Archive for January 28th, 2010

1st Date

January 28, 2010

Twenty four years ago today, Gloria and I had our first date.  Here’s my side of the story.

Gloria worked at the deli at NCBC.  I had returned to the college for the spring semester after serving four years in the Marine Corps.  I was home on terminal leave, which means that I had saved leave that I was using at the end of my enlistment.  This allowed me to be at North Central for the start of the spring semester even though technically I was still in the service.  The first couple of days, I wore my dress uniform to attend classes.  I wanted people to know that I was a Marine.

I would stop in at the deli for a coffee between classes.  Gloria was a beautiful young lady with light blue eyes, a wonderful smile, and happy, easy-going way about her.  I would watch her interact with the customers, between sips of my coffee and I was impressed, and attracted.

On the morning of the 28th, which was my official end of active service (EAS), I concocted a plan.  I would mention to Gloria, while I was buying my coffee that it was my last day in the Marine Corps.  I figured that a natural response would be to ask what I was doing to celebrate, and that then I could ask her out to celebrate my EAS.

It went exactly according to plan… except that I lost my nerve.  I told her that it was my last day, she asked me what I was doing to celebrate, I said that I wasn’t doing anything.

I drank my coffee and left.

I went upstairs where I gave myself, first a chewing out, and then a pep talk,  “What if she’s the one?”  “You coward, get down there and ask her out!” and so on…

I finally worked up the nerve and calmly went downstairs.  She was surprised to see me again, (I usually only bought coffee once a morning).  I said something like “I was thinking about it, and you’re right, I should do something to celebrate.  Since I really don’t know many people here yet, since I am newly back to school, perhaps you would go out with me?”

She was so surprised that I would ask her out, that she replied yes without thinking too much about it.  After all, it was her idea.  Her friends later reminded her that she had agreed to a date with a man she barely new, except that he was a student, and a sergeant in the Marines.  The student part, sure, but the Marine?  It gave her something to think about through the afternoon.

The date went well, and the rest is history.  We often laugh about our relationship starting with manipulation, but it’s worked out well.

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