First date with the wrong guy.
I was a freshman in college; he was a freshman in college. I can’t really fault him for his, ummm … thriftiness. But, to actually drive me to the gas station and tell me I could have anything that was two for a dollar, well, that left me with a bad taste in my mouth. And an upset stomach. Take it from me: if the guy wants to buy you dinner at a place that gives you gas in more ways than one, he’s probably not the one.
First date with the right guy.
He had asked me out for Friday night, but I was going to be out of town. He called me on Sunday when I got back home and asked me to the movies. During the movie, he gently took my hand and moved it off of my very, very sunburned leg and onto the arm rest that we would share for the rest of the flick. Afterwards, I asked him to come in for a drink (so cliché!) and we sat and talked—seriously, just talked—until the sun rose. At that time, he gently kissed me, told me to rest well and promised to call. Take it from me: If he does call again, you’ll want him to stick around. (Hint: He did call again, and he did stick around.)
First date after the wedding.
My ring was still shiny. We’d used all of our new pots and pans cooking. The china pattern fit perfectly in our little home, and we’d used it frequently to toast our firsts: Our first week, month, six-month anniversary, our first days back at work, our first fight and our first make-up. The wine glasses and the wine-of-the-month subscription given to us by an acquaintance we barely knew (but totally loved!) were well used. But, we needed to get out. He still held the doors for me; he still pulled out the chair for me; he still let me order first. And at the end of the night, he kissed me at the door, even though we were both walking through it. Take it from me: The romance doesn’t have to stop just because you have a ring on your finger.
First date after the baby.
We begged my sister to babysit her newborn niece so we could go to the movies. We left a detailed note of exactly what the baby needed and wanted in order to survive and become a productive citizen eventually. I left my cell number, my husband’s cell number, the neighbor’s number, the non-emergency number for the police, ambulance and fire departments, the poison control number and the number to 9-1-1. I refused to turn my ringer off when the animated cell phone on the screen prompted me to do so. Before the movie was half over, I left to call my sister and leave her the pediatrician’s number—I can’t believe I’d left it off my list! Then I left again, five minutes later because when I called my sister the first time, I heard my baby gurgle and, well, let’s just say I became completely top heavy and needed to shove some tissues down my bra. Take it from me: That first time out you should shove the tissues before you leave the house.
First date after the kids are in school.
We hired a teenager to babysit because our family members made up excuses to not be left alone with our kids. I mean, really, what self-respecting aunt can’t watch her nieces because she’s re-caulking a tub on a Friday night? We bought frozen dinners for the kids and told our sitter to text and not call in case of an emergency. We ate in silence at a restaurant that did not have crayons on their tables and we ate our food while it was still hot without anyone else touching our plate or us. We drank adult beverages and then we went grocery shopping. We even bought a box of Little Debbie’s to eat in the parking lot before we went home. Take it from me: Sometimes, the most romantic date involves the mundane, everyday things.
First date wherein the kids can stay by themselves.
It was a Wednesday night. No one had any plans of any kind that involved transportation or parental supervision. We pinned a recipe for them to make for their dinner and then we left before they knew what was going on. We talked in complete sentences and didn’t referee a fight or chastise a dirty deed. He held the doors for me; he pulled out the chair for me; he let me order first. At the end of the night, he kissed me at the door, even though we were both walking through it. Take it from me: The romance returns—it’s your reward for toughing it out and falling asleep wearing your work clothes one too many nights.
Heather Davis is a momma, a writer and a hopeless romantic. She and her family live in Oklahoma. Her books can be found on Amazon or by contacting her, www.Heather-Davis.net.