Seven years ago this evening, a handsome young man came to the doorway of the Daisy House with a single solitary pink rose for me. He had come to take me on a date-our very first-to go out to dinner and see the Shockers play basketball. I was so excited.
It had been only one short month that we'd known each other. We met on a retreat for young adults at the retreat center where I now work, oddly enough. I was on the retreat team and Andrew was going on the retreat with his sister. I remember thinking when he checked into the retreat that he definitely looked like "my type." You know... the tall, skinny, nerdy-but-cute type to which I had always been drawn. The next morning at breakfast, I was serving and he came through the line. I said, "You're Andrew, right?" He was shocked that I knew his name and asked me about it as I came to sit down for a meal near him later that day. I just said that I'd been working on remembering all the retreatants names... which was mostly true... kind of.
That was our first official conversation. The next few weeks would bring me many opportunities to flirt with this new man that I'd met. He was at our house for the Super Bowl party that year and I remember we sat next to each other the entire night. A few days after that a bunch of us went out for his sister's birthday and ended up back at the house afterwards. I was finishing crocheting my first scarf, and as I finished, Andrew decided he would wrap it around his head to model it. His wonderful sissy - Thanks Marianna - said "YOU SHOULD TAKE A PICTURE TOGETHER!" So Andrew scooched over next to me and we took our first photo. Did I mention he put his arm around me? I was all a flutter.
Then Mardis Gras rolled around and I thought I would be watching American Idol by myself as I waited for the other young adults to arrive for Rosary night. Then Andrew called me up and asked what I was doing. I said I was just going to watch TV and make brownies for Mardis Gras until everyone arrived, so nervously I suggested he come over and join me. I thought for sure it would be awkward since it was our first time alone together... but I don't even remember watching TV at all. We talked non-stop. And when it was time to make the brownies for the Mardis Gras celebration, I became even more smitten with this man when he pulled out his white apron and got ready to cook with me.
So when he arrived on my doorstep that chilly February evening for our first date... I had a hunch that something wonderful was beginning. And after that evening of talking and cheering for the Shocks and hanging out together, I came home, said night prayers with Andrew and hugged him goodbye. I walked into my room, opened my journal, and wrote "I think I just went on my first date with the man I'm going to marry."