Saturday: My girl has been si-i-ick the past few days. An aching, feverish?, joyless lump on the couch. That’s how you know Kim is sick. The joy factor decreases significantly.
I had been gone all morning judging at a local DECA competition and as I drove home I could feel the anxiety of cabin fever in my chest. Even though I’ve been healthy and had been out in the world all week, I also felt like I’d spent a lot of time on the couch with her while she was sick. I couldn’t go back to the house and just hang out. The sun was out. I wanted to be out in it somehow. I wanted to be out in the world…with her, if possible.
So, rather than show up at home with that anxious energy, I called her to warn her. LOL. When she answered she was a little out of breath. “What are you doing?” I asked. “Sweeping. I had cabin fever ” she said. That was a good sign. She was up and moving.
“I’m feeling antsy. I want to get out in the world with you, but not if you’re not feeling up to it. I was thinking I could take you out to lunch at our first ‘public date’ spot and take things from there.”
“Sounds great!”, she said. I could have expected that response. That’s her response to everything. I double and triple checked that she felt up to it before ending our call and drove home with a smile on my face.
I came home to find that she had taken down the outdoor Christmas decorations. It took me a few minutes after coming inside to figure out why she’d been sweeping. The Christmas tree we had undecorated last week had been removed from the house. She was obviously feeling a bit better, but I was worried that she’d blown her energy on that housework and that she really wouldn’t want to go out to lunch now. Not to mention the fact that there was the telltale sign of lunch dishes on the coffee table.
I popped my head into the bathroom while she showered. “You ate lunch already, silly, we don’t have to go out.” I said.
“It was over an hour and a half ago, I’m fine. I want to go.”
So we did. We went to the place where we had our first “public date” 3 years ago. We call it our “public date” because it turns out we had been dating for a bit before that, just in private.
We had known each other for a few years. First professionally and then as distant friends/acquaintances. In the summer of 2015 I started taking voice and guitar lessons. Kim and I reconnected that fall after I had committed to a December recital where I would sing AND accompany myself on guitar. She saw that I was still in shock from agreeing to this recital and said that she had picked up guitar again recently and proposed that we try playing together. So we did. Over the course of a few months she helped me practice guitar and I helped her become a more confident singer. The recital came and went. Through it all we became good friends and, eventually, fell in love. All of the first date kind of stuff happened over a long time and in the privacy of our own homes.
Once we figured out that we, like, really liked each other, we decided that we should go out on a proper date. A “public date”. We went for brunch at Anthony’s Beach Cafe in Edmonds. We had delicious Bloody Marys, a great lunch, and engaging conversation. It was a sunny winter day so after lunch we strolled along the waterfront.
We were walking North along the water when we saw a ferry coming in. I don’t know what got into me, but suddenly I said, “Wanna go on a ferry ride?” “Let’s do it!” she said enthusiastically.
We realized that the ferry was coming in awful quick and we were still a ways from the dock. So we started jogging to the terminal. Kim in her cute gray sneakers, me in my black boots with heels. That was the day that she decided that she would take me boot shopping for cute, casual boots.
My boots didn’t slow me down too much. We made it to the terminal, bought our tickets and walked onto the ferry. We went outside and limbed up to the upper deck. We held hands. We listened to Beyonce. She danced. I giggled. We snuggled. We smiled, a lot. I looked adorable in her knit cap that she let me borrow. We even snuck a kiss or two. It felt excited being out in the world with her.
It was also very scary. I was nervous being out on a date with a woman and being so bold as to hold her hand, much less kiss her. That’s how I knew how much I cared for her already because I did it anyway.
Fast forward 3 years and there we were again. Having Bloody Marys at the Beach Cafe. A great lunch. An engaging conversation about our future. We watched a ferry come in, but I knew I was pushing my luck to keep her out of the house this long. I could tell she was tired. We did drive to downtown Edmonds and strolled the shops for a bit. We held hands. We laughed. We shared memories. We bought a gift for a friend. I tried on reading glasses and she gave a thumbs up or a thumbs down.
She got tired so I took her home, smiling again as I drove.
Tell me: What do you want that you aren’t saying to those who matter most? What are you willing to do in spite of the fear you may feel?