First dates are unique. There is nervousness, anticipation, and anxiety about what to expect. Then, of course, there are all the questions; “what do I wear?”, “where will we go?”, “what if he tries to kiss me?”, “what if we don’t have anything to talk about?”, and the list could go on. I remember my first date with Kev. May 6, 1983. Apparently it took a long time, and a lot of encouragement from his sister Jody for Kev to muster the nerve to ask me out. We double dated with Jody and her boyfriend because Kev only had his learners permit! Our first date was the “classic” dinner and a movie; you can’t go wrong with dinner and a movie: T.G.I. Fridays, (the original T.G. I. Fridays that doesn’t exist anymore on Elliston Place in Nashville TN.) Then it was on to see Tootsie at Melrose theater (also no longer in existence).
Well, our “First Date” for this new year’s resolution came with some of the same questions, but the main question was, “where will we go?” Do we start the year off with a bang and do something outrageous like the Belly dance Burlesque Festival of Doom? What about a USC basketball game? Or, what about grabbing something to eat at a Food Truck Rodeo? We were overwhelmed with our choices. Planning a date with forethought and intention was a stress producer, and quite frustrating. In the last eighteen years dates have been last minute affairs governed by the social calendar; not intentionally planned for each other’s company.
So we went with the “classic”: dinner and a movie. We chose our “go to” restaurant, Garibaldi, and had an absolutely wonderful meal while seated at the bar. I can tell you that our appreciation for good food and drink has certainly matured since T.G.I. Fridays. If you’re going out to eat, make it count! The cornmeal battered oysters, lettuce wedge with homemade dill dressing, pan seared grouper with lemon/Dijon/mushroom sauce and rainbow trout almandine were a treat for all the senses. As we ate the night away we discussed our children (yes, our children were a topic of discussion), our dreams, our future and our past. I must say I probably enjoyed Tootsie (May 6, 1983) better than The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (and I definitely would not recommend it for a REAL first date), but that really didn’t matter. Sitting in the movie theater eating candy after a great conversation-filled meal made for a “classic” evening.
It seems apropos that our first date of the New Year would reflect our very first date. And, while I planned what to wear, I didn’t really worry about whether he would kiss me or if we would have anything to talk about. The butterflies of the very first date in the 80’s have grown into a deep seated comfort and love that warms me now like a fire on a cold winter’s night.
If you are reading this, you are probably married or have a significant other. Whether the “butterflies” for your spouse have been crowded out by the daily stresses of life or even replaced with emotional numbness, anger, resentment, frustration, and disappointment…try dating each other again. No, it may not solve every problem, but the result of an evening intentionally planned and joyfully executed may bring back something even better than butterflies.