Our love story started on our first date. This is that story.
The darkness of a winter evening had fallen around me as I pulled into the busy parking lot of my favorite restaurant. I parked my car, turned off the engine, and sunk deeply into the familiar comfort of my driver’s seat. All around me, the popular location was buzzing with activity as patrons came and went, willing to brave the brisk February day to satisfy their cravings for the rich cuisine.
I lingered in the quiet seclusion of my vehicle for several moments, considering the series of events that had led me to this point. I was here to meet, in person, the first man presented to me as a good potential match by the online dating website I had joined the week before. I had decided when I joined that I didn’t want to waste time spending weeks or months just talking to a person before meeting him. Better to get it on with it and just be prepared with an escape route if the occasion should call for it. The exit plan I had secured for after the date was a birthday party for a friend at a karaoke bar down the street. To motivate myself with words of encouragement, I broke the silence in my car by speaking out loud.
“This could be it, the one you’ve been waiting for your whole life. There is an equal chance that this could end up being a total bust. Either way, you will probably be getting a free meal at the very least, a girl’s gotta eat. Just be cool, keep your energy at a reasonable level so he doesn’t feel like he just got run over by the Lindsay train of excitement. That’s not cool. Be honest. There is no point in not completely being yourself. You don’t know this guy, he doesn’t know you, and you don’t care what he thinks. Let’s do this.”
With a renewed sense of focus and purpose, I opened the door, stepped out into the crisp night air and began the walk from to the front door. Despite just having my self-pep talk, I was hit with a wave of anxiety over thoughts of literally everything else that could possibly happen to me on this date.
Did we decide where we would meet? What if he is waiting outside and I go inside? What if he is late and I have to wait for him? Should I wait inside or outside? Definitely inside, safety first. Was it the right move to wear this cardigan? Is it giving off the right vibe? Are cardigans even cool anymore? If cardigans aren’t cool anymore, what is the new socially acceptable winter wear for this weather?
My thoughts continued rapidly. I had successfully evaluated every possible meeting mishap and how best to recover, as well as every piece of clothing on my body, its practicality, trendiness, and what it said about me as a person. I even went three ridiculous rounds with myself over the shade of lipstick I had on and if it conveyed the right balance of fun and seriousness. At one point, I thought I should just get a second opinion on it and put an end to the madness.
Still torn over whether to stuff my cardigan in my purse in the smoothest way possible, I turned the corner, arriving at the front of the restaurant. Outside the door, seated on a park bench waiting patiently for me to arrive was the guy from the profile I had spent so much time closely scrutinizing. My thoughts started up again.
He looks the same in person as he does in his pictures, officially not a liar yet! He looks clean cut, he’s wearing an unwrinkled button down shirt with a collar, and no visible tattoos or piercings. He looks so nice! My cardigan decision is totally solid; I am nailing the wholesome look. It’s got wife material written all over it and you know what they say, dress for the job you want. I’ll give him a greeting to match with a hello so warm and sweet he will never want to say goodbye. “Hello Greg, I’m Lindsay. It’s so nice to finally meet you!”
I can hear the wedding bells ringing already!
Two years later, we stood at the top of a mountain in Aspen, Colorado and experienced the wedding of our dreams. Great job, Match! Thanks so much!