Romance Stories

Last First Date

I love Kane Brown’s “What if?” for a variety of reasons. There’s the obvious. It’s romantic.

Then the optimistic tone. The song presents the possibilities of the moment. What if this is the moment that defines our forever?

I love defining moments.

I especially love the song, because looking back, I should have known my first date with my husband was my last. But I didn’t figure it out until we were married for twenty-three years…as in the defining moment was there in front of us and neither of us recognized it.

But obviously we did, otherwise I wouldn’t be in the living room typing this blog while he slumbers away peacefully.

Let me tell you the story.

On our first date, Big R and I took our four kids, from previous marriages, and our pastor’s four kids to see “One Hundred and One Dalmations.”

You’re probably thinking, I can see why you wouldn’t know that as a “wow” date.

It gets better.

After the movie, we went to the Coffee Plantation at Mill Avenue. It is an open-air coffee house in Arizona. The kids had cocoa. My future husband and I had coffee. Ripkin performed live for all of us warm beverage drinkers.

He held my hand.

But that wasn’t the moment.

The defining moment came when we got home. It was late. All of us buzzed with the happiness that comes after enjoying a fun-filled evening.

Then my beloved, the man who would be my husband, closed the car door on my hand. As in my palm was on one side, and four of my fingers were latched between the door and the siding.

I’ll interrupt here to add some details that make the story even more intense. I never lock car doors. Big R would lock the refrigerator door if it had a key.

I have a lively personality. He is the quiet one.

When my melodramatic mind processed that my hand was pinched by a locked car door, I should have screamed, cried out in pain, started blubbering.

What I did astounded me then. It should have been the sign. It was the sign.

As clear as the sun on a Montana summer day, my mind said, “If you get upset it will frazzle Randy. Keep Calm.”

And that is what I did. As Randy showed all the signs of a mind exclaiming OMG WHAT HAVE I DONE, I remained calm.

I said things along the line of, “It’ll be okay,” when my head was screaming in pain.

Of course he had a key chain with one hundred million keys. See melodramatic, but there were a lot of key.

While he fumbled, my voice said, “I’ll be fine.” I wanted to cry.

When he opened the door, my hand immediately throbbed in pain. I smiled and said “See no harm, no foul.”

I kept my cool, took the boys home, and tucked them in bed.

The entire last ten minutes of the night was our sign. The man who is now my husband had the power to bring the best version of who I was to a situation.

It was the moment where the line between reality and romantic converged, merged, and changed the trajectory of our future.

When I hear “What If” play on the radio, I smile. There were stars and smiles on our first date. However, it did not end with that memorable first kiss. Instead, our last first date ended with something better. It ended with what one of my wiser characters calls glue. It proved my future husband and I worked well together when confronted by problems.

I won’t close this post wishing you problems, because we have plenty of those this year. Instead, I’ll hope you find moments of cohesion. That you find the people that pull out the better version of you—the version that makes you say, “Wow, I didn’t know I could do that.”

Until the next note



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