The honeymoon was over…
When I reminisce about my favorite date with my wife ever (including before we were married) I have one vivid memory. It was within the first year of our marriage. We were experiencing all the craziness that comes from being newlyweds: I washed the dishes completely differently than her. She squeezed the toothpaste differently than me. Our humble apartment next to the donut shop was a place of love and war.
Nothing was going to stop me!
After months of not taking my new wife out for a dinner date, I decided that nothing was going to get in my way. I looked in my wallet (and in Karlene’s purse) and discovered we had a five dollar bill and four one dollar bills between us. That would have to do. I said to Karlene, “Get in the car. We are going on a date.” She thought I was joking because she knew we were flat broke. But I insisted that she deserved a night out. Excitedly, she trusted me, and away we went.
A dinner paid with love.
With only $9 to spend, you would think that I would have taken her to a fast-food joint. But I had other plans. Not knowing when we would get the chance to do it again, I pulled the car into a prominent, sit-down, steak restaurant. When the waitress came to take our drink order I said something to her like this, “Ma’am, I’m going to be totally honest with you. We just got married this past year and I have been unable to take my beautiful wife out for a dinner in months. I only have $9 to spend which will include your tip. I just want to show my wife that I love her.” Tears began to swell in the eyes of the waitress. We clearly looked young and desperate.
“That’s the most romantic thing I have ever heard.”
Was the response of our waitress. She insisted that we not drink water, but to order what we wanted. I reminded her that we couldn’t afford it, but she didn’t care. We both ordered a Coke. I began to eat my weight in the unlimited free rolls. Karlene ate the salad that came with the one steak dinner we ordered. Then came the dinner on one plate: a steak, a baked potato, and a side of veggies. The sweet waitress handed me the extra plate that we requested, and we divided the food (mostly) evenly. My love was completely revealed when I rejected my share of the side of veggies.
I felt as if I rolled out the red carpet.
Though we ate a “poor-man’s” dinner, I felt like I gave Karlene what she deserved. Our bill came to a total of $9.00 with taxes included. I profusely thanked the waitress over and over for her extreme kindness. She insisted that it was one of the best things she had been a part of. Now looking back over 20 years later I totally agree. That was by far my favorite date…ever. Love is creative and desperate sometimes…and sometimes that creates the best memories.