I had been going on lots of first dates and Adina had just reactivated her JDate account. I sent her an Instant Message, and after talking for a while asked her, “When are you going to ask me out?” Adina then got my number and asked me out, so I planned our first date for later that week. This is the story of our first date that led to our engagement:
Our first date was on October 18, 2007. We decided to meet in the Midtown East/Sutton Place area of Manhattan for drinks. Quick note to singles: Drinks are the perfect first date because if things are not going as well as expected, your exit strategy is much easier to execute than other scenarios. So, I thought we would meet at this classy French restaurant for a drink or two. Now, for some reason, both Adina and I felt the place was a little too stuffy for our personalities and instead found a quiet little fun Cuban place around the corner called Mambi Lounge.
As you could probably figure out, things were going well and if we were going to spend more time together, we would have to get some food. We decided to grab a quick bite at Blockheads, and Adina passed my first test. I mentioned that I performed magic and tried to impress her with an effect, but she didn’t give much of a reaction. I loved it! Who wants to hang out with a fan?
Knowing that Adina would have to head north and being that it was such a beautiful New York autumn evening, we decided to walk uptown and see where we would stop. Fifty blocks later, we found ourselves on 91st street and 2nd Avenue, which is a closed-off cobblestone street with benches and trees on both sides of the street. This seemed like a good spot to take a break and we ended up sitting and talking for at least an hour on a bench. To be more specific, the second bench in, on the north-east side of the block.
Fast forward one year, eight months and six days later…
It was just like any other ordinary Wednesday, but something was different in the air. We planned to go to our Weight Watchers meeting on 93rd Street as usual, but I would have to be late as I told Adina I was stuck in a “work meeting.” “Work meeting” is code for, I had to pick up the ring and it wasn’t ready until 5:00 pm. I finally arrived and caught the end of the lecture. Of all nights, this was the one that Adina felt like hanging around after the meeting and talking with the receptionist about the possibility of working for Weight Watchers. I didn’t want to arouse suspicion, but needed to get her moving, as unbeknownst to her, we had people waiting for us. I did what came natural and complained about how hungry I was. Adina offered to make tilapia and for the first time I said no and that instead I wanted to get egg drop soup from our regular sushi restaurant. It worked and we were finally on our way to the engagement spot. Well, not exactly.
We started on our walk to the sushi restaurant, and Adina tried to run a few errands on the way! I would not be deterred, and needed another line to keep suspicions to a minimum. I explained that I wanted egg drop soup because I was feeling slightly nauseous and wanted to sit on a bench for a few minutes to try and relax. Adina, obviously confused by my sudden ailments said, “Fine.” We finally got to our bench, the same bench from the beginning of our little story.
While the rain took a pause for the first time in days, we sat enjoying the cool evening air. I had rehearsed in my mind multiple times how I would actually do it, and all the scenarios centered on getting the ring out of my pocket. Unfortunately, the ring box was far too large to put in my pocket, so I again did the first thing that came to mind. I told Adina to close her eyes and when she opened them, I was down on one knee. I popped the question and Adina didn’t answer! I guess she was speechless. After all, it’s hard to pronounce words when your jaw is wide open. I brought it to her attention that she never answered me, and I finally got what I thought she was going to say, “Yes.”Adina asked if anyone knew about the proposal. I explained that her parents did as I went to their house two days before to ask for their blessing.
After Adina made some exciting phone calls to parents, siblings and grandparents, we went back to Adina’s place to drop off our bags and go out for dinner. Once again, unbeknownst to Adina, both of our parents were waiting (for quite some time) in Adina’s apartment to celebrate. We finally got to eat dinner and I like to think it was worth the wait.
Adina and Eric
Brooklyn, New York