|Our first date on May 19, 1988|
Nate and I have a longer history even than that. We were in the same 1st and 4th grade class at Edison Elementary School and attended the same church throughout childhood. When we search our memories, we don't really remember each other despite these early connections.
Our story really begins in 1988. Interestingly, it begins with my Mimi. My grandmother, Mimi, was a substitute teacher at the high school where Nate attended school. At some point, apparently, she decided that this was the boy for me. Clearly, none of my previous boyfriends or friends who were boys made the grade with her. Unbeknownst to me, she talked to Nate about me ~ even showing him pictures of me!! ~ and let him know she would be inviting me to attend church with her soon. Oh, and would he please be kind enough to say hello? She was sure I would prefer sitting with the youth group and would he mind meeting me and introducing me?
This perfectly innocent grandmother was scheming on my behalf! Fortunately, I did not know this ahead of time or I never would have agreed to go to church with her. Well, I didn't know all this and I did agree to go with her. Imagine my surprise when this very handsome, popular, well-mannered young man approaches me after the church service with an introduction and invitation to meet his friends. At the time, he was dating someone so any romantic notions on my part were stilled before they even began.
Eventually, though, I began integrating into the youth group and attending more events at this church. Nate and I had some great conversations and quickly established an easy, if infrequent, friendship. His dating relationship ended and we began talking even more.
Early during the evening of May 17, Nate stopped by my house (which was just two blocks away from his house). We talked and laughed and had a great time enjoying each other's company. Somewhat impulsively, I told him about an event at my high school happening that Thursday night. The cheerleaders from my high school were being announced in an annual ceremony called "Installation." Band officers, drill team officers, and cheerleaders are 'installed' in a public event. We required an 'escort' to lead us onto stage and would he be interested in escorting me?
He agreed, on one condition ... that I accompany him to his junior prom in a few weeks. Um, okay! It was a fun, happy conversation and one that I'll always remember. A lesser-liked conversation on my part (I still can't believe I did this!) was calling my current date for Installation and telling him that I'd met this boy I really liked and I sort of asked him to go with me and he said yes and I'm really sorry, but would you mind terribly if I brought him ... instead of you? Nice, right? Thankfully, this guy was a nice guy and just a friend and agreed to be an accomplice in my nefarious dealings with other boys ... or something like that. He was great about it and I quickly got over my guilt ... and thoroughly enjoyed my first date with my husband-to-be!