The Way We Met
I was busy dating the world when Corey found me on JDate. One or two nights a week I was meeting men for a coffee or a walk or dinner. I wasn’t dating seriously and I was having fun.
And then I met Corey. He was honest and forthright and real. He impressed me. There was no subterfuge with Corey and he made me laugh. When he asked to meet me, I said “Yes.” Now, I had a few tried and true ‘rules’ that I used for a first date. The man had to ask me out, the man had to let me pick the place we’re meeting, and the man had to refuse to let me pay. If those three happened, there was a possibility that it would turn into a relationship.
Luckily, Corey asked me to dinner and let me pick a restaurant (my first date choice was usually something adventurous, like Ethiopian – it’s a way to test his ability to flow with my randomness). And finally, Corey refused to let me pay.
Now, I don’t remember the conversations we had that night, but I do remember the look in his eyes after dinner when he reached for my hand. There was a little bounce in his step, a little gleam in his eye and there was definite hope and excitement in his face.
Over the next few weeks, he kept calling and asking me out. We met for drinks, for dinner, to see a show or two and we spent time talking — a lot of time talking. Now, it was really nice and all, but I wasn’t sure about him. After all, I was busy dating everyone’s neighbor’s son, the cute guy from JDate and my mother’s friend’s son who just moved to New York and didn’t know anyone…you know the shpiel.
But Corey kept showing up.
If I said something one date, he remembered it the next. He listened — really listened. It was flattering and lovely. Besides, his sarcastic sense of humor always kept me laughing. About a month or two after we’d started dating, Corey asked me to be his date to a co-worker’s wedding. I agreed, but wasn’t sure about it. After talking long and hard with my best friends about the qualms I had about Corey (I’d never dated a divorcee and I’d never considered even dating a man with a child before), I got the best piece of advice I think I’ve EVER gotten: “Talk to him. Talk to him about this stuff.” My friend was right. If there was a chance for this to turn into something more serious, I needed to talk with Corey about how I was feeling and what I was thinking. If Corey was the right man for me, he’d be there and wouldn’t run away from the conversation.
So, I took a chance (I also took extra cash for emergency cab fare just in case). On the way to the wedding, I talked with Corey — really talked. It was probably the most intimate conversation I’ve ever had with another human being. I laid all my cards out on the table and really opened up. It was scary and liberating all at the same time. I consider that night, the night our relationship turned a corner. I felt like I stopped playing and turned my focus to this man, this man in front of me — the one that kept being there.
A year after our first date, Corey gave me a silver Tiffany ring engraved with “I Love You.”
Two months and two days later, Corey and I went to one of my favorite restaurants, Artisanal on 32nd and Park. We had a lovely dinner and we were both looking forward to their AWESOME chocolate fondue dessert. They brought out the pot of fondue and then this platter of fruit and cakes. Except it wasn’t the normal platter – it took me several seconds to realize it had ‘Sara will you marry me?’ written in chocolate along its edge.
I looked at Corey.
I looked at the plate.
I looked at Corey.
He laughed and said, “I guess this is where I should get down on one knee.” And he did. Next thing I know, he’s pulling a box out of his pocket and I started crying. The whole restaurant stood up and burst into applause. I was shocked and surprised and happy all at once.
It was a startling, magical moment.
I’m really glad he kept showing up.
Sara and Corey
New York, New York