I dated some serious dirtbags in my time, and I didn't exactly make the best choices when it came relationships. It's not something I'm proud of, but it's part of what made me the woman I am today. Still, I think I'll be hesitant to share the details of my wilder days with my daughter. Fortunately, when I met her dad, I got it right. We had a perfect first date that was the beginning of my very own fairytale. That's why I can't wait to tell my kid about the day her parents met.
By the time I met the man who made me a mom, I was 31 and, in my own estimation, damaged goods. I was coming off an emotionally abusive relationship and a seriously unhealthy rebound. My friend actually wrote my eHarmony profile for me. I had to create a new email address for it because I'd filled out the questionnaire a few years before and been rejected by the site (yes, that's a thing, but you can work around it). I went out on a few first dates but knew within two minutes of each one that I wasn't interested in the slightest. Then came the brunch that changed everything.
My husband and I had a whirlwind romance. We were engaged within just a year of our first date, married four months later, and delivered a baby girl exactly nine months and one day from the date of our wedding. I have to pinch myself sometimes because I really do have everything I've ever wanted. I'm so excited for the day I get to tell my daughter how it all started.
We Met Online
Yeah, we met with the help of a computer and I don't care who knows it. Honestly, it was a great way to put my relationship goals (marriage and kids) out there so that anyone not on the same page could move right along.
My husband was a little embarrassed about the fact that we met online. In fact, he used to tell people we were introduced by a mutual friend. Yeah, and his name was Neil Warren.
It Was Boring
One of my dear friends got a hold of our email transcripts for my bridal shower and turned it into a game. I was forced to confront how truly mundane our back and forth was. "Gotta lock in those interest rates!" Ugh.
I Wasn't Sure He Was What I Was Looking For
Our correspondence was pretty dry and there were a few red (OK, maybe more like maroon) flags on his profile. He was in the military (I did not want to move), on the fence about kids, and middle-of-the-road politically. That was going to be a stretch for this liberal lady.
I Was Too Lazy To Do My Hair
Thanks to the above, I wasn't going to go all out to meet this dude. I put my wet hair up in a messy bun, as per usual.
I Wasn't That Late
I don't care what he says. I was a maximum of five minutes late to our brunch date, and I texted him to let him know. I think that's more than fair and, honestly, what's five minutes, right?
He Described Himself As "Dapper"
Yep. Before I walked in, he told me to look for the "dapper gentleman in the booth." I mean, he was very good looking, but can you call yourself dapper while wearing cargo shorts?
He Didn't Almost Leave
He just likes to be dramatic. "Mommy was so late that you were almost never born!" Please.
I Hugged Him Right Away
I'm an affectionate, friendly person. Naturally, I gave this dude a big old squeeze. It was a gesture that, for him, left quite an impression.
I Thought He Was So Handsome
Not to be shallow, but my husband is easy on the eyes, to say the least. One of the first things I noticed were his eyelashes: blonde at the tip and so long they brushed his eyelids. I'd be lying if I said I didn't imagine those on our future babies.
I Knew He Was Special
The second I met him, I knew I wanted to see him again. This was a big deal because I was sort of known for being dismissive (unless the person was an asshole, in which case I gave them a free pass to trample on my heart because logic). I just had a feeling about this guy.
I Stole Food Off His Plate
This one's true. It's not my fault his hashbrowns looked delicious.
I Know Exactly What I Was Wearing
Skinny jeans, "I Defy Gravity" tank top from my pole dance studio, grey sweater, and boots. It's burned into my memory banks.
We Didn't Have That Much In Common
They say opposites attract, and that was definitely true for us. He was into UFC and golf (both of which make me want to stab my own eyes). I loved salsa and bachata, and he had two left feet. Like my grandparents, we knew we'd probably cancel out each other's votes.
Honestly, I think that our differences make our relationship stronger. We're distinct individuals with our own interests and passions and, together, we're pretty awesome.
Talking Came Easily
I expect this will come as no surprise to my child, as both her parents have the gift of gab. Regardless, from that very first day, conversation was easy. I remember thinking that the lack of awkward silences was a good sign.
I Didn't Need To Use My Out
I scheduled our brunch before my pole class so I could leave right after we ate if needed. I also gave myself a buffer (and follow-up activity to suggest) in case I liked him, which I did.
We Went Antique Shopping
My husband will also claim that he hated this to save face with his brothers. We have different interests when it comes to antiques. He likes art (I can only hope that Man in Golden Helmet has been irreparably damaged in one of our many moves by the time I tell my daughter our story). For me, it's all about the furniture.
We Saw An Auspicious Photo
It was a old-timey picture of a couple with the caption, "We met on eHarmony!" What else could that have been but an omen, right?
We Fell In Love With The Same Desk
As we strolled through the downtown antique shops, we came across an old sewing desk. It was from the same year as the old Craftsman house I'd just purchased. The top folded down and everything.
We Had Our First Argument
As in, who is going home with this desk? We decided that the fairest solution was for no one to have it.
It Got Solved A Few Weeks Later
Several dates down the road, he asked me if I really liked that desk. I said yes and that I knew exactly where I'd put it in my new home. His response, "Good, because I bought it for you and it's next door."
He Told Me He Didn't Kiss On The First Date
I would have been amenable to a goodbye kiss as I headed into class, but he had his rule, so he got another hug.
He Texted Me Right Away
Before class started, I got a text saying what a good time he had and asking for a second date. I loved the fact that he wasn't playing any "must wait 48 hours before texting" games with me. It was my first inkling of what a reliable, thoughtful man he turned out to be.
He Took Me Back To That Same Spot A Year Later
This time with a ring on my finger...
... and we lived happily ever after.