Friday, July 28, 2006

Coffee, Tea, or...a Date?

Fourteen years ago this week my husband asked me out for the first time.

It wasn't anything exciting like dinner or a movie that he had proposed. It was, of all things, grocery shopping. The kids later told me that they thought he'd been single far too long when he asked a woman to accompany him to the frozen food section. Turns out he had an agenda-he was going to buy ME groceries. He could see that my minimum paying job pretty much left me with very little, and while I did eat okay, he was going to fill up my pantry for me.

I didn't show up because I seriously thought he was joking. He arrived at Starbucks the next day, pouting a little, wondering why I didn't show. I was aghast. Shopping? He was serious? Oops. We laugh about it now, because had we actually gone shopping, that could've been the end of it. We hate shopping together. He grabs the cart and runs through the store like he's doing the Indy 500, throwing stuff in and getting out as fast as possible. I, on the other hand, like to meander through the aisles, look at things, and take my time. To this day, we really can't shop together-it almost always dissolves into us being pissed off, frustrated, and ready to strangle each other. But I digress.

Over the year and a half that John and I knew each other before we started dating, we had been good friends. He had arrived at the Starbucks where I worked every day, sometimes twice a day, usually on my breaks. We'd chat over a cup of coffee. I had never thought of him as a potential love interest because of our age difference. Besides, I was dating my high school sweetheart at the time. There was talk of marriage. Only...something was stopping me and I wasn't quite sure what.

I did notice how great his butt looked in Levis, and how much he worked out when he came in the shop in a tank top. He was hot, let me tell you. At one point a co-worker pointed out that he must be interested, and my reply?
"He's forty. Are you kidding?" Although to be fair, John didn't look forty. I had made him show me his driver's license to prove it.

I ended up eating those words. Once I realized I had stood him up, I did something I had never done in my life-I handed him my phone number. He started at it like I'd just handed him a winning lottery ticket.

Years later, he told me that he knew that I was 'the one' from the first moment he walked into Starbucks and saw me standing behind the counter. His friends would ask him if my age or even the fact that I had a boyfriend discouraged him at all.
"How did you do it? How did you get her attention?" one friend asked. In fact, many of his single friends were asking. They just couldn't figure out how he snagged such a young woman.
John just grinned shyly, his blue-green eyes twinkling with mischief.
"It's called proximity."

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