Today is our anniversary, not the day Paul and I were married but the anniversary of our first date.
I suppose everyone remembers their first date. I remember it better than the day we were married. It happened 14 years after the first time Paul asked me out, an invitation then that was really made in fun, to tease the 16-year-old girl that I was at the time.
The invitation this time was for real. He called early in the week for a Friday date. I was so excited and so nervous. He was 10 years older. I had never dated an older man, and I was sure he would find me silly and unsophisticated. I was 30 years old, hardly the high school girl I was back then, but I still felt like her that week. I agonized all week about what to wear.
He picked me up and took me to dinner at a restaurant he knew well. A nice steakhouse I had never been to. He saw people he knew and introduced me. I smiled and said hello.....did I look as nervous as I felt?
I remember what I wore. I remember what he wore. I remember what I ate. I remember what we talked about during dinner and the ride back to my house. I remember sitting in my living room and talking for hours as Paul told me stories that made me laugh.
Most striking in my memory is that I remember how he smelled. So wonderful, I wondered, Is that cologne or just how Paul smells? The next day while I was out shopping I smelled that same scent. My head spun around expecting to see him. It was just another man who had walked by. I guess it was cologne. Paul hasn't worn it in years but even today if I get a whiff of it somewhere, it makes me smile and remember that first date.
Six months from the day of that first date, Paul and I bought the house we still live in. Six months after that, we got married. And the story continues.