had average self-esteem for a teenage girl.) I said it because he was 23 and graduated from college and I was 17 and in high school. Why wasn't he dating girls his own age? There must be something terribly wrong with him. (Michael appreciates every time I share how much I thought he had something wrong with him!)

So we met at Pizza Hut for the first date. (That way I had my own car...a red mercury station wagon that was my mom's.) He would want to point out that I was almost a half hour late. In my defense, I was working and couldn't leave. (Local newspaper office where I was a typesetter, film developer, and occasionally covered stories too boring for real reporters.) That part went well enough for me to drive over in his car the mile and half to the high school theatre. (He insisted we take his brand new mustang instead of my station wagon...go figure!)

We saw a Christmas play and sometime in the second act, he held my hand. 

This past weekend, we sat in the same high school theatre but we didn't hold hands. Another girl had stolen my seat beside him and was holding his hand through both the first and second act!

The little nine-year old hand resting inside of his was okay by me.

Together, Michael and I shared this same story with Nan. She relished every minute of her time date with us and every detail of this story.

I am not very intentional about sharing my memories and history with her. I need to be better at sharing.

 After all, my story is, at least in part, her story too!

I would enjoy hearing your first date stories too!


  1. Fun story! And as my daughter is approaching 17 I have to admit I would be leery of a 23-year old wanting to date her as well! Love that you shared this story with Nan. First date stories are funny--I fell asleep in the car on my first date with my hubby! lol

  2. I have a few questions and a few comments.
    1-how did you two meet if you didn't know him?
    2-what made you say yes to the date to a much older man?
    Hence, I need the long story :-)
    3- love the picture of the hand that holds his heart these days
    4-my first date. Chicago. A movie at the Biograph Theater to see The Sixth Sense. I hated the shirt he was wearing but enjoyed the drinks before and afterwards.

  3. Met through First meeting was at Dos Reales in Champaign for lunch. Nice conversation. First official date was picnic at Allerton Park in Monticello. We sat on a blanket talking for over 5 hours. Before we left, I had to ask him for a hug, which led to a kiss (which is what I REALLY wanted in the first place). He was too reluctant! I was like, COME ON ALREADY!!!! lol

  4. And now for my defense and POV. I was working in a small town very close to my hometown. I would often go visit my best friend during lunch who worked at the local KFC There I met a high school football star who also worked there and would hang out as well on his lunch hour. Well, he and my best friend decided that my being single was unacceptable and that they would find me a girlfriend. I did not sign up for this game but off they went anyway. Well, the high schooler had his mind made up right away for who was "perfect for me" and started his campaign for nearly 2 months. THERE WAS NO WAY ON EARTH I WAS GOING TO DATE A HIGH SCHOOL GIRL, I told him. The campaign continued, same slogan, she is perfect for you. He was persistent, I could only take so much, so finally I agreed to go on a date with this girl just to shut him up so the campaign would end. Well long story short, Laura and I met, agreed to go on a date (to cease the pestering and pressure from now the whole KFC staff) and the rest is a feel good Taylor Swift song. HE WAS RIGHT, SHE WAS/IS PERFECT FOR ME.

  5. Great story and I remember you tell it a number of years ago. I also remember the first time you brought her around to the Delta Sig house and we hung out. I never would have imagined all of us chillin' at our fraternity house to now hanging out with 5 kids running around creating havoc.