Our Love Story: First Date

Part One: First Sight
Part Two: The guy in math class

We stopped on the landing of the stairs, not upstairs or down, in a swirl of people with places to go. I was half expecting John to chat me up a bit, maybe ask me about another math problem. Instead…

“I was wondering if you wanted to go to a movie,” he said, with almost no preamble.

I’d talked with him so little that I wasn’t sure. I didn’t know how to handle being asked on a date by a guy who I knew so little. And of course I didn’t know then that he had already spent half a year looking me. But his cuteness made me want to give him a chance. I tossed him the line that had scared other guys off. “Well, you’d have to meet my dad first.”

“No problem,” he said, and I got the impression it really wasn’t a problem in his mind. A distinct departure from other guys I’d dated.

We arranged a date a few days later- he was taking me to a movie called Dune. The day before our date, I found myself wishing I knew him just a little better. I asked a friend for details. She told me what she knew, and then said, “He drives that green Vega. Haven’t you ever seen it in the parking lot?”

I hadn’t remembered seeing it. Even after my stint at the car wash that summer, I wasn’t terribly impressed by vehicles. But it was easy enough to spot once she described it. As green as an M&M and just as shiny. Tinted windows. Nice wheels. A sunroof. It was obviously a well-loved vehicle.

John arrived right on time the night of our date, shiny green car and all. I remember being impressed by how comfortable he looked, shaking hands politely with my dad and making small talk with my mom. He didn’t even seem especially phased by my many younger siblings, the youngest of whom was draped across him, holding up three fingers and telling him how old she was. The gears in my head were whirring, trying to figure this guy out.

We headed off for our movie. I don’t remember all our conversation: probably normal light things about family and interests. I do remember being amazed to discover that this guy was a reader. He’d read Narnia and Tolkein and other books dear to my heart, along with a bunch of interesting-sounding sci-fi that I’d never even heard of. A guy who liked to read– wow.

The movie itself was a dud. Something about big worms living in a desert that swallowed people up. and no I can’t tell you if it was the worms or the desert that got the people. Maybe it was both. Anyway, it was long and dull and improbable. And long. John said the book had been pretty good. But the movie wasn’t.

Part way through the movie I made the typical teenaged-girl movie-date move. I placed my hand ever-so-casually on the armrest between the two of us to make it easier for him to reach out and hold my hand. That move had never failed me before.

He didn’t budge.

I shifted to make it even more obvious.

Still no motion.

I changed positions, brushing the back of my hand ‘accidentally’ against his.


By the end of the movie, I was thinking maybe he didn’t like me. What kind of guy refuses to hold your hand in the movies? I’d never dated a guy with such a cavalier attitude. It seemed almost ungentlemanly.

His friendliness after the movie set my fears to rest. We went out for ice cream and talked over the movie politely. We didn’t really know each other well enough to be candid. It wasn’t til months later that we agreed that the movie had been excruciatingly dull. Despite the dud movie, the evening had gone well. By the time he got me home that evening (not a minute too late), I decided the guy had possibilities.

Even if he had refused to hold my hand.


For my husband’s take on this story, go check out his blog at Duct Tape and Baling Twine.

Sharing your story? Leave a link below in comments.


  1. Mary, I’m enjoying reading your love story so much.

    I’m only writing mine on Thursdays, so I’ve posted another snippet this morning over at my blog about one of the most difficult periods of my relationship: http://browneyedbasics.wordpress.com/2008/10/09/love-stories-for-october-the-dark-days/

  2. How sweet! My husband was super conservative our first date and others that followed. It sure was perplexing.

  3. This is so sweet. And it sounds so much like my first date with my husband, even though I was 22 and he was 27 at the time!

  4. I’m loving your love story.

  5. More more more more!!!!


  6. Loving this!

    My next chapter in our love story is posted on my blog here:


    Funnily enough, my post was about our movie night as well! LOL

  7. This is a lot of fun, Mary.

  8. My husband loved the Dune books and tried to get me into them with the movie…didn’t work! But my son loves the movie and the books. Go figure.

    You’ve inspired me to tell our story–something I’ve been intending to write down for years. Thanks for the encouragement!

    My first installment is up today:


  9. Great story Mary! I really love this idea and am enjoying doing it – mostly. Until I get to the part were we have a conversation with a blanket over my head.

    Anywho, here is the link to part 3:


  10. I’m going to encourage my 15 year old to read your love story. Maybe someone besides her mother telling her that boys who wait to hold your hand have possibilities will have an impact!

  11. WOW your DH and mine have the exact same taste in literature! I’m giggling at your hand-holding overtures…I wonder, was he just clueless, or really refusing the hint? What a sweet guy.

    I agree, DUNE was such a dud.

    I haven’t got my next installment up…it will probably be next Monday for me. Life is burying me right now. I’m loving yours, though!

    I haven’t got my

  12. I really love reading your love story! It’s making me reminisce!

  13. I’m chuckling that I was that youngest sibling draping myself across him…sorry! Glad he wasn’t phased 🙂

  14. I’m laughing so hard that “Dune” was your first date! Isn’t that like 4 hours long? Maybe that was the point! 😉

  15. I love it! I’ve also spent the last several days going through, yeah, pretty much your entire archives. And I love all of it. You have a wonderful way of telling stories and a beautiful family!

  16. So here is my first installment. It looks so fun I want to play along.
    She Laughs at the Days: our first meeting

  17. What a great story!! I have missed reading your blog.

  18. Part 3 for me here

    Love it!

  19. love love love this!!

  20. I love reading both yours and John’s perspectives on these cherished memories. So fun!!!! I’m hoping to have my next installment up on Thursday. Thanks for the inspiration. ~Heather

  21. The hand thing is so funny – I did the same. I may have to tell our story one day too. Maybe…

  22. This reminds me so much of my husband! And we were in college when we met–but I was his first girlfriend 🙂