Bill and I met four years ago, 10/9/10, after connecting on Match.com and emailing back and forth for four days. I took the advice of keeping the first, blind date brief and in a public place among other people (match.com dates are so easy to spot, aren’t they?) so we arranged to meet at a coffee shop in New Haven. My sister, acting as my personal stylist, came over in the early afternoon that Saturday to help me pick out just the right outfit for my date; liking what I read and saw on Bill’s profile page, I wanted to make a good first impression. For the occasion I pulled my best, dark wash jeans out of the closet and off their hanger. They’re long so I wore a pair of black high-heeled sandals. I topped my look off with a white tee and black cardigan, basically my uniform then (and now). Considering I picked my standard outfit, I own white and black shirts in short sleeves, 3/4 length sleeves, long sleeves, v neck and scoop neck, I ended up with a heap of clothes tossed all over my bed. I’m sure there were shoes flung around the room too, there usually is.
When Bill and I met we hit it off right away. We got to know each other over coffee, a walk around the city and, later, dinner; three hours into our coffee date we were back at the cafe and I was going to get another coffee when Bill asked if I’d like to have dinner. We decided on sushi across town but when we arrived the restaurant was full with a long wait so we walked across the street to an Indian restaurant.
For as long as I can remember, on and off, my nose has run. It’s in my medical chart, my doctor’s noted it as ‘chronic runny nose,’ which doesn’t sound very glamorous but is nothing more than an annoyance. It may be chronic but it’s not constant, still I have a pretty blue kleenex holder in my pocketbook that is always stocked. If I paid attention I’d probably notice a pattern and could anticipate a flare up. I don’t remember whether or not my nose acted up during the afternoon but I know I was sniffing and blowing it through dinner. I kept apologizing, kept pulling out my hand sanitizer and even offered Bill a squirt; he politely declined. Regardless of my uncooperative schnoz the date seemed to go very well. There were never any awkward pauses or silences, we found plenty of topics to discuss, realized we had some common interests and asked questions about each other’s work, families, hobbies.
I probably broke all the rules by not setting a time limit on our first outing; it was 10:00 pm when we finally said goodnight, a full eight hours after meeting and shaking hands. When I looked at my phone I saw my sister had called a couple of times, she was reasonably concerned when she hadn’t heard from me. I checked in with her and briefed her on the day.
By the end of the night, for me, I knew I had met someone special. I remember thinking to myself “if I never hear from him again, I still had a great day and have been shown that there are nice guys out there.” Soon after, we started dating regularly. I experienced growing pains as we navigated through some rough patches, more so early on as we were learning about each other and our peculiar, to the other, tendencies. The sailing has been rocky at times but more often, smooth. We were there and now we’re here and it’s four years later. Who knew? I didn’t. But now that I do know I’m looking forward to whatever comes next.