This post was originally written on the morning of Saturday, July 4, 2015.
Again, this is another post I’m not sure I’ll publish. It’s more for me to remember. I can already tell it’s going to be the longest post ever!
Well, yesterday was the day I had been looking forward to for weeks– Andy came up for the 4th of July. And it was nothing like I planned.
First, I was scheduled to work at LifeWay Friday evening. I was so worried about what to do– do I invite Andy to hang out at work? Do I tell him to stay at his hotel? Do I invite him to hang out with my mom and Brandi? I finally decided I would leave it up to him.
He arrived into town about 4 pm, and we met at The Big Dipper. He got a cheeseburger and fries while I got a lemonade. I decided that we could go around the corner to Shifley Park for a picnic. He followed me over there, and I get there…. only to discover the playground was gone. Apparently Shifley has been turned into a ball field for OHS. No big deal though, because all we needed was a nice shade tree and a patch of grass.
I spread out my picnic blanket that I keep in my car for situations such as this, and we begin to chat. It’s a little awkward, because we’re both nervous. I’ve been on dozens of first dates, but the nerves never quite go away. In fact, I was more nervous than I had been in a long time. Before he started eating, he silently prayed over his cheeseburger. I was taken aback! I’ll be honest, I don’t always remember to pray over my food before I eat it. It was refreshing to see him pray.
I say something about my birthday, and he was surprised to find out it was the day before. He felt bad that he didn’t know, but it wasn’t a huge deal to me. Him just being here for the weekend was a good enough gift.
I begin to warm up to him, and the conversation begins to flow easier. Before I know it, my alarm is going off to remind me to go to work. He decides to stop by LifeWay and browse for a while.
When we arrive, I’m walking ahead of him because I’m nearly late for work and I still need to get changed before my shift starts. I’m approaching the door, and he runs ahead of me to open it. (Take that, my cousin Dr. Jordan who tells me guys opening doors for a lady is stupid and outdated.) While I change, clock in, and talk to my managers, he browses around the store. When I return to check on him, Andy has already gotten a Bible, a book, and two t-shirts. (Great! He’s an impulse shopper like me! Two peas in a pod!) I talk to him awhile, and tease him about being a KJV-only type of guy, before I’m interrupted by the two annoying customers who come into the store all.the.time. They’re the kind of customers who monopolize your time and don’t seem to notice when you have other customers to wait on.
While Andy is checking out, we discuss our plans for when I get off work– mostly deciding I would text him and let him know what I decided on. We ended up texting throughout my shift at work. At one point, I was starting to get hungry and I said, “You made me crave Taco Bell!” (We had been joking that the only thing to do in Owensboro at 10 pm is go to Taco Bell.) He said, “I could bring you some.” I teased, “If a soft shell no lettuce no cheese (beef only) taco magically appeared when I got off work, I wouldn’t complain ;)” Sure enough, when I clocked out at 9:50, he was sitting in the parking lot with Taco Bell. How sweet was that?!
We had decided on going to the movies to see Faith of Our Fathers, a Christian war movie that a lot of my customers recommended while I was at work on Friday night. We rush over to the theater, and I scarfed down my taco, only to discover they stop selling tickets 20 minutes after the movie starts. (Which I don’t understand. If you want to watch a movie 20 minutes after it starts then the theater should happily take your money.) We head back to LifeWay to pick up my car. He started talking about tomorrow’s plans, and I was like, “Wait! We’ll just go back to my house and sit on the swing!” I just didn’t want the night to end.
I’m hopping out of his truck to get into my car (um, sorry Mom and Mamaw for getting into a stranger’s car on the first date!) when he stops me. “I have something for you. It’s kinda cheesy, but consider it a birthday gift.” He hands me a coin on a chain. The coin has a cross on one side, and a Bible verse (2 Chronicles 32:8- With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles.) Andy adds that the coin went with him to Afghanistan and survived RPGs, mortars, indirect fire, and even direct fire. I’m honored that he gave me something that is so precious to him.
I called my mom from the car and tell her about the change in plans. Then I call Brandi to gossip, telling her about how sweet he is and everything. She says, “Sounds like you’ve got yourself an Aaron (her boyfriend, who is notoriously sweet to her.)”
We get to my house, he meets my mom and Brandi and Aaron, I showed him my room (and the stacks of books in my floor!) and then we sat outside on the swing to talk. For 2 and a half hours. Until 1 am. It was wonderful 🙂
And that leads me to Round 2, to be continued today!