It was 8 years ago almost to the minute since my wife and I’s first date. Snow still covered the ground and though not as cold as tonight there was a frost in the air. I sat across from her at Applebees as she played with her food. Seeing someone so nervous to be on a date with me was refreshing as I was no Casanova, it was really quite calming. The cheese from her mozzarella stick stretched, almost in sync with her own internal tension, until it snapped and a piece of breading flew over the banister and onto an old couples table dining below us. Her face filled with blood as she blushed and a smile grew on my face, she was absolutely fascinating. The date continued as most do, small talk, and my usual corny / charming humor.
When the meal was finished I paid for the check and escorted her out to my car and grabbed the door for her, as gentlemen do. I then proceeded to drive her home as the night was coming to a close and I am not the type to made a lady miss a curfew. We wound around the country roads skating ever closer to our destination. We entered her town and seeing how much time she still had before she had to be home she told me to pull off in a snowy church parking lot. I never could tell her no, and to be honest, I still struggle so I did as she requested. I killed the engine and turned off the headlights as my heart began to race. I had been exposed to enough date scenes on TV like this one to guess what might come next and as we’ve already established I am shy with the ladies so my mind was racing.
She unbuckled her seatbelt as Ocean Eyes by Owl City played and the blue light danced off of her porcelain skin. She inched closer to me, my heart beating out of my chest, was a kiss coming, we’re we going to get serious, what do I do? A million questions and possibilities for what would happen next whirled through my mind as she moved closer and closer, until… She nestled in my arms and looked up at me and all at once a peace washed over me. Someone who could barely keep a conversation with me was now snuggled in my lap and then she spoke.
“How many kids do you want?”. The peace that had washed over me shattered like the ice on the trees in a cold wind and my mind began to race again. This was so off-putting, I am known to be blunt, but damn! I didn’t expect this kind of question and with my media brainwashed mind I had expected something far different, but I did the only thing I could and the only thing I would want in return, I told the truth. “I want 2 kids, a boy and a girl.”, I said still somewhat miffed. She then began to grill me as if with a list of questions from the “Questions You Never Ask on a First Date Handbook” that she had memorized and I replied with my honest opinions. After a couple rounds and me reciprocating the questions she seemed content, court was dismissed and I was sentenced to 30 mins of the most complete serenity I have experienced, as I held her in my arms with Adam Young serenaded us.
I hope never to lose the memory of that night and if nothing else I will have immortalized it here for it was in that small moment that 2 people found each other. It was in honesty that we found solace, it was with clear intent and polite forwardness that we saw who we really wanted. Most importantly it was then that we knew that there was something in each of us that complimented the other, which set a relationship of 8 years and a marriage of over 6 years in motion.
I love Emmy with all of my heart and I owe her everything for cutting through the bullshit to set a precedent in our relationship. That was the first time, but it wasn’t the last and if you’re lucky I may just write about more. Years later when we started Madness Labs she made sure that we brought the same no-nonsense mentality to our business relationships. Believing that honesty, clear intent, and polite forwardness could create a conversation to help real strong relationships grow. I can’t say that she is the same shy girl, nor I the same bashful lad, but what I can say we continue to navigate with truth and love in all our relationships, because that is what we believe will make the world a better place.
Here is to many more years with the person that changed my life and keeps me honest. Thank you Em! <3
Your Love Eternally,