11 years ago…

S and I have an anniversary this month.  On July 4th, eleven years will have passed since our first date. 

I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar  in a coffee house when we first met.  She would come in often with a group of her friends and order mochas, though sometimes Tazo teas.  I thought she was cute, but quite young looking.  She tried to flirt with me but wasn’t too good at it.  One night she came up to the counter and asked me if I wanted to go smoke a cigarette with her.  I told her I had to wait for my break.  She went back to her table.  A bit later I went over to her table and told her that I was going out for a smoke.  She nodded.  I stood outside, alone, for the seven minutes it took for me to smoke a cigarette.  She never came to join me.  I thought that I had perhaps misunderstood her intentions.

After the smoking fiasco S and her friends left the coffee house.  I thought for certain that I had misunderstood her earlier intentions.  But later on that evening S returned to the coffee house without her friends.  She came up to the counter and asked me if I wanted to go out sometime.  I said “yeah” in a very cool, laid back way.  We exchanged numbers and that was that.  Well, not really.  Before I called her I did some checking to see just how old she was.  A friend of hers assured me that she was 18, but I wasn’t 100% sure.  And that worried me.  I was 24 at the time and didn’t want to get myself into any sort of trouble.

I have started to forget some of the details of that very exciting time.  I hate to admit that and I am sad that it has happened.  I remember calling her and working out the details for the date.  At that time, I was managing the coffee house and working 65 hours a week.  I only ever had Sundays off because the coffee house was always closed on Sundays and I had never asked my bosses for any time off.  I think she had to work Sundays because she had two jobs.  The soonest we could have a date was July 4th since my work and her two works were closed.  And that was how it came to be that our anniversary is on a national holiday.

July 4th is a dreadful day for a first date.  We were supposed to meet at a coffee house, not my own, to start the date.  But when we got there, it was closed.  We walked to another coffee house, but it too was closed.  Everything was closed.  We went to a playground and played on the swings.  Then we found a little movie theatre that was open and pretty much running just one movie, but we went anyway.  And yes, movies are bad first dates too.  After the movie we went to Eat ‘n’ Park where S asked an almost budding relationship fatal question, “So, are you always this quiet?”  Thankfully, the answer was “Yes.”  I don’t like being around new people, which also makes for a bad first date.  And for those of you who are wondering why we didn’t take the easy route and go watch fireworks… neither of us enjoy fireworks.  Too loud.

When the date was over, we didn’t even kiss good-night.  That is what happens when two rather awkward people find one another and decide to date.  I thought it had been an awful date and I was sure that she wasn’t interested in me.  Apparently she thought it had been an okay date since she came back to my coffee house a few days later and asked me for a second date.  On the second date I asked to see her ID to make certain that she was 18, and she was.  Thank G_d.

We had a third date too and about 4,015 others.

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