On this day in 2007, I took Christina out on our first date, to see 3:10 to Yuma–which is a very good movie, by the way. I would have preferred to go the night before but she had plans with her girlfriends. After the movie we went to Starbucks and sat at the stone table in front and talked for hours (Dutch Bros. wasn’t open on that end of town yet). Though I had known her for years, it was the first really deep conversation I had with her, and I knew it was over.
Pat and Andi had been hinting for a while that I should ask her out. I had been trying to sit next to her at church. There were mixed signals. If she tried to sit next to me at Bible study I’d make a comment about needing to move my podcasting equipment–still with every intention of moving it–but it was too late. She had already gone out to her room in the garage to hide, embarrassed. The weekend before I asked her out, I was on my way to Pat and Andi’s for Bible study, and the song 23 by Jimmy Eat World was playing on my iPhone through the stereo adapter. When I got there I just parked and listened. I’m more of a cessationist than most, but I still felt like God was providentially telling me something:
“You’ll sit alone forever
You wait for the right time
What are you hoping for?
I’m here, right now, I’m ready…”
Here was this girl I should have married 4 years earlier. In one sense it felt like I could have saved both her and me a lot of grief if I had. But we also know we wouldn’t be where we are today without everything God had used in our lives to bring us to that point. We both had a lot of growing up to do.
So, tonight is date night. I have saved a playlist of the songs we listened to in my old Nissan Frontier on our first date–a mix of Dead Kennedys, Sex Pistols, Johnny Cash, The Clash, and Social Distortion–and they will be playing in the Rabbit tonight as well. I’ll take her to see a movie at the same spot, though this time it won’t be a western, but a romantic comedy. But that’s ok. The first date is actually the least awesome of all dates, as you have no context, no history and no commitment. And it’s like what the Martians say in C.S. Lewis: there’s no point trying to relive an experience once you’ve had it. Sure, we’ll do some things to bring back memories, but we don’t need to retrace our footsteps. We are living the dream now, and ever day is a new day, taking us to a higher vista.
Don’t give away the end…