Saturday, March 26, 2005

A Decade

10 years ago today, my wife and I had our first date. The previous weekend back in 1995 I had taken her to see a Boston Bruins game while my sister and her friends were in town for St. Patrick's Day. That didn't really count as a date since it was a group thing, so March 25, 1995 was our first real alone time together.

We had worked together for almost a year before this point, so I think we both figured going on a date would be a stress free event. We were both wrong.

I took her to see Pulp Fiction, since I had learned her favorite movie was Reservoir Dogs. Well, it was the second weekend of Pulp Fiction's release, and the whole world was trying to see it. We parked on a side street because the movie theater parking lot was full, and made our way to the ticket window. Pulp Fiction Sold Out. Damn! What the heck were we going to do? We walked back to my car only to find it had been ticketed in those short five minutes, and then decided to go to a bar.

On the way there, I wasn't paying attention to the road. If you're familiar with Boston and its neighborhoods, you'll know T (transit/train/subway) tracks usually split coming & going traffic. Well, I made a left turn onto one of those said streets, and cut it too close. I drove up on the small waiting platform at a T stop. Kind of like a sidewalk. Well, my left front and back tires crashed down off of that platform back onto the road, and I was so out of sorts, I didn't utter a word. Neither did Colleen. Only weeks later did we talk about how uncomfortable that moment was.

We finally get to the bar we both were fond of, and I still am not sure what it was about that Friday night, but the bar in Brookline was practically empty. Perhaps everyone was out watching John Travolta and Uma Thurman do the batman dance. Suffice it to say, this date was going nowhere, so we both sipped our drinks and made excuses about how tired we were from that day's work.

At that point, I think we were both regretting trying to take our relationship beyond friendship. We had both been given advice that before you begin dating someone at work, you have to be SURE about it. After that date, we were both unsure.

We persevered though, and about a month later when we were in her apartment near Harvard Square, and we saw the sun streaming through the blinds, she said, "Looks like a great day for a Red Sox game." Hell yeah, baby! I jumped into my car and sped down to Fenway Park and purchased two tickets right behind home plate. See, that was the season after the baseball strike, and the Red Sox were "apologizing" to their fans by pricing every ticket in the ballpark at $10 during the first home stand. Because we were right behind home plate, the sun was blocked most of the day, and because it was mid-April in Boston, our breath was steaming. Of course, I had to spill my beer all over Colleen in that 40 degree, sunless section of Fenway Park. When she took that gaffe in stride, and stayed at Fenway Park covered in cold beer until the last pitch was thrown, I knew then I was SURE.

Since then, we have moved across the country to Portland, OR, have owned two different homes, have said goodbye to two dogs and have two great children.

All hail to awkward first dates!

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