Whether you know her or not…whether you read her blog or not…whether you follow her on Twitter or not…whether you “like” her on Facebook or not…PLEASE do me a favor and drop a quick comment or tweet to Sunshine on her birthday today.
As the anniversary for Sunshine & I has come and gone, I’ve been doing a lot of reflection. I’ve been looking back on this incredible journey that we have shared for over three years now and have thought about just how we have gotten to this point.
We’re absolutely head-over-heels in love…we’re soul mates…there’s no denying that. But it’s been such an incredible few years in terms of personal and emotional growth that it’s hard to believe three years have gone by.
So while I should have probably re-posted this back on the actual date of our anniversary, I thought today would be as good a day as any to re-post the details of our first date…especially as it followed another amazing weekend together with Sunshine. I wrote this on a different blog back in 2008 (before “CBG” was created and when I was calling Sunshine by the name “K”) and it, for better or for worse (and including vlogs by yours truly), is pretty much an EXTREMELY DETAILED rundown of our first-ever date.
It was a day that I’ll never forget and I still think about it often. So here it is, The First Date…..
DECEMBER 6th, 2008
We had decided that to make things as “normal” as possible and not overly awkward, I would just drive up for the day and leave after dinner in the evening. We had been talking for a couple of weeks online and were really nervous about whether or not our online chemistry would carry-over into “real life”. There had definitely been a connection online and I really was digging her, but she had some reservations. The “Saturday Day Date” was supposed to be the big test.
I didn’t hit the road as early as I would have liked, but still not too shabby…
I would be "A". She would be "B".
I was just pulling up to the half-way point of my journey…a toll booth on the Cobequid Pass when my cellphone rang. This first thing out of her mouth?
“You know you really shouldn’t be answering the phone while you’re driving.”
I asked her to hold just a second as I paid my toll and pulled into a parking lot. A few minutes later, I was back off and running with a huge silly grin on my face…really anticipating the meeting that was less than two hours away.
I then decided to make another video after one more “pit stop” on the way there…
As I pulled into Dartmouth, I felt the need to make a quick pit stop before going across the MacDonald Bridge into downtown Halifax. So I pulled into the Ultramar on the corner of Victoria and Woodland Avenue. I came out, pulled back onto Woodland, and turned left on Victoria when the lights turned green.
My heart sunk. My stomach flipped. I immediately panicked.
My right front was pulling to the right and I couldn’t steer. OMG!!! I immediately pulled over, threw the 4-way hazard lights on, and got out to see the damage.
FLAT AS A PANCAKE.
Are you kidding me??? Did I not have this exact same thing happen to me just a few short months ago?? I popped the trunk and began getting the spare prepared. A lady in the house I was parked in front of yelled at me to move because she was about to leave. Ugh. So I pulled across the street into a parking lot and surveyed the damage. It was a nail. A long nail.
Oh dear lord…not today. Not today of all days.
So I raised the car and started working over the lugnuts. I couldn’t get them off. In fact, I was straining so much the car came off the jack (don’t know my own strength, I suppose…lol). I was getting frustrated because at this time it was already 9:15am and I was supposed to be meeting Sunshine.
Luckily, a pleasant passer-by named Tony and his dog Roy stopped by and offered assistance. He asked if I had stood on the bar in an attempt to move the lugnuts.
“Why no…I hadn’t thought of that.”
Needless to say, he helped me get the lugnuts off and jack up the car. Once I made the switch and thanked him for being a good person, I stood back to survey the damage.
At this point it was after 9:30am, and with Sunshine not having a cell phone and us not having made any plans in case something had happened…I was starting to panic.
So I threw everything into the trunk and rushed off to the Halifax Farmer’s Market. Once I parked and made my way to the building, I was nervous and anxious and going crazy because it was now almost 10am and she was going to be waiting outside for me at 9:00am.
After running around for 10 minutes and immediately sensing how huge this building was, I stopped and thought for a minute. She said that she sometimes liked to eat Chinese food for breakfast at the market (which is something I’ll make a regular occurence, too, when I go back with her), so I found the Chinese food kiosk next to one of the entrances and stood there; hoping that she’d pop up.
At 10 o’clock, my cell phone rang. I answered with, “I’M HERE!!” Once she found me I gave her a HUGE hug and immediately showed her my grease-covered hands. I tried explaining the story and then she laughed…
She thought it was amusing. I mean seriously…out of all the days to have this happen, TODAY was the day. Heh.
The market was awesome. The tour of the market was awesome. The smells and the sights and the sounds of the market were awesome. The crowd? Not so awesome. Long story VERY short, the market was awesome and I’m definitely looking forward to going back with her.
At around 12pm, we decided to stop by her house really quick so she could drop off her purchases (veggies…meat…) and we could be off again. When she went inside…
And yes…I ended the video with, “Cool beans”. I NEVER say that phrase. Ugh.
Anyway, so we drove to Canadian Tire and picked up some tire plug stuff. LOTS of stuff I could go into at this point, but I’m trying to condense as much as possible. Let’s just say that in spite of the situation, we were absolutely making the most of our time together…laughing, talking, and just enjoying each other’s company.
There’s something to be said about making out in a store parking lot. Just sayin’.
Anyway…we pulled into a gas station and when trying to fix the hole with the plug, realized that the hole was on the SIDE of the tire, not the bottom.
OMG…that can’t be fixed.
OMG…I can’t drive all the way back to Moncton on a donut for three hours on the highway.
OMG…do I have any money in the bank for a tire?
OMG…where in the blue hell am I going to find a tire place in Halifax?
I went inside the gas station we were parked at, wrote down a bunch of places out of the Yellow Pages, and immediately thought that the Tire Shack would be the best choice for a cheap, used tire (hey…it’s a shack that houses tires…how much simpler can it get??). It was on Prospect Road.
“Hmmm…uhhh, Sunshine? Do you know where that is?”
“I think so, yeah.”
And off we went.
She was 100% correct about the direction. We both just didn’t realize that we’d have to drive half-way to Peggy’s Cove in order to actually find the Tire Shack location. And no…I’m not kidding. Point “A” is where we started at the Canadian Tire…Point “B” is where the Tire Shack was.
It took us (seemingly) forever to find this place. We pulled in and I walk into the office. I explained my situation to the lady and that I was just looking for ANYTHING to put on my car for the trip back to Moncton.
“Well, we closed last February but ask the owner and see what he can do for you.”
Yeah…they were actually closed. Had been since February. OMFG.
I nervously smiled at Sunshine sitting in the car as I went from the office to the garage area, where the owner appeared to be helping out a friend’s vehicle or something. I explained things and he felt sorry for me (at least I think he did). He said that he didn’t know for sure, but would go out back and check.
He came back with a brand-new all-season tire. Uh-oh…NOT what I had in mind. He said that it retailed for $99 but considering the situation and that he wasn’t actually open or even IN BUSINESS, he’d give me a deal. So he said $88 for the tire, installation, and balancing. Not a bad deal, right?
Oh…did I forget to mention that he was closed? Because if I had mentioned that, it would have become apparent that he had no debit machine and could only take cash.
I had $50 in my pocket. $56.45, to be exact. I sheepishly went to the car and explained the situation to Sunshine. She was doing her best to contain her laughter at the whole story. Then I asked her how much cash she had on her.
Yes…on a first date I was bumming money from my date. “Cads-R-Us” alert!!
Pooled together, we had $84 in cash. BAH! So we were told that there was a bank machine back a little bit at the Irving we passed on the way there. We’ll be right back.
The f*cking gas station felt like it was an hour away. So I go in and grab $100 out of the machine…still chuckling at the fact I actually ASKED SUNSHINE FOR CASH. Wow.
We got back to the closed Tire Shack at 1:30pm. Upon further inspection, the “tire guy” realized that I had studded winter tires and would have to rotate the back one with the new front one to make sure I wasn’t all messed up. Because he didn’t notice it before, he wouldn’t charge me any extra.
We finally got finished at 2pm…just as we had hoped. I wish I could really explain how amazing Sunshine was during this entire time…but I can’t. Let’s just say that this particular part of the day was one that we both will remember forever and smile (it included cheesy 80s music, a dancing lady, pretending to be married, and LOTS of stolen kisses).
Sunshine had passes to the museum so it was the least expensive part of our entire day. I shouldn’t really laugh at that part, but looking back it’s pretty funny.
So after the museum, I forced her to pick a restaurant for us (and I can’t remember the name of the restaurant, which sucks because it was amazing). We got there at 3:30pm and the front door was locked.
WTF is it now?!?!?!?
It opened at 4pm. We looked at our watches…3:30pm. Dang it. Let’s walk around for a bit. So we went into Sweet Janes on Doyle Street. Wow. It was part candy store, part San Fransisco Gifts store, part sex shop (lol). Half awesome, half creepy.
There were toys for tots (kazoos!), toys for adults (candy-thongs!!), and toys for the odd (a Jesus action figure and bobble-head doll….seriously). Oh…and there was a TON of candy, too. Honestly…this was almost as much fun as anything else we did that day.
So after learning of her sock-fetish (which will come in handy to know come Christmastime), we made our way back to the restaurant for supper. Two hours later, we realized that the date had to come to an end (and no, Sunshine…I didn’t RUSH you through your coffee…lol).
After saying our goodbyes, I drove through until Stewiake (that “elephant” I mention is actually Mastadon Ridge) and making a pit stop…
So to summarize? I wish I could. In spite of EVERYTHING that could have possibly gone wrong, I had one of the best days I’ve ever had.
Honestly…this totally ended up being the greatest first date I could have ever asked for. Sunshine is an absolutely amazing woman and I can’t tell you the relief I feel knowing the connection we have isn’t limited to “online only”. Regardless of where this ends up, it’s gonna be a fun ride.
Sunshine is (finally) coming to my city this weekend for a visit. There are a few reasons why she doesn’t visit here more often, primarily financial and work-related…but I’m always excited to have her spend time with me in the city that I live in and have grown to call home over the past ten years.
My city is only around 100,000 people, so it’s small enough that it has a small-town feel yet large enough to provide you with anything you’d like to do as any major city would (without the high crime rates!).
We’ve got a lot of things scheduled for the weekend, but nothing huge. We’re hitting the farmer’s markets tomorrow morning, going on a “double date” with a co-worker of mine tomorrow night, and then visiting my family again on Sunday.
It’s the third weekend of a five-weekend stretch where we’re fortunate enough to be able to see each other without a break. It’s gonna be pretty tough to get back to an “every other weekend” schedule once this is done because I gotta be honest…I could really get used to this.
So if you’re in a relationship and you live in the same city as them, do me a favor this weekend and tell your partner how much you really appreciate them. Let them know that you don’t take what the two of your share for granted. And then be thankful that you don’t have to drive three hours to see the person you love.
And if you’re not in a relationship, please don’t get too discouraged. It’s out there…it CAN happen…you just need patience. I have found that the relationships I went through in my 20′s and early 30′s have not only helped me grow as a person, but have definitely prepared me for the relationship I’m in now. As you mature, you not only recognize what you’re looking for but are able to better work through any obstacles that may be placed in your way because you’ve been there, you’ve done that, and you know how to make it work.
So to kick off the weekend, I’m posting the newest video by one of my all-time favorite pop bands, Roxette (yes…they’re back!). It’s cheesy, it’s catchy, and it’s a bit “rock-y”…just the way I remember them.
I’m posting the video because at the end of the day, much like the song says, I didn’t mean to fall in love…but sometimes you just don’t decide for yourself. Sometime the Universe decides for you…and THAT is when you know it’s right.
- Ankle Biter and I got to go to the local zoo on Saturday morning.We had a blast. It’s still in “off-season” rates so not only did we get in cheap, but we got there just after it opened and there was hardly anybody there with us…so it felt like we had the zoo to ourselves. The sun was out and it was gorgeous outside, but not too hot…which meant that almost every single animal was out and about. Ankle Biter wanted to see a tiger, but their tiger died a year or so ago, so it wasn’t to be. But their leopards were beautiful, the lions were close to the fence so he could see them up close, and the monkeys were swinging from rope to rope and singing for all to hear. I love little bonding experiences like this with him…it just makes me feel closer to him.
- Getting to the zoo was a good thing because about an hour after we got home it rained. And then it rained the rest of the weekend. It’s still raining today and it’s supposed to continue to rain straight through to Thursday. I don’t mind summer rain at all, but it’s still cold spring rain…so I’m not quite ready yet. Still…I was out BBQ-ing in the rain on Saturday. Ankle Biter didn’t want to stay inside so he came out in the rain to watch me. I thought it was cute when he began trying to catch the raindrops like they were snowflakes.
- Rugrat contacted me over the weekend. It was via email, but we speak so infrequently that it’s always a real treat when whenever there’s ANY correspondence. She’s at the age (so I’ve been told) where talking to her old man…even if she only gets to see him twice a year…isn’t really on her “to do list”. I guess I’m okay with that as long as she continues to reach out when she does, because that means she’s not doing it because she has to…she’s doing it because she wants to.
- Which brings me to think…what would be one of the first things you did if you won a million dollars? Sure…bills paid/money to family blah blah blah, but what then? I know that I’d absolutely change my living arrangements and go on another cruise with Sunshine…we’d end up seeing the world, I think. But the very first thing would be booking a trip to DisneyWorld with just me and Rugrat. It’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing and it’s a place she’s never gone. Just daddy/daughter time in the Happiest Place on Earth. Whether it’s now when she’s 12 or later when she’s 30…my dream is to take her there. It will happen…some day, some how.
- My Relay for Life is quickly approaching. I’m currently at 65% of my online goal and with less than a month to go, you’re probably going to end up seeing more and more “Relay” posts. I’m sure I can hit $500. Please join me in the fight against cancer by supporting my participation in Relay For Life now. It’s really easy – just click on this link. It’s going to be a fun weekend, too, because Sunshine and I will be doing the Relay together with our kids…and my family has repeatedly told me that it’ll be a fun time and that there is a lot of things planned for kids, so that’s good.
- Speaking of Sunshine, her birthday is this coming Saturday. Y’know, it’s actually a bit depressing in a way because I so very much want to give her the world…but I can’t. I so very much want to be able to lavish her with gifts…but I can’t. I know she’d say that my love is enough and I absolutely feel the same way about her…I don’t even NEED gifts as long as she’s in my life…but still, I wish there was a way I could snap my fingers and make everything in our lives exactly the way we want it to be. But I can’t. So I guess we’ll both just have to work with what the Universe has handed to us.