Two years ago, Valentine’s Day landed on a Friday.
Just like the year before that, I had no special plans for the day, so I did what I always did: I made a video. I talked about Valentine’s Day and the traditions people around the world had for this particular holiday.
After publishing the video, I headed out for a reason I cannot remember, and proceeded to get baffled about what to do with a rose the front desk people handed me on my way out.
That’s when I got a message from this guy I’d just met at a party a week before.
I’m stuck in your area today because of a meeting. Traffic is going to be a nightmare later, so I’m going to be waiting it out at one of the malls. If you have no plans for tonight, would you want to join me for dinner and drinks with minimal subcontext?
I told him I had promised mother I would go and buy cupcakes with her. It’s not that I was repulsed by him or that his company was not one I would have liked to keep (it was quite the opposite); I was just extremely awkward and pushing guys away was something I had gotten really good at.
Mom and I met up at the cupcake place and I decided to mention the invite from earlier. Her reaction? She basically told me to get out of there and meet the poor man.
Ever the obedient daughter, I got out of there and told the poor man I was on my way. It was getting late, and yet the cars on the streets were still gridlocked. The accumulated love in a city has a funny way of producing horrific traffic.
I found him at a burger joint, dressed to the nines in a barong (the most formal of men’s wear in the Philippines). In my red summer dress I plopped down in the seat in front of him… and immediately regretted coming.
This was the part where the standard first date awkwardness commenced. I tried to estimate how much time I’d have to spend with him before it was polite to say I had to go home. Then I started a mental run through of a list of believable excuses I could use to extricate myself from this situation.
I snapped out of my little reverie when he handed me a plastic bag. It had high end chocolate in it.
Shoot. I thought to myself. That meant I had to stay even longer.
I had never been on a first date with someone I’d just met. Usually it was with someone I had already known for awhile. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that the first few hours (yeah, hours) were immediately filled with getting-to-know-you questions.
I told him I was the youngest in the family. Grew up in this city in the north that was unusually cool year round. He told me he was the eldest. He was born in Fairfax, Virginia and he’d gone to school in the US.
I didn’t think we were going to hit it off but we did. We talked until the wee hours of the morn.
Fast forward two years later and we’re still finding things to talk about.
Unlike what I’d thought on our first date, there is absolutely no reason to regret ever meeting up with him that night. The last two years have been filled with more experiences than I thought could be crammed into that amount of time.
It’s kind of funny how things worked out, but I’m glad that they did. Now I just need to get back to video making…