My mom called tonight because she thought we were leaving for Prague tomorrow. We don’t leave until Monday, but the confusion in schedule was okay because it afforded me the opportunity to talk to my mom on the phone for a couple hours.
In my almost-thirty-five years of existence, I don’t recall ever having heard the story of my mom and dad’s first date. The story started with my mom reminiscing on the time when my dad gently patted her on the arm while they were sitting at a table at the Knight’s of Columbus dance. She remembered that gentle pat as a way that my dad non-verbally said, “you’re okay.” Knowing my dad, it wasn’t a “you’re just okay” gesture, it was a, “you’re a good person, and you’re life is going to be okay.”
My dad gave my mom that pat on their very first date almost 40 years ago. My mom was very uncertain about herself at that point in her life and was talked into going out on a blind date by their mutual friends with my dad. My mom was skeptical about this guy, and even denied giving him her phone number. Instead, she said, “I won’t give you my phone number, but I’ll take yours.” And she thought about my dad the rest of the night, long after the date had ended.
My mom called my dad the next day and a woman answered the phone. My mom thought to herself, “well that’s just typical.” The lady on the other end of the phone told my mom that David was in the shower.” Then my mom learned that the woman she was talking to was her soon-to-be mother-in-law. And since then, so my mom says, the rest is history.
Hearing my mom tell me that story really pulled at my heartstrings, and it reminded me of Elise’s and my first date, and I relayed that story to my mom.
Elise and I had our first date at a tavern in downtown Austin. I was with a group of friends playing pool. When Elise showed up, I immediately forfeited my game and my friends. Elise and I sat off to the side of the group on a couple bar stools and talked. And talked, and talked.
We were sitting next to each other, closer than what two people would ordinarily on a first date. I intentionally moved my knee to the left so it rested on Elise’s right knee. And I knew we were both comfortable and happy with our knees kissing while we talked the night away and closed the bar.
And for us, the rest is history. Elise and I have been together since that first date. It wasn’t until talking to my mom tonight that I think my intentionally touching my knee to hers on that first date was my way of telling Elise, “you’re okay.”