Sunday, July 15, 2012

Best. Date. Ever.


If you’re an adult who has ever been on a date in your life, you can probably think of one date that stands out above the others as “the best date ever.” Perhaps it was a special moment – first “I love you “ or marriage proposal – with the man or woman you love most in the world. Maybe it was a first date that held amazing promise; maybe it was an experience that proved the other person really “got” you and clearly had listened and learned about what mattered to you.

Tonight, I want to share my best date ever. Because it made me feel special. Because it warmed my heart then and it warms my heart even today, 23 years (ugh!) and innumerable dates later. And I hope experiencing it in your imagination gives you a smile.

I don’t remember the day of the week on which my best date ever happened. I do know that it was late in the summer between my junior and senior year of high school, and it was a warm, sunny day.

It was already an odd day, because I was joyfully spending the day cleaning my room. There are two points that are strange about that. First, I was cleaning my room. I was not an instinctively neat child, so the fact that I was cleaning my room of my own accord – and doing so quite happily – was just odd. Really odd. Second, and you likely have to be from the northeast to understand this, I was happily cleaning my upstairs bedroom during a warm summer day. You see, in the northeast, central air conditioning is not the norm, and as most of us know, heat rises. As in, into upstairs rooms. I think I may have had one of our very few, very precious window air conditioning units in my bedroom, but even so, spending time upstairs on a hot summer day in the northeast is not something that is considered desirable.

So there I was, happily cleaning the bugs out of my ceiling light (no joke), when my mom yelled up that a friend had stopped by and was coming upstairs.  I turned to see my friend B walk into my room. 

Let me give you quick insight into B.  B was a year younger than I, and not someone I hung out with a ton, but definitely someone I counted as a friend.  He and I were in chorus and drama together – gotta love a boy who likes to sing and can get into the whole drama thing – and we spent time in similar circles. Not that I had a circle. But that’s for another post someday.  The short is that while we were friends, he wasn’t someone who typically came to my house, so I was pleasantly surprised to see him, and a bit bewildered.

B and I chatted for a short bit, and then he asked me to take a drive with him, which I accepted quite happily.

We drove up into the hills in our medium-sized town, and he eventually turned onto an unpaved driveway that led to an open hilltop which was clearly being prepped for major construction.  On that day it was still grassy and open and pastoral.  The day, as I said, was sunny and warm, but not hot, so the setting was simply lovely.

B opened up the back of his truck and asked me to sit on the open back gate, which I did.  I don’t recall what we talked about, but I remember that while we chatted, he wove me a crown of white flowers and gently placed it on my head. If you’re a woman, have you ever had a man make you a crown of flowers? It was so unexpected, so completely sweet… it is an understatement to say that it made me feel immensely special.

No, this is not me.
Photo thanks to theflowerdrum.blogspot.com.
But that’s not all. After he did that, he sang Elton John’s “Your Song” to me. Are you familiar with this song? Because if not, here it is:


You know the bit in “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” where the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes? That’s how my heart felt. All the clich├ęs were alive that afternoon. My heart swelled. My heart sang. I felt like I might cry and I felt like I could fly.

When the song was finished… well, I don’t remember if he kissed me. I don’t remember if we talked any more. I just know that after a bit, B drove me home, and I didn’t see him again until school started. We never “went out” and we never had another date. I don’t know if he wanted to be more than friends after that or if it was an impulse on a lovely afternoon.

I’ve fallen in love a couple of times in the many years since that day. I’ve had some truly incredible dates and experiences. And I’ve been fortunate to have been made to feel honestly, deeply loved. And… there is something about that late summer afternoon before my senior year of high school still stands out as the most precious “date” of my entire life, the time that touched my heart in a way that I don’t think will ever be equaled.

How about you? Is there a date or experience that stands out above the rest?

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