Laura and Andy
When I first saw Laura’s profile I was struck not only by her beauty but her aura. Her smile told me she liked to laugh and enjoy life, and her words told me she was cerebral, sensitive and sweet.
She worked as a pastry chef, and I was a sportswriter with a sweet tooth. It didn’t matter to me that she lived 100 miles away; I had searched the entire country for my soul mate on eHarmony. Meanwhile, Laura had set her match range to 60 miles.
Somehow, my profile snuck in.
She had a level of honesty to which no one else had come close. She wrote extremely well for someone who didn’t write professionally, and she didn’t hold back. She was sarcastic and full of fun.
We enjoyed open communication, though very little of it dealt with romance. She poked fun at my movie choices and commented on the cute butts of baseball players. I blasted her with my horrible puns.
A friend suggested I give her my phone number after only a few messages. She wrote that she’d like to keep writing.
Five days later, she called. I was leaving work late at night, exhausted and focused on filling my car’s empty gas tank. I talked to her while fiddling with my credit card and the gas hose. She later said I sounded apathetic.
We talked every night for the next month, though, except for one night when I felt talked out and didn’t call her. I’d never talked that much with anyone before, even my best friends. We usually talked for more than two hours a night, about jobs, friends, movies, music, stuff friends talk about.
We agreed that our first date would be at an Oakland A’s afternoon game, and I had somehow felt she would have more fun if we saw a team with one of the players she had mentioned was a cute one, such as Johnny Damon of the Red Sox.
Besides, Johnny could take some pressure off me.
When that big day finally arrived, I got to the stadium first and called her. She said she had run into traffic. When she finally arrived, the parking lot was full and I got into her passenger seat to help her find a parking spot.
After talking and writing for a month and a half, my olfactory senses overwhelmed me when I took a whiff of what I thought was perfume. It was actually lotion. But it was such a heavy girly scent, and I had grown so comfortable saying things to her, that I blurted out, “It smells in here.” I must have said “Hello” first, but she doesn’t remember that.I had her at “It smells.”
After the game, we hopped on the rapid transit to the San Francisco waterfront and took a two-mile walk to a restaurant. En route, she made a hilarious guy joke. It really relaxed me, so I bent down and kissed her cheek. We ate and watched sea lions veg out by the water.
When we got back to Oakland and were ready to say goodnight, I gave her what I thought was a gentlemanly peck on the cheek. As I pulled back, she said, “Is that all I get?” I put my arms around her and we kissed on the lips.
Four days later, I was driving to a town near her to see a movie for our second date. I had forgotten to ask which movie house, and the one I’d guessed on was boarded up when I arrived. I called her and she said I had to back track a little to get to the right place.
Not realizing I was on a one-way street, I turned into the path of a passing pickup.
The impact caved in my front wheel well so far, I wasn’t sure if I could drive the car. After exchanging information with the guy for 15 minutes, I went to the movie house, shaken. I called Laura and apologized to her for being late, but that I’d just been in an accident.
She had worn her red hair in a ponytail during our first date, and an A’s T-shirt. This time, when I saw her stroll up with long, glamorous hair and pretty clothes, I was no longer crazy from worrying if my car would make it back home. I was crazy about her.
I realized I could have a best friend and romantic partner all in one.When we went to the ticket booth, neither of us knew what we wanted to see. We decided to go with the most star-studded movie. It was appropriately titled “Crash.”
I never thought I would be able to top the magical feeling I’d had after my first date with my first girlfriend back in high school - that discovery of completely new, exciting, un-desperate love.
I no longer had to hide my love away.
On our third date, per her request, I took her to a driving range and showed her how to hit a golf ball. She had great hand-eye coordination and picked it up quickly, but she gave me all the credit.
For our fourth date, I wanted to introduce her to the friend who had told me about eHarmony. We arranged to see an A’s night game with him and his girlfriend. Before the game, we went to the beach for a few hours. Just before we left to go to the game, she went to the ladies room to re-glamorize her hair. I took the opportunity to write “I love you” in the sand. When she came out, I asked if she could read it. She said she couldn’t, though later that night she said “I love you” back.
About a year after that, holding an engagement ring she had picked out herself, I stunned her by reading her the following poem:
When we first met in person
You overwhelmed my senses
Though I blurted out “It smells”
And severely hurt my chances
You stuck with nervous me
And helped me feel so right
Even when the day was over
And it was time to kiss goodnight
More than a year has passed
With many hours on the phone
And long drives there and back
Because you make me feel at home
You make me want to dream of you
And also of reaching my goals
One of which is be your husband
And be with you as I get old
Some might say it’s too early
For me to be asking you this
But I feel my search is over
For the one who brings me bliss
Through life I feel I can carry you
If you agree to carry me
So I ask you Laura, my Sweetheart
Will you marry me?