Today is the 25th anniversary of our first date.
It was a low-key affair — a trip to the local church fair wrangled after weeks of charming me behind the hostess station at the restaurant where I worked. He made conversation, we had a running gag about his variously patterned socks, he sent me slices of his pizza across the bar.
Any fantasies I had about dating a rich Gold Coast boy were quickly dashed when he showed up in a beat-up station wagon (quickly cleared of extra clothes, soda cans and the like on my account).
As I recall, he won me a set of rose-colored drinking glasses at the fair (how’s that for foreshadowing, eh?). I don’t remember riding any rides, but the people-watching was stellar and I’d been promised the most amazing sausage and pepper wedge.
What I didn’t know (nor did Basil) was that I would eat said wedge in the company of my future father-in-law. He’d taken himself to the fair, and well, what could we to do but join him at the table?
Despite the added pressure of spending a good chunk of the date with Nick, the night wasn’t half-bad. Many dates followed (six YEARS’ worth of them, ahem).
Still, the first one wasn’t the most memorable. Two vie for that prize, and I’ll let you decide:
1. Basil’s special birthday meal at the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park, NY. Didn’t know I was allergic to the combination of shellfish and alcohol. Some time after the cocktail of the night met the crab cake appetizer of the night, I became ill. It must have been quite an evening for the waiters — all of them students learning to deal with anything in the dining room. They rushed around gathering up stacks of napkins to elevate my feet and fussed over me until I felt better and Basil could drive us home.
2. The night the drunk driver creamed us on the Post Road in Port Chester, NY, as we drove a mere 2 miles from my parents’ house to a restaurant for dinner. We thought some idiot was playing chicken with us, and thank God Basil got his car up on the sidewalk or the fella would have hit us head-on. As it was, the beloved station wagon was totaled, but we were OK, thank goodness. It remains the only time I’ve ever seen Basil truly angry. After making sure I was OK, he got out of the car and began to run down the road after the man who hit us. That guy had already been nicked in Connecticut for DWI and was driving a new, stolen car without a license. Pure momentum had propelled him several hundred yards down the road even though one of the front tires was car perpendicular to the car frame, and the guy had locked himself inside. The police told Basil the man was so drunk he POURED out of the vehicle.
Despite all of this craziness (and — trust me — much, much more), we’ve managed to hang in there for better or worse.
I wish I could smugly tell you that I remembered the significance of today. Sadly, I’m on such overload that it escaped me.
Maybe I can get him to take me to the fair later this week for a sausage and pepper wedge.