Friday, March 19, 2010

Flashback Friday: The Dating Edition

Two posts in one day! Chalk that up to my forgetting today was Friday because Thursday went by in such a blur.

Here's the Friday Flashback challenge for this week:
When was your first date? You can choose either your first date ever or your first date with your spouse - or both! How old were you? What did you do/where did you go? Did anything memorable - either good or embarrassing? If it was your first date ever, did you continue to date that person? If so, how long? If you are sharing the story of the first date with the person you married, did you know then that he/she was "the one" or did it take a longer for love to bloom? Any other memories you wish to share about those wonderfully awkward first dates?!
I honestly can't remember my very first date. Probably because it was so awful I've blocked it from my mind (a handy coping mechanism I often utilize). 

Instead I'll share the story of my first date with Ivan...

But first a little background. I met Ivan on September 2, 1978, at church. A single missionary who was heading to Argentina introduced me to Ivan and his parents that night.

After the service I went back and told my roommates that I'd met the man I was going to marry. Confirming their belief that I was a very strange girl. This went beyond my being a hillbilly from Appalachia who drove an old Pontiac that required a little finesse to operate...mainly that I had to hold down the turn signal lever while twisting the steering wheel to the right or the horn would go off and not stop until I got under the hood and tapped on a wire. It went way beyond that. I'm pretty sure they began to wonder if I was one of those weird mountain folk with the "second sight".

No, simply love at first sight. need a little more background info...I didn't come to know God until I was 17. Shortly after this I went to camp where the main speaker was a missionary. Don't remember his name, don't remember what country he was from, don't remember what he looked like. But I do remember one thing he said: "Young ladies, if you feel God is calling you to be a missionary, and you want to be married, you'd better make sure that you marry someone who wants to be a missionary."

And God put a little stirring in my heart even then. 

So even though I was immediately attracted to Ivan, I kept remembering what that speaker had said. And when I saw Ivan later that September week walking to the library on campus, I managed to casually work a question into the conversation: "What do you want to do after college?" When he responded that he planned to go back to Argentina as a missionary, he may not have known it, but he was a goner :-)

[There really does come a point in this story when we have our first date. But I have to set the scene so you can really appreciate it.]

Although I liked him immediately, I wasn't getting any clear vibes that he liked me back. Until we started seeing a lot of each other at the library. I escaped there to study since I had been put with some party girls (yes, even Christian colleges have them) so studying in my room wasn't an option. Plus I've always loved the quiet of a library and find it a haven, whether I have to study or not. Ivan, it turned out, was working on a paper and all the books he needed were on reserve at the library.

We got into the habit of sharing a table in the back, and over the next few weeks started to get to know one another. I learned he was working full-time and going to school full-time and the schedule was brutal. He lived off campus with his parents who were on furlough but was going to have to move into a dorm when they went back to the field in February.

Knowing he had little to no extra time for dating, I didn't hold out any hope that he'd ask me out. Then in early October he told me he'd had to quit the job because it was just too much. He was going to look for something part-time. After that I decided that he WAS going to ask me out -- as soon as he finished that paper he was working on. I knew the date it was due so I had high expectations for Friday, October 13th.

[Good thing I'm not superstitious, huh?]

But Friday the 13th came and I didn't hear from him. Didn't see him either. We didn't have any classes together and since he lived off campus, the only times I saw him were at the library or church. By 6 p.m. that evening I was feeling pretty low. My hopes were dashed. I went in search of a friend to hang out with, and found one who suggested we get a group of girls together and go to the campus café. Sounded like a plan! She was pretty sure the rest were at the library so that's where we headed, and indeed found our friends there.

As well as Ivan.

Who was looking for me :-)

Oh joy.

He asked if I'd like to go for a walk.
Would I?!
We walked all around the island (sounds like a big deal, but it's a very, very small island).
And he showed me the spot where the Foreign Missions Society had started; under a tree when a group of missions-minded men and women had walked out of the national conference because the majority did not agree with the mandate to "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel."

We walked and we talked for hours. Until curfew at 10 p.m. (It was a very conservative Christian college.)

That was our first date.

Oh, and we were engaged two weeks later. Which is a whole 'nother story for a whole 'nother time.


The Bug said...

How romantic! I want the hear the engagement story!

Mari said...

2 weeks? Amazing! Can't wait to hear the rest of the story.

Mocha with Linda said...

What a fun story!

Oh, and the Magic Time Machine's potty patrol? If you ask a server where the restroom is he/she will start yelling "potty patrol" and the other servers will come over and they will lead you on a very circuitous route to the restroom, all the while yelling "potty patrol". I was so worried that would happen to me!

Cristina Elizabeth said...

Awwww....barf.... haha, just kidding :) I enjoyed reading about when my parents fell in love :)

Betty W said...

You´ve really set the scene for your engagement story! I can´t wait to read the rest.
Very romantic!

To the comment before mine, is Cristina your daughter? Funny comment! :) Sounds like her mother.

Skoots1moM said...

...blocked it from my mind (I do that a lot NOW)

wow, you knew right away...awesome...(man I was going to marry).

...God was really convicting you...(marry someone who wants to be a missionary) knew how to get to the point, lol...(work a question into the conversation) me the library. (quiet of a library)
check: working full-time
check: going to school full-time
check: lived off campus with his parents...
I like campus cafés, too!
what a sweet first date.
girl, you meant business...gulp...TWO!

riTa Koch said...

These Friday Flashbacks are great, the start of your memoir!
And this is a great story.
At that time we were back from Europe, in Wisconsin, and Sam was almost here. I either knew so little of what was going on in WL, or I don't remember anymore.
Where was Ivan working full time?
You know, when M & I met face to face (after corresponding for a couple years, part of that not, to test the relationship, or God's part in it) we were engaged two weeks later!
I love the Friday the 13th story...of course it was OK, it was not 'martes trece'. You were after all, already in the Argentine mindset ;)
It did take a while to get to the mission field. So glad you did!

Rosalyn said...

I love the story. Sounds a little like Philip and I "dating for two weeks and then getting engaged.

Nel said...

What a fun story, cannot wait to hear about the engagement.
I love the library too, spend time at our local one even now.

until next time... nel