I’m the worst person anybody could take on a date. I have seen every romantic comedy ever made. I am a self proclaimed recovering my-life-should-be-a-movie-aholic. See 90’s love stories for more info there. My expectations are notoriously high. I do not kiss on the first date (or for a long time after). I’m a type 4 on the Enneagram, which basically means I’m super picky, emotional & often feel misunderstood.
So based on my track record and let downs, I really was not expecting much when the guy I had been working with the summer of 2010 texted me:
“Hey, have you ever been to the Getty museum?”
“Hey, No I haven’t actually.”
“Want to go with me tomorrow?”
( Pause to discuss with mom and sister how to respond. Is this a date or just a friendly outing?)
“Sure. Let’s go!”
Next day, the guy in a blue shirt knocks on my front door. I can’t help notice his blue eyes match his shirt and I wonder if he did that on purpose. He meets my parents and speaks so confidently to them…like an adult. He was a college graduate and I had only one year of college under my belt, so I felt highly intimidated by his age and intelligence. But he was also the goofball intern I worked with who jinxed me when we said the same thing and wouldn’t let me speak until I bought him a Coke. We laughed with high school students over frozen yogurt, we flirtatiously fought over why the Bachelorette is an amazing television phenomenon. He gave a message at the last student ministry bonfire we ran, and even just as an intern I knew he was gifted and loved Jesus wholeheartedly. But still he was a nice guy, new to the area, and probably just needed friends. It probably wasn’t a date at all.
He finishes talking to my mom and we walk out to the car where he opens the car door.
Well, he’s a gentleman.
He turns on some music. Country.
We talk the whole car ride down about his aspirations in his post grad life. He wants to find a small church somewhere and be a youth pastor. We also discuss my upcoming departure to study abroad in Switzerland for the entirety of my sophomore year.
Confirmed. Totally just friends. He’s looking for a job elsewhere; I’m leaving the country.
We pull into the parking garage of the museum and he tells me this is his new favorite song and plays me this
Woah nellie. That’s a pretty date-y song. Or am I just totally reading into this?
We get into the museum and we start walking around looking at all of the art.
I know NOTHING about art. I get nervous and that shocks me.
Why do I care what this guy thinks about me? Why do I want him to think I’m smart?
He grins and laughs staring at some medieval painting, “I know nothing about art. But I took a class in college that brought us here once and I remember that the professor said…”
Chops for reading my mind and calming me down.
After awhile we walk outside to the balcony that overlooks the entire Los Angeles skyline. We are both leaning on the railing side by side elbows touching ever so slightly. The wind starts picking up in speed and a gust very swiftly pulls my “date/friend outing” skirt flying up to my ears.
I try to “Marilyn Monroe” it as best I can, but the wind is not dying down and I’m trying to hold my skirt in place and be discreet for the sake of museum goers behind me when he simply asks, “Are you ok?”
Slightly more under control I reply, ”Umm yeah totally. Just trying not to give too much of a show to the people behind us.”
Without even hesitating, he takes his arm and ever so confidently and cooly places it on the other side of me and stands protectively behind me.
“I’d like to take you to dinner. I know this place down there in Westwood. Shall we?”
DEFINITELY A DATE.
With that, we went to dinner and chatted some more about our lack of art knowledge, movies we disagreed about, and then I hit him with the hard question:
“Okay. So what are you looking for in a girlfriend or a wife?”
Without skipping a beat completely not thrown off by my intense question, he said, “I’m looking for someone I’d be willing to lay my life down for. Ephesians 5 says that “husbands ought to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” So I’m looking for someone like that.”
Cue jaw drop.
The way he integrated the Bible into his answer without it sounding pedantic or preachy was so attractive. I knew he believed and meant what he had said, and his authenticity made me laugh nervously as I returned inarticulately my own answer “ummm, I want a guy who loves Jesus, funny…” He listened intently, and told me directly, “I want to keep dating you. I know you are leaving for Switzerland, but you’re worth it.”
OK. THIS WAS A DATE.
We had many ups and downs before we became official after this, and I didn’t kiss him until at least 4 months later, but I always look back at this moment, this day as the one where I started opening my heart to the possibility that this was going to be the man I would marry.