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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Some Enchanted Evening

On a remarkably warm fall evening in October of 2004, I decided that I could get away with one more outing in flip-flops (a dangerous choice for Minnesota weather).  It was the night of the Ike Reilly Assassination concert, and I was giddy with excitement.  Ike's band has a distinctly American, gritty eclectic sound, and I had harassed five or six good friends to come with me to the show.  The band was playing at a hole-in-the-wall bar in St. Paul, known for its great sound and interesting clientele.  More than anything, I was looking forward to seeing a band I love with friends I love.


That night, the concert did not disappoint except for the fact that they didn't arrive on stage until almost midnight.  No matter, though, by that point I was pleasantly buzzed and was singing my heart out, blissfully unaware of the presence of my future husband.  As it so happened, he was standing next to me.  During the evening, we had noticed one another across a crowded room (just like the old cliche says), and apparently, I smiled at him.  Later, he realized with disappointment that I tend to smile at everyone without realizing it, but by that point, it didn't matter anymore.  Somehow, throughout the show, we had ended up next to one another, at which point my friends magically disappeared.  I felt happy and relaxed and open to chatting with him because the show was almost over and I knew I wasn't looking to meet anyone.  So there was no pressure.  Nothing could possibly happen.

After a few pleasantries about the band and some basic chit-chat, my focal point was back to the stage where Ike was swaying drunkenly and dangerously close to the edge of the stage.  It was one of the last songs of the night, "Commie Drives a Nova" and Erik was about to make his move.  He cautiously asked me if I would like to get together sometime, to which I replied a carefree, "Sure!"  In my mind, there was no way anything would come of this.  He was very cute, but probably not my type, and I had big plans to go overseas soon.  There was no place or time for something to develop.  As the music died down and the bar began to clear out, he handed me his phone so I could input my number.  (I found out later that he was too nervous to plug in the numbers himself.)  We exchanged smiles, said good night, and went our separate ways.

Two days, later he called me for a date.  I accepted and plans were made to meet for a drink two nights later.  As the day of the date grew closer, I grew nervous.  I frantically told my friends, "Forget it.  I'm canceling!  There's no point.  I'm going to an international job fair in a few months!  I don't want to meet anyone.  He's not my type!"  
My friends vehemently argued with me.  "You are NOT canceling.  He IS your type! It's not going to hurt to have one drink with him." Finally, I relented with a bitter, "Fine. But I'm not wearing anything cute. I'm dressing down!"

I drove with apprehension to the date.  I could barely recall what he looked like, and I was positive that he seemed preppier than I would prefer.  As I approached the restaurant where I was meeting him, I saw him standing outside.  And I swooned.  I mean, literally swooned.  I didn't know a person could really swoon.  He was so handsome, and contrary to my previous beliefs, he appeared to be exactly my type. After an awkward hello, we made our way inside where we proceeded to have a date that was straight out of the movies.  We had so much to talk about and so much chemistry, that neither of us wanted the date to end.  I remember that night as I drove home that I had the sensation of falling.  And it was oh so scary and yet so wonderful at the same time.  

As we had more and more dates and our relationship grew, we saw Ike many more times together.  And at each show, we would have the sweet sensation of remembrance as we saw each other out of our peripheral vision, similar to that first night.