Two days after the skeet-shooting and AORYA conference, I realize I have Duane's phone number and simply cannot wait for him to text me. I tried, I really did. But by about 7:30 am when he hadn't texted me, I couldn't wait any longer. After all, it had been about 33 hours since I had last seen him and my irrational "smitten" brain took over and convinced myself that if I didn't text him, he would think I wasn't interested. I'm not particularly proud of this moment, but...I can't change it. So as I got ready for work I thought about all the ways I could casually text him. By the time I got to work I knew what to say: something about Saturday that would open the door of conversation, but let him take it from there. I justified that I was merely opening the door a crack, and that I would stop there - anything after that would have to be initiated by him. So I texted him something silly along the lines of "hey, guess who has bruises on their arm from Saturday?" Slick, I know.
I don't recall what he texted back, only that he did. And so from that day, September 23 and for the next number of weeks, we were texting back and forth every single day. I wondered if this was the right way to go about things and truth be told, I don't know that I'd recommend texting that much. But, I justified, we knew each other, we'd been friends for 3 years already and it's not like I didn't know his character.
There was a group of us from AORYA planning to go to the demo derby at the Rockton World Fair on Thanksgiving weekend. The day after we began regularly texting, I posted a note about parking and shortly thereafter, a comment about not wanting to drive. I knew Duane was going and I was really hoping he'd see my comment...
I was going on a date. Ack. What? Me? I'm going on a date. You know that feeling when you're simultaneously overjoyed and absolutely terrified of something? Yeah, that was me.
So, on October 11, 2013, Duane showed up at my house after work to drive me to the Rockton Fair. His car was SO clean (I found out later that he did that for me). Here I thought he always kept his car so immaculate...I've since learned that neither of us keep overly clean cars.
We drove out there and I was pretty sure I knew where to go, so we chatted and we took an exit off the roundabout and we chatted, and chatted, and learned all about his apprenticeship, and chatted...and saw a sign for Cambridge. Even I knew that a sign for Cambridge meant we were in the wrong place, and I'm not good with directions. We pulled over and I got Duane's GPS out of the glove box and after a lot of searching we finally came up with "Fairgrounds" and turned ourselves around. Then we laughed, a lot, about how poor my sense of direction was and we drove back quite a while until we were in the right city again and found the right exit off the roundabout, and finally made it to the fairgrounds.
We got out of the car and walked up to the front gate where we found ourselves standing in line behind his cousin Tim and his wife (and one of my dear friends), Kim. The four of us walked in together and were laughing about how we got lost, which is not too unexpected for me when I notice Kim give Tim a look - when they had just started dating (at the Rockton Fair), they also got lost on their way to the fairgrounds!
We met up with the rest of our group and although I know a few people turned their heads at the fact that Duane and I came together, it wasn't altogether unusual since we arrived with Tim & Kim.
During one of the demo derby breaks, Duane and I decided to go grab some dinner. While we were in the concession area we got to talking to some friends who commented that they saw us go the wrong way in the roundabout and instead of texting us and telling us we were going the wrong way, just let us carry on - assuming we must have known where we were going. Thanks ladies! :P Obviously, we eventually did find our way and enjoyed our first date.
My 30th birthday was the next day...tune in for the next installment ;)