Saturday, July 17, 2010

a love story {part 4}

4:31 pm December 18, 1998 finally arrived.

Someone took a picture of Kevin walking to his car after class to pick me up.
I'm sure I looked about the same.

The truth is although I was really excited, I was a little nervous, too. This was actually my first real date. Ever. I had no idea where he was taking me, and we were going from being good friends to dating. Actually, any anxiety probably stemmed more from wondering if I was going to get my first kiss...

He picked me up at my dorm not long after class got out. He gave me a single red rose as he walked me to the car and opened my door for me (he's always been good at that, being a sweet Southern boy at heart). I remember being breathless with anticipation.

We drove along the Gulf for about 30 minutes to Orange Beach, Alabama. I don't remember much about our conversation, except that it flowed easily. Everything was just the same as it had been...only better. We could relax and enjoy one another's company. I can't tell you what a relief it taking a deep breath after you've been underwater too long.

He took me to dinner at a romantic oceanfront restaurant called The Outrigger. The entire wall we were sitting by was made of glass and had ocean waves crashing against it throughout our meal. It was amazing. In typical Jen fashion, I can only remember what I had for dessert...a decadent almond cheesecake.

No, not the whole thing.

And he drank coffee for dessert, which I disliked at the time. This was the beginning of the end of disliking coffee for me, because my husband is a Coffee Gourmet.

{I don't know if I've ever told you this Love, but thanks for introducing me to coffee.}

After dinner, as we drove back towards Pensacola, he took my hand and held it. I won't try to describe the effect this had on me, because, honestly, there are no words for it. I will say this, though: In a culture that often rushes headlong into physical intimacy at the first opportunity, there's something to be said about the power of a little restraint and self-control.

And no, he didn't kiss me...not yet.

He pulled over at a beach, and we took a walk along the Gulf together. At one point we stopped and sat down, he draped his arms around my neck and he pulled me back against his chest. And we sat there listening to the sound of the Ocean...for minutes...hours...I don't really know.

I found out later, that he had asked his friend Dave (who is an amazing musician) to meet us at the beach to sing me a song Kevin had written for me. But Dave was waiting for us at a different beach (this was before cell phones and texting were commonplace. Gosh, that makes me feel old.)

And then he took me home.
As soon as we pulled up to the dorms, a bunch of friends who, I guess, had just been waiting for us to get back jumped in the backseat...
And that...was our first date.
To be continued...


  1. How romantic...that restaurant sounds he still that romantic?

  2. Yeah, although three kids certainly put a damper on the romance factor! This was pretty exceptional for him, cause he's not much of a planner, he's more of a play it by ear kind of guy. I think this was the only time he's ever made a reservation in his life...
    ; )

  3. Dave...different beach...ROFLOL That is classic. Totally sweet story, Jen.

  4. LOL - that's fantastic Dave-left-the-details-'til-the-last-minute fashion!!!

  5. It might have been Kevin...he tends to do that too! ; )