I had my first date with Drew on May 5th, 2006. We hadn’t met in person yet, but we had been emailing back and forth for two weeks since our mutual friend, Meg, called Drew up and told him I’d be visiting NYC and asked if he might like to show me around. From his emails I knew he was funny, liked baseball and movies, knew how to sew a hem, and had grown up in Manhattan. I didn’t know what he looked like save for a teeny photo I was able to find when I Googled him. And he didn’t really know what I looked like either.
On our first date, I wore: an apple green, knee-length corduroy skirt, a navy blue tank top with a sequin sunburst pattern, a brown leather belt, and green wedges (I still have the outfit packed in a storage container under our bed. It doesn’t fit anymore and I don’t really know why I’m saving it except that it feels wrong not to). I took the Q train from Astoria, where I saw staying with friends, to Soho. It was the first time I rode the subway alone. I walked up the stairs from the platform to Prince street and saw the back of Drew and knew it was him. He turned around and I smiled.
He was nervous, which I pointed out to him several times on our walk to the sushi restaurant he couldn’t seem to remember how to get to, which I’m sure he appreciated.
“You seem nervous!” I said, cheerfully. And then I asked him if he was crazy too.
He told me he was.
By the time we finally got to the restaurant, I’d decided it really wasn’t a love connection, despite how much I liked him over email. Our chemistry was off, I thought, and I didn’t like how nervous he seemed. Did he not like me? Why didn’t he seem more excited to be with me?
Over dinner, though, my feelings changed. He had funny stories and he made me laugh. And he remembered a lot of what I’d shared in emails, which I appreciated. And he had really kind eyes and made me feel comfortable.
We had a great time together and the next afternoon he asked if I’d like to go out again. We had brunch the next morning — the first time he ever went out for brunch, he said — and then walked to Washington Square Park where we sat on a bench and people-watched for an hour or two. There was an old couple on the bench next to us and for a passing moment, I imagined us as an old couple one day sitting on a bench watching the time go by.
It seemed crazy, imagining us together like that. We’d only just met. We lived in different cities. I had a life in Chicago, he had a life in New York. And yet, there was something about him that felt like home to me.
It’s been seven years since that weekend we met, and Drew still feels like home.
This weekend we’re taking out first trip alone together since Jackson was born. It’s just two nights away, but we’ve been counting down the days for weeks. We’re going to celebrate seven years together, and all that we still look forward to.
Happy weekend to all of you (especially to my mom who celebrates a birthday on Sunday and to theattack who’s gettin’ hitched!).