Ok, I’m a day late, but I still have to write about it.
Eighteen years ago, on March 25, I went on a first date with the love of my life, Quint.
We were set up on “blind date” on March 19, by a mutual friend and her husband. We met for the first time at their house for their son’s confirmation open house. I was nervous, and excited. I decided a couple of weeks prior to “ask” God, the Universe, whatever for a man, a good man, who would be a positive influence on my son and be there for me and spend the rest of my life with me. I got the idea from Dr. Gray, who wrote the “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” books and he had made an appearance on a talk show called “Mike & Maty”. What he said really stuck with me. He said if you want something different in your life in terms of relationships and you seem to keep attracting the same type over and over again, you need to make a list of what you want out of a partner and settle for nothing less than around 80 percent of what is on that list. Hmmm.
So, I made a list. I wrote it all down, folded it up and put it away. One night after working at the plastics factory (I worked from 4pm to midnight), I got home and sat out on the deck with my dog, Eesha, and while she did her nightly patrol, I looked up at the full moon, listening to the ducks and the geese out in the pond behind my parents yard. I was living with my son at my parent’s house because I couldn’t afford a place of my own yet, and I was hoping to someday go to college, get a degree and move out.
Looking up at the moon, the song, “Find Me Somebody To Love” by Queen came into my head and I prayed, asked, begged for the man on my list to arrive and soon or I was going to become a “nun”. I asked for the strength to raise my son as a single mother to the best of my ability if the Man On The List didn’t exist. I was tired of being alone. I was willing to give it up, if it was not meant to be, and just find a way to deal with being alone.
Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. About a week later, my friend came up to me and said, “There’s someone I think you should meet.”
“Right.” I said. But I felt something tingling in my arms and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.
“No, really. He’s a really nice guy. He’s single and I think you two would really hit it off. Come over to my son’s open house for his confirmation to meet him. What can it hurt?” she said.
I thought about for a couple of minutes and said, “Ok. I’ll be there.”
The day of the open house, I walked from the entryway to the kitchen and he was standing there in a dark blue t’shirt and shorts. It said, “Bayfront Bluesfest” on the shirt and he was talking with my friend’s husband. He was tall, but not too tall, had short brown hair and a neatly trimmed beard. He was a big guy, barrel chested and he had really strong looking legs. He looked at me and smiled. I smiled back, then grabbed my friends arm and pulled her into the bedroom.
“Are you crazy?! He’s gorgeous! He’s not going to have anything to do with me!” I was wishing right then I was a size zero!
“You will be fine! Just go talk to him!” she said and pushed me out to the kitchen.
We were introduced and I shook his hand and felt something like electricity go right up my arm to my heart. A little voice in my heart said, “Hello. I’ve been looking for you.”
We talked and shared information and when everyone else had left, we were the only two guests left. I went to the door, he walked with me and as we put our shoes on, we talked about meeting again for a date. I left and got in my car and drove home. Then it hit me.
Shit! I never gave him my number! I started crying. Stupid, stupid, stupid!
I walked into the door at home and my Mom saw it was me.
“Why are you crying? Was he ugly?” she said.
“No! I’m an idiot! I just met the love of my life and I didn’t even give him my phone number!” I said.
“So, call your friend and get his number and call him!” she said.
“Who are you and what have you done with my mother?” I said.
I called my friend and she said she would get his number and bring it to me the next day at work.
She did. It was written on a slip of notebook paper in brown crayon. (I still have it).
I called him on my break and we started talking. We talked every day that week and decided to go on our first date that Saturday (the 25th).
Our first date started with lunch at a local restaurant. I found out he liked seasoned fries with ketchup. We talked about kids, movies, television shows, work, our families. Then he asked if I had seen “The Lion King” on VHS and I said, “Yes, but I could watch it again.”
He then invited me to meet his parents (he was living with them at the time, too), and we went to his parents house. I met them both and his Mom had been sick and watching him hug her and dote on her in their kitchen was so endearing. My mother said you can always tell a lot about a man by the way he treats his mother. This spoke volumes about the kind of man he is, then and now.
We went downstairs and watched the movie and talked and then went to dinner at the steakhouse in Princeton. He was kind, funny, we had a lot of things in common. We came back and listened to music (he had a huge album collection) and I read his palm. (Thank you again, “Mike & Maty”). Then he kissed me.
That was it.
I was ruined for any other man.
I might as well have just reached in, pulled out my heart and put it in his hands right then. It’s been in his safe keeping ever since.
We found out later there was a ten year age difference (he’s ten years older than me), but to tell you the truth, he and I are perfect for each other. Age is just a number anyway.
We’ve been through a lot over the years, good, bad, ugly, sad, but we’ve come through it together. I’m grateful for each and every day I get to spend with him and I feel he deserves sainthood for putting up with me this long! He’s been a great lover, friend, father to my son and to his three boys, and influence on me, supporting me in my writing career and other career changes that have happened since we met.
He’s a wonderful grandfather, too. 🙂
I’m forever grateful to Kathy, my friend and her husband, Bob. Bob passed away a few years ago, sadly, but Kathy is still close by.
I tell people who are afraid to go on blind dates to have an open mind. I tell them my story, our story, and say, “You just never know.”