Exactly 4 years ago TODAY, Maggie and I "went out on a limb" as Maggie called it when she asked me out. I said yes and went on our very first date together. Of course we took photos of our outfits and kept our text conversations and emails. It's been exactly FOUR years since Maggie and I went on our first date together. Since then we've adventured all over the place together. It's easy to forget that we each lived so much of life before ever meeting, because frankly it seems impossible that we haven't been in each other's lives all along.
I've always loved reflecting on big moments that changed my life and celebrating them. I've learned so much about my life, the choices I've made, the risks, the regrets (which thankfully are few), and the total transformations of my world. Today is no different. On this day 4 years ago, it may just have seemed like a date, but for me, it changed my world.
I am so grateful for every single thing that brought us together at the perfect time and place for us to recognize the love we had been looking for all along... and to let that love in.
Maggie, I love you and I choose you today. Thank you for going out on a limb... that's where the fruit is. At least that's where this fruit is. ;) May we always celebrate our love and our lives together.
Here's how I remember our first date together...
Written March 2014:
Our first date was incredible, the connection was amazing, and yet, when we look back on it we were so nervous that neither of us can remember exactly what we talked about… but, whatever we did talk about, went on for 7 hours… Here’s what happened.
On Friday February 1st, 2013, Maggie and I met for coffee at the little coffee shop by her place. She was nervous. She hadn’t talked much to me in the 2 days following her big moment in “going out on a limb” and asking me out. I figured she was nervous. Now that I’ve read and watched Brene Brown (if you haven’t read Daring Greatly, get it. It’s worth it), I understand those quiet two days for Maggie were likely a case of a severe “vulnerability hangover.” Maggie rallied though, she went shopping for a dress and heels to woo me with and requested that we meet for coffee Friday morning to ease her nerves before we went out on our first date that night. She wanted to make sure we were still good… Still us. So we sat there and talked, drank our coffees, flirted, and did our best to understand how each other was feeling. She was scared it would change things, that it might ruin our friendship, that she hadn’t done this before, wasn’t sure if she was ready, and felt out of control.
We texted throughout the day as we got ready with little updates as to our whereabouts and feelings. She did her hair, painted her nails, played with different makeup styles that matched the dress she was going to wear, and went shopping for heels, nylons, and earrings. She spent the entire day getting ready for our date. It was the sweetest thing. So sweet, in fact, that by 3pm I was suddenly nervous I didn’t have anything to wear… I started trying on outfits in my condo and texting them to my 3 closest friends asking for their advice. Fortunately a mad dash to the store to buy an outfit (which I was fully prepared to do), was avoided when I chose to wear my pinstripe slacks, white heels, coral 3/4 sleeve sweater and sassy navy blue Jessica Simpson trench coat.
Then she emailed me a note that calmed both of our nerves, chilled out our overactive girl brains and made things feel wonderfully simple:
“I just know:
1. I’ve had a crush on you
2. I told you and asked you out
3. We will have fun”
One of the best things about dating a woman is that there are no rules. At the same time, one of the most confusing things about dating a woman is that there are no rules. So I made them up as I went. I told her I would pick her up since she already chose where we were going. I remembered back when we first met that Maggie had told me nobody had ever bought her flowers for a date. So, of course, I had to buy her fresh flowers (that started a long flower addiction). The sweetest guy, Andy, at our local flower shop helped me nervously put an arrangement together. “I’m on my way to pick up a girl that I really like for our first date and she’s never gotten flowers from someone before so I want them to be special, but not too assuming,” I asked. He took me around the store and I chose a variety of beautifully bright colored gerber daisies. He wished me luck and said, “You both are so cute.”
I wasn’t nervous until the moment I pulled up to her place. She said she would come out when I got there so I texted her to let her know I was right out front. I got out of my car, walked over to the passenger side door, flowers in hand, and waited for her. About a minute later the door opened. All I saw were legs and all I could hear were her heels as she walked down the 4 steps to the sidewalk. She rounded the corner and absolutely took my breath away. She looked stunning. 5 inch sexy black heels, black nylons, adorable navy blue/black floral pattern dress and black sweater, hair all done up, adorable earrings, beautiful necklace, and makeup that perfectly matched her outfit. We hugged and I handed her the flowers I bought and said, “Every girl deserves flowers.” She said she loved them and carefully inspected each one. I helped her into the car and that’s when my nerves hit. My legs shook and my heart raced. I blurted out, “I wasn’t nervous until now, but now that you’re here I’m super nervous.” She laughed and said, “We traded. I was nervous all day. I couldn’t even eat, but I’m not nervous anymore.”
Then she directed us to the coolest little speakeasy in NE Portland for drinks before our dinner date at 8:30pm. I helped her out of the car and she noticed I brought my clutch. Clearly, I’m a stuff-everything-I-need-in-my-pockets-and-call-it-good kind of gal, so this was new. I told her I did it for our date and she lit up. We walked a block down to the speakeasy and halfway down, just as we had crossed the street and started up the sidewalk, she reached for my hand to hold it. She seemed pleased then said, “We finally get to do this.” We made our way in into this super trendy only the cool kids know this place kind of vibe. I imagined I felt like one of the cool kids in high school who knew where are the best places were and set all the latest trends. I was even more impressed that Maggie knew about it (though she had to explain the whole speakeasy thing to me, how it started, why, and why they still exist. I had no idea).
It was super busy so we waited in the lobby area equipped with a church pew for seating, which I found funny, being on a date with a woman and all. I laughed to myself. 10 minutes later, the sweet waiter found us the only two seats available at the bar. We chatted with the bartender, listened to the music from next door, learned more about our favorite drinks, calmed our nerves, and curiously asked questions of each other. We talked about our day, our nerves, what it felt like to be us right then, how it felt for Maggie to be with another woman, and she told me where were going for dinner.
Our time quickly passed and so did our drinks — off we went to Clark Lewis, a swanky place in SE Portland known for stellar dinners made with all sorts of ingredients I can’t pronounce. They seated us in the main dining area near the cool looking windowed garage doors that they open up during the summer time to let the fresh air in. The ambiance was nice with candles, intriguing decor, a great layout, and sweet staff. They matched the most interesting food together — It all looked good, but we had no idea where to start so we went for the chef’s choice. 5 different plates, all the chef’s choice for us to try. They were delicious. Minus one of them. That one was gross, it was the 4th one we tried, I don’t even remember what it was, but Maggie took one for the team (I actually think she liked it) and ate my portion, too.
We enjoyed each other’s company, taking in what it felt like to be together, reaching for each others hands under the table, and talking about God knows what because neither of us remember. How the hell do you not remember the bulk of what you talked about on your first date?! I think I was love drunk. All I know is that it felt so good, so right and so perfect to be with Maggie.
We finished our meal and I drove Maggie home. About 9 blocks from home she got SUPER quiet… I turned the music on so it wouldn’t get awkward, but what made it more awkward was the fact that I didn’t know the words to the song playing so I car danced instead and tried to get her to participate, too. I was hoping that would bail us both out. It didn’t.
I finally asked, “You got quiet, what are you thinking about?”
“You know,” she replied.
“What do I know?” I tossed back.
“You know what I’m thinking about,” she reiterated.
Silence filled the car for the next 30 seconds, which felt like houuuurs.
Until I caved and admitted, “I know what I’m thinking about, are you thinking about what I’m thinking about?”
“You know what I’m thinking about,” she insisted.
“How do you know I know… do you know what I’m thinking about?” I finally replied.
“You know. You just want me to say it,” she said with a splash of flirt.
“I’m thinking about kissing you,” I said… “Is that what you’re thinking about?”
“Yes. See you knew!” She exclaimed.
We got back to her place, parked the car and sat there. How was I supposed to initiate the kiss? She was going to make me work for it. There may not be gender roles here, but I’m a smart girl, I know when I need to initiate and I damn well know that every girl wants to feel special on her first date. So, after staring at each other and giggling like 4th graders, I got serious, leaned in and asked, “Can I kiss you?” She said, “Yes,” and beamed with a huge smile and sigh of relief as if she always wanted to feel like a princess. I leaned in and kissed her.
I asked if I could walk her to her door. She got quiet and nervous again. It felt so weird to be a woman in this role and yet so empowering. I finally felt like I understood what it felt like in both the stereotypically more masculine role and the feminine role. I wanted nothing more than to be sure she knew I fully respect her. I had every intention of literally walking her to her door and saying goodnight. I wasn’t looking for any funny business. After a few moments she finally said, “I just don’t want to move too fast. This is all new to me.” I agreed and assured her that I literally was quite happy walking her to her door and saying goodnight. She said she didn’t want that, she wanted me to come in and talk and watch a movie or something, but just didn’t want to move too fast.
I loved that about her. Hearing her say that made me respect and cherish her even more. It also meant that she really liked me! I agreed and we walked into her apartment together to find at least 8 rather large doggie poop land mines all over the only rug in her apartment. She was totally shocked and embarrassed and promised me that this didn’t normally happen. Apparently her dog, Sophie, was nervous about our date, too. Sheesh! Maggie and I laughed and carried on with our evening. Talking, flirting, listening to music and learning more about each other.
2am hit and I headed out. Maggie kissed me goodnight and we thanked each other for our date. She walked me to my car door and raised her hand for a high five. OMG, I couldn’t believe it. She shared my love for high fives, too! I got so excited that we completely missed each other… twice. She gave me 20 second lesson on how to look at the elbow of the person you’re high fiving so you don’t miss. Sure enough, third try worked!
I took off, she waved from her front porch and I texted her thank you and good night when I got home.
I didn’t sleep that night.
Neither did she.