Dating to me was always an adventure. Some adventures aren’t always so great and some are forgotten. Some are so memorable you can’t forget which brings me to this week’s Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop. This week I chose prompt #1.) Describe a memorable first date.
I have written previously about how I stalked my husband for several months before we actually went out. We had “met” at a “meet your neighbor” party sponsored by the apartment complex we both happened to live in. The thing was that although we stared at each other from afar all night long, we never actually “met”.
Looking back now it does make sense that he may have thought my brother was my boyfriend. He (my brother) did actually accompany me to the party although he didn’t live at the complex. He wasn’t happy in his marriage and I guess he decided to see what single life was like. He didn’t stay long, probably only long enough for a beer or two and then he left but he did walk in with me and the first thing I happened to see was my future hubby. And of course I was with my brother but all he (future hubby) saw was that I was with some guy. Never mind that we didn’t look or act like “a couple”. It could have been anybody off the street that I happened to walk in at the same time as. But it still didn’t stop future hubby from
staring at me all night nor me staring at him.
Believe it or not (I know it’s hard) but we were both somewhat shy. I also felt uncomfortable being in a place where I didn’t know that many people. I had just recently moved to New Orleans to work for my brother and my brother’s brother in law (his wife’s brother) had also done the same thing. He had moved there from St. Louis and I had moved there from Fayetteville, NC. I had stayed with my brother and his wife until his brother in law moved down and then we decided to get a two bedroom apartment together strictly as platonic roommates (even though we had previously been engaged for a very brief time but that’s a WHOLE ‘nother story) since neither of us could afford an apartment on our own. I think he may have gone back to St. Louis for a visit that weekend and that was why my brother went with me to the party instead of him.
I didn’t want to go by myself because I really didn’t know anyone there. I guess you could say my brother was my crutch until I happened to find the one girl I’d met at the pool one day. She even offered to introduce me to my new crush even though she didn’t know him. Alas, that was not to be. We left the party with neither of us knowing the other’s name. Although I figured that since he was at the party that he must live there in the apartment complex somewhere.
I’ve written before about my whole search to find him and then win him over once I did and you can read about that here if you like. But to make a long story a little bit shorter, we did finally “meet”. Well, he wrote me a note (I still have the note. Yes, I kept it. I must have known it would be something near and dear to my heart one day.) asking me to come back when he had time to talk and in a brazen (for me) move I actually called his work and kind of asked him out. I actually told him where I’d be that night just in case he wanted to come and meet
me (in person).
I can’t remember the name of the bar. I think it was maybe Pappagallo’s or Pappadeaux or something like that. But it was just a neighborhood bar, nothing fancy. I was going there with my soon to be ex-sister-in-law. She and my brother had separated by this time (it took several months to actually get to this point from the night of the party) and she had moved into the same apartment complex I lived in and we had gone to the Ringling Brother’s Barnum and Bailey Circus that afternoon and taken my nephew and had eaten at the restaurant where my future hubby worked on the way home. That was when he sent me the note. Anyway, she and I decided to go to the bar that night and since I had talked to him and asked him to come I rode with her there.
I was expecting a night of maybe drinking and dancing, but not in the way we got it. First off, we got there a few minutes earlier than I had told future hubby to be there. Mind you, this was in the days before cell phones so there was no way to get in touch with him once I got there. Also, he didn’t even have a home phone so the only way to really contact him was where he worked. I was expecting to be able to talk and get to know each other. Not what happened.
First off, we get there and there is a line out the door which was very unusual for this little bar. Then we got carded which was fine, but never happened before. Then they had a cover charge which they never really had before either. As I’m pulling out my ID the “bouncer” leans over and says “Wanna lay?” I’m like “Excuse me? WHAT did you just say?” Then he holds out a flowered necklace (lei) and says “Do you want a lei?” I
was very confused but just said okay and took it and went inside. Turns out they were having “Hawaiian night” and actually had a group of traditional Hawaiian dancers who performed like a two hour show. In any other circumstance it may have been cool to watch… if that’s what I’d been prepared for, but, I was expecting southern and classic rock and US being able to dance not WATCH other people dance.
We were able to find each other in the crowd and despite the noise level we were able to get enough conversation in the get to know each other. He asked if he could drive me home and after checking with my sister in law I agreed to leave and go to another quieter (read not overrun by a Hawaiian dance troop) neighborhood bar where we could actually talk. The other funny thing was that when we went out to get in future hubby’s car, he drove a blue station wagon… A FREAKING STATION WAGON! Now what kind of single man drives a station wagon? It took him a while to convince me that he really wasn’t married and that he had a station wagon so he could haul stuff for work, plus they had moved him around a
lot and since he rented his furniture and stuff he could pretty much fit everything he owned in there and move at a moment’s notice. Wasn’t that nice to know?
We laughed about the whole thing for quite a while after that. We figured if we could still connect after that then it must have been meant to be.
Besides… I’d already told everyone that would listen that I was gonna marry him from the time I’d laid eyes on him. I couldn’t disappoint all those people now, could I?