On October 3, 2006, Steve and I had our first date. It took a little while for us to get there, but we did it.
He contacted me on Match.com and we exchanged several emails back and forth that day. We spoke on the phone later that evening. I was in Bed Bath & Beyond while we spoke and, as I normally do when at BB&B, I just wandered around the store. It was a very nice conversation. He told me he'd like to take me to dinner once the holidays were over. (Rosh Hashanah had just ended and Yom Kippur was approaching.) Sounded like a plan to me.
The next day, he asks me if I am free to have dinner on Saturday night. (the 30th) I was feeling pretty good about this as he apparently wanted to meet before Yom Kippur. I told him I was, in fact, free that night. He asked me where we could meet that would be in between where we both lived. I suggested Wildfire, thinking the one in The Glen. He said Schaumburg seemed like a good half way point. Um, really?? I was a little confused but figured it was no big deal. He tells me he'll try to get a reservation and he'll call me back. He informs me we have an 8pm reservation.
Later that evening, while unloading my car from my Target trip, I get a text from him. It says, "Hey Katie, looking forward to Saturday night!" :o) Hmmmmm. Interesting. I text him back and said this is Kerry. I get a text back that says "oops :o/" So I write back, and ask if he meant to ask Katie out or just got my name wrong. His response: "Katie". Oh. Nice. Knew it all sounded too good to be true. I told him to enjoy his dinner with Katie.
The next afternoon, while driving home from work, he called me. This was perplexing to me, seeing as he openly admitted he asked me out by mistake. He saw nothing wrong with calling me, figuring we'd still go out when we had originally planned. I asked if he was at all embarrassed about what he had done. He really wasn't. We texted back and forth the next couple of days. Friday night, we had our first of several super long conversations. Somewhere in those 4 or 5 hours, he shared with me that Katie had blown him off and they weren't going out the next night. I told him I was sorry to hear that. He then said, "I suppose you don't play sloppy seconds?" (In my mind I was thinking, well, I have nothing to do tomorrow and I already have the sitter lined up, but Tammy, my BFF, threatened death upon me if I accepted the invite.) So , I told him that was correct and if he wanted to go out, he'd have to wait until Tuesday, as we had planned.
We spent the entire weekend on the phone with each other or texting back and forth. So, the anticipation had been building. Within these talks, he shared with me that he had set up several first dates with women since his wife had passed, but canceled on all of them. Awesome. That would be just super. He told me the only way he wouldn't show for our date was if some member of his family ended up in the hospital.
Tuesday arrived. He was out getting a mani/pedi and haircut. I was at work. ( A little mixed up, wouldn't you say?) I got home and took the kids to their after school activities. At 5pm, he calls me. ( We are supposed to meet at 7) He says, you will never believe this. My brother is at Northwestern Hospital. My heart sank. Either this guy really was in the hospital or he was blowing me off. So, I said ok, I understand. And, he starts laughing. Oookkkkkk. He said it was probably a panic attack, but they want to make sure it's not his heart, so they are keeping him overnight. I questioned whether he was going to the hospital. He said nope. Again, confusion. I said are you sure? He said absolutely.
I called Tammy. I told her the story and that he was already setting up his "out" for the date. We meet at dinner, he decides he wants to leave and he'll get a "call" that he has to go to the hospital. So, I begin to freak. She tells me she'll call me 15 minutes into the date to check in.
I leave for dinner. We were meeting at Wildfire, in The Glen, since that really was a good meeting point. I was two minutes away when I get a frantic text from Steve going "where are you???????" He was already there waiting and thought I was standing him up. It was 6:59pm. I parked and walked in and there he was, sitting on a bar stool, holding an Elvis CD for my kids. I had told him that over the weekend. one of the boys asked if Elvis really died on the toilet. (I have no clue how that came up.) So, he thought they might like to listen to his music. (Hmmm. A guy who pays attention. I was impressed. Little did I know that would be the first and only time Steve would pay attention to details.)
The hostess takes us to our booth, and Steve decides we should sit next to each other. Ew. Only weird ass people do that, but we did it anyway. People stared. It was awkward. Tammy did her check in phone call. I let her know all was ok. And, right there in the booth, he asked if he could kiss me. Ballsy move. I let him. Again, we looked totally weird. I thought this guy must be big on PDA. HA!!!!!! Couldn't be further from the truth, so I have no idea what was in his drink that night.
And the rest, as they say, is history. If Tammy hadn't convinced me to give Match.com one more shot, or, if Katie hadn't blown Steve off, who knows where we'd all be today.