Our first date is the calendar date I celebrate most because without that first date, there would be no wedding date, no anniversary, no birth of our children. May 14, 1986, is when my life started when I bought a new dress. Thirty-five years later, and I can still picture that dress and almost every moment of our date.
I bought a new dress
Chip, you asked me out on a Wednesday night for dinner and a movie, so I bought a new dress. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was so excited. I went to work that day in my business clothes, and I brought my new dress and pink pumps. I changed my clothes before you got there and followed you to your house.
You did not appear as nervous as I was, maybe you were, but I didn’t know it.
The restaurant you selected was The Gingerman, in Albany. You parked across the street, and came around and opened my door. You took my hand to shepherd me across the traffic, and I will never forget that moment. I knew right then.
The Gingerman became the place that we frequented often over these 35 years until they closed their doors. We celebrated our engagement, the day we became pregnant, and the anniversary of that momentous first date on numerous occasions.
I can still see that extraordinary dress
The dress was not that extraordinary other than to remind me the rest of the evening was a blur.
My focus was solely on you. I laughed as I learned more about you and the events and people in your life who brought you to me that night. Over the years, I have thanked many of them for molding you into the husband, friend, and father that I get to enjoy every day of my life.
Chipper, your movie selection skills have sadly not improved. JoJo Dancer starring Richard Pryor was an abysmal choice, yet I honestly do not remember watching the movie at all. I remember holding your hand, in that dress.
I do, however, remember that kiss. A kiss is much more than the act itself; it is an opening of your heart and soul that draws in the other’s heart and soul. That night I truly believe our hearts and souls became one.
Why did I buy a new dress?
All these years, you have never asked me why I bought a new dress for that date. I bought a new dress because I knew this was the beginning of the rest of my life. Our first date deserved something more than an old outfit from my closet. Our date needed significance – mission accomplished.
When I woke up the next morning, I told my mother to buy her special dress because you were the one I was going to marry.
I don’t need a new dress anymore
I just need you.
Years later, we went to dinner at Pascale’s in Syracuse. You took me to the mall because you wanted me to have a new dress for that date. I sadly cannot remember the date, but that doesn’t matter. I may be wrong, but I don’t think you thought about our first date and my new dress when you made that beautiful gesture that day. I, however, will remember it forever.
“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be…”- Robert Browning