Friday, February 22, 2008

The First Date

Since we’re nearing the two year anniversary of our first date (March 9), it seems only fitting to recount, in abbreviated form, my first date with Dan.

I’d been on several bad dates, but who hasn’t? (Maybe I can blog about some of those later) I knew… I just knew this one would be different. When I knew that he and I would be going on a date, I think I told about every girlfriend I have. What was it about Dan that gave me such good premonition?

(Barf bags ready?) Maybe it was his quick wit ability to keep me interested in conversation. Maybe I was a little interested in his looks—and the fact that he might be more mature than some of the other guys out there. Regardless what the specifics were, I was excited about the dinner date.

We’d chosen that Thursday night because it worked for both of our schedules; and let’s face it, planning a weekend night first date can lead to a ruined Friday or Saturday night if the company is bad. I told Dan that the only conflict for me was a day business trip the next morning, but that I didn’t have to meet with my colleagues until about 8am. I may not have mentioned during the planning phases that this “business trip” was a private company jet trip to Indiana with my CEO and other members of our corporate leadership group—a trip like none I had been a part of before.

The night before our first date, I e-mailed my friend Maria to see if she had suggestions on my attire. She, being the great friend she is, told me that I look great in everything but suggested black pants and a polka dot shirt that I’ve had for quite sometime. Something told me that I needed to get a new top—something different and exciting. But imagine this… I went to Target to buy said shirt and picked up yet another simple, black jersey knit top. Who doesn’t look good in black?

When we were e-mailing about where we should go to dinner, Dan suggested “Wendy’s on Ponce” (he’d heard the burgers were great there) or Appleby’s followed by some line-dancing (I believe a stab at the fact that I lived in Alabama for eight years). When it came down to being serious and choosing a dinner locale, he suggested Avra or La Tavola. Whoops! I had to been to both before. After switching around some reservations because he hoped to take me somewhere I’d never been before, the setting was finalized. 7:30pm reservations at Floataway Café, sister restaurant to Bacchanalia.

After a Thursday work day that never seemed to end, I recall driving home in a hurry, anxious to get ready. I straightened my hair, donned some classic black wool trousers and my trusty new shirt, threw on a necklace for some color - and mentally prepared for what I hoped would be a nice night.

Just after seven and after a few minutes of Seinfeld in syndication, I heard a knock at my midtown apartment door. I opened the door to a handsome guy in dark jeans and a black button-up shirt. Seeing in that it was our first date, I wasn’t sure if I should shake his hand or hug him. I think I even said aloud my confusion over how to act then went for a slightly awkward hug.

While I can’t recall what about, Dan immediately started making fun of me in the 15 minute or so car ride from Ansley to near Emory. I giggled like a schoolgirl with a childhood crush as I looked down toward my lap and maybe even twirled my hair.

Dinner started out well, though we must have annoyed our server. Constant chattering kept us from ordering any food for nearly an hour. When we finally did order food, it was a calamari appetizer which arrived with a creamy lemon sauce. Dan mentioned wishing the calamari had come with a marinara-type sauce as well. I told him that I’d rather not ask the server to bring a sauce other than the one served because it may seem like we did not like what was served to us. The next time the waiter arrived at the table, Dan calmly said, “Do you mind if we get some marinara to go with our calamari?” He then looked at me and said, “SHE really likes marinara.”

I waited until after our server walked away to give him a dirty look. But who was I kidding? I couldn’t keep a straight face. Within seconds, I was back to laughing.

Dinner was equally enjoyable and comical. I felt I was doing a great job getting to know Dan and vice versa until I flung one of my white Georgia shrimp off its skewer and toward the wall. Embarrassing, sure, but he was bound to find out I’m clumsy eventually anyway.

I learned more about why Dan thought Chicago was too cold and chose living in Atlanta instead. He listened to how I’d inadvertently taken a job in the same industry as my father but work as a communicator. He tried to explain his job; I talked about life as one of many (many) siblings. I think more smiling and giggling was involved on my part as well.

Before we new it, 10pm had arrived and the restaurant was shutting down around us. Dinner was over as quickly as it had began. I was relieved after a few minutes of talking in the car because he said it before I had to. “Do you want to go get some drinks somewhere?” Of course I did.

The evening continued to be more than just a "good date." I wish I could recall my thoughts from that chilly March night. Was I thinking, "I may have just met my match"?

We were off to Highland Tap, another establishment I had not yet experienced. A few beers and several life stories later, we still were managing to have a great time. I laughed as I heard Boston’s “More Than a Feeling” play over the bar’s speakers for the second time. That had to mean we’d been there a while. I felt so comfortable, maybe even tipsy, with Dan that I told him all the things that I had intended to keep “off limits” for the first date. I told him how I’d done something many of my friends had not (gotten a few tattoos) and how my parents marriages and remarriages probably didn’t give me the greatest relationship role model situations. He listened and seemed to like me regardless.

Before we knew it, a similar phenomenon was happening to what we had experienced at Floataway. The lighting changed and the staff seemed to be closing up shop. Then we heard the bartender say, “Last call!” Had we really stayed there so long that it was 2am?

We drove in the direction of my house, and to our amazement, managed to stay awake talking until nearly 6 in the morning.

While I was exhausted for my business trip, I couldn’t have felt more invigorated and excited—I didn’t care that I was physically tired. It probably helped, too, that right as I was pulling up to the airport, I received a text message from Dan that said, “Thank you for the best first date ever.”

And that’s how it began. From that day forward, it has been Dan and Katy with no real need to explain where we stood with one another or whether or not we enjoyed each others’ company. We’ve just always know that it was right.


Mb said...

Quite possibly the cutest first date story ever. Sending love to my favorite soon to be married couple.

moeko said...

i've been checking your blog for a new post, and finally got one! this one was fantastic. it managed to put the biggest smile on my face (just because i know how good you two are together!)