Ten years ago today, Wife and I went on our first date. When I mentioned to my mother that I was going to write about meeting Wife and our first date, she said, “You’re going to write about that? I thought you were supposed to write funny stories about raising your kids.” This is what she says to me every week. She is a very supportive, non-fan of my blog writing! Anyway, I pointed out that if it were not for us meeting followed by all the other stuff, we wouldn't have a big, modern family for me to write about.
Wife, (then Lisa) and I met at a boxing class in March 2004. I had decided to get serious about dating that year and boxing was part of my plan. You see, I was looking to meet a sporty, public radio loving, babe. (I was looking for much more than that, but these two things were on the must-have list.) Clearly, I needed a plan to make it happen. Because I am fundamentally a weirdo, I named the plan - Operation Three Bs to a Babe. I joined a band to up my cool factor. I took ballet to keep myself graceful. And I started boxing because where better to find a sporty babe than at a women’s boxing class! I know, genius.
A couple of months into boxing I showed up pumped for the regular Sunday class, looking particularly fabulous. I was wearing a curves-accentuating, tracksuit (yes, matching top & bottom) that featured a racing strip down the side of the arms and pants. I also had my dreadlocks in pigtails. It is possible, based on my outfit, that I didn’t think I would be meeting The Babe that morning! As I was getting ready for class, in walked this hot woman with a sleeveless shirt on. I made a quick adjustment to my pigtails.
The instructor partnered Lisa, a more experienced boxer and me, a newbie, to do the gym circuit. Throughout our workout, Lisa kindly helped me with my form and I did my best to shine as an athlete. Hoping that Lisa was “noticing” me and worried that she didn’t know I wanted to be “noticed” I found several, not so subtle, ways to slip in the phrase, “As a single lesbian…” into our conversation. Smooth, eh?
The circuit ended with some ring work so with Lisa, I reluctantly stepped into the boxing ring for the first time. The coach told Lisa that she could only block, not hit and that I was to try to get a hit in. I did it! The first time I met Wife, I punched her square in the nose! I suspect that was the moment she realized that I was a keeper!
At the end of class some of us were chatting about Lisa’s band, The Jane Waynes, which I had never heard of and which had a following and a CD in the works. I decided that that was not the time to tell her about my band which existed only in a basement with four women who rotated instruments because most of us didn’t know how to play any of them well. Lisa offered to take down our email addresses to be added to the band invite list for shows. It was at that moment, that I got bold. I put my email address down on the paper and my phone number (for the Jane Waynes’ phone tree, obviously!) I left the class pleased with my efforts to “pick-up” and hoped to hear from the boxing class hottie
On Thursday of that same week I received an email from Lisa. She had tried to call me but had the wrong number so was trying email. A word of advice: when giving someone your number, write clearly. I called her immediately and left a message. When she picked up the message, she was walking her dog and had nowhere to write down my number. Resourceful Lisa wrote my number in the dirt with a stick and called me back. She wrote my number in the dirt, people! How cute is that?
We didn’t waste any time and met up that night. What really sealed the deal, and no -doubt made me seem irresistible, is my mother dropping me off for our first date! Lisa, my mother and I have been a relationship ever since!
On our first date, 10 years ago, when we talked about canoe tripping and teaching and public radio and music we had no idea that we were beginning to make the choice that we’ve made every day since - to be together. Some days it’s a hard choice to make, but it’s one that I keep making.
Happy Anniversary to Wife! I miss talking about who we are rather than who we’re raising but I know that when The Big, The Middles & The Littles need us in less time consuming ways, we will have plenty to talk about again. In the meantime, I am so grateful for the love, support and the daily gut laughs! I plan to keep choosing this one.XO Ajike