After I initially wrote this post, I asked Brian if he had anything to contribute. Apparently he did, because he had several "footnotes" to add. His footnotes are included in red. Enjoy!
Six years ago today, Brian and I went on our very first date. It was the last day of finals in our junior year of college, and although I didn’t know it at the time, the only reason Brian had stayed in town (and taken an optional final that he didn’t need to take, mind you) rather than heading home for Christmas break was to take me on this date.
For those of you who don’t know me, taking an optional final is a lot like elective dental surgery – I never liked school very much, or tests for that matter.
I remember exactly what I wore—a maroon turtleneck (now that is Aggie pride), jeans, and my black pea coat. I also remember exactly what he wore—a long-sleeved blue checked button down shirt and khaki pants. I am also fairly certain that he wore this particular pair of shoes that I finally convinced him to get rid of once we got married because they looked like something he stole from a homeless person and refused to stop wearing. But to his credit, they were still in decent shape at the time!
Two things about this paragraph. First, every once in a while, Amanda will ask me if I remember what she wore that night, almost testing me to make sure that I never forget because it was that important to her I guess? Second, I LOVED the shoes she politely insinuated that I should give away. I wore them all the time, and they were very comfortable. You know you have it bad for a girl when you give up a comfortable pair of shoes for her.
We lived across the street from each other (in our respective sorority/fraternity houses), so he actually walked over to my house to pick me up. You couldn’t exactly ring the doorbell (well, at least not without risking major embarrassment) at a house where 40+ girls lived, so he called me when he was outside. I remember walking out the side door and rounding the corner toward the front of the house only to see this strange boy standing in the front yard of the sorority house holding a giant poster.
What was on the poster, you ask? Well Brian had very thoughtfully listed 10 things that he liked about me, and although I can’t actually recall what specifically was on the list, the poster is still alive and well at my parents’ house, so I’ll be sure to check over Christmas and let you know.
A note on the poster – I also drew a picture of Homestar because we both usually had a good laugh over that cartoon at the time.
Brian’s plan from there was to take me to Chili’s—I know, this probably doesn’t sound very romantic, BUT you have to take 2 things into consideration: (1) This is College Station, people. Choices are limited. And (2) Much in the same way that I am somewhat obsessed with Dairy Queen blizzards today, I had an all-out addiction to the chips and queso at Chili’s, and it was my favorite place to get a hamburger.
Unfortunately, the wait at Chili’s was over an hour, so we headed to hamburger joint # 2—Cheddar’s. As per usual in College Station, the wait there was also over an hour. So then we headed to Texas Roadhouse, and, well, you get the idea. So we actually ended up eating at Rockfish—a SEAFOOD restaurant. In case you were not aware, I hate seafood. As in, I would rather go hungry and die than eat seafood.
This is still a point of contention to this day. At the time of the date, I had no idea that she hated all things from the ocean. Now I do, and now I know better than to suggest such an establishment for eating out. Also, I really like seafood… a lot.
BUT they had no wait (probably not a good sign), and I knew I could still get a hamburger there, so unsurprisingly, hunger won out over food preference and Rockfish was the decided establishment. And believe it or not, my burger was quite tasty! I don’t remember what Brian ordered… most likely because it was seafood and I blocked it out of my memory for all eternity.
After dinner, we headed to Sweet Eugene’s, a coffee shop where I spent many an hour pretending to study in my college days, for hot chocolate. It was packed (do you sense a theme here?), but fortunately we were able to find a table. At one point, there was a guy walking around looking for a table, and he happened to glance our way. Brian then leaned over and said, “I think that guy is checking you out. I’m going to have to stab him with my keys.” So touching, I know. And that’s how I knew it was love… ok not really, but it was pretty funny.
I think keys make a good weapon, especially if you put them in between your fingers.
Once we were finished with our hot chocolate and Brian was done making empty death threats to my potential suitors, we moved on to Santa’s Wonderland—home of College Station’s gigantic and totally awesome drive-through light display. We ooh-ed and ahh-ed at the same lights that we had probably both seen 10 times before. Our date had lasted a good 3 hours at this point, and this is where you would think we parted ways and called it a night, right? Wrong.
Guess where we will be going this year…
It was a really clear night, so we decided to go to Research Park and check out the stars. For whatever reason, however, we weren’t content to simply head that way and see what we could see—we HAD to have a star chart. Go big or go home, right? So we headed back to Brian’s house to print one off.
I am certain that Brian did not anticipate that his very questionable fraternity brother/roommate would be (a) camped out in their room playing video games, and (b) high on marijuana when we arrived. Clearly, this was the most romantic part of the evening.
But it was actually the most embarrassing for me!
Fortunately we got the star chart printed and set out on our way to the park. Of course we had to stop for one minor detour—breaking into an abandoned house to walk through the attic. I have no idea why we did this—I think Brian had been to the house a few weeks before with some friends and thought it was cool? I also have no idea why I, rule-driven and law-abiding citizen that I am, didn’t protest, and even went along willingly. But how many other couples can add breaking and entering to the list of activities that were included in their first date, right?
I should have known at this point that Amanda REALLY liked me because she broke rules/laws for me. She has a hard time doing either of those things in general, let alone for a first date probably.
We finally made it to the park, watched the stars for a while, and when hypothermia started to set in, we decided to hop back in the car. Does anyone remember the scene in Serendipity where the couple sits on a bench during their ice skating escapade and she points out a constellation? Well I brought up that particular scene from the movie, and because Brian had never seen it (and apparently neither of us were ready to end our marathon date), we then headed back to the Chi Omega house to watch it.
Something important to keep in mind is that it was approximately 12:30 am at this point. And lest you forget, I am not exactly a night owl. So for the record, not only did I eat at a seafood restaurant that night, but I also sacrificed my sacred habit of going to bed at a reasonable hour. Unfortunately for Brian, this is probably one of the last times that he ever convinced me to do either of those two things. Poor guy.
Another early indicator she had it bad for yours truly.
Fast forward 2.5 hours and the movie was finished. Technically there was a midnight curfew for boys to be in the sorority house, so I had already rebelliously broke that rule by a good 3 hours. My guilty conscience set in and I insisted that we move the party elsewhere. Keeping in mind Brian’s aforementioned roommate situation, hanging out at his house was also not an option. And for some reason it didn’t occur to us at 3 am that, again, it might be a good idea to bring the date to an end and go to sleep.
So we planted ourselves in Brian’s sweet 1996 Thunderbird and spent the next 3 (yes, 3) hours chatting. I have no idea what we talked about, and I honestly am not sure how I was able to formulate complete thoughts at that hour of the night (morning?), but somehow we managed to keep the conversation.
The ol’ T-bird still roams the mean streets of Richmond, and I get to see her often because a member of the church I now work at owns it.
When 6 am finally rolled around and the sun was starting to peek out, we deemed it appropriate to officially wrap up our date. Brian headed home and I stumbled inside, obviously exhausted, but as I recall, completely unable to turn my brain off and go to sleep.
And there you have it—the full recap of our 12-hour first date. And sorry to disappoint you, but the first kiss didn’t occur until 2 weeks later during a marathon of Iron Chef late on New Year’s Eve. Seriously, could we be any more romantic?
Iron Chef is a great show. I think whatever they were cooking must have been an aphrodisiac.
So thank you, Brian, for a memorable first date, and for many more to come!
I hope my footnotes have been fun for you!
And thank you to my readers for enduring this very thorough trip down memory lane :) Feel free to comment with your first date highlights as well!