I was a 19 year old with a date.
A date with a friend whom I had known since I was a 6th grader. A friend who used to talk to me about his girl problems over the phone for hours in high school. A friend who just so happened to be my best friend's first love in highschool. A friend who I didn't know if "crossing the line" with would be worth potentially losing my friendships over -hers if it worked out and his if it didn't. A friend I knew I had to find out about.
I stopped by my mom's house before driving the 45 minutes to his place where I would leave my car and he would drive us to dinner. My mom would say that she could tell I was nervous because I paced around fussing over my clothes (a hot pink, low v-neck sweater, black pencil skirt, and black knee-high boots) and my hair ( warm strawberry blonde, just skimming the shoulders, curled under to frame the face) and whether the choice I was making to go on this date was the right one - (I still hadn't told my bff what my intentions were and this date was to be the deciding factor).
Mom reassured me that everything was going to go fine, I looked great, and that I should just go and have a good time.
So I did. I drove the 45 minutes to his apartment and he met me on the stairs wearing a suit. We went to a cozy little restaurant near his place- I have no idea what we ordered - but we sat close to the fire and close to each other. Though I was rarely at a loss for words, this night I could hardly find a one that didn't fit awkwardly in my mouth. I wanted to say everything and nothing all at once my nerves were bouncing throughout my body making me feel as though at any moment I was going to come right out of my skin!
Then somehow (and I can't remember how) through the awkward nerves of a first date we reclaimed the rhythm of our friendship. We joked and laughed and spoke to one another as friends who had known each other since middle school. My nerves settled and the flirtatious energy that perhaps was always there between us on some level - took over.
We had a truly unforgettable date that ended in roses and a dessert of strawberries and cream at his apartment while we watched - of all things - The Lion King 1 1/2 on DVD. We snuggled on the couch and enjoyed our Valentine's night together. At one point I looked at him and said,
"If we do this, really decide to do this remember we were friends first and that's always the most important thing to me" he said me too and kissed me. It wasn't our first kiss- after all something had to lead us to this first date...but it was a kiss to seal the deal- though we wouldn't officially declare our relationship for another week and a half (after telling my bff- a declaration that caused us not to speak for the better part of two years) and from that point on I knew we had something special.
Exactly 5 years later on our "millionth" date he slipped a ring on my finger and I said "yes" to being his wife.
We've come this far as a couple because we've based our relationship on the friendship that we began 8 years before we even dreamed of becoming a couple (ok..there may have been a mutual crush in 8th grade that led to nothing) and that has made us stronger together than anything else.
4 months from the 25th we will finally say "I DO" and I'll get to put a ring on his finger too and what we started so long ago will come full circle.
And to think - it all started with a little Valetine's date.
7 hours ago