When I met Troy, we were both employees at a High Falutin' Grocery Store here in town It's one of those places where the customers may pay $1.50 more for a package of Ritz crackers but get the satisfaction of walking out of the store with Snooty's written on their bag, so it makes it all worth it. I was 17 years old.
I was a cashier and he was the assistant manager of the bakery-deli, and we spent lots of time flirting over the deli counter. I found a million and one reasons to saunter past the deli, trying to catch his eye, and I spent an inordinate amount of time facing the baby food because that aisle was the prime spot for viewing the deli area. (Facing, for those of you who don't know grocery store vernacular, is making sure the product is pulled forward so that it looks like the shelves are nice and full. I wasn't just spending time, standing and staring at the baby food as the word might suggest.)
At the time, I was dating a guy who I had been with for 2 years and honestly thought I was going to marry. So, while I had no problem flirting shamelessly while Troy and I were working together, I made it clear to him that I was "spoken for" and in my mind, I had determined that he would just always be "that guy that I flirted with when I was young." I left the store and went to work somewhere else, but would periodically go back to visit Troy and flirt some more.
One night, about three months after I quit working there, I went to back to the store to pay a visit at about closing time. Troy was in the bakery alone, cleaning up so he could go home, and he asked me if I could give him a ride. I said yes, my stomach all fluttery at the thought of spending time with him outside of the store. I leaned on the counter behind the bakery, waiting for him to get done, and he proceeded to drop a tray of cookies on the floor. I laughed and teased him and he teased me back and then came over and kissed me. Hooboy, I think my knees turned to jelly. He finished up his work and we went back to his house where we hung out until the wee hours of the morning. I gave him my phone number and went home with my mind spinning.
If I was this interested in spending time with a different guy than the one that I was dating so seriously and having marriage conversations with, was I really ready to get married? Believe you me, that was just about the most mature thought I had at that time!
I went to Troy's house the next day and we hung out for a bit, and then I dropped him off at work. We talked about going to the house of a friend of his that evening, but later, when I called for details, he said that plans had changed or fallen through or something...I don't remember exactly, but we didn't end up getting together that night. Sometime within the next few days, I broke up with Keith, the other guy, deciding that I definitely wasn't ready to marry him if I was this interested in someone else.
But then I waited. And waited. And waited for Troy to call. It began to seem like I was being given the brush off. I was in deathly fear of seeming pushy or clingy, so I decided to just wait for him to call me. I didn't want to seem like I was stalking him. It felt like forever, and I began to seriously doubt my decisions. After all, I seemed that had broken off a two-year relationship for a guy who wasn't really interested.
Then, one Friday night about three weeks later, he called. According to him, he had misplaced the paper on which he had written my number and had just found it. I was honestly too excited to hear from him to question the story. He asked what I was doing that night and I told him that I was heading out to a going away party for a friend of mine from high school and would he like to come along? I remember feeling so nervous that he wouldn't think my friends and I were exciting enough. He accepted, and frankly, the rest of the story is for another time. Obviously we ended up getting married and having children, but I know for a fact that if you'd asked me about the likelihood of that future, I would have laughed.
Today is the 14th anniversary of that first date. I love how much I can still remember about that first year that we dated! And funniest of all is that the main reason I remember the specific date of our first date is that it's the birthday of the guy that I dumped so that I could date Troy.