Because I Asked Her On A Date

Today was laundry day. However, my laundry days have been strange for the past two months because I’ve slowly been working in boxes of clothes that never got unpacked this summer into the loads. That may sound weird to wash things that were technically clean, but after spending several months in cardboard boxes, a lot of it just smelled funky.

As I pulled a load out of the dryer and started folding and sorting everything into the appropriate bin based on whose it is, I found a shirt that made me stop in my tracks: it was the shirt Emily wore on our first “official” date. (If you’re wondering why the heck official is in quotes, go back and read the Hooters story.)

I swear my memory is usually not great, but that shirt brought back every moment of that first date. So, as you can imagine, it only seemed fitting that I write about the date and share it with whoever is still reading these silly posts.

We Love Local Businesses and Good Causes

A couple of days after the Hooters night, Emily saw that Thistle Farms was having a Sip & Shop event on Friday, May 7. If you don’t know about Thistle Farms, it’s a Nashville-based nonprofit organization that helps women heal from prostitution, trafficking, and addiction. They provide housing, healthcare, counseling, and employment for women so they can overcome their past and become self-sufficient in the future. It’s an amazing cause, and it’s local, which means it’s exactly the type of thing Emily and I love to support.

Anyway, she texted me the link, and I instantly replied saying, “Can we go?! I love supporting Thistle Farms and I love spending time with you!” She agreed, and we both put it on our calendars as a date.

Each day for over a week, we texted and saw each other a couple of times. And nearly every time we texted and talked, one of us mentioned how excited we were for this date night.

A Hopeless Romantic Finally Gets The Girl of Her Dreams

To say that Emily was the girl of my dreams is a severe understatement. So, I knew I really wanted to sweep her off her feet. Also, I knew her last relationship had been pretty awful in terms of romance, and I wanted Emily to see what she really deserved.

Because she worked just minutes from Thistle Farms at the time, I told her I would just pick her up from work that day. I asked her what she was planning to wear and picked an outfit that I thought would compliment it and she would like. I stressed so much over small details like my hair because I wanted to look amazing for her.

Then, before I made the trek to Nashville to pick her up, I went to grab flowers. I decided I wanted to make it an unforgettable moment, so I opted for a single rose that I could greet her with as she walked out the door of her workplace.

When I arrived at her work, I texted her to let her know I was there. Then, I grabbed the rose, got out of my car, and waited for her to walk outside. As soon as I saw her, I smiled. I said hello, and extended the rose out to hand her.

I wish I had a picture of the way her face lit up in that moment, but I don’t. But I do have the memory in my head, and I hope I never forget it.

As we got to my car, I opened the door for her. She laughed and asked if I was going to be this ridiculously romantic all night, and I said, “Maybe?” We both laughed, and I started driving to Thistle Farms.

The Perfect Date for Us

As you can imagine, the entire date was amazing. First, we walked around the shop at Thistle Farms and chatted as we sampled items and smelled all the things. When they told us we’d get a free candle with our purchase as part of the event, I asked if we got to choose the scent because I knew lavender was a no-go for Emily (yay, trauma) and I didn’t want her to be stuck with that. Thankfully, they did have other scents.

Then, we got to enjoy some sweet treats and refreshing beverages in the cafe section. We sat and talked more, both of us smiling the entire time. It was one of those moments where time feels like it’s passing by so quickly, yet it also feels like the world is standing still because you’re so focused on the one thing in front of you (for me, it was her).

Eventually, our time was up, so we walked back to the car holding hands, trying to decide what to do next. We decided on a rooftop bar over in The Gulch because it was supposed to have decent food and drinks, plus we thought it would be nice to be out in the fresh air since it was a beautiful evening.

We had to park a couple blocks from the hotel/rooftop bar. As we walked, Emily mentioned her shoes weren’t the best for walking so much. I offered to carry her, but she declined. We finally reached our destination and got into the elevator to go up to the rooftop bar. As soon as the doors to the elevator closed, we kissed. We continued to kiss the entire way up. My heart skipped a beat, and again I felt like time was standing still.

When we reached the top, we got out and made our way to the outdoor seating. Someone was getting ready to start performing, and the waiter told us they were going to have live music all evening. We both looked at each other and said, “This is so cool!”

We ordered a few appetizers to share, and each got drinks. We listened to the music, talked, and just enjoyed each other’s company. At one point I asked her how she felt about our first official date, and she said, “It’s perfect. You’re perfect.” I don’t think I’d ever smiled that big in my life before.

Eventually, it was time to call it a night, and we made our way back to the elevator. Once again, we were the only two in the elevator, so… well, you get the idea.

As we drove back to get her car, I mentioned that I didn’t want the night to end. She said, “You know, it would be a lot easier in the morning if I was already in Murfreesboro since my brother is graduating…” and I jumped at the opportunity. We picked up her car at her work, followed each other to her apartment so she could get clothes and makeup, then went to my place.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. And yes, I guess you could say we leaned into the whole lesbian stereotype a bit. But honestly? I didn’t even care because I was having such an amazing time with her that night.

A Night I Never Want to Forget

Although we later decided to call the Hooters night our official dating anniversary, that first official date with Emily will always hold a special place in my heart. We actually went to another Sip & Shop event this year (it was right around our 1 year anniversary), and we definitely went on other dates that involved live music. It really set the stage for a lot.

But mostly, I just loved the way I felt that night. I loved seeing her so happy. I loved feeling that happy.

Because of Emily and that night, I rediscovered what it was like to feel happy and loved. And, no matter how many years pass, I will never forget the chemistry between us that night. It was pure magic.

Now, I take Emily a dozen roses every time I visit her grave. In a weird way, it’s my way of remembering our first date and reminding her that I will always love her. It’s not the same, but nothing ever will be.


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