I’m going to count the comments on my Facebook page to count towards my “10 comments gets the First Date story” promise. This includes my favorite one “I’ve already heard that story.”
Well, Janine Bhilip, you’re gonna hear it again!!!
Justin and I had been “talking” for a few weeks . . . you all know what I mean. . . getting to know each other, hanging out . . .
He was a student at the Christian college where I was an employee, and on my lunch break I would go over to his apartment and either stand in the doorway with him or if we were lucky, my friend Bonnie was with us and we were allowed to go inside. (College rules: 2 girls and 2 guys minimum in the apartment.)
I was just making my way over as he was making his exit. He had to go to work earlier than normal, so we couldn’t spend my lunch hour together. He asked me to come by and see him when I got off of work.
I couldn’t wait to go see him. (This was also the day I found out that he wanted to be a youth minister instead of full-time military.)
I was nervous walking over to him because this would be the second time I had met him at his work, and I was embarrassed the last time (see post here). I also didn’t want to get him into trouble.
I shouldn’t have been worried because he didn’t waste any time.
One of my faves
He asked me to go out to dinner!!!
Plus, it was Valentine’s Day!!!!
Oh wait . . .
I can’t go.
This was literally the one Wednesday night that my parents BOTH have prior obligations and my sister isn’t coming home until after her youth group . . . and that means I have to go home and babysit my little brother.
But wait . . . the man isn’t easily defeated.
“Bring him along.”
Plans changed from a semi-romantic dinner-for-two, to a casual bite-to-eat for three.
At Dairy Queen.
To be fair, my brother was only 8 and there was no way I was expecting Justin to pay for my little brother to eat at a nice place. Plus, I knew I could bribe Nathaniel with the cheeseburgers and ice cream.
Something else momentous happened.
He asked me for my phone number.
I see some of you rolling your eyes. Listen, I had NEVER given out my phone number to a guy. This was a big deal for me.
I ripped off a piece of envelope I had in my purse and jotted it down for him.
Guess what . . . I found out a few years after we were married that he had saved it the whole time.
Isn’t that the sweetest thing?!?!?! Makes me regret breaking up with him — but that’s a different story.
So Justin tells me he will call me when he gets home, around 5:30, and we’ll meet around 6.
Sooooooo . . . I rush, and I mean, RUSH home. I threw my phone at Nathaniel and yelled strict instructions as I flew up the stairs to take a shower.
“Get dressed. We’re going to dinner. If that phone rings, ANSWER IT and come get me. Hurry UP!” I can still see him standing there confused and . . . well, confused.
I take the fastest shower I’ve ever taken. I blew my hair dry. I put on makeup. I grabbed an outfit that said, “I’m not trying too hard.” Jeans. T-shirt. Ugh. What was I thinking? I had no fashion sense. at. all.
At the drop zone with my man, the Jump Master
Phone rings. It’s not Justin.
Nathaniel’s getting hungry and he wants his promised treats. My dad’s going to be home in a few hours and I have to feed the boy, so I make a decision that I’m going to take Nathaniel out anyway, and if Justin shows up, he shows up, and it’s his loss for standing me up because fat chance if he thinks I’m going to accept another date invitation from him.
My heart was crushed, though. I’ll be honest.
I thought Justin was seriously the cutest guy on campus. He was fresh out of the military, handsome, and cocky. (I liked it.) I knew of a few girls who wanted to date him and he’d been on a couple of dates already. I honestly didn’t believe I had a chance with him – after all, I worked at the school. I wasn’t in any position to hang out with him because we had no classes together. Plus, I worked 8-5 and he had college hours. The only reason we met was because of Bonnie, who was our mutual friend.
Back to the story . . .
Nathaniel and I arrive at Dairy Queen, and I order dinner for both of us, although I admit I didn’t eat much. I grabbed something small because if Justin showed up, I didn’t want to be eating. I had a thing about eating in front of people . . . I didn’t like to do it. (Insecurity from a couple of years of wearing braces.)
Around 6:30, he calls. I still remember the way his voice sounded. It was the first time we’d spoken on the phone and I thought he had the deepest, smoothest voice I ever heard. Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps.
Our first date, February 14, 2002
After the nervous, “Hi’s” his next words knocked me out of my swooning.
“Hey! We’re on our way.”
I heard a girl’s voice in the background and I felt the jealousy start to rise.
“Yes,” he said. “Me and Bonnie. We’ll be there in a few minutes.”
In the span of less than two hours, I went from overjoyed excitement that Justin asked me out, asked me for my phone number, and still wanted to see me tonight after finding out I was so lame and had to drag along my kid brother (Nathaniel, I love you).
Then I almost get stood up.
Then I have him bringing another girl on our FIRST DATE.
So was this a date? Did he like me? I didn’t know. I was so confused.
Remember my last post about food and eating on a first date? Justin ordered the biggest, messiest cheeseburger on the menu. I was SO embarrassed. I liked him a LOT and I didn’t want to be sitting across from him watching him eat this sloppy sandwich while we tried to get to know each other.
He didn’t spill one thing. He was the neatest eater I have ever seen . . . and still is. He used only one napkin where I would have emptied the entire dispenser. He even ate that burger pretty much one-handed.
What also impressed me was how clean and short his nails were. I think guys forget to properly groom their hands and guys, trust me, girls are looking.
He also impressed me by buying Nathaniel ice cream and being genuinely interested in him. He asked him what grade he was in and I’m pretty sure they talked about sports of some kind for a few minutes.
We talked about all kinds of things . . . and it was sort of nice having Bonnie there. She gave us a reason to talk about different subjects and she played with Nathaniel for a while and let Justin and I talk by ourselves.
I do know that when we left, the jealousy I felt about him bringing another girl on our date grew as I watched her get in his Jeep.
I can’t stress enough how perfect I thought he was.
Except for not calling me sooner . . . but he explained later and he had a good reason. Justin has an extremely compassionate heart and he needed to help someone before he could come see me.
I still think he should have called earlier . . . . 🙂
We officially started dating three days later.
This February, we’ll have been together 10 years and that man still makes my heart skip a beat.
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