My first date was with a mini man. I like tall tall men. But, decided to get over myself and be willing to date 5'8" and above. So I met this guy Tobin (yeah really) for a date. He was pretty much Jionni from Jersey Shore. Attractive, but quite compact. He said he was 5'9" but was definitely more like 5'5" and I wore heels. We had a fine time, and then we stood up at the end and I was taller than him. He didn't even walk me to my car after the realization hit us both.
I was off to a great start...
So I lined up 3 more dates. I filled my mom in on my progress and she questioned why so many. I told her it was about quantity rather than quality. I had 0 feelings invested and just wanted to get through as much of the state of Illinois as possible. If something happened, great, but I doubted it. Anything to keep me out of Artie's dove hunting sites.
So I went out with Chris. I pulled up to one of my favorite restaurants (which turned out to be owned by his family. I was wondering why he was narcissistic enough to choose a place with his name in it!) early. I had almost cancelled since I'd gotten my new iPhone 5 that day and would've rather stayed home to program it than force conversation with this guy. I was early and sat in the car adding my email to it, adjusting the brightness, etc. All the while marveling that I wasn't even blotchy (I get that way when I'm nervous or excited), checking out this hot guy on his phone out in front of the restaurant from my rearview window, and watching the clock. I wondered what this dude even looked like since his pictures were hard to figure out. I couldn't tell if he'd be hot or if that was him 36 years ago... Finally I forced myself to put my phone in to my purse, shut off the car, and get out. I walked up and the hot guy pacing on his phone in front of the restaurant looked up, said "oh, I have to go," shut off his phone, and grinned...
I was shocked. He was hot. HE was my date! Immediately I was blotchy. Ugh. We went in and he just kept grinning at me. The conversation ebbed and flowed and lots of wine was had. I barely ate a thing, and was blotchy the whole time. I had a great time, but barely remember what we talked about. I remember him telling me I talk with my hands more than anyone he's ever met. That must be how I flirt. I have no skills! I remember studying his face, and deciding that I really liked his nose. Near the end of dinner he looked at me and said "I want you to not see other people." I laughed and said "Good luck with that pal!"
He was persistent. He shook my hand at the end of the date. I hugged him because the hand shake just felt so tragic. I was sure I'd never hear from him, after that. 10 min. later he was on the phone. He worked hard to book all of my time and someone managed to be my last first date. I cancelled all the others.
He knew he'd love me right away, and he said it first. I fought it hard. I didn't trust a word out of his mouth. I didn't trust a thing he did. I just didn't get how someone could like me so much. My friend Ana asked me what was going on with us and I said "I don't get why the guy likes me so much. Something must be wrong with him!" I felt so beyond being lovable, and he just didn't quit. Eventually I trusted him.
He fills my kitchen table with constant flowers. He walks my dog. He gives my cat treats. He can't keep gifts a secret. He texts my parents and has lunch with my brothers. He will go on 0 sleep if it means he can see me. He goes to church with me and prays with and for me. I've never met a man like him. He's fearless. Around Christmas we were out to eat and we entered a raffle and I looked over and saw this:
And he told me he wanted that some day.
And at last on 4/20 he asked.
And before this Christmas I will be Erin Cooper.
Thank you for joining me on this journey. It's been hard, and painful, and sucked, and been sad, and been ugly, and funny, and annoying, and educational. And like anything you work very very hard for, it tastes good. I am so grateful it wasn't easy. Because it sure was worth all the tears, the short guys, the bird hunters, and the almosts.
And now on top of DIY projects I can fill you in on DIY wedding planning. Thank you thank you thank you again!