Wednesday, April 5, 2017

REMINISCING: Our First Date

I’m a day or two late again this week. Sometimes life just gets in the way and my schedule gets completely thrown off. The two musicals this past weekend and subsequent reviews took more time than expected, and I spent more time getting issues with my car straightened out. So, my schedule is definitely out of whack this week. Without further ado, here is my Reminiscing article. It’s only two days late.

Sometime this week marks the anniversary of the first date I ever went on with Wendy. It was the first-ish week of April, 1991. We had only met each other March 14th, when I started a new job at Hills in the Lockport Mall. I actually quit my job at Peterson’s at the junction of 31 and 77 in order to meet her. I was with a friend who was picking up a check at Hills when I saw her walk through the Employee's door. Immediately, she sparked something in my 17-year old brain and I had to meet her.

So, I got a job at Hills, and hounded her from the get-go. If I had actually done my homework, I would have realized that one of my tablemates in lunch at school was her cousin. That would have made the job of introducing myself to her that much easier. Instead, I had to do things the hard way. That always seems the case with me.

If any of you remember me in highschool, I was the quiet dork who rarely talked to anyone but close friends. To overcome that, I went to the extremes. I was loud and goofy. (Okay. I was always goofy) I was over the top. She definitely thought I was weird. Somehow, I convinced her to grab something to eat after work one night.

In ever awesome fashion, I took her to…..Burger King. Yeah. I’m surprised she dated me, let alone married me, too. Maybe it was the stellar choice in cuisine that made her say “We can be friends.” That’s normally the death knell of any wannabe love interest. Somehow, like the relentless waves on the beach, I wore her down after months of washing up on her shoreline. I popped in unexpectedly, to the chagrin of her boyfriend, and then tried to replace said boyfriend when I heard they had broken up. Perseverance sometimes pays off.

We had our first date when we were both seventeen and juniors in highschool. In the intervening twenty-six years, we’ve gone together to each other’s proms. We travelled the open road to see our favorite bands in concert. We’ve had the magical night of our wedding. We’ve celebrated the births of four daughters. We’ve also had our moments where we’ve gotten on each other’s last nerves. But we worked through it and we’ve come out stronger.

To think that it all started with a single date at Burger King. That building doesn’t even exist anymore. It was torn down and another restaurant put up in its place. But we’re still going strong. I can’t believe that it’s been almost thirty years. I still remember it like yesterday. I’m sure Wendy would rather forget that first date. I don’t blame her for the most part. As shaky as the start was, it was something that we built upon.

Yes, this post is nostalgic and sappy. But I’m nostalgic and sappy. And it seems amazing to me that it’s been that long. Time has flown by. While I don’t feel any older, whenever I look in the mirror, I’m starting to see the trails of time in laugh lines and gray hairs. It’s just like that old Aerosmith tune (which, ironically, was released the same year I was born).

Craig Bacon has the best wife ever. Seriously. She puts up with him. Think about it. If she were Catholic, she’d be a saint.

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