Tuesday, April 08, 2008


This past Sunday, our Sunday School lesson was on passion. More specifically, passion for Christ and serving Christ in our modern world. Oleane asked me what made me passionate for Richie, and it was really fun to think back over the past ten years to when he and I first met. When I came home after church, I began to think that this is the perfect time to tell y'all our story, since the tenth anniversary of our first date was on Friday, March 28. Enjoy!

I was a cashier at Winn-Dixie. Nineteen ninety-seven and the beginning of 1998 had been rough for me, romantically speaking. I had decided to not date for a while, and use the time to fall in love with God and get to know the girl He had created. Here I was, happily bee-bopping along, and I began to notice this extra-friendly (but not in the creepy way) guy who kept coming through my line buying Kodiak, Mountain Dew, and chewing gum with a check. Pretty eyes, I said to myself.

Thing is, I knew this guy by sight, if I didn't know his name. The last ill-fated date I went on was a group thing at the bowling alley in Surfside, and he was part of the group. I wasn't having a very good time, because I'm a lousy bowler (and hadn't learned how to just let it go already!), but I noticed that this guy was having a blast. He was laughing, talking with everyone, and just generally enjoying himself. He didn't care that he was losing terrifically.

I didn't know at that time that Richie liked me. I know, I was oblivious. I missed all the signs--coming by every day, the super friendliness, making sure he was in my line, paying with a check. What can I say? My bad. I didn't know that he knew people that I worked with until that bowling night. It wasn't until several weeks later that David, the produce manager that I'd known my whole life, told me one afternoon when I was on my break.

"When are you going to let Richie take you out?" he asked me. I had to ask him who Richie was. When David had described Richie, and I realized that I did know him, I was flabbergasted.
Richie was a nice guy. A fun guy. A guy with really, really pretty blue eyes. People liked Richie. They didn't call him ugly names behind his back. I'd never dated anyone like that before.

Then, I did something incredibly stupid. I told David no. But, I noticed, that didn't stop Richie from coming through my line, and being the same friendly guy he always was. Several weeks later, while I was at lunch in the produce room, David brought the Richie subject up again. "If he asks you again, tell him to call me." I can't even tell you how many shades of red my face blushed when I walked out of the produce room to see Richie and his dad standing right outside the door. I don't know that my feet touched the floor, I ran so fast back to my register. It was like I was eleven years old or something.

Richie calling my parents' home was an event. I was getting ready for work, and suddenly, my dad is yelling, telling me that there's a man on the phone. It was the first time he'd ever said "man" and not "boy" when referring to a guy calling me. When I answered, we just started talking. Talking to Richie was like having a conversation with someone you'd known your whole life. No strange pauses, no sir.

When he showed up at my house, Mama and I were peeking out the front door, watching him walk from his car to the front door. The first thing she said was that he was handsome, and when he got closer to the door, she commented on his eyes. I giggled a little.

Now, the details of our date are completely the business of me and Richie. But I will tell you that it was an incredibly sweet first date; the kind of first date a girl hopes for. Also? That Richie didn't complain once about me and my verbal diarrhea.

And one last thing? I walked away from our first date with butterflies in my stomach, knowing this was the way a relationship should start...

No comments: