Ten years ago today, I went on a first date with a guy I didn’t know.
I think it turned out pretty well.
In 2005, my 17-year-old self was working as a hostess at the local Pizza Hut. My mom had forced me into the job once I had my driver’s license. As in, she taped the Open Interviews ad in the newspaper to my steering wheel while I was in school, and I had no choice but to go and get hired on the spot.
I hated pretty much all of it – from busy Friday nights of asking “smoking or non?” a billion times, forever angry waitresses, customers who got sideways when the salad bar needed refilled, and the fact that I routinely found myself in the back washing dishes until long after closing (or when they had to let the minors go home). I worked there for nearly two years, and never once was I taught how to make a pizza. It was the type of job I believe all high school students should suffer through, just so they have a drive to NOT become one of those angry waitresses someday.
I was also in the “off-again” stage of a on-again/off-again relationship I had been in for over three years. It seems that people in small towns find their soul mate in middle school, and then date until it is socially acceptable to get married. I was on that same path, but unfortunately (or fortunately?) my boyfriend was just never very committed. He would find a reason to break up with me, and I would wait around until he decided to come back.
Until the last time. That time, I decided to move on.
As you all know, I tend to grow wild hairs. I did something so outside of my normal that I still believe it was fate. I had heard through the grapevine that a guy at work “liked” me. I didn’t know him at all (other than he was incompetent when it came to putting away silverware), but I found out that he had put his two weeks in at the Hut. What did I have to lose? If I didn’t like him I would never have to see him again! It was the perfect plan. I decided to stalk him in the parking lot one night after work (because, you know, I’m a total creeper), and find out what he drove. I left him a note on the back of a special order ticket with my phone number, and told him to “call me sometime.” I thought I had it all figured out.
Except he didn’t call.
So again, being the creeper that I am, I looked through the employee list at work until I found his phone number. Then I made my friend Lana call on my behalf.
So high school.
Long story short, we eventually wound up on a date. He showed up at my parents’ house in his beater Toyota pickup truck wearing a gray turtleneck sweater, distressed jeans with paint on them, and bowling shoes he stole from the bowling alley. Back then he sported long, long, blond hair, that he would flip out of his eyes approximately every minute and a half. He was immediately bombarded with the third degree from my parents, sisters, grandparents and even a friend of my youngest sister. She told him he had a big nose. I’m surprised he ever came back.
He was a far cry from my previous boyfriend. I didn’t know a thing about him, and he didn’t know anything about me.
But it worked.
Three years later, we got married. Now, 10 years after our first date of a movie and closing down Little Mexico, we have a home, a life and a perfect little girl together. A decade ago, you could have never convinced me that our lives would pan out the way they have so far.
It was all so spontaneous. So random. And so right.
Never underestimate the power of the Pizza Hut dishroom.
Where did your love story begin? I hope it was better than in a place where everything smells of cheese and grease. 😉