I am an idiot - a suitor’s tale:
Twelve years ago I arrived at Aladdin’s, a local Middle-Eastern restaurant, with a heady mixture of emotions. I was anxious about finally meeting the girl I’d been conversing with for weeks, but I was feeling pretty good about the upcoming meeting. These conversations had been quite wonderful and she really seemed to like the things I had to say, and she was very intriguing herself, having many interests and experiences that were both similar and extremely different from my own. However, above all, I was acutely aware of the faux pas I had committed the day before, and which made me feel that there was a high degree of likelihood that my date would already think me an idiot before I even opened my mouth to say “Hello!”
I had come to this same restaurant the previous day at the appointed time with most of these same emotions. I had gotten there first, or so it seemed. The waiter seated me, and after a period of time came over to take my order. I informed her that I was still waiting for my guest to arrive. I busied myself trying to get mentally prepared and to calm my nerves.
After a half an hour, I started to get worried. I’ve always been someone who found fault with myself, and my first inclination was to believe that she had decided that it was not worth the effort to meet me after all. Our previous conversations came to mind, though, and these thoughts disappeared. Standing someone up just didn’t seem part of her character. Still, where was she?
I made myself be patient, and waited a while longer. Still no date. Now I really started getting neurotic. This was the year 2000, and many people still didn’t have cell phones - myself included. I also didn’t have her number written down. Typical me. So, now I felt forced to borrow the restaurant’s desk phone, and, most embarrassingly, call my Mother and ask her to page through my thousands of emails looking for the proper phone number.
After what seemed an eternity, I had my date’s number and was disappointed to find that all I could get was her voicemail. Grrr. Why was this happening? I left a message wondering where she was and if she was OK. I hung up and waited a while longer. Finally I left, feeling dejected and foolish.
Nothing could have made me feel more foolish, though, as when she called me later that night with the news that I had come to meet her a day early! She unnecessarily expressed how sorry she was for the situation, but nothing could stop the way my face burned with shame. I was so anxious to meet her that I had apparently lost my sanity and thought the day was Wednesday when it was indeed just Tuesday. To make matters worse, my best friend had also improperly confirmed the day of the week earlier in the day when I had been speaking with him. Luckily, she seemed more amused rather than horrified, so I felt better a bit better. Still, what a terrible way to kick off a first date before we had even gotten to the actual DATE!
So, making my way from the parking lot around the corner into the restaurant at the proper time on the proper day, my inner thoughts churned. After all this, would she still be interested in me? Would she possibly have any shred of respect or good will toward me? Entering, I found her waiting right around a corner. She was gorgeous, and broadly smiling! She was even more attractive than I had seen in pictures, and was immediately felt relieved by the way she received me. Dinner proceeded, and she admitted that she herself had been so nervous that she had already had a couple drinks.
To be honest, much of the rest of the night is still a bit of a blur. I spent the evening really in the moment with her, and so only small details remain. I was enjoying her company, and she mine. She was beautiful, witty, and insightful. I loved how she had come dressed in an earthy skirt and white cap-sleeved t-shirt. Her less-than-formal manner put me at ease and made me able to be myself in her presence.
We finished dinner, and she suggested that we go hit some golf balls. Wow! How down-to-earth can you get? I’m no golfer, but we had a great time with it. I couldn’t believe it when she wanted to go pick up something she had left at work. I must really have been giving her some good vibes for her to trust me that much! Maybe we had both temporarily lost our minds for these two days. I was truly amazed at this girl. I couldn’t believe that I - of all people - was hitting it off with someone like this. I had never had such a wonderful time on a date in all my life before.
Eventually, the evening had to come to a close as she needed to get home. We made our way back to the restaurant where her car was still parked. We were saying our goodbyes, and feeling like I needed to be a gentleman and not be too forward, I gave her a kiss on the cheek. An exclamation of “Aw, come on!” from her led to a good deal more from then on out. Twelve years later, and ten of these married, I still think of those two days as one of the most amazing times in my life. I still have my wonderful girl, and still feel incredibly lucky that my error has turned from a collossal blunder into an amusing “How did you first meet” anecdote that I hope to joyfully pass on to my grandchildren some day.
To Shannon, thank you for your kindness, love, and trust. It’s always been more than I deserve! I love you, my sweetie!
Isn't he a sweetheart? He even remembered what I wore! I will treasure this forever...