I spent a lot of my teenage and adult life with the wrong men. Now, don’t read into that too much, I had maybe five boyfriends from the time I was 16 to 30. And they were ALL WRONG. I mean, way wrong. Like, oh you’ve been in jail? You’re perfect! kind of wrong. They were losers in every sense of the word, and treated me in typical loser fashion.
Three years ago, I finally got it right.
The Anaheim Ducks had just won the Stanley Cup (GO DUCKS!), and I was going to the celebration rally with my friend and her husband. They had to drop their baby off at her sister’s house and asked me to meet them there. When I got into the backseat of their truck, my friend got in the back with me, and a man got in the front seat. My friend says, “Oh, that’s my sister’s ex-husband.” I thought nothing of it as we drove to the rally.
Once there, my friend spent an hour applying paint to her husband’s face, which left Rick and I with nothing to do but talk to each other. The first question I asked him? “So, you used to be married to her sister?” He politely answered, but I later found out he was shocked that I would ask him that question. We chatted for the next hour or so; typical “getting to know you” stuff.
I later asked my friend, “So, he’s single, right?” She looked at me kind of funny, and said, “yes, but you don’t want to go there...” and continued to tell me all the things "wrong" with him. I let it go, and just enjoyed the rest of the day. Rick and I talked randomly throughout the evening; he had a new camera and I was really into photography, so we talked about that, and he even let me hold the camera to look at the pictures he had taken (now that’s trust!).
One of the things I remember most about him that day, is that he watched out for me. He made sure I had a spot to watch the caravan of players, and when we were headed out to the parking lot in a sea of people, and I wanted to stop and take a picture, he waited for me. My friends kept walking, but Rick realized I had stopped, and he stopped too. I remember thinking how sweet that was. When we got back to the house, he headed out to eat with his son, and I went home. I said goodbye, figuring I would probably never see him again.
Then about a week or so later, I got a text from my friend saying “Rick wants your number. Can I give it to him?” At first I had no idea who she was talking about, and when she reminded me, I said, “Really? He wants MY number?” She told me he had been bugging her for a few days. Seriously?
Rick called two days later, on a Wednesday morning, and asked if I would like to meet him for coffee or lunch that weekend. We agreed to meet for lunch at a favorite restaurant of his. We sat that afternoon and talked for over three hours. He had printed a bunch of pictures that he had taken at the rally, including one of me (surprise! of course now I can't find it anywhere). We could’ve kept talking, but I had a babysitter who needed to leave.
We started seeing each other regularly over the next several months, and I was smitten. We didn’t even kiss until I think it was our fourth or fifth date. He was a gentleman, through and through, so unlike the vultures I was used to dating. On our second date, we ate at MY favorite restaurant, and went to Seal Beach to take some photos, which is what a lot of our first months of dating consisted of. (We now have our own little photography business).
One of our favorite photos taken on our second date...
there's still debate over "who" took the photo. :)
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