This week, I want to share with you an experience I had leading up to, and following, my "Blind Date" in 1998, that would forever change my life. I have said many times that I am truly blessed and this story is certainly "right there" regarding reasons why.
I had been in the Houston Fire Department 16 years in 1991, when a close friend that I attended the Fire Academy with convinced me to study for the upcoming Arson Investigator test. We were both at the same station at that time, on different shifts, and began studying. If successful, it would require going through the Police Academy to become State Certified Peace Officers. At that same time, I was also in my 2nd marriage. Later that year, in December, I would score a 104 on the test and placed 4th on the list of eligibles for promotion. Four months later, in April of 1992, the top 5 from that list began a four month tour at the Police Academy. I did not know the 5th firefighter on that list, but going forward through the Academy and beyond, I would become good friends with him.
Fast forward to 1998... My marriage was breaking down after 12 years and in late August of that year, my wife at the time and I separated and I moved into an apartment the 1st weekend in September. She filed for divorce and at age 42, I had no idea how my life would change in the coming months. My marriage was now over and I'm not one that enjoys being alone. I actually enrolled in a "Match.com" type of service at the time called IJL: It's Just Lunch... they did a profile and then they pick & choose your "Blind Lunch Date" with someone they think you match up with. I paid $600
Back to my now good friend, number 5 on that promotional list. He knew my situation and he had told me that when I was ready (he actually wanted me to wait 6 months), he knew of someone that he wanted to "set me up with." This person was a very good friend of his wife as well. I can quote him as he told me: "Her name is Donna, she's single, she's a Hair Stylist
In the days following my divorce being final, I had received a call from IJL regarding that 6th and final Blind Lunch Date that I had paid for. I put them off with some excuse. Late one night, I was out & about and feeling very frustrated. I picked up my phone and called my friend, number 5. I said to him, "Set it up. Let's do it." The following Sunday, December 20th, my friend had arranged an afternoon "Blind Date" with Donna, the Hair Stylist, at a local Sports Bar to watch football. The date was at 3pm and I walked in at 3:15 (you know I had to make her sweat just a bit)... I'll be honest, as I approached their table and saw her for the first time, in my mind, I vividly remember thinking: "Damn!!!" She was beautiful and her smile absolutely melted my heart right then and there. Unlike any of the previous 5 paid for IJL Blind Lunch Dates, I was actually thrilled to be on this date, well, but for two things. One, she wore closed toe shoes!!! Seriously??? Now, she was making me sweat a bit. Two, she kept getting up and going to the restroom. I started thinking maybe this was not going as well as I thought it was. I was getting worried because I was having a really good time with her. And then... well, I found out she was going into the restroom to call her BOOKIE!!! It was then and there that I thought to myself, "I love her." No really... we are watching football, she is betting on the games, she's beautiful, a smile to die for. I'm in heaven, right? Later that evening, we went to have Mexican food and margarita's. Can it get any better??? YES!!!
We spoke briefly prior to Christmas Day and in that conversation, agreed to get together again sometime after the Holidays. And then... one day during the week between Christmas and New Years Day, my phone rang. All I can say is, the caller ID on my phone made me very happy and brought a huge smile to my face. New Years Day Party at her sister's house. Did I want to Go??? Let me see... YES!!! First real date, lots of people, did not know anybody, Prince belted out "1999," and we shared our first kiss later that night just before I had to leave to go pick up Shane.
Fast forward to almost 9 months later, September 20, 1999... I was madly in love with this woman and asked her that afternoon if she would marry me while sharing a
So many things had to fall in place over several years for all this to work out, but it all started back in early 1991, when a fellow firefighter buddy made a simple statement to me: "Slu, let's study for the Arson Investigator test."
|A recent pic of my "Woman" and that smile|
|The two of us recently, heading out Smiling & Happy|
I saw a quote this week from Chris Hart: "All the statistics in the world can't measure the warmth of a smile."
Recipe's: This week, I want to showcase one of Donna's favorite dinners from our "go to" website, Skinnytaste, and it is absolutely amazing. The recipe for it can be found here and it tops very well over some homemade Brown Fried Rice. Check it out this weekend and enjoy some "Asian Turkey Meatballs with Lime Sesame Dipping Sauce."
Libations Anyone???: If you live in the South, you have certainly heard of and probably been to Pappasito's Cantina many times. One of our favorite places to eat and have "libations," I am plugging my favorite Margarita there, the Grand Gold Margarita, frozen, no salt... Superb, give it a try next time.
Music: Last week I told you how much I like Smooth Jazz and I mentioned Chris Botti. He is absolutely one of my favorites and I hope you will check out his very smooth and "sexy" sound. You can hear a live performance here titled "When I Fall In Love." Kind of appropriate for this blog post... Ha!!!
Market Watch: After finally showing some life last week, Facebook closed yesterday at 31.24, continuing its slow climb back up to the opening of 38.
The End: Last weeks Dad(s) post set a record (thus far) with page views and the responses were awesome... Thank You!!! I really appreciate you taking the time to check in on Slu's World. Have a great weekend.
Be safe, be smart, and always smile... It's "Happy Friday"