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Sweet Pie and French Fries

On our second date my husband and I went on a six-hour road trip together. I knew very little about him, except that he was dreamy, funny, and that I was infatuated with him. Oh, and that he had to drive six-hours to San Francisco to meet up with a group of friends to go camping at a Phish show – which, at the time, I didn’t understand what that meant. Phish? Who? Camping? What? Jam-band something or other.

After a successful first date of bowling and then late-night fresh, very sweet, blueberry pie with a slightly burnt buttery crust and a giant plate of salty hot french fries (since sweet and salty ARE the best combo) from the all-night diner, I knew I wanted to see him again and again and again. He really sealed the deal when he kissed me goodnight, confidently, on the cheek.

When he called me the next morning, early, on a Saturday and requested a second date immediately I felt giddy and eager. When he said he wanted me to drive with him to San Francisco, stay the night and then he’d fly me home the next night, I said “no, I’m not going to sleep with you, I barely know you.”

He laughed. “I don’t want to sleep with you either. Well, I mean not on this date. We’ll be staying with a bunch of people, sleeping on the floor, but I promise you a great time.” He was just so damn charming.

He gave me 30-minutes to accept his invitation, so I took his social security number, mother’s maiden name, driver’s license information, and more. I called three friends and gave them the list of information. I did a quick criminal record check and stalked his social media for any red flags. At the 29-minute mark I called him back and said, “Okay! But remember, I’m not having sex with you.”

He picked me up an hour later in his first generation Toyota Prius. I’d never seen the first generation of Prius. On our first date we had met at the Bowling Alley, because I’ve learned from past dating experiences that giving a first date your address can be an annoying, regretful, and sometimes frightening experience, and I had driven us to the diner and back. His Prius made me giggle. It was tiny, and round like the cars the clowns drive in the circus. And he’s six feet tall, broad shouldered with big hair, and a bigger personality. To be honest, that car matched him perfectly.

We commenced with the flirtatious small talk:

You look great!

I had a lot of fun last night.

You were hilarious.

What do you mean, ‘you won bowling?’ I clearly won.

You get the idea. Then we were both silent, for a really long time, and it was awkward. We were driving on the I-5 North and the landscape was dry and barren in the August heat. Brown hillsides, power lines, and debris crowded the horizon. street-238458_640 There was a heavy, thick dust that skewed my peripheral vision, forcing me to constantly turn my head to the right, like I had a tick or was trying to avoid looking at my co-pilot.

When it didn’t seem there could be another second of the silence, which had stretched nearly ten-minutes now, he stole a glance in my direction, and with profound gravity said, “I like you.”

“I like you too,” I grinned from ear to ear.

“Before we can go any further with this, I have to tell you some things. I want to start this relationship off without any lies,” he continued seriously.

My mind raced. I started to think worst-case scenarios: Is he kidnapping me? Is he already dating someone – am I the other woman? Is he going to kill me? Did he just break-up with someone? Is he going to leave me stranded in San Fran? Was he going to try and sleep with me? Where was my Woman’s Intuition? Why wasn’t my gut talking to me?

“My dad died six-weeks ago,” he said. And before I could recover from this news and my thoughts that followed, he continued, “and I’m divorced. I was married to my college girlfriend. I haven’t dated anyone seriously since then. I used to be a pathological liar. I told my mom for a long time I was gay. And I’m leaving on a cruise ship for a five-month contract in six-weeks.”

It was so much information. I wasn’t sure what he wanted me to do with all of it. It was our second date. Where do I start?

“You were married? But you’re so young!”

“Yeah, we made a youthful mistake.”

“I’m so sorry about your dad, are you okay?”

“Not really. But yeah.”

“So you leave in six-weeks, huh?”

“Yup. For five months.”

“Hey, there’s a sign for a rest stop, are you hungry?” I was out of questions at the moment and needed an excuse not to talk – food.

So we got off. We were about an hour outside of Los Angeles. I contemplated going home. We ordered some Wendy’s fries and a Frosty each and we sat, staring at each other in silence until we both started laughing. We couldn’t stop laughing.

“Why did you tell me all that stuff like that?”

“Because I want to be nothing but honest with you. I like you.”

I believed him. I liked him too.

To Be Continued…

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