Sunday, March 27, 2011

{ Our First Date }

March 26, 2008.

Six months after we first met...
After about three months of incessant text messages, daily phone calls lasting many hours, several "define the relationship" conversations, and the three largest phone bills of my life...
After Wednesday night Bible study...
Mike asked if he could come to the apartment I shared with my roommate and talk.

He surprised me with a single red rose and the question, "Can I take you on a date on Saturday?"
And this wasn't just a date. He was asking if he could pursue me with the intention of marriage. I was stunned. Not in the I had no idea this was coming sense; I just had no clue it was coming tonight. {My oblivion was to be a great blessing to Mike on many occasions during the next year. Apparently it's really easy to slip things by me!} Not only that, he'd managed to get my parents' phone number and had actually called my Dad to ask permission to court me.
I said Yes.

March 29, 2008
Our First Date

I was excited and nervous when Mike picked me up that morning. I really liked him. Aside from a six-week sort-of relationship when I was 20 that didn't involve actual dates, this was my first relationship. Even at this teensy tiny early stage, I could see us going somewhere. "Ohmigosh--us! There's an us! He calls me his girlfriend!" I was on pins and needles!

It was a gorgeous, sparkly-clear, sunshiney and mild day--definitely not the norm for western Washington in March. I had no idea what the day would hold, though Mike told me this date was going to be an all-day affair. He arrived with a bouquet of red roses for me. Then we went to his favorite town in the world, Edmonds {his hometown}, and rode the ferry across the Puget Sound to Kingston.

 As the day unfolded, I learned that Mike had been studying me closely during our many conversations. I was speechless when I realized  how many times he had taken note of little things I'd said in passing. On a sunny day months earlier, I had mentioned that it was perfect ferry weather and that riding a ferry is one of my favorite things. He remembered!

After coffee and meandering on foot around Kingston in the beautiful weather, we rode the ferry back and started driving...somewhere. I had no idea where we were going until Mike pulled into a Costco parking lot. Some time earlier, I had told a group of friends {including Mike} that when I was a teenager, my dream date was to walk through Costco holding hands with my boyfriend. Living in a very rural part of Idaho, Costco was a big part of our occasional trips to the city, and the place always seemed to be teeming with couples. {A few years later, after I'd moved away, my friend Chelle was being courted and she told me how David had taken her to Costco and they'd walked around holding hands "just like I always dreamed of!" Apparently, strolling through Costco holding hands is the stuff of dreams for more than one homeschooled girl from the backwoods of Idaho!} Hand in hand, Mike and I meandered through Costco, eating samples and giggling and dancing.

Oh yes, the dancing! Mike loves to dance. We'd flirted our way through a few group swing dancing lessons over the past months, and now that I was his girlfriend, Mike danced me all over western Washington.
We danced on the ferry.
We danced in the ferry terminal.
We danced in Costco.
We danced up...I'm getting to that part!

It was now late afternoon, and we went back to my apartment, where Mike instructed me to change into something fancy. He had hidden his suit beneath blankets in the backseat of his car, and I hadn't even noticed! He drove us to downtown Seattle, to the Columbia Tower--the tallest building in the Pacific Northwest. We danced in the elevator as it took us up 76 stories to the Columbia Tower Club, a private club at the top of the skyscraper. The views below us were spectacular as we enjoyed our wine. Ferries crossed the Sound; lights flickered far across the water on dark, lush islands and the peninsula. Fog was rolling in, the lights of the freeway like a golden ribbon far below us. It grew dark, the buildings of downtown Seattle like brightly-lit toys spread out beneath the slowly creeping haze of mist.

Eventually it was time to leave for our final destination. I'd given up trying to guess where we were going; if I'd had any expectations for our first date, Mike had far exceeded them hours before. We ended up where we had begun: Edmonds. We had dinner reservations at Arnies, a lovely restaurant on the waterfront. From our table by the window we could watch the ferries going back and forth between Edmonds and Kingston. Dinner was delicious; afterward, Mike led me toward the pier. Starlight, the Puget Sound, a dizzyingly wonderful day with this amazing man--was this real? We danced on the pier in the moonlight before Mike took me home. It was epic. By the time he said goodnight and went home, we'd been together for 14 hours!

Little did I know that this was just the beginning...


  1. Truly epic. That Mike is a good man! Ever since I first heard your Costco date story a year ago, I always think of the two of you whenever I am in one of their stores- and it still makes me smile! :-)Happy dating anniversary!!!

  2. Awww, thanks Dawna. :-) I miss you!! Are you thinking of going to Farm Chicks this year? I don't know if I'll be able to make it, but if I do....

  3. Epic is right!! Wow. Most amazing first date I have ever heard of!! You guys are so sweet...

  4. This is SOOO romantic! I LOVE it! :) Dale and I courted too. Very unheard of these days!!! We are praying our kids will take on courtship as an idea of their own so that it feels like a personal faith-based decision, not something Mom and Dad are making them do. I have yet to write out Dale and my story, but it's on "The List". Maybe around our up and coming 9th anniversary?? Thanks for sharing!!!!!!!!!

  5. @Tonya--we jokingly called our relationship "dorting," since strictly speaking it wasn't exactly courting, but it definitely wasn't dating either. But dorting is such a retarded-sounding word...

  6. Very sweet and oh-so romantic!