Part Two: First Date
For the back story, read Part 1.
I should take a moment to throw in here that the first half of the semester, I had been doing a lot of spiritual and emotional growing. I had a lot on my plate in different areas of my life, and was trying to get through it all. I had worked through my breakup, and been praying about my vocation in general. I was far from ready to run off to a convent (though that would have made this story more dramatic!) but was open to whatever God wanted for my life. Around the time Joe and I met, I was in Adoration and took a few minutes to pray about what God wanted for me, while still trying to plug my desire for marriage to someone like Joe. Not necessarily him, as I was in school for a bachelor’s and not a MRS degree, but he was a good example of what I wanted someday. A few moments later, the door to the chapel opened, and in walked Joe himself. Coincidence? You decide.
Anyway, I left off with my roommate threatening that hell would break loose if Joe didn’t follow through on his call. Luckily for Joe, (after three looooong days for the girls in my hall) he did call, was spared the wrath of a bunch of females, and we made a date for the coffeehouse that weekend. We ended up sitting there and talking for three hours. Joe had plans later that night – he was supposed to help kidnap a good friend for the friend’s birthday party. He did tell me about it, but didn’t say when he was supposed to go. I remember being able to see a clock from where I was sitting, but I figured that if he had other plans, it was up to him to keep track of the time. Unbeknownst to me, Joe was ignoring repeated phone calls from his friends wondering where he was. Ha. (He eventually made it, and the friend was forgiving. And still a close friend today.) When he dropped me off, I tried to be casual and tell him to give me a call sometime, you know, whatever, if you want. At least, that’s how I remember acting. Joe remembers it as coming off like “Call me!” so I obviously succeeded in playing it cool and not at all desperate.
For the record, I wasn’t desperate. I just really hoped he’d call again.
The next few weeks were all the fun and awkwardness of going on dates but not knowing exactly where we stood in the relationship. At least for me, since Joe probably had a good idea of where things were going. I looked for hints everywhere and I’m sure over-analyzed everything to death. For some reason, I was paranoid after our first date that he wouldn’t want to go out again (right, like he would have stayed and talked for three hours otherwise). Things like that. One night, he took me to his friends’ house to have dinner, and I overheard one of his friends asking about me, and another responding that I was Joe’s love interest. I was taking any and all positive signs, because since the guy wouldn’t touch me at all (okay, I think he gave me a hug here and there) it was easy to wonder if maybe we were just friends. Which, I guess is neither here nor there, just a tidbit from that limbo-y time.
After a couple of weeks, Thanksgiving vacay rolled around, so I headed up to NY (with Ellen!) and my dad’s house. We talked on the phone as much as possible, and I think our record was a 5.5 hour call. On returning to campus, we met up that night, and Joe finally asked if I’d officially be his girlfriend. It seems funny now, but at the time it was a huge deal to define what was going on between us. I forget when exactly it was that he first kissed me, but I’m sure it was soon after we made things official. I do remember that it was after an evening of star-gazing and it was very cold outside.
Around this time, three of Joe’s close friends (Mike included) who were studying in Austria sent Facebook friend requests and enjoyed a good laugh when they realized that Joe was dating the random girl in the photo with Mike from the March for Life.
To find out how the story ends, stay tuned! Here’s Part 3!