Our Second “First” Date

July 15 is a special day. A very important beginning and ending took place on this day.
I didn’t realize until recently that today is the anniversary of my Grandma Lowder’s death. I knew she died in July. Her death was the first serious loss I ever experienced. But the exact date slipped from my memory over the years. When my mother reminded me a few days ago that this is the date Grandma died, I was very surprised, because another very important event has occurred on this date in the 22 years since the loss of my grandmother.
For eight years now, this date has also been the anniversary of my second “first” date with the man who would become my husband. Our actual first date occurred on Valentine’s Day 2006 and we enjoyed another date in March as well. After that, things petered out a bit.
I think this was mostly due to me being an idiot, but neither of us was quite ready for something serious during those first two dates. We were both getting over other people. However, I kept up with him via MySpace (!) and I began to feel ready. By July, I knew I couldn’t let such an amazing man slip through my fingers. I was scared, but I emailed him to ask if he wanted to come to my friend Laura’s birthday party at The County Line on 2222 with me.
He didn’t answer as quickly as he usually did and I panicked a bit. However, by the next morning, he responded, saying he would love to join me. (I think he was at The Paramount with a friend seeing “Clerks II”, which accounted for the delayed response.)
That Saturday morning, I attended a teacher training information session at Yoga Yoga. (Unfortunately, I have yet to do the actual yoga teacher training.) I remember feeling exhilarated that day as I drove home. I listened to the song “Lucky” by Bif Naked on repeat. I just knew somehow that this was the beginning of the real deal. I felt joy, but also apprehension. Luckily, I was absolutely determined not to chicken out.
I arrived at The County Line first and sat in my car waiting. I saw him arrive and walk in, noting the way he walked. We sat next to each other and talked. He insisted on paying. I noticed that he wedged his spoon inside the lemon slice from his tea. I asked why and I think he said that kept it from lying flat on the table in case he needed to use it again.
Everyone planned to meet downtown in a few hours at Lance Armstrong’s club Six. I again invited Chris and he accepted. He picked me up at my apartment and we headed downtown.
We were the first ones there. (This group of friends tended to head downtown very late when they went.) We danced, had a drink, and checked out the famous roof, but it was very crowded. Neither of us is much for the club scene, so we decided to head out to Magnolia Café on South Congress for pancakes.
By then, it was about 4 in the morning. I remember having a hard time staying awake at that point. I think Chris did, too, so he dropped me off at my apartment and headed home.
Chris kept asking me out and I managed to overcome my fear and intimacy issues and kept saying yes. A month later, we were a couple. Four months after that, we moved in together. Seven months later, he asked me to marry him and I accepted. Seven months after that we were married and seventeen months after that, our sweet Max was born.
Two and a half years later, we welcomed Lucy, then said good-bye to her fifteen months later. We lost a pregnancy three months after that and are now eager to welcome our third/fourth child in the next few weeks.
Of course, there have been job changes, one move, a pet death, several other deaths in the family, vacations, health challenges, birthday parties, new cars, and all of the other flotsam and jetsam of life. We have endured much together and I admit there have been times I feared we would break. Now, I feel quite sure that we will not. We are in this for the long haul. It is the real deal, just as I pictured as I drove from Yoga Yoga to my apartment to get ready for our second “first” date.
Most of our special anniversaries occur in July, August, and February. With the imminent arrival of Scarlett, July and August will become even more special. Happy second first date, honey. Thank you for saying yes and for continuing to love me and show up every day. We are, indeed, the “lucky ones”.

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