Jay and I had decided via MySpace messaging that we would meet on Friday the 13th of October at Johnny Carino’s. When I got home from work that day, I started getting ready. I had selected a pink corduroy blazer and a tan camisole. Unfortunately, my good booty jeans were dirty, so I had to go with a back up pair. I proceeded to straighten my hair and leave my apartment 30 minutes before I was supposed to meet up with him. I grabbed a book on the way out because I knew that it wouldn’t take me that long to get to the restaurant (which is about 10 minutes away), but I didn’t want to make a bad impression by being late.
I still own the booty jeans, and they are still one of my favorite pair.
Half way to the restaurant, I began to question if I had unplugged my straightening iron. The more I considered it, I was convinced that I hadn’t. With visions of my apartment going up in flames, and thinking I still had plenty of time, I turned around and went back home. Of course when I arrived at my apartment my straighter had already been turned off and unplugged prior to my departure.
I still get paranoid about this, just the other day I had to call Jay on my drive to work so he could double check for me.
As I got into Pigeon Forge, traffic began to back up and I realized that I had need 30 minutes to get to the restaurant, only I wasted about 15 going back home. Thankfully, he was stuck in traffic as well. At a couple of minutes to seven, he called and let me know that he was running late.
Jay: Are you there yet? I'm running a couple minutes late, I can see the Johnny Carino's sign, but traffic is ridiculous and wont be there for a few minutes.
Brooke: No, I'm running a couple minutes late myself.
A couple minutes passed and he called me back again.
Jay: I'm here, are you here yet?
Brooke: Nope, still in traffic.
Jay: That's what I figured, I didn't see any cute brunettes waiting around the parking lot!
Smooth buddy, very smooth.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to stress about being rudely late because he was too. When I finally arrived at the restaurant, I found him waiting on a bench outside. I was pleasantly surprised that he was even cuter than in his pictures. He had already been there for a few minutes and had put our name down for a table. I joined him on the bench and we chatted as we waited to be seated.
that same bench, 2 years later at our rehearsal dinner
The number one rule of first dates is never plan to extend the date until you know for sure you want to spend more time with this person. Never arrange for post dinner festivities until you are comfortable with them. While we were waiting for our table, he asked if I wanted to go bowling with some friends of his afterward. Then he called them to set it up. In less than 30 minutes we both knew that the other was someone we’d be interested in spending more time with. He’s since confessed that he had his friends on reserve for if the date was going well.
Thankfully I was comfortable with him, because what happened next freaked me out. When meeting guys on the Internet, I’ve always been very careful to not give them too much information. I never told them where I worked, my last name, or any other information that could potentially be used to stalk me in the future. Out of the blue he asked, “Is your last name J-----?” I said yes, and then proceeded to ask how he knew.
What if he had done the same type of scary research on me that he had done on the Cheezmania cheese balls? Turns out he was talking about this brunette named Brooke that he was going out on a date with and a family member of the couple we were going bowling with suggested it could be this girl that she knew.
Not surprisingly, I dominated the conversation. I began to worry that I wasn’t giving him an opportunity to talk and that he would be very put off by my chatty nature. I kept reassuring myself that he was encouraging me to talk, asking question about something he knew that I love—the television show Lost. He had just recently started watching and had quite a few questions about the plot and what was happening with some of the characters. Being the geek that I am, I knew the in-depth answers to what was going on with each of them.
Being the intelligent wife I am, he was just being a savvy conversationalist and didn't give two craps about the show.
After we finished with the meal I broke the number 2 first date rule. I got in his car with him. I have always been super careful to not put myself in the position that a date would cart me off somewhere and hack me to bits. But from the moment I saw Jay I was so comfortable with him that I knew there was no need for the caution.
We met up with his friends Brandon and Amanda at the bowling alley. I quickly learned that the three of them were very good at bowling, and very competitive. We bowled 2 games and they smoked me in both of them. My bowling highlight was a frame that I was convinced was a gutter ball. Dejected, I turned around and headed to my seat. Only to miss the ball swerve back to take out several pins. According to Jay, his bowling highlight was watching me bowl in my jeans - guess the backup pair weren't as bad as I thought!
100 months later, he's still competitive, only now he's trying to beat me at weight loss.
When the bowling center closed, we figured it was about time to wrap the date up. He took me back to my car and we chatted a little before I got out of his Jeep. I was stalling, talking about random crap waiting for him to kiss me. After about 15 or 20 minutes, I gave up, settled for a hug, and headed home. Little did I know that he would make me wait even more before we had for our first kiss…